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Chaintech GeforceFX5600 Personal Cinema Review - Page 2 of 3

THE CARD

Front View

The card itself is very short, about the length of a Radeon 9600 Pro. It features a very dark charcoal PCB (SB Audigy in color), a large functional one-piece HSF setup (with a blue led), a digital compact TV-tuner, an NTSC/PAL coax-in jack, an analog VGA connector, and a DVI port for digital flat-panel monitors.

Different Angles




Due to the fact that TSOP memory modules do get quite hot (even when not overclocked), I did a double-take when I first noticed that there were no ramsinks on the back side. When I inquired about this to Chaintech, I was told that due to the fact that this card engineered for features over performance, they found it unnecessary to place ramsinks on the backside.

Inside My Case

The card's length can give users the impression that installation is a breeze. However, there is another end of the video card to pay attention to which is the end with the TV tuner connector. This bulbous and obtuse connection causes one to have to wrench at the slot holes a bit in order to squeeze the card into place properly.

THE PERSONAL CINEMA BREAKOUT BOX

Breakout Box Images




This multifunction I/O box is NVIDIA's very useful solution for dealing with VIVO. It features standard RCA in/out jacks, plus s-video in/out as well. The box is good looking, sturdy, and features rubber feet to allow for slip-free placement. The breakout connector has finally evolved into a button on-top, easily installed solution which prevents bad connections from the cable bending. A VGA connector handles a second analog display, and this appears to have been strategically placed in order to reduce mounting bracket crowdedness. This is actually a pretty good idea, as in my case it extended the range of my second monitor by a few feet. The green and blue headphone plug connectors are for plugging into the soundcard so the audio signal is properly routed.

VGA and Audio Cables

NVREMOTE

NVRemote Compared to ATI Remote

Pulling the nVremote out of the box, I was greeted with a familiar gadget (an X10 RF remote) almost exactly like the ATI Remote Wonder I own. There are very minor differences between the two, and they both trade punches on features - or the lack of. I feel that both remotes have quirky key action and hard-to-get-used-to mouse pointer operation, but the NVIDIA offering has one hold-up that will disappoint the HTPC frontend/plugin-crowd: no programmable keys. I also had very limited luck in getting the remote's pre-set application launch keys to work correctly, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not use the nVremote to adjust volume. This could have been due to my soundcard (Creative Audigy1 OEM)'s driver (newest Creative issue) having some sort of issue with volume control. I never ran into this problem with the ATI remote. Navigating a DVD UI was however made easy using the DVD buttons, the application launcher buttons worked properly, and the pointing device turned out to be fairly easy to use.
 

Next Page: Software, Benchmarks, Conclusion

 

Last Updated on February 7, 2004


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