HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire

HIS has strapped its good looking IceQ4 cooler to the Radeon HD 4850 and we find out what it does for performance today.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Sun, Dec 21 2008 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: HIS Digital

Introduction


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire



It's been a while since we've seen anything from HIS and now was really as good a time as any to see what the company has been up to with the HD 4800 series from ATI becoming such a popular line-up.

Today we're looking at not one, but two HIS HD 4850 cards; but in true HIS style they carry the impressive IceQ cooling solution. So what we'll do first is have a look at what's going on with the cards and see how the IceQ4 cooler looks.

From there we will test the cards individually and also in Crossfire form. What's also exciting about this round of testing is it's the first time we will be able to try Crossfire out on our new X58 testbed. Fingers crossed we don't run into any troubles!

The Package




HIS haven't really done much with the packaging since we last saw a card from them. We've got a black and blue theme going on which looks pretty good. Across the bottom of the box we have the model mentioned and in the middle of the box we have the IceQ4 logo.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


At the top of the box we have the HIS logo and to the right we have a TurboX sticker that mentions the clock speeds on the card. Down the right hand side of the box we have some of the main features the card offers including HDMI and 512MB of GDDR3 memory.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Turning the box over, we have a picture of the card and alongside the picture we have little bubbles that give us an idea on what exactly that part of the card is doing. Down the left side of the box we have some more information on features, specifications and system requirements.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Diving inside the package, we see the standard driver CD and installation booklet and we also have a sticker with the HIS logo on it included.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


In the cable department we have a dual molex to 6-pin PCI Express power convertor. We also have a S-Video to RCA convertor. Aside from that we have a DVI to VGA and DVI to HDMI connector. As far as extras go, HIS have included a screw driver which comes with a few attachments and includes a leveler and a LED built in. Very nifty!

The Card




Pulling the card out of the box, there isn't anything that we didn't already see on the back of the box, which gave us a pretty good run down of the card and its cooler that manages to take up most of the PCB.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We can see across the front of the cooler we have the IceQ4 logo along with the HIS one. Across the top of the card we can see part of the heatsink along with two heat pipes which help pull the heat away from the core.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire



Having a look around the card, there isn't anything we haven't seen on a HD 4850 before. The back of the card has a single 6-pin PCI Express connector. Looking across the top of the card we see two Crossfire connectors which we will fortunately be making use of today.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


With the aftermarket cooler, the card is of course a dual slot solution. At the top we see some vents to help get the hot air out while across the bottom we see two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port.


Specifications

Being part of the IceQ4 series, HIS has taken the time to overclock both the core and memory of the card to give us a bit more performance.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


As you can see above, the core comes in at 685MHz which is way up from the stock clock of 625MHz. The memory has also had a healthy increase from 1986MHz DDR to 2200MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: Catalyst 8.12


As we already mentioned, we will be looking at the HIS HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX in both single and Crossfire form today. We will also compare the cards against a stock clocked HD 4850 from Sapphire to see how the extra MHz on the core and memory go for performance.


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Straight away we can see a good gain over a stock clocked HD 4850. As always, Vantage makes excellent use of Crossfire and it gives us some impressive gains.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We again see some impressive performance increases with the HIS IceQ4 offering over the stock model. Going to Crossfire manages to give some decent gains as well.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Crossfire gives us a slight boost in CINEBENCH, but on a whole we see the scores of all three setups very close to each other.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We continue to see good improvements with the HIS HD 4850 when compared to the stock clocked model. Turning over to Crossfire also yields some pretty impressive gains.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We see small gains with the overclocked HIS offering, while the Crossfire configuration offers some reasonable increases, too.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We continue to see quite good gains with the HIS offering over the stock Sapphire one. Moving to Crossfire under Far Cry 2 also yields some excellent performance increases with 2560 x 1600 becoming playable.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Under Crossfire 1920 x 1200 yielded weird results on a continuous basis. This shows us that multi card setups are still not perfect, but the results we've seen so far show it's still mighty impressive. As for performance, we continue to see the overclocked HIS card give a good boost in performance, while moving to Crossfire, for the most part, yields some big performance gains.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS continue to give us some decent gains from a single card setup, while running in Crossfire also manages to show some impressive increases.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Not much difference between the Sapphire and HIS configuration here. And while the minimum went a bit weird on us under Crossfire, the average is still way up.


World In Conflict

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


We see a good performance gain once again from the HIS offering, but like we've seen all along, Crossfire is showing some serious gains.


Left 4 Dead

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


The HIS card sees about a 10% performance gain over the Sapphire one, but Crossfire performance is way up once again.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Moving to XP, we continue to see the increased performance from the HIS offering. Moving to Crossfire also manages to yield some good gains with the only anomaly being the minimum score at 1680 x 1050 sits a little lower.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


While Far Cry 2 sees some good gains with the HIS HD 4850 compared to the stock clocked model, it's disappointing that we don't see any gains when running in Crossfire this time around.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Like we've seen for the most part, the HIS offers good performance over the stock clocked offering. As for Crossfire, we see excellent gains across the board.

Temperature & Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


Temps are a little down compared to the Sapphire, which also uses an aftermarket cooler. The second card does get a bit warmer, which isn't really a surprise.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


The IceQ4 cooler manages to bring noise levels down slightly, giving us good temps at an excellent volume level.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB In Crossfire


The HIS offering manages to draw less power compared to the Sapphire one, while Crossfire does suck up a fair bit more which isn't really a surprise.

Final Thoughts




As we mentioned earlier, it's been a while since we've seen anything from HIS. However, the company really hasn't lost its touch; it manages to produce a fast card that's cooled well whilst keeping to a reasonable noise level. Throw in the fact that the bundle isn't all that bad and you have a great HD 4850 on your hands.

There isn't a whole lot to complain about when it comes to the card; yes, you could say it's a pain that it's a dual-slot card, but with the temperatures single slot cooling solutions put out, the temperature on offer from this design is welcomed.

You can't fault the look of the card either and the black and blue design on the card looks great along with the beefy cooler that's always been pretty mean looking.

It's good to see that HIS have added their magic touch to the HD 4850. This is a great card and if you're looking for a very fast HD 4850 which comes with a great cooling solution, the HIS HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX is highly recommended. Now the only thing to decide is whether or not to buy one or two.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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