Gigabyte X1600 Pro Video Card Review

Admin - 2006-12-04 18:41:30 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: December 12, 2006
Gigabyte
GF City Computers
Price: $99 USD

Introduction

Gigabyte, a name that has been around in the industry for years.  Ranging from one side of the hardware spectrum to the other, Gigabyte is defiantly not a new name in the computer industry.  Today we will be taking a look at a seeming revival of their old line, earlier this year we reviewed a card that used their “Silent Pipe” cooling.  The x1600 Pro that we are looking at today has a revival of the Silent Pipe, dutifully dubbed “Silent Pipe 2”.  While usually not crowned as the king of performance Gigabyte does one thing, and that is manufacture a solid mid-market product, hopefully this x1600 Pro will fill the slot for ATI based mid market performance, with the addition of the “Silent Pipe 2” it is bound to be a sneaky competitor as well.

Closer Look

Well upon getting this package I was caught a little off guard by the size of the box, as well as the weight of the unit.


Though after unpacking this became apparent what the weight was from.  As this card does not use a traditional heatsink, instead it uses what Gigabyte is calling “Silent Pipe 2” which is a giant heatsink attached to the GPU, with heatpipes leading to a secondary set of fins, on the other side of the card. 


This card though small is quite heavy as of the solid block cooler design, I was curious to see how this card would perform under load, or in a crowded case.  Along with the card it also comes with some DVI-D-Sub adaptors, as well as a Video In/out adaptor.


Installation

Installation of this card is nothing special, remove your old one, and this one takes its place, if you are using an NVIDIA based card before hand you will need to remove your old drivers and replace them with ATI drivers.

Specifications

Chipset
ATI RADEON X1600 Pro
Memory  256MB
Memory Bus  128 bit
Memory Type DDRII 16Mx16
PCB Form ATX
Bus Type PCI-E
Bus Speed
x16
D-SUB Yes
TV-OUT
Yes
DVI Port
Y (DVI-I)
VIVO No
Multi View Yes

Testing setup:

To test this video card we ran the standard set of games here at OCC.

 

Benchmark: Far Cry

Far Cry is a very popular FPS (First Person Shooter) it is also a favorite amongst reviewers to use as a benchmark. And as in all of the following benchmarks, the resolutions tested are 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024.

 

Settings:

 

 


 

 


 

 

Benchmark: F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is one of the newer first person shooters on the market. This game has its own benchmark built into the game. And as in all of the following benchmarks, the resolutions tested are 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x960.

Settings:

 

 

 

Benchmark: Doom 3

Doom 3 is a favorite first person shooter of many gamers so it is no wonder why it is a very popular benchmark. This is one of my personal favorites also. And as in all of the following benchmarks, the resolutions tested are 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024.

 


Settings:

 

 

Benchmark: Call of Duty 2


Call of Duty 2, the second installment to the Call of Duty Series, is an intense action packed WW2 thriller where you can fight on all battlefronts of the European Theater. And as in all of the following benchmarks, the resolutions tested are 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024.


 

 


Settings:

 

 

 

Benchmark: Quake 4


 


Settings:

 

 


Benchmark: Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Unlike the other games we benchmarked, this game is not a first person shooter. This is a racing game in which you can choose from a number of vehicles, different types of vehicle setups and also choose which types of race courses you prefer.

 


Settings:

 

 

 


Conclusion

Throughout our testing the X1600 has been a relatively solid performer.  Gigabyte has built a very solid performer here, with the use of the X1600 chip from ATI, as well as the superb use of the Silent Pipe 2 cooler.  Makes this card a very cool component, superior cooling, as well as superb performance in all categories.  This card is not aimed at the hardcore gamer, though being aimed at the gamer on a budget.  At an attractive price, and attractive performance make this card one to keep your eye on, if you want to build/upgrade a computer to be more current.  Available in both AGP, and PCI-E flavors the X1600 should not be overlooked.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: