GeforceFX5600 Personal Cinema Review - Page 2 of 3
By John Grabski - February 7, 2004
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
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
VGA and Audio Cables
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.