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Closer Look: Asus HD 4830
Asus stuck with the standard "Radeon Red" PCB for their first edition of the HD 4830. The size and shape of the PCB also seems to be based on a reference design and matched the length of the Asus HD 4850 included in this review. The black on red color scheme looks great and has a strong ATI feel to it--something long time fans will love. Aside from standard features, Asus also includes high quality power delivery components and a custom heatsink and fan.
The usual accompaniment of outputs is present on the Asus EAH4830, including two dual-link DVI outputs, as well as s-video and component outputs via the included adapter. The DVI connections can also double as VGA or HDMI outputs with the proper adapters. Unfortunately, Asus only included the VGA adapter. If you want to run audio and video through the HDMI connection, you'll have to purchase a separate adapter. It's not a show-stopper, but it would have been nice if Asus included it for us.
The HD 4800 series has been plagued with temperature issues since it launched in June. Fortunately, Asus went with a custom cooling solution that should keep the EAH4830 in check. It looks to be a custom Asus design, featuring a solid aluminum heatsink and a well-sized fan attached via a plastic fan shroud. The tradeoff here is that the larger HSF will take up a second slot in your case. This isn't likely to be a problem for most people, but you may want to double-check for clearance issues before pulling out your wallet.
Clearance issues aside, should you pick up your own EAH4830, you'll also be treated to the standard accessory kit. This card comes with the usual manual and driver CD, as well as a 4-pin to 6-pin power adapter, VGA adapter, and component outputs. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, Asus seems to have left out a DVI-HDMI adapter with their accessory kit. They also neglected to include a crossfire bridge, which could be a turn-off to those looking to put two of these in a crossfire setup. A quick survey of other HD 4830's on the market, however, reveals that Asus does have one of the more complete accessory bundles out its competitors. Perhaps this price-point doesn't warrant such extras, but they would certainly be a welcome addition.