Package and Accessories
This is a product selling in retail, so its packaging and accessories need a description.
This simple design solution isn’t anything new for PowerColor. We’ve seen it in the design of the packages of the PowerColor X1900 GT, PowerColor X1900 XT, and PowerColor X1800 GTO. This simplicity and unification are appropriate here because this design doesn’t irritate one’s eyes and creates a unified image of the company’s product line-up. Besides some standard captions, there is a “Silently Cooled” sticker on the box. It informs you that the graphics card is equipped with a cooler from Arctic Cooling.
Inside the glossy wrapper there is a white cardboard box with the graphics card in an antistatic pack. The accessories can be found under the card. Here they are:
- Brief user’s manual;
- DVI-I-to-D-Sub adapter;
- VIVO splitter (S-Video and RCA)
- YPbPr splitter;
- External power supply adapter;
- S-Video cable;
- RCA cable;
- CD disk with drivers;
- CD disk with CyberLink software.
This is a standard set of accessories PowerColor cards come with, but there are a few points that need to be specifically mentioned. First, we were somewhat surprised to see only one DVI-I → D-Sub adapter since the card is equipped with two DVI connectors. Second, a flexible bridge to build a CrossFire configuration is missing. However, PowerColor assured us that all their graphics cards would be shipping with a CrossFire cable and in case the cable is not in the box (which we discovered in the very first packages) they will ship one to the users directly upon request.
As you know, RV570-based devices do not need a special Master card since their graphics core already contains all the necessary logic and the two cards in a CrossFire configuration are joined together by means of two flexible cables.
We don’t know if all the owners of the packages with the absent cable will figure out that they have to claim it from the manufacturer, but it was missing in the box with our card and we wouldn’t have been able to build a CrossFire tandem out of two PowerColor X1950 Pro Extreme. In our opinion, the connecting bridge must be included with every card by default, the integrated frame compositing engine being one of the key features of the Radeon X1950 Pro. Otherwise, there is no sense in that integration because it may be very difficult to find and purchase such a bridge separately.
The brief manual is in fact a poster in several languages that gives you some basic info about how to install the card into your system. The information about configuring a CrossFire tandem doesn’t refer to this model since it describes configurations with a Master card and those that transfer data through the PCI Express bus. If you want a pair of Radeon X1950 Pro cards to work in CrossFire mode, you have to connect them with two flexible bridges and then enable the necessary mode in the Catalyst Control Center.
The previous version of the manual having been a rather thick brochure that covered most of the installation and usage issues, the new manual from PowerColor looks like a step back, especially as we didn’t find a full version of the manual on the CD with drivers.
Despite the mentioned drawbacks, this set of accessories is sufficient for using the PowerColor X1950 Pro Extreme. Not all users want to pay extra for such bonuses as additional games, CD cases or web-cameras.