As you know from our earlier reports, the ATI RADEON X700 PRO graphics card is slower than the GeForce 6600 GT in nearly all current games due to the difference in their clock rates: 420/864MHz against 500/1000MHz. The ATI card has more memory on board (256 megabytes), but the larger amount of memory doesn’t help it much in low resolutions without full-screen antialiasing (as you can learn from our review, the amount of memory doesn’t affect the performance of a graphics card much in such display modes). The 6 vertex processors don’t give the ATI card an advantage, either, since it is the pixel shader performance (directly dependent on the GPU frequency) that affects the speed of modern games the most.
In a lower price category, however, NVIDIA’s GeForce 6600 meets ATI’s RADEON X700 which has much better technical characteristics. The default clock rates of the RADEON X700 are 400/700MHz (GPU/memory) and you can compare this with the GeForce 6600’s 300/500MHz (GPU/memory). The difference in clock rates does show up in real applications as our full-scale testing of today’s graphics hardware showed: the RADEON X700 is really almost always faster than the GeForce 6600.
High-performance graphics cards from different manufacturers use the reference PCB design as a rule and often differ from each other only in the color of the lacquer coating of the PCB and the design of the cooler, and sometimes in the clock rates. It’s quite different at the bottom of the market where inexpensive solutions use a variety of PCBs, memory types, cooling systems, etc.
Today we’re going to talk about PowerColor’s version of ATI RADEON X700. Will the PowerColor Bravo X700 graphics card get our “bravo!” for its performance at the end of the review? Let’s see.