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HIS X1050 Video Card HIS X1050 Video Card: If your budget is tight but you still want to power Vista's Aero GUI, this low cost card may be a suitable replacement for the majority of onboard solutions.
Date: April 21, 2007
Written By: Scott Harness

When we review graphics cards, they are generally of middle to high specification, as these are the cards that most enthusiasts are wanting to hear about. But strangely enough that isn't where the sales are. The low end sells more often as folks simply want a cheap card to display basic graphics.

However, Vista throws a spanner into the works a little here. While you don't need a specific type of graphics card to run Vista's GUI, you do need one if you want to run Vista's Aero GUI.

For most, going out and buying a mid or even high end graphics card simply to run a fancy looking interface that offers nothing in the way of any tangible benefit is simply not practical. But can you have your cake and eat it? With the X1050 you can, and we have one in our labs, the .


ATI X1050
RV370XT process
Dual integrated display controllers
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
DirectX® 9 and OpenGL® supported

Not exactly a stunning list of specifications, but there are a couple of points I'd like to add. The first is to reiterate that this a bottom end card designed to be a replacement or substitute for onboard graphics – and to allow for Vista's Aero GUI. The is Vista™ Premium Certified and fully supports Microsoft’s new 3D based operating system. The second is that this is also a passively cooled card so it has no moving parts and is therefore completely silent. Also, like the X550 it is based on, the supports up to 1GB of memory via HyperMemory which appropriates some of the system memory.

The box for the HIS X1050 is barely bigger than a DVD case, although it is twice as thick. As is usual for HIS cards, the box sports a blue theme with all the pertinent information badged on the front, and more listings (in various languages) on the rear.

Inside is sparse, with just the card, a CD and a pamphlet style manual, again in multiple languages.

Removing the card from it's anti-static bag and the bubble wrap gives us our first look at the card itself. My first thought was that this was a surprisingly large card given the specifications, with the HIS X1050 being about the same size as an old Geforce 2.

As mentioned before, the HIS X1050 is passively cooled by this large aluminium heatsink, badged with the HIS logo. No extra power is needed (naturally) which makes the end of the card bare and basic. A single jumper can be found on the card, and it's function would seem to be to switch from PAL to NTSC. Naturally depending on your location, you will get a card set for your geographical area.

The back of the card is quite bare, but note the RoHS compliance sticker. The IO plate sports a DVI-I, a standard TV out din socket, and a 15 pin VGA port.


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