ATi Radeon X1300 review
As ATi’s cheapest Shader Model 3 card, the X1300 is in direct competition with Nvidia’s 7300 series. Performance isn’t the X1300’s highlight, but its other features will be the deciding factors.
The most likely home for the X1300 is in a media-centre PC, since it provides a good range of video outputs and can accelerate video decoding. ATi’s cards boast Avivo technology, and the X1300 should handle 720p and 1080i video (if backed by a fast CPU) and output the results via the dual-link DVI or D-SUB ports. The TV-out interface supports S-Video, composite and component connections.
This Connect3D offering is a full-height card, unlike MSI’s 7300 series cards, so may not be suitable for small cases. We advise spending the extra £7 for the HIS, as Connect3D’s fan was one of the noisiest on test.
Our game tests revealed poor gaming performance: at 1,024 x 768, it scored 15fps and 18fps in Far Cry and Call of Duty 2 respectively. Oddly, it’s CrossFire compatible, but we can’t see anyone taking this route.
The X1300 Pro costs £17 more than this, but it’s nearly 30% faster. It still isn’t enough to run at high-quality settings at 1,024 x 768, so if you simply want the cheapest card it’s a straight choice on features between the plain X1300 and the 7300 LE.