Joined on 10/12/05
Great Card but expect install/setup hassles
Pros: Great Value. Good Price/Performance Ratio. Overclocked to 860/840 from 800/700 using ATI overdrive. OC only kicks in when required. Works well in my HTPC system. Excellent HDTV Picture/Video Quality. S-Video out is also excellent quality
Cons: Install/Setup Problems. Very Old CCC/Drivers on CD crashed my XP MCE 2005 system. Don't even bother with them. Go to AMD/ATI for the latest CCC/XP drivers. The latest drivers worked but I still had problems with S-Video output so I submitted a support ticket to AMI only to find out that this video card was not listed as ATI certified. This lack of certification caused huge hassles with ATI support but I finally got S-Video and everything else to work. Audio feature is useless for me. only 2 Channel PCM and 5.1 only works with PC decoded Dolby AC3. I have to use seperate S/Pdif cable to pass digital 7.1 DTS for decoding on my audio system. No S/PDIF connector on card.
Overall Review: This is an immature card with drivers that are a work in process. For example the latest driver upgrade (7.8 to 7.9) improved performance in popular games from 4 to 27 percent (check the release notes) and fixed a boatload of bugs. Installation and setup was a major PITA but I am still overall happy with this card. Do not follow the included quick install instructions. Skip the CD. Go directly to the AMD website and install the latest catalyst software suite version (7.9 or later) and hopefully you will avoid the problems that I had. Fan Noise is OK at stock speeds. You will know when the OC overdrive clicks in because the fan will get LOUD. 5 stars for performance and value. 1 star for setup and installation.