ATI's HD 3650 replaces the HD 2600 Pro, a frustrating underachiever. Generally, I dislike video cards in the $50-100 range, mainly because they're not going to play new games well and, if you're after features, then you're better off buying a lesser model from the same series. The features here are the real selling points--two of which stand out ahead of price, connectivity (HDMI), and low power- consumption. First is video playback. ATI swings when it comes to playing movies, and even their entry-level cards are going to do well, if not flawlessly. Second is Hybrid CrossFire. All 3000-series cards can be run in CrossFire with motherboards that have the 780G (and upcoming 790GX) chipsets, in either a performance mode (like regular CrossFire) or power-saving mode, which completely powers down the video card when integrated video is good enough. Combined, these features might give cause to move up a price bracket, favoring a 36 over a 34.
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