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Build It Yourself: A Mini-ITX Gaming System For Just Over $500

Pushing Pixels: Sapphire's Radeon HD 7750

Leaving Intel’s HD Graphics In The Dust

We've run plenty of benchmarks that show Intel's HD Graphics engine simply won't cut it for gaming. The Pentium G2120 does its job much better paired to a discrete graphics card.

Chieftec's case makes selecting a graphics card easy, since it only leaves room for one model: a low-profile, single-slot Radeon HD 7750. Sapphire, PowerColor, and Club 3D all sell versions of the card. But since we already have Sapphire's in the lab, our choice is easy yet again.

Because Intel's Pentium G2120 and Sapphire's Radeon HD 7750 are in roughly the same performance class, neither is likely to bottleneck the other, making them a solid combination. Overall, you should see good performance right up until the platform reaches its limit. Then performance will fall apart completely.

The graphics card installation mechanism is simple, but effective: a lever holds the card in place. Not like there's much room for it to move anyway. In fact, the graphics card fan is almost exactly on top of the power supply fan. This is not the most elegant solution we’ve encountered, but it does give the card just enough space to breathe.

We covered the Radeon HD 7750's performance at length in AMD Radeon HD 7770 And 7750 Review: Familiar Speed, Less Power. And while it might not be the very fastest card available, Catalyst driver updates have made it substantially faster. It’s a good alternative to the older Radeon HD 6770, which is still found in many mainstream machines. Indeed, the Radeon HD 7750 is more than enough for gaming on an HDTV, and it sure beats the graphics power offered by today’s gaming consoles.

Now, let's get back to the Chieftec case's included power supply.