With all of the horror stories concerning the GeForceFX and noise, it was good to see that this particular card had a cooling unit that was similar to the older Ti series boards. While not silent by any means, they don't tend to be overpowering and it is usually difficult to hear them over system fans. Also, the heatsink used covers not only the GPU but the memory modules as well. This will help make sure that your video card keeps running nice and cool.
The back of the board is relatively clean in appearance and doesn't have a whole lot to get in the way. It is nice to note, though, that the Prolink folks decided to use RAM sinks for the memory modules that populate the back side of the card. It never hurts to keep things running as cool as possible.
The ports available on the FX5600 board are pretty ordinary in appearance, and in fact are. But remember, the S-Video port you see above is capable of both input and output, so be prepared to have the ability to do more with this card than you might normally expect.
The horsepower of this card comes from the new GeForceFX 5600 GPU. This includes all the technological advances that go along with this new GeForce line of processor such as AGP 8x, .13 micron die process, DirectX 9 compatibility, Vertex Shader v2.0 and Pixel Shader v2.0, CineFX engine and dual monitor support. While these may not have a whole lot of meaning to some, it just means that it has the means of handling the newer games hitting the market and can handle the new DirectX 9 programs as well.
If you'll recall the introduction, I mentioned that this model is called the "Golden Limited". It doesn't get this name because it has a few added toys inside the box, even though they were a very nice addition. No, it gets this name because of the board itself; or rather the memory modules on the board.
You see, Prolink decided to use something that wasn't exactly the same as on the nVidia reference boards. And this would be Samsung 3.3ns memory modules, and lots of it. How much? How about 256MB! I still see users who don't have this much memory in their systems, let alone their video cards.
But remember... I said it has 3.3ns modules, which means faster clock rates. This baby comes from the factory clocked at 600MHz. Compare this to the reference speed of 500MHz offered by many board makers and you can see that we may just have something to whistle about here.
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