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HIS Radeon X850XT IceQ II iTurbo VIVO (AGP)

Manufacturer: Hightech Information System
Supplied by:
Hightech Information System
Estimated Street Price: $475.00

by Dean Barker  (5/30/2005)


Most of us run average horsepower systems to keep from going broke on upgrades.  Given the choice with a major upgrade between a processor, mainboard or VGA card, especially for gaming, the obvious choice is for the card.  Modern video games are more heavily dependent on the graphics card than anything else in the system as we all well know.  Money spent here will give you the most for your upgrade dollar.  My gaming rig is built around an overclocked P4 chip on a Socket 478 mainboard.  Iím not quite ready to dump this system for a PCI-Express based system as this system most certainly gets the job done and done well.  So what's an AGP guy supposed to do?

Iím not alone here.  Many of us have some high performance systems sporting AGP only mainboards.  To this end, we continue to see high performance AGP cards coming out.  Sure, AGP is dying but itís not dead yet.  ATi sees this and has released an AGP version of their highly respectable Radeon X850XT.  The standard X850XT VPU, the R480, is designed for PCI-Express platforms.  ATi has done some engineering at the core level to produce the R481 core to make this version native AGP.  This differs from NVidiaís method of converting PCI-E products to AGP by way of a bridge chip.  Iím not sure that one method is better than the other but they both address the need well.

Today, we are fortunate enough to have one of HISís interpretations of this fantastically fast AGP Radeon X850XT here in the Penthouse Labs.  HIS has made quite a name for themselves not only by putting out some very high quality cards but also with their IceQ II Cooling System.  More on that shortly.  Letís take a look at their latest card and what it brings to the table.


  • Powered by ATi X850XT VPU (R481)

  • AGP 8x/4x Interface

  • 16 Pixel Pipeline VPU Architecture

  • Vertex Engines: Six

  • Fill Rate: 8640MTexels/sec

  • Memory Type/Size: 256mb GDDR3

  • Engine Clock: 540MHz

  • Memory Clock: 1180MHz

  • Memory Interface: 256 bit

  • Memory Bandwidth: 37.8GB/sec

  • Max Resolution: 2048x1536

  • Cooling: IceQ II Technology

  • VGA: Yes

  • TV-out: Yes

  • HDTV (YPrPb component output): Yes

  • Video-in/Video-out (VIVO): Yes

  • Output: VGA, DVI, S-Video


Pg 1 - Introduction
Pg 2 - The Bundle and the Card
Pg 3 - The Card and what's inside
Pg 4 - HIS OC Tool and Benchmarking Setup
Pg 5 - Far Cry / Half Life 2 (Speed settings)
Pg 6 - Doom3 (Speed settings) and Image Quality
Pg 7 - Half Life 2 / Doom 3 (Quality settings)
Pg 8 - 4xFSAA/8xAF vs. 6xFSAA/16xAF performance
Pg 9 - Overclocking and Conclusion


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