Gigabyte has dressed up its Radeon 9800 Pro with a spiffy gold-coloured heatsink on the GPU, but it's fairly clear that this is a cosmetic exercise as the BGA memory chips on both sides of the card are bare and there is no overclocking software in the package.
The heatsink won't have cost Gigabyte very much money and it makes the card reasonably attractive so we have no objections, but as we mentioned in the Crucial 9800 Pro review, there is very little difference in the hardware supplied by Connect3D, Crucial and Gigabyte.
A quick glance at the results of our tests will show that you can't separate these cards on performance, but Gigabyte has done its best to make this package stand out from the crowd, while keeping the cost relatively low.
For one thing, the TV-Out cable splits into both S-Video and coaxial connections, so there's no need to fiddle around behind the PC to change from one cable to another.
In addition Gigabyte has included a software package of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2, Cyberlink powerDVD XP 4.0, Need for Speed High Stakes, Ono (Lite), 4x4 Evo (Lite), Motocross Mania and Serious Sam. The question is whether or not those four old games and the two rather obscure Lite games make the Gigabyte worth some Â£35 more than the Crucial Radeon 9800 Pro.
If you're going to play two or three of them on a regular basis then it's probably a bargain, but we beg to differ. We'd far rather use the cash to buy one current game that we really want to play, so we have marked the Gigabyte down on value compared to the Crucial. That may seem cruel and unfair, but our conscience is clear. Even if you absolutely loved a couple of the old games in the Gigabyte bundle, you could probably pick them up cheaper second hand.
We're all in favour of a manufacturer including features or extras that will actually be used, but in this case the software simply doesn't appeal.
Verdict Gigabyte has done its best to create a desirable 9800 Pro package, but it misses the mark. Ultimately, if your heart is set on a 9800 Pro card look at the Crucial.