Radeon HD 3650 Showdown - ASUS vs. HIS

Article Index

Performance Summary and Conclusion

 

Performance Summary: This could have been a much closer showdown if ASUS had shipped the EAH3650 TOP with an additional 256MB of memory.  As it stands now, the two cards are tweaked to similar speeds and as such performance was nearly identical, but only when frame buffer capacity did not come into play.  Game engines that used larger amounts of memory for texture caching, such as Crysis, PT Boats and Company of Heroes, ran much better on the HIS HD 3650 IceQ Turbo equipped with 512 MB of GDDR3.

 



ASUS EAH3650 TOP

Looking at ASUS' line of Radeon HD 3650s left us a bit puzzled.  Currently, they offer two versions of actively cooled HD 3650's, both shipping with 256 MB of memory, and two "silent" versions that come with, and we quote, "Gigantic 512 MB DDR3 on board".  We're not sure why ASUS used the term "gigantic" here, as many other manufacturers have 512 MB installed on their own HD 3650s.  Ironic as well, is that we would expect the silent boards to probably be considered less by gamers and more by HTPC - oriented folk, so the frame buffers here seem to be a bit out of whack.

With all that being said, limiting the amount of memory should help in keeping costs lower, and the HD 3650 is all about gaming on the cheap.  From the prices we could find online, the ~$70 EAH3650 TOP seems to be about $20 cheaper on average than the HIS Radeon HD 3650 IceQ Turbo which sounds like a win until you realize that availability of this card seems to be close to nil.  Summing it up, we've got a cooler card (at idle), but with a somewhat noisier fan and half the memory of the competition, that also happens to be difficult to find out in the wild. 

  • Cheap card for the masses 
  • Low idle temps
  • Combine a couple in CrossFire
  • Stuck with 256MB of memory
  • Takes up two slots
  • Hard to find in retail
  • Noisier of the two cards

 

HIS Radeon HD 3650 IceQ Turbo

HIS' version of the HD 3650 comes with slightly lower clock and memory speeds than ASUS' - both lower by exactly 10 MHz to be exact - yet in almost each and every benchmark or game we used in this article the HIS card came out on top, even if the differences were sometimes trivial.  Where the IceQ Turbo really shined in comparison to the ASUS EAH3650 TOP was in some of the more graphically challenging game engines, where the extra 256 MB of memory (512 MB total) helped keep frame rates anywhere from 10% to as much as 50% higher.  

Also in HIS' favor, we had no problems finding a number of outlets that had the card in stock, a few of which were currently offering $20 rebates, thus nullifying the difference in price between the two cards.  Idle temps were found to be slightly higher on the HIS card, although under load we found both coolers to have identical heat levels.  The IceQ Turbo solution, however, was the quieter of the two options.  The only downside, if you will, might be the lower overclock speeds that we achieved when overclocking.  Even then, we were running the GPU 120 MHz faster than the original specs called for, meaning more performance basically for free.  Summing up the positives and negatives, we're declaring HIS as the winner of this showdown. 

  • Top card in our testing suite
  • 512 MB buffer
  • Quieter operation 
  • Comparatively easier to find and buy
  • Dual-slot cooler for mid-level performance
  • Higher Idle temps

Tags:  Asus, Radeon, HD, WD, HIS, DOW, Radeon HD, Show, SHO

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