The ATI Radeon HD 4650 is a decent card for people who are on a budget.
I found that this card was very easy to install. I installed it for the computer that I built for my sister. I find that this card handles HD videos quite nicely and is very smooth.
This card requires a pci-express slot so make sure your computer has one before you buy it.
Pros: Good price and decent quality.
I chose to buy this graphic card because of the low price point. I looked at a lot of info on other cards and such and I eventually decided on this card. I made the right choice because so far I have not had any problems and I find that this card can handle all of the things I need to do. Even for some light gaming.
I play counter-strike source and after some tweaks, this card can run it very smoothly with a good fps rate.
Cons: Not for heavy gamers!
If you like to play graphic intense games then you will need more high-end graphics card which will cost a lot more money.
So if you want a card for casual use then this one is for you. Great price so that you don't have to spend a lot of money.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION :
Sapphire Technology is the main supplier of ATI based Graphics Cards for personal computers all over the world. It also produces different types of TV cards, work stations and digital photo frames for consumers. It is a Hong-Kong based company and has two ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified manufacturing plants in China. ATI launched the Radeon HD 4600 series on September 2008. This series loaded with some great additional features and fully supports HD gaming for PC users. I bought my HD 4650 graphics card (1 GB) from Dell online, and it cost me around £60. This graphics card designed on 55nm process and came with lots of useful software.
EXCLUSIVE FEATURES :
# It has built in HDMI support and also 7.1 surround sound support.
# It has a massive memory clock speed of 800 MHz.
# There is some useful software (Avivo HD Technology, ATI Power-Play Technology etc.) comes with Installation CD.
# It supports maximum resolution of 2500X1600.
# It works with both Windows Vista and Windows XP operating system.(Though it is Vista certified graphics card, still it supports all the released versions of XP operating system such as XP-64 bit, XP Media centre edition and basic windows XP)
# It has extensive and latest connectivity options( DVI , VGA and HDMI port)
# It is compatible with Microsoft DirectX10.1 version.(It helps the user to get faster response and better gaming experience)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS :
# It requires a PCI-e slot in motherboard to plug-in with the system.
# It also requires at least 1 GB of system memory in the system. (Though in my personal experience, it better to have at least 2GB memory installed in the system to enjoy the full features of this graphics card.)
# An optical drive(to install the required drivers and additional software)
# To enjoy the high quality blu-ray experience, you need to have a blu-ray drive installed in the system.
INSTALLATION & USER MANUAL :
Installation of this graphics card is pretty straight-forward and simple. You just need to plug-in the graphics card into the PCI-e slot in the motherboard. Then insert the installer CD into the optical drive of the system. Then, you can see an auto-start program appears on the monitor. There will be two options, one for windows XP and another for windows Vista. I have Vista in my desktop, so I selected windows Vista. This graphics card is Vista certified, so it works better with Vista operating system. Then there will be a list of graphics cards appear on the screen and you select HD 4650. That's it; you are good to go with this brilliant graphics card.
I am really happy with the performance of this graphics card. I already had 4GB of installed ram in my computer. But I did not have any graphics card in my system. So I bought this card. This card also supports dual monitor at a time. It works much better with windows Vista operating system (compare to XP) and all the additional features also support Vista. There is only one cooler on top of it and noiseless. To be honest with you, I was doing some extensive programming after installing this card and not once I heard any noise coming out from this. As it says that it supports up to 2500x1600 resolution, but it works better on 1024x768. I wanted to play some games selecting the highest possible resolution, but it did not work out well. This is very disappointing.
I really enjoyed watching DVD's and music videos in my computer. The picture quality is crystal clear, sharp and vibrant. There is a built in option in this graphics card, which automatically updates the quality, brightness and contrast of the movies, so the user can enjoy a steady high quality video on screen. There is another option "DVD Upscaling" installed in this card, which updates and improves the quality of low-resolution videos. I really liked this option. I enjoyed watching some old movies with high quality playback support. AVT (Accelerated Video Transcoding) helps to modify any music videos or normal videos to fit in a portable music player. I find this feature really effective and useful. I did not have any blu-ray drive in my system. So I cannot comment on the blu-ray video quality. But one thing for sure, you need to have at least 2GB ram in your system to enjoy the full features of this card.
Plus Points :
# Cheap, reliable and handy graphics card.
# Noiseless and extensive connectivity options.
# High quality video play-back support.
# It also helps to upgrade the low-resolution videos and to enjoy them in HD quality.
# Manufactured on 55nm, so it consumes less power.
# Does not work well with XP operating system.
# You need to have a modern mother-board with PCI-e slot.
# I could not able to play high- spec games properly in maximum resolution.
FINAL THOUGHT AND AVAILABILITY :
All in all, it is a very useful and reliable graphics card for your system. If you want to enjoy high quality multimedia in your system it is an ideal choice. But, it does not support all those recent high-spec games. Anyway, I am satisfied with the performance of this card. You can buy this card from either Dell or Amazon.co.uk and it will cost you around £50 to £60.
Thank you very much for reading my review. It is highly appreciated.
'''***This review also posted on Helium and CIAO under same user name..***'''