HIS Excalibur X800 Pro - VIVO Edition with IceQ II

Article Index

HH Test System and Image Quality Comparison


The HotHardware Test Machine and Methodology
Getting it Just Right


We tested the HIS Excalibur X800 Pro on an EPoX EP-8KDA3+ motherboard, powered by an AMD Athlon64 3200+ processor.  The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and load the "High Performance Defaults".  Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz (Dual DDR400) with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by SPD and set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The hard drive was formatted and Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 was installed.  After the installation completed, we installed the latest Intel chipset drivers and then hit the Windows Update site to download and install all available updates. Next, we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and Windows Messenger was disabled and removed from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 768MB permanent page file was created. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed all of the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests.

Test Bed:
HIS Excalibur X800 Pro w/256MB GDDR3
NVIDIA GeForce 6800
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT

EPoX EP-8KDA3+ nForce3 250Gb Motherboard
AMD Athlon64 3200+ @ 2GHz
2X256MB Kingston PC3500
Onboard 10/1000 Ethernet
Onboard Audio
Western Digital 30GB 7200RPM
Windows XP Pro SP1
NVIDIA Unified Driver v4.27
NVIDIA ForceWare v61.77
ATI Catalyst v4.7
DirectX 9.0c
Final Fantasy XI
Splinter Cell
Tomb Raider: AOD
Unreal Tournamont 2004
Comanche 4
AquaMark 3
Far Cry
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Image Quality Comparison
Good, Better, Best...

Before we get started with the benchmarking segment of the review, we thought we should take a moment to look at video quality.  Just about the time we were writing this piece, Doom 3 hit store shelves, so it's only appropriate that we use the most current title available to showcase video quality.  Below is a quick series of shots from the beginning of the game.  We took the shots with the game set for 1024x768 and 4X Antialiasing and 16X Anisotropic filtering enabled in the drivers.



As we can see from a taste of the carnage to come, the HIS Excalibur X800 Pro did a beautiful job with image quality.   The lines were sharp, the characters detailed and the steam and flashlight effects had a very real feel to them.  After snapping off these shots, we played the game for a few hours on our test bed and the card handled things nicely.  The only time we could get the system to sputter was with "Ultra Quality" enabled in the game.  With High Quality enabled in-game, we had a smooth, gorgeous experience.

While Doom 3 is arguably the most popular game on store shelves, it's not the only game in town.  Next, we'll benchmark the HIS Excalibur X800 Pro Platinum VIVO Edition with a broad range of games, both new and some seasoned veterans and compare it to a GeForce 6800 and FX5900XT.

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