ATI's Radeon X1650 XT graphics card

Trick or treat?

DON'T LET THE Radeon X1650 XT's name fool you. Although the amalgamation of letters and numbers behind "Radeon" might lead you to believe this card is a direct heir of the notoriously poky Radeon X1600 XT, this puppy is much more potent than its predecessor. In fact, its GPU is more like two X1600 XTs fused together, with roughly twice the graphics processing power in nearly every meaningful sense. The X1650 XT has 24 pixel shader processors instead of 12; it has eight texturing units rather than four; and it can draw a healthy ocho pixels per clock, not just an anemic cuatro like the X1600 XT before it.

Those numbers may be the recipe for success for the Radeon X1650 XT, making it a worthy rival of the GeForce 7600 GT at around $149. If so, this product arrives not a second too soon. It seems like ATI hasn't had a credible offering in this segment of the market since hooded flannel shirts were all the rage. Can the Radeon X1650 XT break the red team's mid-range curse? Let's have a look.

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