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AOpen Aeolus 6600GT

The first card in this group test is the AOpen Aeolus 6600GT. The card differs to the reference design not only by using a dark brown PCB, but also in terms of components. AOpen has gone for an orange GPU cooler as well as orange memory heatsinks. The fan is quite noisy, which is a shame. The card sports both D-SUB and DVI as well as a TV-out port.

By default the TV-out port supports S-Video directly, but a splitter is provided as well, which adds S-Video and Component to cater for the increasing popularity of HDTV. This is a good move, though for most European users HD is still a while away. A DVI to D-SUB adapter is also part of the package.

On the software side full copies of Arx Fatalis and SpellForce: the Order of Dawn, both games I’m unfamiliar with. In a way this is a good thing, as you often get games with your graphics card that you already own. There’s no DVD playback software provided and it seems like this has been done to death in the past. The installation CD comes with DirectX 9, graphics card drivers and an automatic driver update utility. The manual is pretty basic and offers generic installation instructions for pretty much any nVidia based graphics card.

The AOpen Aeolus 6600GT performs just as well as any of the cards apart from the Asus and at £123.13 it's reasonably priced. However, there is nothing that really sets the Aeolus 6600GT apart from the rest of the cards on test.

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