ASUS Radeon 9600 XT/TVD


ASUS' Radeon 9600 XT/TVD is for gamers with high expectations but limited budgets. ASUS is one of the few card makers that equips its top-model ATi cards with Video-In connectors as well as the standard Video-Out. In the past, Video-In was almost exclusively the domain of ATi's All-in-Wonder line. To add this functionality, ASUS includes an additional ATi Rage Theater chip on the back of the board, which offers basic video editing features. Aside of the standard VGA output, the card also sports a DVI connector. Using an appropriate adapter, a second CRT can also be connected here.

The front of the card.

The back side.

This card really stands out from its rivals, thanks in no small part to its orange PCB and the large polished silver-colored heatsink. Another nice little design detail is that the back part of the heatsink is formed by the ASUS logo. A more sensible feature is the hardware monitoring functionality, which keeps the user informed about the card's voltages, fan speeds and chip temperatures. ASUS's SmartDoctor suite provides the monitoring front-end, while also offering overclocking options.