The Product The x600 XT is ATIs ~ $199 solution in the PCI-Express market, it's their fall 2004 product for the mainstream market. We however might see a new native PCIe graphics chip, codenamed RV410, in late September or early October, according to sources at Taiwan-based graphics card makers. The performance of the RV410 is expected to fall between ATIs Radeon X800 and Radeon X600 and is likely to be marketed as the X700. The RV410 will compete against NVIDIA's recently launched GeForce 6600 native PCIe chip, which will ship in volume in September.
When we look at the competition this product is lined up directly against NVIDIA's GeForce PCX5750, as it can not compete with the 6800, or even the 6600 for that matter.
The Radeon VPU/GPU runs at 500 MHz and where the AGP model did 600/650 MHz we see a small increase in frame buffer bandwidth with 740-760 MHz for its memory. Since this is the VIVO edition, you will see the ATI Rage Theatre chip on it to enable you some extra video goodness.
What this product was missing somehow were memory heatsinks. If memory served me right I've seen another review where this exactly same product did have the heatsinks. So I'm not 100% sure if HiS will include it on the final product. Last but not least I have to mention the product's cooling, called iCooler. The trick of this fan is that is produces less than 24 dB noise and is very efficient with its cooling.
For all your Video in- and output goodness you'll notice an ATI Rage Theater chip on the videocard. It is responsible for exactly that process.
Installation It's really not hard to install a graphics card yourself nowadays. Especially with brands like ATI and NVIDIA that use unified driver sets. If you have a really new product then make sure you have the latest reference drivers on your HD. First uninstall your current graphics cards drivers carefully, this is very important especially if the older graphics was from a different chipset manufacturer. Now power down the PC and pull out the power cable. Insert the graphics card in the slot, boot up windows, run the driver installation, then restart and you are set to go. That's all. Also important, make sure you have the latest version of DirectX (9) installed.
The Bundle In the box we'll find a decent selection of goodies: CD with driver software, the complete Counter Strike: Condition Zero two CD game, Rx Fatalis game, a 5-in-1 game CD, Video Studio 7 SE, PowerDVD 5 and the PictureEZ Premium Digital Photo Suite 3.1 CD which is part of the Limited Edition package, which normally runs $40 by itself. All-in-all a GREAT software bundle.
Besides software we'll find a good Manual, S-Video to RCA cable, S-Video - HDTV out cable and a DVI to CRT adapter to hook up two analog monitors towards the graphics card. One weird thing though, HiS inluded a Molex splitter cable... But since this is a PCI-Express card we don't need it as the card does not have a Molex connecter. Hehe... a small booboo there.
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