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HIS Radeon HD 2600 PRO IceQ 512MB HIS Radeon HD 2600 PRO IceQ 512MB: Hi-Fi design, 5.1 Audio, Superior Cooling, DirectX 10, HD Playback - but can it keep up with the competition? Let's find out.
Date: August 23, 2007
Manufacturer:
Written By: Scott Harness
Price:

Half Life 2: Lost Coast - FPS

 
Min
Max
Avg
HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro IceQ 512MB
25
76
40.358
Nvidia 8600GT
31
97
48.258

Things are pretty clear here. Our first test shows that for Half Life 2: Lost Coast that the HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro IceQ 512MB can deliver a decent game experience even at 1680x1050. The 8600GT can do it better though. The numbers are pretty close and the game is playable on both cards at the same settings, with only one area giving a slightly worrying dip near the beginning on the HIS card. Anything more however and the 2600 Pro starts to struggle; we are right on the line here.

Half Life 2: Lost Coast - Image Quality

HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro left, Nvidia 8600GT right

Half Life 2 really does benefit from a high resolution, anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, which is to say it is a very noticeable difference in game. Coupled with the HDR lighting and you often get some really nice visuals. We were able to run at 2x MSAA and 4x AF at 1680x1050, which provides a great image although as mentioned above it is right at the limit. Still, from an image quality view point, there is certainly nothing to complain about the display from the HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro IceQ 512MB. At first glance the two images above are very similar, but the Nvidia card seems to render the furthest details a lot clearer while the HIS card has more of a fogged appearence. Conversely, up close, the HIS card wins hands down while the Nvidia card has a tendency to look a little blurred or of lesser detail. Perhaps this is down to the drivers but it's been a while since we've seen differences like these.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. :Shadow of Chernobyl - FPS

 
Min
Max
Avg
HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro IceQ 512MB
46
164
106.942
Nvidia 8600GT
73
165
111.092

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure the numbers garnered from FRAPS and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are correct here. That said, the game experience is similar to what you would expect from those numbers; a smooth visual occasionally marred by slight stuttering as the frame rates drop. Again the 8600GT provides higher frame rates overall, and even more importantly allows for some slight anti-aliasing at the same time. You would think that at these numbers the game would run smooth enough to allow for higher settings on both cards, but on both cards, the actual gameplay was on the limit between smooth and stuttery; another reason to wonder about the numbers.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. :Shadow of Chernobyl - Image Quality

HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro left, Nvidia 8600GT right

S.T.A.L.K.E.R., while a newer game, does have a tendency to look a little ugly in places especially at lower settings, but it does scale rather well. The HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro struggles a bit with anti-aliasing performance, but the image quality isn't too bad. The 8x anisotropic filtering makes the perspective views of textures less distracting which in a game with a lot of wide open spaces is a must. Shame about the anti-aliasing though, as some of the game can be a little boxy too.

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