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HIS X850XT and X800XL Graphics Cards - iTURBO is back again

By: Cameron Wilmot | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Apr 12, 2005 4:00 am

The Package


Both versions of these graphics cards contain the same identical package. Once you've broken into the box, you'll find a detailed manual along with a bunch of CD's which include the full version of Flat Out, driver CD, ATI bonus DVD which includes a bunch of games and software such as Power Director SE Plus along with the HIS iTURBO overclocking software which we will take a closer look at shortly.



As far as cables go, everything is included to help get you started. First up you have a DVI to VGA adapter, S-Video to RCA adapter, HDTV cable which is simply a component cable, S-Video cable and RCA cable for outputting the display from your graphics card to other devices other than a computer monitor.



The package is basic yet very solid and contains everything you'll need when you buy the graphics card.


The Cards



As you can see from the picture above, both cards are pretty much identical. Both use a slightly modified Arctic Cooling fan which is UV reactive which is sure to please some case modders. The only real difference between both cards is that the X850XT requires more power than the PCI Express bus can provide (more than 75 watts) and the X800XL doesn't and as such doesn't have a power connector on the PCB. This is essentially the only differences (visually) between both cards.


The only real gripe we have with the design is the placement of the power connector on the HIS X850XT. The power connector is positioned under the fan and for people with large fingers it can be tough to unplug the power adapter, as you can see in the picture below. Due to the use of the large cooler though, it can't really be helped as HIS receive the plain PCB board and then add on the cooler and some other fancy bits and pieces. This is just something you'll have to live with if you decide to buy this card but it shouldn't be much of a hassle if you don't switch around your graphics cards weekly.



Under the hood (or under the fan, in this case), there are some differences between both cards. Both share the same amount of pixel pipelines and the same amount of onboard memory (256MB GDDR3 on a 256-bit bus) however the X850XT has higher clock speeds. The HIS X850XT has a default core clock speed of 520MHz while the HIS X800XL is slower at 400MHz and on the memory side the HIS X850XT has a default memory clock speed of 1080MHz and the HIS X800XL has a slower memory clock of 980MHz. Essentially these are the only differences between each card and the reason why you'll pay up to 40% more for the Radeon 850XT.



One of the strong points of the IceQ II series of graphics cards from HIS is the cooling. As we mentioned above, these cards use a modified version of a popular cooler from a company called Arctic Cooling. The cooler not only looks good but works well. The cooler is designed to provide cooling around 10 degrees Celsius lower than the ATI reference and not exceed 20db and we can vouch for it - it's quiet even when under load (which is when the fan spins up quicker) and provides good cooling. And it has to provide good cooling since HIS include iTURBO which overclocks core and memory clock speeds past default and you don't loose your warranty while doing it.



The IO ports on both cards are standard - you get your usual VGA output, S-Video output and DVI output. These versions are not VIVO which means you won't be able to use them for video editing but HIS do offer versions with VIVO if you require such functions.


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