Founded in 2008, Afox is a new player in the U.S. market that picks up where its former parent company left off. A spinoff of Foxconn’s branded graphics business, it’s said to now be under independent control.
A little independent thinking can go a long way in the graphics industry. Afox is the first brand to offer a single-slot version of AMD’s Radeon HD 6850 mid-priced gaming enthusiast graphics card. One other brand that followed its lead wasn’t able to deliver a sample for this review.
Like other Radeon HD 6850-based cards, the AF6850-1024D5S1 provides a single CrossFire bridge connection to support two-card arrays. Unlike its competitors, Afox is able to eliminate the six-pin PCIe power connector that other 6850s require, making this the fastest card we've seen without the need for auxiliary power input. Even more significantly, Afox is able to get its Radeon HD 6850 within the power confines of a PCIe x16 slot without any alteration to AMD’s reference 775 MHz GPU and GDDR5-4000 frequencies. That means the card is likely rated for the same 151 W maximum power limit as the dual-slot version. Afox simply tosses backward-compatibility with PCI Express 1.x out the window to take advantage of the second-gen interface's enhanced power delivery. Kudos to Afox for pushing the enthusiast agenda further.
As a full-height card, we even get the expected 256-bit memory interface.
Because Afox’s card has all of the display outputs we'd expect already, no adapters are included in its kit. The card supports DVI-I-to-VGA adapters, though none is included, since they're no longer required by most buyers.
Afox adds a simple installation manual and two temporary tattoos to its driver CD in the card's bundle.
For example, there are few, if any, reviews on noiseless CPUs (meaning, fanless) and too few if any reviews on GPUs without fans. Small form factors have thankfully been addressed a bit, but some of the smallest sizes are still not represented well in reviews.
Even if you are into killing evil Zargons with your pimped out main computer (which many are not anyway), there is still a cool factor of a computer that fits in your hand that can be used in other locations like a kitchen, or living room, or both since you can pick it up and move it easily.
Articles like this, that might not pertain to a main computer (or may), are interesting, since most of us have several computers, and know several people that ask our assistance in making decisions, and there are often criteria like this involved.
Still, I also like the idea of reviewing different approaches of hardware pieces. We all have different needs, so different hardware (forms) need to be addressed as well 8)
The Tom's Hardware team put a lot of effort into getting as many companies onboard as possible for this. PowerColor should have been excluded since its product was actually too late to meet the test deadline, but that's a non-issue since the card didn't show up. And Galaxy, Galaxy Where Art Thou? You would think companies like that would be in touch with ALL the major sites, wouldn't you?
I really don't know what I would think, I'm completely unfamiliar with the process of acquiring test hardware from companies. Is this really unusual behavior from Galaxy and Power Color (ignoring or passing up a request to review one of their new products)?
As for PowerColor, they said they sent one. Either they screwed up, or something happened to the card along the way. Either way, I wasn't going to worry about the cause of this conundrum since it was too late to deal with.
I really don't know what's up with Galaxy. Chances are they might have simply cut their marketing department.