Abit RadeonX700 Pro review

£113
Price when reviewed

Abit has a reputation for aiming its products at enthusiasts, and a glance at the Radeon X700 Pro shows why. Covering the GPU and the four top memory chips is a hefty heatsink. It looks impressive, but the retention mechanism wasn’t strong enough for the heatsink to make the required contact with memory, so it was somewhat wasted.

Abit RadeonX700 Pro review

The card sports what’s almost a ubiquitous backplate with DVI, D-SUB and S-Video/HDTV outputs. There’s a total of 256MB of GDDR3 RAM onboard – double that of GeCube and MSI’s X700 Pro offerings. Half is underneath and has no additional cooling.

The X700 Pro GPU is essentially ATi’s mid-range chip and is available only in PCI Express guise. It has eight pipelines and Abit has clocked the core at 425MHz with memory running at 432MHz – the standard speeds.

In Half-Life 2, the Abit managed playable frame rates up to 1,280 x 1,024, dropping to 23.1fps at 1,600 x 1,200. The extra memory didn’t help it pull away from other X700 Pro cards, except at 1,600 x 1,200. Far Cry, however, immediately showed the benefit with 44.2fps at 1,024 x 768 – well ahead of the GeCube and MSI, which couldn’t break 28fps.

In Doom 3, the extra RAM proved no help, with similar frame rates to the other two cards. Only at 1,024 x 768 did it almost reach 30fps, but you can forget playing at higher resolutions with our test settings.

PowerDVD 5 is bundled, along with S-Video and composite cables and convertors. It isn’t the most comprehensive package, but the price isn’t much more than the 128MB cards. Overall, though, you can get better performance for this kind of money elsewhere.

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