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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Thursday, 10 May 2007 23:37

HIS X1650XT AGP still puts up a fight - 3.Testing and Conclusion

Written by Sanjin Rados

Image 

Review: Vista and games works great on AGP


Graphics cards for the AGP port are rare today, so when HIS showed us that they didn't forget about the AGP market, we were pleasantly surprised. Today we have the HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo AGP edition in our test bed. Since the card is Vista certified, we wanted to see how this card would behave under Windows Vista.

The card features the IceQ Turbo edition cooler that coveres the RV560 GPU manufactured at an 80nm process. The combination with the IceQ cooling gives the card higher clocks than reference cards.  Image

HIS decided to go with 600 MHz for the core, which is 25 MHz higher than the 575 MHz reference speed for the X1650 XT. We noticed that HIS also offers cards that work at 630 MHz, but the test sample was clocked at 600 MHz. The card we tested had 256MB of 128-bit GDDR3 memory clocked at 1.46 GHz. ATI's reference clock for this cards memory is 1.38 GHz which is 80 MHz slower than HIS' card.

Image


Image

The card comes with all the features that can be expected from any other ATI DirectX 9 card. Some of the important features are 2x Dual-Link DVI ports with HDCP support, HDTV out, AVIVO for video, Crossfire support, RoHS compliant. All these are most commonly seen on the X1650XT PCIe version.

The only big difference between the PCIe and AGP card is that this one has a bridge chip, known as RIALTO. This chip is placed on the back of the card. The Rialto bridge chip is used to translate PCIe instructions to AGP. Without that a PCIe GPU would never work in an AGP slot.

Image

The excellent IceQ cooling is a great feature as the card is almost silent, as the cooler operates at under 20dB and as HIS claims, it makes the card up to 11 C cooler than ATI's reference cooler. The IceQ cooling takes the air from inside the cooler and effectively cools the GPU by pushing the air outside of the case. The cooler is UV sensitive, so it will glow blue when illuminated by UV light. The IceQ isn't perfect since it takes up two slots on your motherboard. The card also needs additional power from a 4-pin floppy connector.

At idle the temperature measured in the Catalyst control center is about 50 degrees Celsius, and when under load this climbs up to 70 degrees Celsius.

Image

The box is covered with all the information you need to know about the card and its features. HIS packed the card with its Platinum Pack of software which includes a full version of Dungeon Siege. CyberLink Software is standard and comes with PowerDirector 5 SE Plus, Power2Go 5 and Media@Show 3. A CD with drivers for the card, manual and GameShadow is also in the box.

Image

As for the cables, you get an S-Video cable, Mini-Din to RCA adapter, HDTV out cable and DVI to VGA dongle.






Testbed:


Image

Motherboard:
Abit AV8
VIA K8T800 Pro

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (provided by AMD)

CPU-Cooler:
Stock AMD Cooler

Memory:
OCZ EB DDR PC-3700 2x1024MB Platinum XTC Dual Channel Kit (provided by OCZ)
CL3-3-2-8-CR1T at 2.7V

Graphics Card:
HIS Radeon X1650XT (provided by HIS)

Power supply:
OCZ GameXStream 700W (provided by OCZ)

Hard disk:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA (provided by Seagate)

Case fans:
Artic Fan 9 PWM (provided by Artic-Cooling)
AF12025 PWM (provided by Artic-Cooling)






Testing:

We tested the HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo using Windows Vista. Drivers and card worked flawlessly and there were no issues during the test. We did some synthetic tests and tried two games. ATI's Catalyst control center in its latest 7.4 version works like a Swiss clock, and we had no complaints.

HIS listed two versions of X1650XT IceQ Turbo card. One works at 630 MHz for the core and has 256 MB of memory, while the other is clocked slower at 600 MHz but has 512MB of memory. Our test card has 256 MB of memory while the core worked on 600 MHz. We left the card on those clocks as our box stated that card works on 600 MHz and has a 256 MB of memory. We tried to overclock it, but had no luck with it. While the memory can go up for about 6-8%, GPU is limited on 600 MHz. Maybe with new drivers overclocking would be possible. It looks like Rialto chip just doesn't like overclocking, but without any overclocking the card is still very fast.

As we didn't have any similar card for comparison, we based our tests on Vista compatibility. The card didn't show any weakness's except in overclocking.

Synthetic tests:

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03

3DMark 03

Game2

Game3

Game4

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

11502

89.5

70.6

79.0

 

 

 

 

 

CPU Test

CPU Score 

CPU Test 1

CPU Test 2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

1074

114.9

19.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03

Single Texturinng

Multi Textur.

Vertex Shader

Pixel Shader 2.0

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

2022.1

4549.5

53.5

74.4

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 05

3DMark 05

Game1

Game2

Game3

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

7215

32.1

21.4

35.0

 

 

 

 

 

CPU Test

CPU Score 

CPU Test 1

CPU Test 2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

6477

4.0

4.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 05

Single Texturinng

Multi Textur.

Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

2238.7

4587.5

198.9

80.4/56.2

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 06

3DMark 06

 

 

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

3008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SM2.0 Test

Score

GT1

GT2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

1240

9.051

11.623

 

 

 

 

 

 

HDR/SM3.0 Test

Score

HDR1

HDR2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

1299

12.291

13.697

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPU Test

Score

CPU1

CPU2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

927

0.291

0.474

 

 

In 3DMark's HIS X1650XT graphics card did a good job. All results are quite good and show the great capabilities of this card. Ati DirectX 10 cards are about to make their appearance on the market and at this time the only comparable Nvidia PCIe card would be 8500GT. Nvidia still doesn't have a DirectX 10 AGP card, but we expect them soon.

High end cards from ATI and Nvidia will not see AGP. Today, the fastest card ATI AGP card that you can buy is Radeon X1950 Pro. On 14th of May ATI will introduce new generation of PCIe cards while the AGP versions of RV630 and RV610 chips will come in a month or two after their PCIe versions.

Games:

FEAR

1024x768

1280x1024

1600x1200

2048x1536

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

64

47

37

20

 

 

 

 

 

FEAR High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X

1024x768

1280x1024

1600x1200

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

45

32

24

 

 

 

Serious Sam 2

1024x768

1280x1024

1600x1200

2048x1536

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

76.7

74.5

71.24

45.67

 

 

 

 

 

Serious Sam 2 High quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X

1024x768

1280x1024

1600x1200

2048x1536

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

70.35

58.37

47.55

22.12

 

As you can see from the results, all the games are playable. In Fear with all effects up at maximum, it is playable up to 1600x1200 resolution, while with Anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering playable gaming comes down to 1280x1024 resolution. Serious Sam 2 works great under Vista so we tried it as a test. You can be Serious with HIS's card on all resolutions except 2048x1536 with 4x Anti-aliasing and 16x Aniso filtering.

Videos are a common part of computers these days so we tried few HD video's. CPU utilisation was about 45-50 % which isn't good, but you must take in consideration that it was done on AMD 4000+ CPU with "only" one core.


Conclusion:

In 3DMark 2006 this card gives 3,000 points which is a great score for a card that costs just a little above €100. The most interesting thing is that it works flawlessly in Windows Vista and that Aero glass and all games we tried gave excellent results.

As they say "You get what you pay", and for this "pay", "you get" an excellent card that works on older AGP systems and you can play most games on. The cooler on the card is great and almost silent, and the card will even let you watch HD video in 1080P resolution. We can easily recommend this card to anyone who wants to revive his now "old" AGP system.

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Saturday, 12 May 2007 15:04
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