We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Graphics cards Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI

£95 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sapphire

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

This is the first time we've seen a graphics card that supports HDMI. So what's the difference?

While enthusiasts have been harping on about the merits of HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) for some time now, this is the first time we've seen a graphics card that supports this new-look interface. So, for those who've only just got used to DVI (digital visual interface) ports, what's the difference?

Well, as far as video goes, not much at all. In essence, both HDMI and DVI work using the same technology – DVI devices can also be connected through the HDMI port with the help of a converter. In fact, we couldn't detect any real improvement in image quality when we tried out this card's HDMI capabilities.

That's not to say HDMI doesn't deliver smooth results (it does). And we were very pleased with the image quality delivered at 1,280x720. However, if you're expecting HDMI to offer a significantly superior picture to DVI, you're out of luck.

What does distinguish HDMI from DVI is that it delivers not just video but full 192KHz eight-channel audio as well. And the fact that it supports such new lossless compressed audio formats as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD is part of the reason why the HDTV crowd is more interested in HDMI than DVI.

As the likes of Blu-ray and HD-DVD grow in popularity, and as PCs integrate themselves into everyday life, you can expect HDMI to become increasingly sought after. But there's currently no pressing need to jump aboard and, since this isn't the kind of card that's going to last you for years, it doesn't have the appeal an HDMI product ought to.

The X1600 Pro, after all, is now a comparatively elderly chip. Its specs are hardly outstanding and it struggled to keep up with the likes of the GeForce 7600 GS in our games tests.

Those looking to kit out a media centre PC with HDMI capabilities may find it more to their taste – the card generates little heat or noise, and a choice of backplates makes it ideal for PCs where room is a factor.

Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI Expert Verdict »

256MB DDR3@1,386MHz, 587MHz core
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The X1600 Pro is not a new chip, and this isn't a gaming or multimedia extravaganza. However, it is a very solid card that will improve the typical media centre PC no end. And it'll also drag your PC into the HDMI age, which can be no bad thing.

  • CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Ultra review

    CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Ultra

    CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Ultra has long been the best DVD/Blu-ray player software available, and with version 12 it morphs into an organizer/player for all types of media.

  • Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI

    Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI

    The Pro features a high-definition multimedia interface, and could be a great addition to an HD enthusiast's front room.

  • HDanywhere Multiroom+ review

    HDanywhere Multiroom+

    HDanywhere Multiroom+ is an HDBaseT distribution system. Here's our HDanywhere Multiroom+ review.

  • Samsung BD-P1600 review

    Samsung BD-P1600

    The Samsung BD-P1600 delivers very good-looking Blu-ray playback and adds a host of multimedia goodies previously found only in higher-end Samsung models, including BD-Live and Pandora streaming to your TV and home-theatre sound system.

  • Samsung BD-C6500 review

    Samsung BD-C6500

    Almost any way you look at it, the Samsung BD-C6500 is a first-rate Blu-ray player.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 launch as it happened | LG G4 launch video stream | LG G4 launch blog - LG G4 launch, LG G4...

IDG UK Sites

My weekend with the Apple Watch: The Apple Watch made me enjoy receiving notifications

IDG UK Sites

QuarkXPress 2015 released: the DTP tool gets a speed boost and long-document tools

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......