It's unfortunate that Sapphire chose to not only drastically cut the memory speed, but also chop the memory interface in half. The impact on performance has resulted in a graphics card that simply isn't fast enough for gaming purposes other than at very low resolutions like 640x480 - and that's on a pretty fast processor. Consider the impact a slow processor, one like a budget gamer likely has, would have on a the scores you've seen in this review.
All in all the card does fairly well when you take in account how much it costs, but even in the budget class of cards it is still one of the slower choices. Couple that with the lack of a DVI port and the locked clocks, I have a hard time recommending it to anyone - but there's one place a the 9200SE would be a nice choice - in a HTPC. It's cheap so it's not going to kill your HTPC budget, it has the quality DVD playback and TV-out ATI has become known for, it's small and quiet (no fan) and runs cool enough where the little heat it generates won't be a problem even in the tightest of HTPC cases. Couple it with stand-alone TV tuner/capture card and you'll have yourself a respectable HTPC setup on the cheap.
If you're looking for something for a HTPC and your display doesn't include a DVI interface, or if you aren't interested in hard-core gaming, and if you need to stay under $50 then a 9200SE is right up your alley. Otherwise, there are better budget cards available for only a few empties more.
2.5 out of 5
- Less than $50US street, buy one for every day of the week.
- Very small
- No fan
- TV-out made the cut
- good HTPC choice
- No DVI port
- No bundle to speak of