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HIS Excalibur 9550 VIVO HIS Excalibur 9550 VIVO: We take a look at a budget card based that is a good choice for casual gamers, and features VIVO as well.
Date: July 16, 2004
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Unreal Tournament 2004

We used the 3 demos of botmatches on dm-rankin, as-convoy and br-colossus as run by Bench ‘em All! at 2 resolutions, which give a pretty good representation of in game play numbers.

1024x768

No AA/AF
2xAA/8xAF
4xAA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
63.39
38.87
32.41
MSI 5950 Ultra
99.46
94.38
94.91

1200x1024

No AA/AF
2xAA/8xAF
4xAA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
43.05
27.56
23.07
MSI 5950 Ultra
96.01
90.25
76.20

For UT2K4 we have some surprisingly playable number from the 9550 without any graphic enhancements. Obviously it's not a patch on the 5950 Ultra, but it was never designed to be in the first place. 1200x1024 pushes the card a bit too much, but bear in mind these are at the games maximum detail settings, and their is plenty to tweak to get decent frame rates at this resolution, although you would be better off (in my opinion) in sticking at 1024x768 and applying some mild graphic enhancements such as 2x FSAA and some Anisotropic filtering. You will find the 9550 is quite happy at those settings, although intense fire fights will slow you down.

FarCry

There is certainly enough action in this ultra-violent shooter to keep you happy and it has some great looking scenery to boot. We used the v1.1 patch, and ran through the default "fort" timedemo.

1024x768

No AA/AF
2xAA/8xAF
4xAA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
21.02
12.20
10.69
MSI 5950 Ultra
45.68
31.03
30.66

1200x1024

No AA/AF
2xAA/8xAF
4xAA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
13.94
8.18
7.05
MSI 5950 Ultra
34.69
22.05
22.13

FarCry will need a lot of tweaking to become playable with the 9550, but then if you are going to be playing something like FarCry on a regular basis, you won't be looking at this area of the market for your graphics card in the first place. However if you're just a mild gamer, you can tweak the game to make it playable upon the 9550, just don't expect miracles.

Splinter Cell

We used the Beyond3D demo, and ran the cards through the gamut. There are problems with AA, so we'll only be presenting no AA results.

1024x768

No AA/AF
No AA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
17.72
14.8
MSI 5950 Ultra
36.41
29.92

1200x1024

No AA/AF
No AA/8xAF
HIS 9550 ViVo
14.06
11.52
MSI 5950 Ultra
30.95
25.43

Splinter Cell, and especially the Beyond3D demo really pushes graphics cards to the limits, despite not being able to produce Anti-Aliased images, so it's no surprise that the 9550 struggles. Again, like FarCry, if you are going to be playing Splinter Cell, you won't be looking at this kind of a card anyway, and the results were only included here for the sake of a complete review.

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