While admittedly I spend much of my time testing high-end motherboards that come at astronomical prices, and graphics cards that cost more than some people's first cars, I never forget about the importance of value. In fact, the one thing that I constantly keep in the back of my mind when evaluating any product is how well it stacks up in terms of value and its competitors.
The Radeon HD 3650 looks to be an attractive product on paper, it is the latest member of the Radeon HD 3000 series, and can carry up to 1GB of memory on-board. The 3650 is also a Direct X 10.1 compliant card that supports the PCI Express 2.0 bus. Furthermore, like all Radeon HD 3000 series products, this new low-end graphics card is built using a 55nm design process. Topped off with a 725MHz core speed, the Radeon HD 3650 sounds like quite a gutsy little graphics card.
But of course the card had to fell short in other places, otherwise we wouldn't be calling it a budget product. For example, it is limited to a 128-bit wide memory bus, and when combined with rather sluggish GDDR2 memory, the Radeon HD 3650 produces a memory bandwidth of just 16GB/s. To put this figure into perspective, it is comparable to the Radeon X700 XT which was released back in 2004. This goes to remind us what is the Radeon HD 3650 is targeted to a certain less demanding crowd and that we shouldn't expect spectacular results on the gaming front.
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