Today we bring you a review of a very unique product from ASUS, the ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme. Targeted for the HTPC and SFF crowd, the Radeon X600 XT Extreme features both native HDTV output and VIVO capability, two features not usually seen in Radeon X600 cards.
A problem that has plagued the graphics card sector over the last few years has been that of product differentiation. In a market where dozens of companies fight for market share with nearly identical products, the successful have learned to create products that are unique, and in turn get more attention and are more successful. Such is the case with new gaming bundles, high-end cooling solutions, and distinctive PCB colors. Different companies have had varying amounts of success with this approach, but overall most companies have all been going for the gaming or PC enthusiasts with their unique additions to their video cards.
With the exception of the All-In-Wonder line from ATI, there have not been many products in the mainstream video card markets that are targeted toward gamers interested in TVR and HDTV support. This of course, is where ASUS comes in, with their latest mid-range graphics card offering, the ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme.
The ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme is different from other cards in its market segment not only by appearance, but also by output and onboard VIVO capability. It is the only mainstream graphics card that replaces the standard VGA output we know and love and incorporates a new HDTV output instead, and is among the few that offer VIVO (video-in / video-out).
We’ll be comparing the ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme to ATI’s reference Radeon X600 XT as well as an Albatron GeForce PCX 5750 using ATI’s Catalyst 4.9 and 4.10 drivers, to show if the latest mainstream offering from ASUS is worth buying.
ATI Radeon X600 XT
PCI Express x16
Direct X 3D Hardware
Full Direct X 9 support
DVI / S-Video/ VGA
2048×1536 @ 85Hz
•Ulead Cool 3D 3.0
•Ulead Photo Express 4.0
•Cyberlink PowerDirector 3DE
•ASUS DVD XP
•Deus Ex: Invisible War
•9 Pin S-Video to Composite VIVO Cable
•DVI to VGA Adapter
•S-Video to RCA Adapter
Since the ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme is a unique product, an equally unique bundle is required to get the most out of the card. With built in HDTV output and VIVO support, it is only fitting that Cyberlink’s PowerDirect 3DE is included to help with video editing tasks. Ulead Cool 3D and Photo Express are there to aid in content creation, and even included is Deus Ex: Invisible War, a game we haven’t seen bundled by any other graphics card manufacturer. It’s also important to note that most graphics card companies do not bundle the 9 Pin S-Video to Composite VIVO Cable we see with the ASUS Radeon X600 XT Extreme, a cable that makes video editing much easier by being able to work with composite video directly.