With all the excitement of the high end video cards on the market today, we tend to forget that not all of us have $300-$500 to spend. Today, PowerColor brings us the Radeon 9200 SE. Aimed at the budget consumer for as little as $53 retail, we put it to the test and find out if the performance is worth the price.
This model of the Radeon 9200 SE has 64mb of DDR ram and uses a heatsink only instead of the normal heatsink fans usually installed on video cards. This is already a plus side to those who believe silence is golden. The 9200 SE came in its retail PowerColor packaging. Inside was the Radeon 9200 SE, a low profile bracket for those who donít use a LCD monitor, a RCA cable, drivers, and manual.
Overview of the Radeon 9200 SE
Upon inspection of the Radeon 9200 SE, the first thing that was noticed was that the DVI port was removable and the low profile bracket could be attached so that there is only VGA and S-Video Out. Another thing noticed was the Hynix ram which is clocked to 300 MHz DDR and the core that is clocked at 200 MHz. Now on to the testing phase.
Amd Barton 2500+@ 2.21gighz (3200)+
Antec SOHO SX1040BII w/ 400 watt Antec PSU
SLK-900A & 80mm Antec
PowerColor Radeon 9200 SE 64mb DDR
Corsair XMS 512 ddr pc2700
Western Digital 80gig 7200rpm hard drive w/8mb cache
Zalman Theatre6 5.1 Surround Sound
Unreal Tournament 2003
Max Payne 2
Command and Conqueror Generals: Zero Hour
ATI Catalyst 3.9
NVIDIA Forceware 52.16
PNY Verto GeForce FX 5200 128mb DDR
We can clearly see that the extra 64mb of ram on the 5200 helped it on the 3dmark benchmark.
Again we see the advantage of the 64mb of ram in both the UT2K3 flyby and bot match but the 9200 SE redeems it self as the drop in frame rate is not as drastic as the FX 5200.
Surprisingly, the 9200 SE takes the lead and redeems itself in the Max Payne 2 benchmark.
Again the FX 5200 takes the lead in this popular RTS.
*The FPS for Max Payne 2 and CNC Generals Zero Hour were taken by FRAPS 1.7A and were averaged.
While the GeForce FX 5200 clearly beat the 9200 SE, it also costs more and does not include a DVI port like the 9200 SE. The PowerColor 9200 SE is a solid card at the budget consumer level and are meant for those who are not heavily into games but might opt to play them once in a while. It proves it can play recent games at decent levels as the benchmarks were stressing the cards to their max. Lowering the quality and resolution would improve frame rates. The heatsink on the GPU is enough to keep the card cool and is quiet. The low profile bracket is also useful for those who have cramped cases and does not use a LCD monitor. All in all, the PowerColor Radeon 9200 SE is a solid buy for those on a tight budget and want to play current games.
SL Rating Ė 7.5/10
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