Power Color X1650 Pro Golden Pig Edition
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: April 15, 2007
: Power Color
: Power Color
"In Chinese culture, the pig is associated with fertility and virility. To bear children in the year of the pig is considered very fortunate, for they will be happy and honest." The Year 2007 is a Year of the Pig (Fire), which begins on February 18, 2007 and ends on February 6, 2008. To commemorate the Chinese New Year, Power Color has released a Golden Pig Special Edition X1650 Pro. Although there are no performance differences between this and a regular X1650 Pro, it does have a physical difference. The heatsink on the video card is shaped as a Golden Pig and the Golden Pig Special Edition X1650 Pro will be sold exclusively at NewEgg.com.
Being a mainstream video card, the X1650 Pro will have enough kick to run todays home computer applications and offer the ability to play most of todays high demanding video games while maintaining a competitive price most can afford.
PowerColor was established in 1999 and while researching the company, I learned that PowerColor is not just a trading company who does not have a production facility of its own; they produce all their boards in their own certified labs. Power Color U.S.A. is based in California, and has won numerous industry awards, including critical worldwide acclaim.
I have always been fond of the packaging that Power Color has used with their products. When you look at the box the hands on the Fairy jump out at you, if this alone doesn’t draw your attention I don’t know what will.
As I stated earlier there are no differences between this and other X1650 Pro cards, but due to it being a Special Edition, Power Color has changed the heatsink from the original and is using a “Golden Pig” plate in commemoration.
The back of the card possesses the serial number and the cards name. This PCI Express card has dual DVI outputs and includes one S-Video output.
If your monitor doesn’t support DVI, included with this card is a 15 pin D-Sub adapter and S-Video output cable. Driver disks and a quick install manual are also included in the package.
The card doesn't require special tools to install it, shut down your computer, remove the side panel, remove the video card you are replacing, and insert the X1650. If your monitor doesn’t support DVI you will have to attach the 15 pin D-sub adapter to one of the outputs in order to accommodate for VGA. The X1650 doesn't require an extra power source to run it, so after you replace your side panel you are ready to power up your computer and start configuring the software drivers when they are installed.
I suggest that whenever you purchase a new video card, download the latest drivers to achieve its best performance, but Power Color does provide a driver disk for you. Insert it into your CD ROM drive and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have options, always make sure to double check your specifications to insure that you are installing the proper drivers for your card.
Once your drivers are installed and your computer is rebooted, you can configure your settings via the Catalyst Control Center to fine tune your card to your liking. Below are some screen shots of the actual control panel to show the different options you have. I’ll be using advanced mode, there is also a basic mode which is not shown.
2nd Part Number
Memory & Bus Width
256 MB GDDR3 / 128 bit
700 MHz x 2
Dual DVI / / TV Out / / HDTV
Direct X Support
RoHS / Windows Vista™ ready / CrossFire™ ready
NOTE: PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND UPDATE THE BIOS TO ENABLE CROSSFIRE FUNCTION!!!
Bios update instruction
1) Download those two files and save in a bootable floppy disk
2) Using a DOS bootable floppy disk to boot up your computer system to the A command prompt
3) At the DOS mode, A:>, Type in A:> atiflash -p 0 51b24DCJ.SB -f
4) Hit enter
5) The Bios will update automatically
Transform Your PC with Intense 3D and High-Definition Visuals
‧ The Radeon® X1650 is designed to deliver outstanding entertainment and 3D graphics through its unique ultra-threaded core architecture and Avivo™ video and display technology. The Radeon X1600 is CrossFire™ Ready to deliver the ultimate gaming performance.
Revolutionary Avivo™ Video and Display Technology
‧ With Avivo™ technology the Radeon® X1650 connects to home entertainment devices and produces vibrant colors, sharp images, true-to-life image reproduction, and the smoothest video playback ever offered by ATI.
‧ With ATI’s Avivo™ technology the Radeon® X1600 connects to home entertainment devices and allows you to view your digital media and play games with vibrant colors, sharp images, true-to-life image reproduction, and the smoothest video playback ever offered by ATI.
CrossFire™ Ready for Extreme, Accelerated Gaming
‧ Get multi-GPU gaming performance that works with all games by adding a Radeon® X1650 Crossfire™ Edition graphics card for powerful GPU sharing.
The Most Advanced 3D Performance Technology
‧ Experience state-of-the-art graphics technology and enjoy unparalleled gaming with the most advanced 3D performance technology including: a 90-nanometer process GPU, a new ultra-threaded core processing architecture, a 256-bit ring-bus memory controller and up to 512 MB GDDR3 RAM.
A New Era of Visual Realism Brings Your Games to Life
‧ Radeon® X1650’s 90-nanometer process technology and new 3D architecture support Shader Model 3.0 and deliver better gaming allowing for new high dynamic range visual effects, enhanced realism with adaptive anti-aliasing and lightening fast performance.
Intelligent Software for Clear and Stable Images
‧ Squeeze every drop of performance out of the Radeon® X1650, with Catalyst™ Control Center, the award winning feature-rich software application with automatic and adjustable display configurations. Keep on top of technology changes with frequent updates and support for current operating systems and Microsoft® VistaTM.
I will be comparing the Power Color X1650 Pro “Golden Pig Edition” to the XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty Professional Series and the Power Color X800 GTO 16 256mb. Since the X1650 is a mainstream video card and utilizes DirectX 9.0, I will benchmark this card using the same games I used with the other two cards.
- AMD 3700+ CPU
- DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR
- 1 GB OCZ Platinum rev2 (512x2)
- Enermax 600w PSU
- Power Color (ATI) X1650 Pro Golden Pig Edition
- XFX (nVidia) 7600 GT Fatal1ty Professional Series
- Power Color (ATI) X800 GTO 16 256mb
- Windows XP Pro SP2
- DirectX 9.0c
- Catalyst 7.3 Drivers
- nVidia 93.71 Drivers
- Far Cry: Hardware OC (Ubisoft Volcano)
- F.E.A.R. (Performance test)
- Doom3: Misc. Levels (FRAPS)
- Call of Duty 2: Stalingrad (FRAPS)
- Quake4: Hardware OC (Guru 3d Demo)
- Need For Speed Most Wanted (FRAPS)
Benchmark: Far Cry
As I have in the past, I will begin with Far Cry, although it is an older game it is still a very popular benchmark and I always like to see what results any video card will bring. For all benchmarks, resolutions will be 800X600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024.
- Maximum quality option, Direct3D renderer
- Level: Volcano, demo: Volcano.tmd
- Pixel shader: model 2.0b
- Antialising: 4×
- Anisotrophic filtering: 8×
- HDR: disabled
- Geometry Instancing: disabled
- Normal-maps compression: disabled
At first look it seems that the X1650 might be blown away by the 7600 GT but as resolutions got higher it performed much better. As per the other ATI card, the X1650 averaged a good twenty frames better in each resolution.
F.E.A.R. is also a First person Shooter, and it has its own benchmark built in to the game.
- FSAA: x4
- Anisotropic: x16
- Effects: Max
- Computer: High
- Soft Shadow: Off
The X1650 averaged about 11 frames slower than the 7600GT in the two lower resolutions, but it caught up fairly well at 1280x1024.
Benchmark: Doom III
- Graphics: High Quality
- Antialiasing: x4
- Advanced Options: Enabled
I think I'm beginning to see a trend, this card likes higher resolutions.
Benchmark: Call of Duty II
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.
- Anti-aliasing: x4
- Texture Filter: Trilinear
Ok, where did I go wrong? I benchmarked this game 5 times because of the such low frame rates that I was getting. Is it the card or the catalyst drivers. Surly a poor showing in probably my favorite game.
Benchmark: Quake 4
Quake 4, is the newest arrival in the Quake Series. It can be played in single and multi player modes.
- Demo: idnetdemo
- Quality: High
- Aspect Ratio: [4:3]
- Antialiasing: 4×
- Anisotrophic filtering: 4x
- Symmetric MultiProcessing (SMP) disabled
Quake 4 benchmarks that were ran on the x800 GTO were from an earlier Q4 benckmark and are not shown.
Benchmark: Need For Speed; Most Wanted
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.
- Track; Clubhouse and Hollis
- All basic video settings set to ¾ on scroll bar
- All geometric features: High
- Vsync: Off
Although the X1650 did better than the X800 GTO it did not overtake the 7600 GT, NFS Most wanted is a demanding game with tons of detail, I was expecting somewhat better results but these are very near what i anticipated.
I would have to conclude that as a mainstream video card you are getting what you should expect, performance wise. Power Colors reasoning for rebirthing this card is truly for the purposes of commemorating 2007 for it being the “Year of the Pig” or in the United States it is known as the year of the “Boar”. The video card is worth the expense and will perform well enough to play most all of today’s high demanding games. I found that the fan on the heatsink was very quiet, even while gaming where the temperatures can increase significantly, the heatsink fan remained virtually noiseless. Unfortunately, I could not get any significant overclock out of this card, seems that it’s not supported by any tool, but with its stock clock speeds it is more than enough for an average gamer.
- Cross Fire Enabled
- Great Value for the Mainstream Market
- Did not do well in COD 2
- Nearing the end of its run