Bundle and presentation
Crucial doesn't need to invest in fancy packaging for its cards. You cannot buy them in the shops, so it's a muted design that fits in well with Crucial's no-frills approach.
Hardware-wise, Crucial's accompanying bundle is satisfactory. It adds in a 6-foot S-Video cable, an S-Video-to-component (RCA) cable, an RCA cable, and an RCA-to-S-Video converter. There's also a handy 6-pin PCI-Express-to-molex adapter and, of course, the ubiquitous DVI dongle.
The installation CD covers all Crucial cards in one fell swoop. To labour the point, there's installation and reference guides for no less than 14 ATI SKUs. Part of the installation guide is replicated in a paper-based, multi-language foldout guide. PowerDVD 5 (2-channel variety) rounds off the package.
What concerns us, however, is the lack of bundled games with Crucial graphics card packages. We reckon that either a card partner needs to furnish its top-end cards with a wholesome bundle, including at least one gaming title. Either that or price the card aggressively enough to attract buyers on the basis of price alone. Crucial does neither. At the time of writing, the card's priced at £340.76, making it more expensive than some OEM ATI X850 XT Platinum Editions. Retail X850 XT PCI-Express cards from the likes of PowerColor and Sapphire, which are essentially the same, retail for no more than £290 delivered. In that view, and not taking anything away from Crucial's excellent customer service and limited lifetime warranty, ask yourself whether this X850 XT 256MB card is worth £50 more than the competition's. We think not.