Asus GeForce 8600 GTS
Packaging and Accessories Bundle
Being one of the first companies to release the GeForce 8600-series graphics cards, Asustek Computer was able to supply us a retail version of its graphics card, which will be available commercially shortly. To our great surprise, Asus EN8600GTS/HTDP/256M graphics card does not come inside an enormously large box, but is put inside a moderate size package. Design of the box is also not really pretentious: a lady in ancient Romanian clothes on greed background as well as basic information regarding the graphics’ cards capabilities and features.
In fact, there will be another version of Asus EN8600 GTS available on the market (EN8600GTS/G/HTDP/256M), which will be bundled with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl video game. Packaging of that graphics card will be similar to the game DVD: a face of an irradiated monster with Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the background.
As usually, contents of Asustek’s boxes are carefully put in separate compartments and the card is fixed in foam-rubber tray to avoid damage during transportation and storage. The new cardboard boxes do not allow seeing the board without opening the case, however, this hardly is a problem.
When the box is opened, you find the following accessories:
- YPbPr splitter
- DVI-I→D-Sub adapter
- PCI Express power cable (should be included in the final retail version of the graphics card, thus, not pictured)
- Brief installation guide and warranty coupon (in English and Chinese)
- CD holder case made of artificial leather
- CD disk with ASUS drivers and brand name software
- CD disk with full multilingual user’s guide
The product bundle is nothing special to say at least: no free games, no interesting accessories. On the other hand, the contents of the box will allow anyone to use the graphics card with no problems and without paying for additional things that may not necessarily be needed eventually. Those who still want to get something extra are welcome to acquire EN8600GTS/G/HTDP/256M version of Asustek’s GeForce 8600 GTS, which comes with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl first person shooter video game.
Nevertheless, a not very rich product bundle of our version of Asus EN8600 GTS does not mean that Asus’ customers receive the same kind of service as those who buy cheap boards from second-tier manufacturers. Besides renowned quality, Asus bundles several in-house developed programs, including Asus GameFace Messenger, Asus Video Security Online, Asus SmartDoc and Asus OnScreenDisplay (for Windows XP, XP x64 and Vista 32-bit OSs). The graphics card comes with Nvidia ForceWare driver version 101.02, which could not be found at nvidia.com web-site at press time. Since this driver is something that early adopters will have to use, we decided to test the GeForce 8600 GTS using this version.