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HIS X700Pro IceQ Turbo VIVO HIS X700Pro IceQ Turbo VIVO: We take a look at a retail X700 Pro offering from HIS, who have gone the extra mile in differentiating their card from the rest of the pack.
Date: February 2, 2005
Manufacturer:
Written By:

    During the last year we have finally seen games that can both harness the rendering speed of the fastest video cards, but also can create some of the most beautiful detail possible so far.  Thus there has been a demand for video cards that can provide both good frame rates and good image detail in games such as Half Life 2, Doom 3, and Far Cry among others.

    HIS or Hightech Information System Limited, is one of ATi's launch partners and as such has access to the newest GPU's and board designs from ATi before others do.  However they also provide cards that ATi themselves do not include, most notably their ViVo line of ATi cards and their Dual DVI cards.

    The X700 based video cards are ATi's current mid-range PCI-E video cards, with no real comparable video card in a AGP version.  As is standard for ATi, the X700 is a pure PCI-E video card, there is no bridge like nVidia has used.

HIS X700Pro IceQ Turbo VIVO 256MB PCIe

    Before I go any further I would like to say that this is one of the longest names for a video card that is almost purely a descriptive one.  If you would like to see the full specs on this card , however we will cover most of these points in the review.  Being the first HIS card I've had, what does the box hold, does it have lots of extras or not?  Lets take a look at a few pictures to see.

    Now for a list of what comes with the card:

  • The Video card
  • Users Guide
  • SVHS/RCA in/out cable
  • SVHS - RCA converter
  • Component Adaptor
  • DVI-VGA Adaptor
  • Ulead VideoStudio 7SE
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • Power DVD 5
  • 3D-Album Picture Pro
  • 3 HIS CD's

    I think that about covers what came in the box.  To say the least HIS has included quite a bit of software that is both useful and pretty up to date.  For the video editing portion of the card we have VideoStudio, Power DVD 5 for playing DVD's, and a game in the way of Condition Zero.

    The hardware accessories are nothing to ignore either, as HIS has put the component adaptor into this card, something I've been looking for, for quite a while.  The standard DVI-VGA connector was included which is good to see, as is a SVHS cable and SVHS-RCA converter which isn't necessarily needed in this case. 

    The card itself is dominated by the IceQ cooling system which basically covers the entire front of the card, unlike the one we saw with the PCX5750 card we reviewed earlier, which itself was fairly large.  One thing that I like about this card is the way that it connects to the board, a plate on the back with two screws and a holding arm which is pretty easy to allow access to the heatsink.

Overclocking

    Overclocking, something that is almost catered to in the enthusiast community, since getting a speed boost for a little bit of time and patience, and maybe a little money, is usually worth it.  Video cards are no exception so lets see what this card does to make that situation easier.

    What was nice to see is as soon as we removed the heatsink from the card, we saw that HIS had decided to use basically a perfect amount of thermal paste, instead of the bog standard thermal pad many cards have.  The memory is covered using thermal pads and a heatsink, so we didn't get a chance to see what the memory type is.  One interesting thing we noticed is that the GPU is not a X700 Pro as HIS is selling it as, but rather it is a X700 XT GPU of which cards we haven't seen much/any of to this point.  The heatsink itself is very big, and takes up an extra slot beside the video card, which I don't like very much, unless it also leads to quieter operation.  Does it succeed in this area, lets see.

Video Card

MSI FX5900U - VTD (Front Fan) MSI FX5900U - VTD (Both Fans) HIS X700 Pro IceQ Turbo ATi Radeon 9800XT Albatron Trinity PCX5750

Sound Level (dBA):

51/56 (L/H) 55/63 (L/H) <50 50/64 66

    This card is nearly silent, as HIS proudly states on its box.  As for 20dBA I wouldn't be able to tell you but it is able to keep below 50dBA from about 2" away from the fan, which makes it the quietest cooling system I've tested.  But can something this quiet overclock very well?

    We can see that this card does pretty well, making it up to the 492/492MHz mark, up from the 425/430MHz that it was at stock speeds.  This is also a 32/22MHz overclock over the HIS sanctioned iTurbo clock speeds that you can use.  However we weren't quite able to reach X700XT memory speeds, though we beat the core speed by 17MHz.  We will see later on how much this will help the performance of this card.

Software

    We will now take a quick look at the software included by HIS in the package.

  • This CD contains just the standard drivers from ATi, which includes the WDM drivers, Hydravision, among the other parts of the drivers.
  • Video Studio 7SE is one of the better basic video editing programs, at least in my opinion.  The good thing is that you can use this to upgrade to the higher end software if you so choose to.
  • This DVD contains most of the recent ATi tech demos as well as a demo of Dungeon Siege II.  It also has the complete full version of Dungeon Siege on the DVD.
  • This is one of the two main DVD players out there, the other being WinDVD.  The good news is that it is the full version of the program and works very well.  The bad news is that it is only the 2 speaker version so you will have to pay for the 6 speaker upgrade.
  • This CD oddly enough only contains the iTurbo overclocking software.  This could easily have been included on the driver CD as both don't need the entire CD or even close to it.
  • This program is quite interesting, as it allows you to do some interesting things with your images, from screensavers, to video, etc.  Quite an interesting program to play with.
  • This two CD set provides you with the game Counter Strike: Condition Zero, for all you CS addicts.  It is based on the same engine that Half Life 2 is based on, so graphics are among the best.

    Quite a nice bundle HIS has included as all the CD's are useful for one thing or another.  I feel that they wasted a CD on the iTurbo software as it really could be fit on the same CD as the drivers with plenty of space left over.

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