- The Package
Being part of the Excalibur line of cards, HIS has (as usual) gone with the swords on the front of their box with a very calm blue background. You can see that the top right of the box tells us the important information for example the fact that its PCI Express, 256MB, Direct X 9 capable, includes the iCooler, TV Out and DVI-I port as well as the fact that it comes with a Platinum Pack of software. Towards the bottom right of the box you can also see that this card is a VIVO edition meaning that not only does it have the video out function but also the video in function giving you the ability to record movies from a camcorder, VCR or anything else that outputs an image.
Flipping the box around we can see that HIS have gone into a bit more detail on the card showing a picture, listing a complete list of features that is on offer from the X600XT as well as a little blurb about the card which they hope will convince you to buy it. Across the bottom you can again see a lit of features on the card giving you an idea about the advantages of the HIS Excalibur X600XT as opposed to others.
Opening the box we have the VIVO lead, a long S-Video cable with an S-Video to RCA converter for in the situation where you have an older TV that doesn't support S-Video and finally you have a DVI to VGA connector for people wanting to make use of the Dual Display output function available.
When HIS said they had a "Platinum Package" on offer, they weren't kidding. Included is the manual as you would expect but also a Games Pack that comes with a number of demos, the driver CD, VideoStudio 7se, PictureEZ 3D Album and CounterStrike: Condition Zero. It is not very often you see a software package as big as this with a graphics card in this price range. It's good to see that HIS have added a bit more.
With the package out the way let's move on to the actual card to see how it differs from the rest we have today.
- The Card
In the picture below can see the Heatsink/Memory Sink combination on offer here; the air not only cools the core but also pushes the air out to the side where it then cools the memory. Some may notice though that the memory sinks are actually on the correct way where the air will flow between the separate grooves and cool down the memory. We often see a lot of companies install memory sinks with the intention for it to cool the memory yet they are on the wrong way and the air simply hits the sink making them almost useless as air cannot flow through as intended.
Here you can see the ATI Rage Theater chip that brings VIVO function to the card. One little chip can make the difference between buying one brand instead of the other.
Moving to the back of the card we can see that memory sinks are also included which is handy as a lot of companies choose to cool one side and not the other. You can also see that just above the memory sink you have the card name, the fact that it is VIVO, the memory size and also that it is 128-bit.
The HIS Excalibur is a nice card to look at and once you insert it in your motherboard you see the cooler light up for the first time. Let's move on and see how the rest of the cards perform.
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