The Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H is very much a budget graphics card - with all the connotations that term implies.
When testing graphics cards it's easy to become obsessed with game frame rates. And when you're testing a £300 card one day and a £50 card another day, that can be something of a mistake. Because let's get one thing out of the way right now – if you're looking for a card to play games with, you aren't going to want to bother with the Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H.
The watered down version of the 2400 XT, a card that was, itself, somewhat lacking in power, the Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H isn't going to bombard you with stunning specifications. The core and memory clock speeds top out at 525MHz and 400MHz respectively – a good way down on the XT's figures of 700MHz and 700MHz, and a key factor in the scornfully low memory bandwidth of 6.4GBps.
And any high hopes raised by the generous complement (given the paucity of specifications found elsewhere) of 40 stream processors are cruelly dashed by the Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H's 64bit memory interface. So, unsurprisingly, game frame rates are poor.
Very poor in fact. Even at a resolution of 1,024x768, you can expect frame rates in the region of 15-20fps on games like FEAR, Company of Heroes and Stalker. Move up to 1,280x1,024 and you lose about a third again. And ithe Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H supposedly has DirectX 10 support, although we can't imagine anyone wanting to use this product for DirectX 10 titles.
So no games then. But there is still an awful lot you can do with the Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H. In particular, if you're looking at High Definition content. ATI's Avivo HD hardware-based H.264/VC-1 decoding is brilliant for most Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies, showing the films in dazzling detail when older (and often more expensive) cards topple over. Graphics generally are that bit sharper and easier on the eye, and despite the lack of firepower in the Gigabyte GV-RX24P256H, you will notice an increase in Windows performance if upgrading from an onboard solution.