HIS Radeon X1650 XT IceQ Turbo and Radeon X1650 XT iSilence II
HIS Radeon X1650 XT IceQ Turbo
Compared to the iSilence II, the IceQ Turbo steers into a new direction. HIS' engineers took basically the same basic card as the iSilence II, but then raised the core speed from 575MHz to 630MHz and also boosted the memory from 690MHz to 770MHz. That's close to a 10% increase on both components. In order to do so, HIS scrapped the passive heatsink and went with a solution from Arctic Cooling. This type of cooler uses a fan mounted on the far end of the card to suck in air from the front side of the card and then push that air over the heatsink and fins, exhausting out the other end and out of the chassis.
So, maybe it's not a completely different direction, just a more active one. The oversized cooler found on the IceQ Turbo will also take up two slots, as the plastic sheath covers some larger sized radiator fins underneath. Thankfully, this setup does not add as much noise as might be expected. The box rates the unit as operating at around 20db, and it's a fair guess that they are correct, as we didn't notice any significant noise emanating from the card during our testing. The only thing that raises a question here is how at 575/690 no active cooling was deemed necessary, yet at 630/770 HIS went with a relatively large cooler. We might have been just as happy with a single-slot cooler like the one ATI used in our original look at the X1650 XT.
Much of the rest of the design stays the same, even keeping the memory under individual heatsinks. The cooler, being active, does require power from a small plug to the card itself, but all power is supplied by the PCI-E slot and no other external connections are necessary. Finally, as with the iSilence II, the IceQ Turbo sports two CrossFire connections along the top. To recap, currently CrossFire requires that both sets of edge connectors are connected by the bridges that come with each card, unlike the single connection of two GeForce cards in SLI. It's a thought that somewhere down the road ATI may allow users to daisy-chain more than two cards, but that's only speculation at this point.
There's nothing truly different to be said concerning the bundle of this card as well, as it mirrors what we saw with the iSilence II with the addition of a bracket to cover the opening of the HSF channel. The collection of software and other goodies isn't bad; it just doesn't live up to the hype of a "Platinum Pack". Dungeon Siege is the only full game included, but this title might only be useful in our opinion, for playing the remake of Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny, found for free on the Lazarus website.