Sapphire Radeon HD Triple-Shot: 2600Pro OC, 2600XT and 2400XT

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

 

Performance Summary:  The only test where the three Sapphire Radeon HD 2x00 cards outperformed their GeForce-based counterparts were with Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and 3DMark06 SM3 testing.  The remainder of the test all favored the GeForce series cards.  We saw the widest margins in F.E.A.R., where the Sapphire HD series cards struggled the most.

 

Sapphire HD 2600XT

The Sapphire HD 2600XT is a solid value.  It couldn't keep up with the GeForce 8600GTS in most tests, but that card costs about $155 compared to the Sapphire HD 2600XT which retails for $104.  Now looking back at the performance results and comparing them to the GeForce 8600GT, which retails in the area of $115, and the Sapphire HD 2600XT starts to look like a good buy, beating out the GeForce 8600GT in all but F.E.A.R and offering HDMI with audio support.  We also found the image quality superb and the card is a sleek single slot solution.  The only concern we had was in regard to temperatures.  In fact, this applies to all three Sapphire models, which were all fairly hot to the touch under load.  We did not experience any heat related instability, however.  That aside, the Sapphire HD 2600XT shaped up well for the price and only truly lacks in regards to its retail bundle, which again, was a bit lite with all three models reviewed.

  • Good Performance
  • CrossFire Capable
  • Single Slot Design
  • No External Power Requirements
  • Good Overclocker
  • Image Quality
  • Retail Package
  • Often Trails the Competition
  • Gets Hot
  •  

Sapphire HD 2600 Pro OC

The Sapphire HD 2600 Pro OC also performed well when you adjust your comparison based on price and features.  Retailing for $86.99, this card tracked closely with the Sapphire HD 2600XT and overclocked high enough to compete with the GeForce 8600GT that is priced about $30 higher.  This model also delivered excellent image quality and only requires a single slot with no external power requirements.  Its overclocking performance was impressive and it is also significantly shorter than the HD 2600XT.  After comparing performance and price, the Sapphire HD 2600Pro OC ends up in a similar situation as the HD 2600XT, competing nicely against other cards in its price group.

  • Good Performance
  • CrossFire Capable
  • Single Slot Design
  • No External Power Requirements
  • Good Overclocker
  • Image Quality
  • No Games Included
  • Gets Hot

Sapphire HD 2400XT

The Sapphire HD 2400XT was the lowest performer in virtually every test.  While the competitive comparisons needed adjusting with the HD 2600 models, the HD 2400XT compares dead on with a GeForce 8500GT in price, with the Sapphire HD 2400XT retailing for $79.99 and the GeForce 8500GT we reviewed sells for $78. The 2400 XT's passive cooler was a nice touch which, coupled with the card's great image quality, makes the Sapphire HD 2400XT an excellent option for HTPC builds.  As with the other two cards, however, heat really is a concern as the HD 2400XT was surprisingly hot to the touch after running some tests.  If you're only a casual gamer and want a decent upgrade from an IGP, or want an inexpensive, passively cooled (silent) video card, the HD 2400XT should impress with its image quality and feature set, but for $16 more, you'll get a lot more performance out of  the HD 2600Pro OC.

  • CrossFire Capable
  • Passive Cooling
  • No External Power Requirements
  • Image Quality
  • No Games Included
  • Price/Performance Ratio
  • Weak Gaming Performance 
  • Not Overclockable
  • Gets Hot  


In summary, the Sapphire HD 2600Pro OC is the most well rounded of the three Radeon HD 2x00 series cards we tested in our opinion.  This card offers significant performance advantages over the HD 2400XT for what we consider a small increase in cost.  The HD 2600Pro OC often competed favorably with the GeForce 8600GT which costs quite a bit more, and the 2600Pro OC overclocked much better that the HD 2600XT or the HD 2400XT, which wouldn't overclock at all.  Considering its overall performance and price as it relates to the competition, the Sapphire HD 2600Pro OC represents a solid value.

 

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Tags:  Radeon, Sapphire, HD, App, 260, Radeon HD, rip, SAP, SHO, hot, XT, pro, IP, AP, and

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