DirectX 10 Cards on a Budget

Geforce 8400GS Radeon HD2400Pro HD2600Pro

If you’re on a limited budget but don’t want to miss out on DirectX10 under Vista, then you’re looking at the entry-level class of graphics cards. Luckily for you, cards using Nvidia’s Geforce 8400 GS and ATI’s Radeon HD 2400 Pro and Radeon 2600 Pro are available for under €90. In addition to being comparatively inexpensive, the graphics chips of this segment have another advantage, namely very low power consumption. As a result, they don’t need extravagant cooling solutions and can even be equipped with large, passive heatsinks. This makes some of the available models an ideal choice for a silent office PC or a quiet home entertainment center with support for the popular codecs.

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In this article, we take a look at several models produced by graphics card manufacturers HIS and MSI. While MSI favours completely fanless and therefore silent passive cooling solutions, HIS sent us one of its IceQ models with increased clock speeds and a large silent-cooling system. These boards cost between €43 / £20 and €90 / £70.

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  • mactronix
    Im a bit lost for words really i had come to expect more from you guys.
    How come i started reading a review about entry level cards yet when we get to the benchmarks we have the full Nvidea range on display including a 8800gts.Its just rediculous.The title clearly says DX10 on a budget so how is a 8800gts relevant?
    I can understand having the 8600gts in the benchmarks but why no review ?is it by chance that the MSI card isnt really a 8600GTS as it dosent even have a referance chip and the pcb is different?
    Even if im wrong on that and you havent used the T2D256E-HD-OC as i suspect you have from the results then why on earth is the 2600XT running 7.6 drivers and the PRO 7.9.
    You cant possably hope to conduct a fair and unbiased set of tests if you are not using the same drivers.
    There are so many holes in this im wondering if you havent taken the Nvidea dollar as it sems so biased towards them and there products.
    Really Really dissapointed
  • danielcoles1989
    Mactronix, I dont think that they are suggesting that a 8800GTS is a budget segment card. Instead i believe that they are using this card as a 'benchmark' to show how the budget segment shape up to mainstream. This way you can see the performance gap between 8600, 8400, and 2400, 2600 and how they relate to the 8800GTS. This will hepl people decide wether it is worth them investing a little more money. This is reinforced by the fact that they didnt include it in the 'look at performing cards' and at all in the conclusion either.
  • mactronix
    While i understand what you are saying it dosent bear out simply because they havent included the 2900 in the benchmarks and if they were trying to compare to the mainstreem then surley it should have been there?
  • flashmahn
    While I do not assume to know everything PC related, this card has been a dissapointment in that no matter what config I try it does not boot to bios when using the DVI cables with LCD monitors.. No matter what I try I can not access BIOS and it will give a blank screen and then open Windows 30 seconds later. However when I use the VGA cables it boots to boot screen and I am able to get into bios.. Any ideas? I have tried different monitors and cables and the results are the same. I really dont want to have to use two converters when I have 2 dvi monitors and the outlets for them std. Feel like this should not even be an issue on such a modern board