The HIS X850 XT IceQ II Turbo is a fully decked out ATi X850 design, with Dual DVI connections and VIVO (video in/video out) functionality. Next, we'll drop down for a closer look at the entire package offering.
The bundle for this product covers just about any complement an end user could wish for to go with a new high end 3D Graphics card such as this. On the software side of things, PowerDVD 6 and two full game bundles, BugBear's "Flat Out" and Microsoft's "Dungeon Siege", are great ways to take advantage of the capabilities of this new card, right out of the box. In terms of hardware support, the cabling bundle is also top notch, with 2 DVI to VGA converters, an HD Component Video cable and a VIVO cable, in addition to the six pin PCIe power splitter cable that is included, to assist with non-PCI Express compliant power supply hook-ups.
The card itself utilizes a standard reference design PCB with a highly modified HSF assembly. Inside the clear plastic shroud is a thin finned aluminum heat sink with a copper plate that interfaces with both the VPU and RAM. The large blue fan at the back end of the plastic shroud spins at a relatively low RPM and is very quiet, but due to its large flat blade area, it pushes a lot of air across the sink and out through the exhaust plate of the card. With this design, you'll also note that the fan and shroud assembly encroaches on the six pin PCIe power connector a bit. This makes it hard to pull the power connector back off because you can't easily get in and squeeze the release clip enough to break the lock. This was a minor inconvenience that was remedied fairly easily by inserting a small flat head screwdriver and pushing down on the power connector release clip.
The back side of the card has a heat sink retention plate on it that basically acts like a heat spreader. This does help to dissipate some of the heat from the BGA RAM chips, but under normal operating conditions that plate gets almost too hot to the touch. We personally would recommend good airflow inside your case when running with this card but that's no different than what we would recommend for virtually any other high end graphics solution on the market. Lastly, ATi's Rage Theater chip provides VIVO (Video In/Video Out) functionality for the card.