HIS X850XT IceQII Turbo and Platinum Series VIVO 256MB AGP - HotHardware

HIS X850XT IceQII Turbo and Platinum Series VIVO 256MB AGP

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As the old saying goes, "It's better to burn out than to fade away".  This holds true when we think about AGP graphics cards.  While PCI-Express has certainly gained a lot of ground, AGP is not ready to die just yet.  Virtually any video card manufacturer you look at is still offering AGP based graphics solutions, even in the high-end sector.  Surely, the day PCI-Express completely eclipses AGP isn't too far off, as the bandwidth and power benefits of PCI-Express are very real.  Nonetheless, new AGP offerings continue to hit store shelves. 

The latest such offerings to reach our test bench are from HIS in the form of their X850XT IceQII Turbo VIVO 256MB AGP and HIS X850XT Platinum Edition IceQII VIVO 256MB AGP.  Both cards are the cream of the HIS crop, boasting the most powerful GPUs they have to offer in AGP flavor.  Over the past few months, HIS has really gotten our attention with their product line, delivering some high-quality graphics cards.  With their trademark IceQII cooling and complete retail packaging, HIS has made a statement that they are here to stay.  This was further solidified by increasing their availability in the States, which was a major detriment in the past.

HIS X850XT Specifications:
Premium Quality AGP Graphics Cards
Model Name HIS X850XT PE IceQ II VIVO 256MB AGP
Chipset Radeon X850 AGP Series
ASIC R481
Pixel Pipelines 16
Vertex Engines 6
Manu. Process (Micron) 130nm
Transistor 160M
Fill Rate 8640MTexel/s
Memory Size (MB) 256
Memory Type GDDR3
RAMDAC (MHz) 400 Dual
Engine CLK (MHz)
540
Memory CLK (MHz)
1180
Memory Interface (bit) 256
Memory Bandwidth 37.8GB/s
Max. Resolution 2048x1536
Bus Interface AGP 8X/4X
VGA Yes
2nd VGA Yes
DVI Yes
2nd DVI No
TV-out Yes
HDTV (YPrPb component output) Yes
Video-in Yes
TV Tuner No
FM Tuner No
Model Name HIS X850XT IceQ II Turbo VIVO 256MB AGP
Chipset Radeon X850 AGP Series
ASIC R481
Pixel Pipelines 16
Vertex Engines 6
Manu. Process (Micron) 130nm
Transistor 160M
Fill Rate 8640MTexel/s
Memory Size (MB) 256
Memory Type GDDR3
RAMDAC (MHz) 400 Dual
Engine CLK (MHz)
520 - 540 (Turbo)
Memory CLK (MHz)
1080 - 1180 (Turbo)
Memory Interface (bit) 256
Memory Bandwidth 37.8GB/s
Max. Resolution 2048x1536
Bus Interface AGP 8X/4X
VGA Yes
2nd VGA Yes
DVI Yes
2nd DVI No
TV-out Yes
HDTV (YPrPb component output) Yes
Video-in Yes
TV Tuner No
FM Tuner No

  

Aside from a small, quarter-sized sticker stating whether the package was a "Platinum Edition" or "Turbo" model, the retail packaging was identical on the outside.  On the inside, the similarities continued with only slight variations in content.

HIS X850XT Platinum Edition
IceQII VIVO 256MB AGP
HIS X850XT IceQII Turbo
VIVO 256MB AGP
FlatOut
Microsoft Dungeon Siege Full
PowerDVD 6
PowerDirector 3 SE Plus
Power2Go 4
3D Album PicturePro
VIVO Cable
HDTV Output cable
DVI to VGA Adaptor
FlatOut
iTurbo Overclocking Software
Microsoft Dungeon Siege Full
PowerDVD 6
PowerDirector 3 SE Plus
Power2Go 4
3D Album PicturePro
VIVO Cable
HDTV Output cable
DVI to VGA Adaptor

Both packages included the same hardware complement, including DVI-to-VGA adapters, VIVO cabling, HDTV Output cabling and molex power splitters.  The software was virtually identical as well, including a number of the same titles as seen in list below each image.  We should note that the PowerDVD 6 was the 2 channel edition, taking away slightly from the initial appeal of the included title.  Both come with a game called FlatOut, a demolition derby/racing type game that suffered from an awful soundtrack, but was somewhat addicting.  But with the main feature being the driver's ability to be ejected from the car, the game did bring a unique perspective.  Additionally, the Turbo model came with HIS' iTurbo Overclocking Software.  We've worked with the software in the past and found it to be pretty straight forward and effective, although, this time around our CD was defective.  Nonetheless, the goal with the Turbo model is to ramp up to "Turbo" speeds at the click of a mouse, allowing the card to overclock to "Platinum Edition" speeds.

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