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ECS AG400 Xabre 400 Graphics Card Review - Taking A Closer Look

With nVidia stealing the show of late in the video card market, can a fledgling chipset like the Xabre 400 really stand a chance at a coveted spot in your case? Come join Asher "Acid" Moses as he takes a hard look at the ECS AG400 Video Board and helps answer some questions about this new kid on the block. Can its budget price and performance numbers make it a winner? Come find out!

By: | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 9, 2002 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: ECS

Taking A Closer Look


- Package Contents


As we have come to expect from OEM directed manufacturers, the AG400 does not feature much in terms of bundled goodies. Upon opening the box you are greeted with a driver CD, a User's Manual and the card itself. There were no TV-out cables, no bundled games and no free utilities. This will be disappointing for some, however, the lack of bundled gear will certainly help reduce the overall price, which in my opinion is more important than an elaborate bundle.



- The Card



Like the Triplex Xabre Pro, the ECS AG400 runs at a 250MHz/250MHz (500MHz DDR) core/memory clock speed. This obviously means that SiS is targeting the low-end or budget gaming market with the Xabre 400 chipset. The card also features 64MB of EtronTech memory rated at 3.3ns. We have not seen this brand of memory on many other modern graphics cards and thus cannot give any opinions on previous overclocking results. However, we are certainly not expecting much as our Triplex Xabre Pro card, albeit equipped with Hynix memory, barely clocked above default speeds.



As far as aesthetics are concerned, the ECS AG400 is rather plain - featuring a brown PCB with a small silver heatsink/fan unit attached to the Xabre 400 core. That said, you must remember that ECS tends to direct their products at the OEM market, rather than enthusiasts and thus don't care as much for bells and whistles.



It is important to note that there are no memory heatsinks attached to the card. This is most likely due to the fact that the heat produced by the memory chips was not great enough to warrant any extra cooling, thus reducing the overall price of the card.


Powering the TV output is the SiS301 controller. This controller also supports DVI as well, however, a DVI output has not been included on the AG400 we received. During testing we found the SiS301 controller to be of extremely high quality and the TV out image quality proved to be significantly better than what we've seen from other manufacturers in the past. As well as the TV output, the card also features an S-Video output and a Composite output.



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