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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [07.29.03]
Manufactured by: Hightech Information Systems

Est. Street Price: ~$350-370

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So what exactly is the difference between this card and one from ATi?  Basically nothing.  If the
VGA port didn't have this little marking, we'd never know.

It uses the same reference design, right down to the same Samsung BGA RAM and the same cooling aparatus. Like with the 9700 Pro, the 9800 requires it a little extra power than what the AGP slot supplies and therefore, it has to have one of these molex power connectors. This time, they opt for a standard large 4 pin connector, rather than the floppy-style connector that could sometimes make installation awkward.

On the external bracket, you'll see the three standard outputs that we've grown accustomed to:
VGA, S-video and a DVI output.  You can, of course, run a dual monitor setup with these and if
you don't have a flat panel that supports DVI or have a massive desk and want to run dual CRTs,
you can with the included DVI -> VGA adapter.

The main difference between the two is the bundle.  Whereas the retail box from ATi comes with
barely anything but the card, HIS has put together a nice little package of software, which includes:

- Cyberlink PowerDVD XP 4.0
- Cyberlink PowerDirector 2.5 VE
- Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
- 6-in-1 Game Collection (Age of Wonders II, Beam Breakers, Myth III: The Wolf Age, Rally Trophy, Stronghold Crusaders, Zax)

While that last one is just a glorified demo disc, you do get a decent full version game and a
good DV editing program for the extra $15-20 bucks you're spending on Hightech's card instead
of ATi's, which only comes with DVD playing software.

The Excalibur also comes with the same connection cables and adapters that ATi includes.

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