It is hard to describe Radeon X1600 XT since from our results it looks like a completely schizophrenic graphics chip. Let’s see.
It is faster than mid-range chips like GeForce 6600 GT, Radeon X600 XT and Radeon X700 Pro, but when compared to GeForce 6800 GT, Radeon X800 GT and Radeon X800 GTO it is a mess.
On 3DMark03, which is based on Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0), GeForce 6800 GT was between 20.01% and 51.28% faster and Radeon X800 GTO was up to 16.38% faster than Radeon X1600 XT. Radeon X1600 XT was up to 7.83% faster than Radeon X800 GT under this software.
On 3DMark05, which is based on Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c), Radeon X1600 XT was between 10.01% and 18.41% faster than GeForce 6800 GT, between 15.58% and 35.73% faster than Radeon X800 GT and between 11.41% and 18.21% faster than Radeon X800 GTO.
On Far Cry, Radeon X1600 XT was faster at 1024×768 and 1280×1024 with no image quality settings enabled than GeForce 6800 GT, but GeForce 6800 GT was between 5.48% and 44.79% faster on other resolutions. On this same game, Radeon X800 GT achieve a similar performance at 1024×768 and 1280×1024 with no image quality settings enabled, and was 10% faster at 1600×1200, but when image quality settings were enabled, Radeon X1600 XT become between 7.98% and 14.42% faster. And Radeon X800 GTO was up to 38.96% faster than Radeon X1600 XT on this game!
Doom3 continues to be NVIDIA’s arena, as GeForce 6800 GT was between 24.17% and 103.15% faster than Radeon X1600 XT. Radeon X800 GT and Radeon X800 GTO were also faster than Radeon X1600 XT on this game.
So, excluding 3DMark05, Radeon X800 GTO is faster than this forthcoming chip from ATI! You may think that’s because 3DMark05 is Shader 3.0. Can be, but how to explain the better performance of Radeon X800 GTO on Far Cry, a Shader 3.0 game?
O.k., let’s assume that Radeon X1600 XT is really the best Shader 3.0 mid-range graphics chip, but how about the other kind of games? What is the point of having a terrific Shader 3.0 performance while its performance on all other kind of games is lower than its competitors?
If you compare pricing, it is even more insane: Radeon X1600 XT with 256 MB will have a suggested price of USD 249 and will reach the market only in December, while we can find Radeon X800 GTO with 256 MB being sold today on the USD 180 range.
Oh, yeah. It’s suggested price is below GeForce 6800 GT price range, of USD 290 today. But who knows how prices will be in December?
This can be a driver issue, since we were running a beta version. We can only say that for sure when the first final products arrive on the market.
A side note: as you can see on our graphs, we included two Radeon X800 GTOs in our comparisons, one from HIS and another from GeCube. GeCube model runs overclocked, so our comparisons above refer to HIS model.