Asus is famous for packing its component product bundles with a slew of extras and the EAH3870 X2 1GB is no different in that respect. The bundle comprises of a selection of cables and connectors, along with some utility software and a full game: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
– one of my personal favourite real-time strategy games from recent times.
There are a couple of DVI-to-VGA converters for those still using honking great CRTs and there's also a DVI-to-HDMI adapter that enables you to connect the graphics card up to your high-definition TV. The great thing about this connector is the fact that it also carries 5.1 audio, meaning there's no need for a second cable to send sound to your TV if that's what you want to do.
Of course, if you've got your own set of speakers that you want to use, there's nothing stopping you from doing so – this just gives you another option on the table.
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The selection of cables is completed with a component cable and a six-pin PCI-Express power adapter, but interestingly there is no eight-pin power connector included in the box – a bit of an oversight on Asus' part. We've already mentioned the inclusion of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
, but there are two more CDs – one is a Driver/Utility CD and the other is a soft copy of the manual. And while we're on the topic of the manual, there's a paper quick install guide that guides you through the installation – that's not to say most bit-tech
readers don't know a PCI-Express connector from a DVI socket.
Finally, the bundle is finished off with an Asus-branded leatherette CD wallet – some will find this appealing, while others will question its inclusion and how much could have been saved by not
including it. After all, the general consensus in our community
is that bundled extras like this don't usually influence a buying decision.
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Asus offers a three year parts and labour warranty with all of its graphics cards – this is actually more than what most other AMD/ATI graphics card partners offer. For example, HIS, PowerColor and Sapphire all offer two year warranties on equivalent graphics cards. Whether or not this is important to you will depend on your quest to void the warranty as quickly as possible in one way or another in typical bit-tech
In the first year, you should talk directly with the retailer where you purchased your graphics card, but if you’re having problems getting hold of the retailer, you can talk directly with the Asus technical support and RMA team to resolve your problems. In the second and third years of the warranty period, you should go direct to Asus for technical support and warranty queries.