Now we've finished looking at the interesting package provided, let's take a closer look at the important part - the graphics card.
When I first saw Chaintech's line of golden graphics cards back in September last year at Computex in Taiwan, I was impressed from the very first minute - as were the other people standing around at the stand. Ever since I can remember, Chaintech has produced a product which not only works well but looks very appealing to the eye - and the AA5700U graphics card is no different.
It's amazing to reflect for a few moments and consider how far things have come since the years when companies like Cirrus Logic and S3 (and even 3DFX in the early days) ruled the graphics game with the plain and boring brown PCB which was accepted - not by choice - but since users had no other option. Try and do something like this in this day and age and you'll likely be left behind for the companies like Chaintech who go the extra mile to please the customer's eye and computing experience.
- Size: It's a monster!
For a minute, let's take our focus away from the visual appeal of the graphics card and look at the size of the thing. It is the same size (length and width) as the monster-sized high-end GeForce FX 5900 and 5950 reference cards from nVidia.
While this should not be considered as a bad thing as far as design goes, you have to remember that if you intend on using the card in a Small Form Factor case like those from Shuttle, you will have less room to play with due to the extra length of the card. It is roughly a solid 25% larger than the 9600 XT reference card from ATI which we are comparing to against today.
As you can see from the two shots above, the core as well as the memory chips on both sides of the card is cooled - actively on the front and passively on the back with the classy golden heatsink which we will talk more about shortly.
- Back Panel: Gold all the way
In the shot above we can see the back panel of the card, which is also golden in color. It features your usual connectors you would expect from a mainstream graphics card today - DVI, VGA and S-Video connectively.
- The Heatsink
In the shot below you get a closer look at the sexy dual fan heatsink design by Chaintech. Not only does it look sensational but it works very well when it comes to overclocking. The heatsink is very solid and heavy - it is constructed with a solid material, probably steel, which is able to dissipate heat from the core and memory effectively.
Included near each fan are blue LEDs which emit a powerful light. The only problem with this is the blue light effect is emitted toward the bottom of the case and you aren't able to see it. The only way you'll be able to gain any effect from this is using a desktop ATX case rather than a tower ATX case which most (if not all) enthusiasts use these days. Nevertheless, the effect looks pretty nifty but unfortunately is all but wasted for users of tower cases apart from the slight blue glow emitting below the card.
Now we've finished looking at the package and card, let's move onto the benchmarks!
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