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For a sense of how
well the HD 3650 performs in games, check out the reviews at X-bit
Reviews and Digital
general consensus is that the HD 3650 is a entry level graphics card with performance
close to, but not quite matching the Geforce 8600GT and Radeon HD2600XT. It
is not a good choice for the most recent 3D games except at lower resolutions with little or
no extra image quality options enabled. The EAH3650 Silent may be slightly worse
as the memory speed is 100Mhz slower than the reference specifications.
Video Playback: Video playback was good, as the HD 3650 uses the same
UVD chip as the products higher up in ATI's product line.
HDMI: The video signal worked fine, but the audio did not work on our standard video test system. Apparently, the problem is not isolated to just our sample. A member of the SPCR forum wrote: "The EAH3650 is confirmed in many places to have broken HDMI audio. Only Catalyst 8.2 works, and my understanding is that no newer drivers will ever work."
Cooling: The stock cooler did an excellent job the card's GPU was
cooled more than adequately without generating any noise. Even with very limited
airflow, the V-Cool heatsink was more than up to the task. The temperatures seen here were far lower than with the nVidia 9600GT GPU on the Asus EN9600GT graphics card, which uses a variant of the same heatsink.
Power Consumption: For whatever reason (possibly the audio functionality),
the EAH3650 Silent seemed to consume more power than it's big brother, the HD
3850, when idle and during video playback. It may be that there was simply something
wrong with our sample. Despite this, it is still a more efficient choice than
The Asus EAH3650 Silent is an excellent choice for a silent PC. Its passive
heatsink did an exceptional job cooling the GPU, even in
our arduous test system with very limited airflow. We wish all entry level graphics
cards would come with fanless coolers it really isn't that hard to keep
them cool. The EAH3650 Silent doesn't have the horsepower for "serious" gaming an odd juxtaposition of terms
but it can do in a pinch at lower resolutions, and with older games. It is not for anyone wanting to use the card with HDMI for a home theater PC. However, this does not stop you from getting audio out to the TV or monitor... albeit, in a less convenient way.
Asus EAH3650 SILENT/HTDI/512M
* Good high definition video playback
* Excellent, fanless heatsink
* Low load power consumption
* Lacklustre gaming performance
* Higher idle & 2D power consumption than HD 3850
* Could not get HDMI audio working
Our thanks to ASUSTeK
for the video card sample.
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Articles of Related Interest
Asus EN9600GT Silent Edition
ATI HD3850 & HD3870:
Improved Acoustics & Power Efficiency
Arctic Cooling Accelero S2 VGA
Cooler + Turbo Module
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 VGA
Updated VGA Card/Cooler Test
Asus EN8600GT Silent/HTDP/512M Graphics Card
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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.
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