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Conclusion

The PowerColor Bravo X700 is an arguable solution. On one hand, the silent cooling system on heat pipes is a big plus, but on the other hand, the low quality of manufacture and the use of out-dated GDDR2 memory rated for 266(533) MHz frequency spoil the overall impression from the product. It possible we got a defective sample of the Bravo X700, but the failure of the memory chips at the first (and rather discreet) overclocking attempt was not a pleasant fact at all. The use of GDDR2 didn’t make the PowerColor card an overclocker-friendly product. On the contrary, the overclocking potential of this card is close to zero.

Moreover, the standard RADEON X700 as described by ATI Technologies’ recommendations clocks its memory at 350 (700) MHz and the use of slower memory inevitably reduced the overall performance of the Bravo X700. The PowerColor is 5% to 20% slower than the standard RADEON X700, depending on the particular game and mode. Thus, the PowerColor Bravo X700 lacks the main advantage of the RADEON X700 over the more functional GeForce 6600 – speed!

So, we don’t recommend the PowerColor Bravo X700 to overclockers or to people who choose between the RADEON X700 and the GeForce 6600. They should better consider more expensive, but faster models that use FC-BGA-packaged memory with an access time of 2.8 nanoseconds and a frequency of 350 (700) MHz.

We think the PowerColor Bravo X700 may be interesting for people who are building a silent computer, who don’t care about playing games in high resolutions, and who have a limited PC budget (this card is a very affordable product after all). The passive cooler also makes this product suitable for home multimedia centers, especially since this graphics card fully supports the HDTV standard. The card also supports two DVI interfaces, which might be a useful feature at work.

So, in brief, the PowerColor Bravo X700 is a good choice for non-gaming systems, including multimedia and office computers, for which silent operation is a priority.

Highs:

  • Small size
  • Silent (or quiet when you install a fan)
  • Doesn’t require additional power
  • Low heat dissipation
  • Two DVI-I connectors
  • Supports HDTV
  • Good accessories

Lows:

  • Slow memory
  • Poor overclockability
  • Low quality of manufacture (or maybe defective memory on our sample?)
 
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