Entry-Level Graphics Cards
- ATI Radeon X1300 Pro
- Nvidia GeForce 7300 GS
- S3 Graphics Chrome S27
The same as with the mainstream category, entry-level products are made by the own design of the graphics card maker who tries to reduce the manufacturing cost and meet the requirements of the clients who often provides a list of desired features. So, the physical parameters of such products may vary in a very wide range.
To test the Radeon X1300 Pro and S3 Graphics Chrome S27 we used the solutions from ATI and S3, while for Nvidia GeForce 7300 GS we picked a product from Gigabyte equipped with a passive cooling system. Note that neither GeForce 7300 GS, nor Chrome S27 support dual-link DVI on the chip level.
We used to be impressed with the 23W of power consumed by S3 Graphics Chrome S27. However, to day we can pronounce the new economical king: Nvidia GeForce 7300 GS. Despite the low performance and only 64-bit memory bus, this solution eats up less power than any of the graphics cards we have tested today.
Of course, the GeForce 7300 GS graphics card with the passive cooling cannot generate any noises. We decided not to measure the noise level of the ATI Radeon X1300 Pro non-qualification sample, because it will be the same as that of the Radeon X1600 Pro. However, most of the currently selling graphics cards of the kind are usually equipped with passive cooling systems. As for the Chrome S27, we can only mention the level of generated noise for this particular reference graphics card. It equals 45dBA, which hardly illustrates anything, because there are no products in the market at this time.