Inside the box you’ll find two DVI to VGA convertors, for those not yet equipped with DVI monitors. There’s also a TV-Out cable that has S-Video, Composite and Component output for HTDV support up to 1080i. AOpen has also included a connector for the six-pin power PCI Express connector on the board for those power supplies that don’t have one. The box reiterates what nVidia has stated; that a 350W power supply is required for a single card and 500W for SLI. However, as we’ve seen proved by retail systems this isn’t strictly true, as long as high quality PSUs are used. A single game is included – Second Sight – which isn’t as high profile as Far Cry included with the XFX.
In terms of performance the AOpen proved a good match for the XFX, hardly surprising seeing as it’s essentially the same board clocked at the same speeds. That said, there were some anomalous scores, where at first the AOpen came in considerably slower than the XFX. Rerunning these tests saw it draw virtually level. As you look across the scores you’ll notice that in some tests the AOpen was slightly slower whereas in others it’s slightly faster. However, in Half-Life 2 it drops noticeably behind the XFX in SLI at very high resolution and in single card mode at low resolution. This is most likely due to clock throttling under intense benchmarking. That said, the scores are still absurdly high so you’ll hardly be short changed.
Ultimately though, the decision comes down to price. The XFX is a slightly more appealing bundle, but if you’ve already got Far Cry the only issue is the VIVO support. If you want to be able to capture via your card then this is then the one to go for. For most though a high end gaming card is just about playing games, and at this the AOpen is a very solid choice though only £16 cheaper than the VIVO’d XFX at current prices. Remember though, that you’ll have to budget for a decent high resolution monitor as well to have any chance of getting the most from a 7800 GTX card.
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