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Sapphire Radeon 9600XT Review

By: Mike Wright | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Dec 17, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Sapphire

In The Box



When you rip the plastic off your new toy, you will be greeted with what has become standard fare with regards to the Sapphire cards. Besides the video board you will receive a users manual, some software programs, and all necessary cabling to take advantage of the video out capabilities of the card.



It used to be that when you purchased a new graphics board, you would also receive a huge array of software programs. Many were simply titles that could be acquired at next to nothing and were not popular game names. But hey, with all that software you can certainly crank up the price and make for a larger profit margin!


Lately, however, most manufacturers have gotten away from this mindset in favor of a more tightly bundled collection of programs and utilities that might actually be used. Makes good sense and it also allows for lower store prices, so everyone seemed to be happy.


But then here comes Sapphire with what would still be classified as a small software package, BUT of which one is always a recently released game title. Soldier of Fortune and Return to Castle Wolfenstein have recently been included in their product boxes, but now we find Tomb Raider, Angel of Darkness. While not a title for everyone, it has a significantly better chance of being used than some of the older games that are included in video card packages at times.


Also included is a driver disk, PowerDVD XP and an overclocking utility called Redline. Oh, and did I forget to mention that little certificate that allows you to attain HalfLife2 when it becomes available?



As noted above, you will also get all the cabling necessary to use video out. This allows you to output the PC video signal to your television set in up to 800x600 resolution. While I don't generally recommend this for gaming or general use, it can come in real handy when viewing movies from a PC enabled DVD/CD drive and displaying the movie on your larger TV set.



Also included is a little piece that I have come to love. If you'll notice the little white plastic item in the above picture, you will find yourself looking at a DVI-CRT adaptor. For those who have a desire to run dual displays but don't happen to have a digital monitor handy, you can simply use this adaptor and have the capability of using two CRT type monitors. ATI has been including these for quite a while now and I'm glad to see Sapphire has continued the trend.


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