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HIS Radeon X800GTO IceQ Graphics Card

Today we are looking at the HIS Radeon X800GTO IceQ graphics card which offers kick ass mid-range gaming performance!

Manufacturer: HIS
10 minutes & 40 seconds read time


We have had a look at a few Radeon X800GTO graphics cards over the past few months here at TweakTown and these cards really seem to make a great mid-level gaming card. While we have looked at cards from the likes of GeCube and Sapphire, we hadn't looked at the HIS offering, until today.

Not everyone can afford an X1900 or want something a bit more powerful then the X1300, the X800GTO sits in the higher end of the mid-range market making it an attractive option for a lot of people.

In true HIS styles we have the IceQ version of the X800GTO with us today but not only that, it is also clocked higher then the default clock speeds set by ATI. We will have a closer look at the cooler and the clocks of the card in just a moment before we get into the all important benchmarks.

Let's begin!

The Package

Like all the IceQ versions of the HIS graphics cards, we have a clear window on the front of the box so you can see the cooler that is included on the card. We can also see up the top right of the box that this is the iTurbo version of the card and comes with a higher core and memory speed. The right of the box shows us the main features on the card and the left shows us how the IceQ offers less noise and helps cool the card down.

Turning the box over we have our normal information, a picture of the card, extended specifications and a list of the main features that are included on the card. We can also see that the card has 12 Pipelines and a Dual DVI model is available for people who run a multi monitor setup that utilizes DVI.

There isn't a load of cables but there doesn't need to be. Included we have a Component out cable so you can output to a HDTV along with a normal S-Video cable if your TV doesn't support component. There is no VIVO on this card, so there is only a small amount of cables.

We also have a small bracket that is included in the package. This is designed to go over the extra slot the IceQ cooling takes up and help prevent so much dust going inside the case.

Moving to the CD side of things we have our driver CD, along with a HIS CD that comes with Dungeon Siege and a few extra other goodies but with that aside we have a full version copy of Flat Out also included which is a really fun game for just having a bash around in.

Finally with the last and probably the least we have the boring paperwork which consists of nothing more then a manual and a GuildWars voucher for 10 free hours.

The Card

As we mentioned, this is the IceQ version of the X800GTO from HIS which comes with the Arctic Cooling unit that offers superior cooling at lower noise levels.

As we saw on the front of the box the HIS X800GTO is guaranteed to achieve speeds of 500MHz on the core (400MHz Default) and 1GHz on the memory (980 Default). To get these clocks you do have to install some overclocking software. Fortunately this is provided in the package, so it really is an ease to get up and going. The good news is if you are using something like ATI Tool, it doesn't stop you from overclocking like a mad man with it - as you'll find out later in this review.

The Radeon X800GTO from HIS is "Multi GPU ready" which means it is compatible with Crossfire if you have the other necessary components. To get the X800GTO from HIS up and running in Crossfire you will need a compatible Crossfire motherboard like the DFI RDX200 CF-DR, along with an X800 master card which HIS also offer.

You can clearly see that there isn't a lot to look at with the front of the card thanks to the massive cooler taking up most of it. Fortunately the X800GTO doesn't require any extra power to run so there is no fidgeting around trying to plug and unplug a PCI Express power connector in with the cooler installed.

Turning the card over we can see that there is a massive back plate that does two things. First being holds the heatsink in place and prevents it from falling off and the other is cool the rear memory, with the addition of some air flow in your system you can cool the rear memory quite effectively.

While there is a Dual DVI model available the sample we received only comes with a single DVI port and a normal VGA port. We also have our S-Video like port that lets us utilize normal TV out via RCA or S-Video or HDTV out via the component cable included in the package.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark03

Test System Setup

Processor(s): AMD Athlon X2 3800+
Motherboard(s): ASUS A8R-MVP (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair PC3500LL PRO DDR (Supplied by Corsair Micro)
Hard Disk(s): WD Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.2 and DX9c

For the testing of the X800GTO we have moved across to our Crossfire system today. With the X1K series of ATI graphics cards out and available, we thought that there was no better card to compare the X800GTO against but the latest mid-range bandit from ATI, the Radeon X1600XT.

We will be running through the normal array of tests which include AA and AF tests along with CPU and VGA overclocking tests.


Version and / or Patch Used: Build 360
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By combining full DX8 and partial DX9 support with completely new tests and graphics over the previous version, 3DMark03 continues the legacy of being the industry standard 3D benchmark.
Please Note: Due to recent events with the 3DMark03 series, we are adding results purely for those who are still in favor of 3DMark03. These results should not be taken too seriously and are only added for interest sakes.

The first benchmark shows that at the lower resolution both cards score very similar, at the higher resolution though we see the HIS X800GTO come out ahead by a notable margin.

Benchmarks - 3DMark05


Version and / or Patch Used: Build 120
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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3DMark05 is the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and higher.

For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.

Moving to the newer 3DMark05 we can see that the X1600XT is a lot faster in both resolutions when compared to the X800GTO from HIS.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06


Version and / or Patch Used: Build 102
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3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.

3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.

Due to the X800GTO not being able to offer HDR and SM3.0 hardware support, it cannot complete all the tests which gives the X1600XT a much larger lead.

Benchmarks - Far Cry

Far Cry

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.3
Timedemo or Level Used: PC Games Hardware Demo
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There is no denying that Far Cry is currently one of the most graphic intensive games on the market, utilizing PS2.0 technology (the latest versions support Shader Model 3.0 with DX9c) and offering an exceptional visual experience there is no denying that even some of the faster graphics cards struggle.

Here we can see that the X1600XT is faster at the lower resolution but when we apply more pressure to the card the X800GTO comes ahead at the higher resolution.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2

Half Life 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Time demo
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By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.

We benchmark Half Life 2 with our own custom timedemos as to avoid possible driver optimizations using the "record demo_name" command and loading the timedemo with the "timedemo demo_name" command - For a full list of the commands, click here.

We have a similar picture to 3DMark03 here, the low resolution shows both cards very close to each other but the higher resolution clearly shows the X800GTO is ahead of the X1600XT by a good 20%.

Benchmarks - Doom 3

Doom 3

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Time demo
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Doom 3 is the latest game to hit our test lab and is one of the most intensive games to dates. With our own custom time demo we are able to give a realistic rating on what kind of FPS you will be achieving.

For more information on benchmarking Doom 3 we recommend you check out our extensive article regarding it here.

Performance is slightly up on the GTO at both resolutions in Doom 3.

Benchmarks - Quake 4

Quake 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
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Quake 4 is one of the latest new games to be added to our benchmark suite. It is based off the popular Doom 3 engine and as a result uses many of the features seen in Doom. However, Quake 4 graphics are more intensive than Doom 3 and should put more strain on different parts of the system.

Like Doom 3 again we see that the HIS X800GTO is faster then the X1600XT in both resolutions.

Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.


Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
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F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror...and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.

While the Min FPS was lower for the X1600XT the average overall was higher at the lower resolution. The higher resolution shows both cards perform almost equally.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

In our High Quality tests we bump the Antialiasing (AA) and Anisotropic Filtering (AF) up causing the card(s) to be put under more load.

This usually helps us remove the CPU limitation. In this article since we are using higher performance (and more expensive) systems, we have used 4 x AA and 16 x AF at a resolution of 1600 x 1200 to try and stress the graphics cards more.

Like the non AA and AF test we can see that the X1600XT is considerably faster at this high resolution AA/AF test.

Half Life 2 on the other hand shows that the HIS GTO is the power house offering performance almost 30% faster then the X1600XT.

Doom 3 evens the playing field out with both cards scoring almost exactly the same at these intensive settings.

Benchmarks - CPU Overclocking

CPU Overclocking

Even with the power of the AMD Athlon X2 and Intel Extreme Edition processors, we still find ourselves hitting a CPU limitation in a lot of our benchmarks. That is, the graphics cards have more performance to give but the processor is letting the team down.

By overclocking the processor we can see what kind of a performance increase we get. When something isn't CPU limited the performance increase isn't all that major but when we do have a CPU bottleneck, every MHz extra we can get can show us an excellent jump in performance.

The Athlon X2 3800+ was increased from 2GHz to 2.3GHz with a slight increase in the front side bus utilizing the stock X2 HSF.

The overclock gives us a small bump in performance at both resolutions but nothing that you would get too excited about.

Even though the CPU is overclocked over 10% the performance increase seen in 3DMark05 can barely be seen.

Far Cry at the lower resolution sees a nice bump in performance but at the higher resolution we don't see anything at all.

Benchmarks - Graphics Card Overclocking

Graphics Card Overclocking

Thanks to motherboard and VGA manufactures, overclocking has become such an effortless task, giving literally anyone the chance to overclock their components with very little risk.

When it comes to overclocking graphics card we use and recommend two program - for ATI cards you can't go past ATI Tool and if you're on the other side of the fence and using an nVidia card the Coolbits 2 registry hack is it. Both programs offer an Auto Overclock feature which is what we use.

The standard clock on the HIS X800GTO is 400MHz on the core and 490MHz on the memory but with the iTurbo function HIS guarantee speeds of 500MHz on the core and 500MHz on the memory. Fortunately it didn't want to stop there and we managed to achieve an astronomical 577MHz on the core and 623MHz on the memory.

With our VGA clocked massively above stock we can see the performance increase is huge.

Doom 3 also sees a very healthy performance increase moving from under 90FPS to almost 105FPS.

Far Cry sees no performance difference at the lower resolution with the graphics card overclocked.

Final Thoughts

While in our first few benchmarks the HIS Radeon X800GTO didn't look all that impressive, when we actually moved to the real world benchmarks it was clear to see that the X800GTO is more suited for that higher resolution gaming with it being equal or sometimes slower then the X1600XT at the lower resolution.

What we couldn't get over though was the huge amount of overclocking performance the card had offered us, which gave us very noticeable increases in performance when testing.

The package of the HIS X800GTO is also quite good with the very fun Flat Out being included, while it's slightly dated now it's a great game to have a bash around on with a few mates in a little LAN or just by yourself.

Overall performance of the graphics card was excellent and the X800GTO is one card that has always stood out here at the TweakTown labs. If you're in the market for a mid-range graphics card because you cannot afford those expensive X1900s, keep an eye out for the HIS X800GTO IceQ.

- Pros
Better for High Resolution gaming
Excellent overclocking performance
IceQ Fan
Good bundle

- Cons
Missing X1K features

Rating - 9 out of 10

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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.

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