PowerColor Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB Review

Introduction

Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory is an entry-level graphics chip from ATI for the PCI Express bus, competing directly with GeForce 6200 TurboCache from NVIDIA, even though a new model has just enterered the market, Radeon X1300 series, which should heat the battle in the entry-level VGA arena. In this review we will compare the performance of Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory with 128 MB (“256 MB”) from PowerColor with the standard Radeon X300 (not “SE” and not “HyperMemory”) and GeForce 6200 models, and also with some mid-range chips (GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT).

PowerColor Radeon X300 SE HyperMemoryFigure 1: PowerColor Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB.

HyperMemory (“HM”) is a technology that simulates a 256 MB video card by using part of the system’s RAM memory as video memory: 256 MB HyperMemory video cards have 128 MB of video memory and “steal” 128 MB from the main system RAM. TurboCache technology from NVIDIA uses the same idea. Read our tutorial on HyperMemory for more information on this subject.

The good thing for the consumer is that ATI does not allow partners to use different memory configurations. On NVIDIA side, you can find GeForce 6200 TurboCache with different memory capacities and memory interface width, causing a great deal of confusion on consumers, especially when we are talking about a very entry-level video card that is not targeted to techie folks that know what clock and number of bits are.

On ATI side, all cards marked as “SE” use a 64-bit memory interface, so compared to the standard Radeon X300, Radeon X300 SE achieve half the memory bandwidth, since they run at the same clock rate: both run at 325 MHz and access memory at 400 MHz.

We run PowerStrip software to check the clocks used by the reviewed card, and the model we reviewed was really running at these clock rates.

You can see in our tutorial “ATI Chips Comparison Table” the difference between Radeon 300 SE HyperMemory chip and the other chips from ATI, while on our tutorial “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” you can compare it to its competitors from NVIDIA.

Let’s now take a closer look at the Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory from PowerColor.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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