Graphics Cards Guide
The ASUS EAX1600XT Silent
Sonic the XpertVision
Instead of the rather boring reference design that we have been seeing from the vendors when it came to their GeForce 7600 GT, XpertVision unsurprisingly chose to take a different approach. We have all seen how the company has time and again opted for its own design, reworking the PCB layout to having faster clock speeds. After all, this is the same company that also made the overclocked Palit graphics cards (GeForce 6800 GS and GeForce 7800 GT) that we had raved about not too long ago.
For its GeForce 7600GT Sonic, XpertVision has gone for a redesigned red PCB with quite a different layout compared to the reference version. If you are particular about this, you would be glad to know that just like the Palit cards, the GeForce 7600GT Sonic uses Rubycon capacitors from Japan, which has acquired a reputation for its quality among enthusiasts. The cooler is also different from the default one. It may not look that impressive due to its rather unflattering white plastic shroud but in our opinion, there is a discernible improvement over the reference version in the form of a slightly lesser noise output. Also, the overclocked memory chips on the XpertVision has their own heatsink to ensure optimal cooling.
The XpertVision is overclocked to 575MHz for the core, a measly gain of 15MHz over the reference design. The memory chips though undergo a more significant boost to 1500MHz DDR compared to the standard 1400MHz. Physically, XpertVision has also changed the default 1.4ns rated chips to 1.2ns for the GeForce 7600GT Sonic. That should leave a decent margin for those who are inclined to overclock it further.
The other notable difference is that the XpertVision only has one DVI-I output instead of the usual two. One of its single-link DVI output has been replaced with the older VGA analog instead, probably to reduce the cost of the card. While one dual-link DVI output should be enough for most average users that this card is targeted at, it is always disappointing to find less rather than more.
For a mid-range graphics card, the bundle included with the XpertVision GeForce 7600GT Sonic was quite typical. Besides the accessories, which were just adequate rather than generous, we also found a DVD playback application and a game. Sadly, the CyberLink Power DVD application was not the latest version but the relative freshness of the game balanced it somewhat. Too bad that it garnered mostly mediocre reviews from gaming sites. Still, if you don't mind indulging in a game that's out of the norm, the bundled game should occupy you a little while. Surprisingly we didn't find any user manual or guide in our package though adding a video card is a trivial affair. Still, the bundle was adequate and none too shabby. The items that were found are listed below:
- 1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
- 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
- Driver CD
- CyberLink Power DVD 5.0
- Conflict: Global Storm (full game)