first look, this card seems unimpressive. When we
heard we were getting an FX 5600 with 256MB of RAM, we had
visions of neat little BGA memory chips in our heads.
But don't let these looks fool you because the aesthetics
of a card is not what pushes those pixels and gives high
frame rates, the hardware does that, and this card has
plenty of it. The GeForce FX 5600 GPU is covered by
an aluminum heatsink and fan combination. A white
thermal paste was used to fill any transition gaps from
the heatsink onto the GPU. While the cooling
solution does not look like much, temperature was never a
concern for us when testing this card. However, it
may prove to be a bit of a hindrance when overclocking
this card. The bundle shipped with the card is not
entirely impressive either. There is the included
DVI-to-VGA converter, which is a nice touch for anyone
with two CRT monitors. The part we were a bit
concerned with was the lack of any game bundle.
Intervideo's WinCinema was thrown in for good measure,
which will allow you to enjoy your DVD collection on your
PC but that was it for software.
most impressive feature of this card, however, is the
256MB of Dual DDR RAM on board. AOpen chose 3.6ns
Hynix memory chips, which should leave us some room for
overclocking this card. We were a bit surprised to
see that AOpen chose not to use any type of cooling
solution on the memory chips. While this will not
effect performance at factory settings, we're not going to
get our hopes up for any huge performance gains, when we
try push this card above factory limits. Also
featured on the card is a 15-pin VGA connector for CRT
monitors, along with a DVI-I connector for those of you
with a digital flat panel monitor. AOpen has also
stocked this card with an S-Video jack providing the
TV-Out feature. Again, this card does not catch the
eye much, but we'll have to see how it performs.
First, let's look at NVIDIA's latest drivers and some
screenshots with the AOpen Aeolus FX 5600S.