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Conclusion

The ASUS EAH2600PRO/HDTI/256M leaves a very nice impression. This graphics card is indeed compact and silent. Together with full hardware support for HD video decoding, low power draw and heat dissipation, and inexpensive price, this makes the ASUS card a very appealing choice for everyone who’s searching for an ideal solution for his multimedia PC.

On the downside, the ASUS EAH2600PRO is far slower than the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT, which is no record-breaker by itself, in 3D games.

Here, the main bottleneck of RV630-based solutions – they have only 4 rasterization subunits – adds up with the slower memory subsystem. At the graphics quality settings and display resolutions we use the ASUS card only delivered acceptable performance in Far Cry’s HDR mode, in F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and X3: Reunion. Surprisingly, it also did well in such a difficult test as TES IV: Oblivion.

We are talking about acceptable, not comfortable, performance. The EAH2600PRO can’t ensure comfortable gaming conditions unless you lower the level of detail or reduce the resolution below 1280x1024 pixels. Once again we could see that FSAA is not for graphics card of that class. The same is true for DirectX 10 capabilities as is especially clear in Company of Heroes where the game transformed into a slideshow as soon as we enabled its DX10 mode.

But again, the EAH2600PRO/HDTI/256M is a good product overall. It surpasses the competing Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT in every parameter, including HD video decoding. If your priority is multimedia applications rather than speed in games and you don’t want to spend much money for your graphics card, you can hardly find anything better than the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro. The product from ASUS we described in this review is a good version of the graphics card quite worthy of the money you’ll spend for it.

Highs:

  • Full support of hardware HD-video decoding;
  • Efficient and quiet cooling system;
  • DirectX 10 support;
  • Low power consumption;
  • Compact size;
  • Low price.

Lows:

  • Not very high performance in contemporary games;
  • Not very rich accessories bundle;
  • No HDMI adapter included.
 
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