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Tuesday | October 20, 2020
Budget Graphics Card Roundup

Budget Graphics Card Roundup

Sapphire Radeon HD3650 OC edition 512MB

The Sapphire Radeon HD3650 Overclock edition card is supplied in a standard box with plenty of artwork and details relevant information, but surprisingly there is not much focus on the fact that this is actually a factory overclocked card. Inside the box you will find a quick installation manual, several CDs with drivers, DVD applications and a copy of 3dMark06 (but no games), a crossfire bridge connector, a mini-DIN to S-Video adapter, a mini-DIN to HDTV adapter, a DVI to D-Sub adapter and a DVI to HDMI adapter.

Sapphire’s overclocked version of the HD3650 card is built on a blue PCB and sports a layout similar to the HIS offering, but the aluminum cooler is much smaller. The good news is this won’t block any adjacent expansion slots but the downside is that in 3d mode it makes a substantial noise. Much like the HIS offering, this card is essentially an overclocked version of the HD3650 reference card. The core is clocked at 800MHz and the GDDR3 memory is running at 1.8GHz, which is not only quite an improvement over the 725MHz/1.4GHz clocks of the reference design but it also is a bit faster than the HIS offering.

The card requires no external power and has two dual link DVI ports and a mini din port. By using a DVI to HDMI adapter the card supports 1080p and audio pass-through, making it ideal for HTPCs. It also has two Crossfire bridges, meaning that you can use multiple HD3650 cards if you want to enhance your system’s performance at a later date. You can also use any other HD3650 video card sporting 512MBs of GDDR3 memory in a crossfire configuration with the OC edition Sapphire card, but the Sapphire card will clock down to the speed of the slower card.

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Stuart Davidson

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