In The Box
When it comes to video boards, you might expect to see a board, a driver disk, a manual, and maybe a few games if you but a retail package. When you open up this box, you get this and more. We'll cover the different items in a bit more detail.
Starting off with the software, you get a few interesting items to play with. Yes, there is a driver disk and even a couple of decent games in this bundle, namely Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, but there are a few other goodies too.
Also included in the bundle is a utility disk called "Redline", which is none other than Sapphire's very own overclocking utility. It's one thing to kind of expect your customer base to overclock their newly bought video boards, but it is another thing entirely to actually include a workable utility to handle the chore.
And since this video card is capable of both Video In and Video Out, Sapphire has also included Power DVD and Power Director, both which help you play and edit video content. It is paying attention to these little details that help make Sapphire a very popular name in the video board market. Of course, a powerful video board helps too, but we'll talk about that in a bit.
Cables galore! But then we're talking video cards, what do you need with all these cables?
Remember, this board is capable of VIVO functionality; that means both Video In and Video Out. Since we can transfer data in both directions, we need to be able to effectively communicate with modern day video components such as a VCR, a television-type DVD player, or even a TV set. With the exception of the triple Molex cable pictured above, the rest of them allow you to hook up to just about any video component available today.
That Molex cable I mentioned is for the video card itself. Since it is a power hungry beast, you will need to hook it up to its own Molex connector to allow it to work. The triple Molex connector above is actually a splitter that allows you to power the video card in the event you don't happen to have a spare Molex in your case. Not as likely as in years past with newer models of power supplies, but its better to be safe than sorry.
If you've seen any of my previous reviews on ATI boards, you'll have heard me talk highly about this little gem right here. It is a DVI converter that allows a DVI port on the video board to be used to communicate with an analog CRT monitor. Since the board has one of each type of port on the PCI bracket, this converter allows you to run a dual display even if you have two CRT monitors. Since a vast majority of LCD monitors have dual input ports, a converter isn't necessary to run dual LCD displays.
Now that we've emptied out the box, lets take a gander at the video board itself.
How much does it cost?