Supplier:Club3D Price: £159.88 inc. VAT (Source: Ebuyer) Availability: Now Graphics Chipset: ATI Radeon X700 Pro Default GPU Clock: 425MHz Default Memory Clock: 860MHz
Club3D are a vendor with a twist – they are the only board partner in the world who manufactures video cards for ATI, NVIDIA, S3 and XGI. They are also one of the largest video card manufacturers in mainland Europe, who until now, have been fairly quiet in the UK market. You can expect to see a lot of Club3D products appearing in the largest UK (r)etailers over the coming months, as this is their first major push in to the UK marketplace.
The card that is under the spotlight today is their Radeon X700 Pro with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.
The heatsink is fairly similar to the Radeon X700 XT’s heatsink, it also bares resemblance to the MSI Radeon X800 SE’s cooler – we had a look at that video card a few weeks back. The difference between this and MSI’s solution is that the fan is offset from the core – directly above the core is an array of aluminium fins, where air is passed over the core from the fan. The design of the heatsink is such that air can only blow out from the bottom of the video card next to the PCI-Express interconnect.
Club3D have added a few funky cut outs to its shell to diversify from other partners that may choose to use the same heatsink design. The cooler is a slightly loose fit, but nothing to write home about – maybe Club3D could change the springs that are being used for something with a little more tension to stop the cooler from loosing good contact with the core when installing or removing the video card. The slightly heavy-handed consumer may find themselves with a number of problems if they were to remove the card while gripping on to the heatsink.
Aside from the blip in mounting, the fan goes about its business in a capable and inaudible manner.
There are eight Samsung 2.0ns BGA memory modules on the video card, four on each side of the card – they are not cooled by a heatsink, but they do not necessarily require it. In actual fact, they are running well under specification at 864MHz – we will see how well they fare when the time comes to overclock the card later.
The back plate has the standard VGA, DVI and Video-Out connectors available – one thing that really impresses is the sheer number of cables that have been included in the bundle. There is an RCA composite cable, an S-Video cable, a 7-pin S-Video to HDTV cable and an S-Video to Component adapter in the form of a cable – many other board partners’ just use a simple connector. Along with these, there is also a Club3D-branded DVI to VGA converter and a Club3D case badge.
There are three CD’s included in the bundle: one contains the video card software, including display drivers and manuals for their ATI Radeon-based products – there are also movies and ATI demos included on this disk. There is one game title: WWF Panda Junior In Africa – something that I’ve never heard of myself until now. Finally, there is PowerDVD 5 and PowerDirector 3DE on the final CD in the bundle.