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Wednesday | August 5, 2020
Budget Graphics Card Roundup

Budget Graphics Card Roundup

Final Words and Conclusion

HIS Radeon HD3450 256MB SE & Sapphire Radeon HD3450 512MB
Both of the ATi HD3450 based products are unable to provide decent 3D performance. The Sapphire offering is a little faster than the HIS because of the higher memory clock speed. DDR2 memory is cheap however and Sapphire understands that higher numbers sell more, so they put double the RAM on the card for a tiny increase in price. Nonetheless, neither of the cards can play most modern titles even at modest resolutions and settings. That said their HDMI with audio pass-through and HDCP support make them ideal choices for HTPC systems, as long as 3D gaming isn’t important. To be fair the price for these cards is extremely low and they make a good shortlist if you are shopping on a very tight budget.


HIS Radeon HD3450 256MB SE & Sapphire Radeon HD3450 512MB

HIS Radeon HD3450 256MB SE is available for £24.99 //
Sapphire Radeon HD3450 512MB is available for £25.99

 

Point of View Nvidia 8500GT 256MB
The POV 8500GT 256MB card offers slightly better 3D performance over the competing ATi HD3450 products but would only be suitable for gamers who play older titles. In terms of media use the card is HDCP enaled which is a good selling point however the use of a fan rather than passive heasink may be an issue for some people.

Some shopping around will be required to find the best deal but provided the price is not to high the POV 8500 GT is well worth considering for a low end system.


Point of View
Nvidia 8500GT 256MB

The Point of View Nvidia 8500GT 256MB is available for 57.99€

 

XFX Nvidia 8600GT 512MB
The XFX Nvidia 8600GT 512MB is the card replacing the 8500GT until a new product becomes available. It offers so-so 3D performance and most games should be playable at low resolution and details settings. For HTPC users it is not an ideal choice, mainly because the cooling solution is very noisy but also because it lacks certain features HTPC users may need, such as a proper HDMI port. For people who would like to play a few 3D games or for those who usually play retro 3D games, the XFX 8600GT 512MB card could be a good shortlist choice.


XFX Nvidia
8600GT 512MB

The XFX Nvidia 8600GT 512MB is available for £48.56

 

HIS Radeon HD3650 IceQ Turbo 512MB
The HIS Radeon HD3650 IceQ Turbo card can deliver 3D performance at low resolutions and mediocre detail settings, but it is a product which any HTPC user will love. The included HDMI adapter supporting audio pass-through and Full HD 1080p support is a HTPC users wet dream. We loved the cooling solution of this particular offering and most HTPC users will appreciate it too, as the card is entirely silent at all times. If you want to build a HTPC with some potential for basic 3D gaming, this product is highly recommended.


HIS Radeon HD3650 IceQ Turbo 512MB

The HIS Radeon HD3650 IceQ Turbo 512MB is available for £60.99

 

Sapphire Radeon HD3650 OC edition 512MB
The Sapphire Radeon HD3650 Overclock edition is not much different than the HIS offering, but it is a little bit faster and somewhat cheaper. It has no other disadvantage over the HIS offering except for the cooling solution, which is not bad but it can become noisy when the card is running 3D games. For those who seek to build an absolutely silent HTPC this card is not the best choice. That said, if you don’t mind a little bit of noise while gaming, this product has no real disadvantages over the competition, and it is the fastest factory overclocked HD3650 card today.


Sapphire Radeon HD3650 OC edition

The Sapphire Radeon HD3650 OC edition 512MB is available for 56.23€

 

XFX Nvidia 9600GSO 384MB
The XFX Nvidia 9600GSO 384MB card may not appeal to HTPC users as it is a card designed entirely for 3D performance. This card mops the floor with the rest of the sub-£70 offerings in every game we’ve tested and is set to become the favourite card for gamers on a strict budget. It is able to play most games very smoothly at decent resolutions and detail settings. From the cards we reviewed in this roundup, this is by far the most rational choice if you are shopping for a card with the best possible performance for less than £70.


XFX Nvidia
9600GSO 384MB

The XFX Nvidia 9600GSO 384MB is available for £59.99

 

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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