Legit Video Card Reviews
HIS Radeon 9600SE ViVo Video Card
|Product:||Excalibur 9600SE VIVO Edition Platinum Pack|
|Date:||Fri, Jan 23, 2004 - 09:00 AM|
|Written By:||Justin West -|
To test Image Quality, we used the Image Quality tool built in to 3dMark2003. We ran at 1024x768 resolution with 4xAA and ran the test on the Wings of Fury and Mother Nature game tests. We also took screenshots through FRAPS of a scene in Call of Duty (2xAA/8xAF) and Halo (NoAA/NoAF). We then used Photoshop 7 but did not reduce the quality of the image at all. You can click on the thumbnails to see the full image.
Wings of Fury
The image quality of the HIS 9600 SE is at a level that should be expected from a budget graphics card. Little jagged edges can be easily noticed in all of the above screen shots. I also noticed that the fog rendering in the Halo screen shot was at a slightly diminished quality when compared to midrange graphics quality.
To overclock this video card, I used the RadClocker tweak. First I found the max of the core with the memory left at default. Then I found the max of the memory with the core at default. Once I had these two reference points, I then found the max of the video card while overclocking the core and memory. Each time I changed the clock frequency, I ran 3dMark2003 to find any obvious instability issues. Once I found the max of the video card, I ran UT2003 and Halo.
With the HIS 9600SE being a budget graphics card, I quickly realized that HIS did not intend for this card to be overclocked at all. I could not get the core to overclock even one MHz higher than its default. Every attempt resulted in the core frequency resetting itself to default (324MHz) every time I clicked the OK button. I tried two different overclocking utilities with no better results. My guess is that the core frequency is hard-locked somehow. The memory was fortunately able to be overclocked. I found the max of the memory to be 229.5MHz / 459MHz DDR (up from 182.3MHz). So we were able to attain a 94.4MHz overclock on the memory.
The benchmark result from running 3DMark2003 overclocked was 1964 (unoverclocked result was 1645), UT2003 Average FPS was 74.23 (unoverclocked result was 70.71), and Halo Average FPS was 19.04 (unoverclocked result was 18.20). This is the first HIS graphics card we have overclocked that showed any sort of performance increase in actual game play performance, and that's with no overclock on the core!
Looking at this graphics card from a budget perspective, I have been very impressed! This card is perfect for those home computers that are used for "just getting on the internet". This card also features VIVO technology which just adds to its usefulness! I have recently done a lot of work on video capturing, and I must say that for the beginners out there who want to start saving those old home videos digitally, this card can easily get the job done by utilizing the packaged software without much hassle.
To comment on the gaming aspect of this card, one must realize that if you are looking to get blown away with graphic performance, this is not the card for you. However, this card can still play most any game on the market with reduced or minimal graphic quality. This is something that older budget graphics cards could not claim.
Legit Bottom Line:
The HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600SE VIVO Edition graphics card provides everything one needs to utilize VIVO technology at a budget price-point as well as retaining the ability to run today's newer video games at reduced quality! It is because of all these qualities that we award this card the LR Editor's Choice Award!
For more information on HIS and their product lines, visit their website. Also note that due to HIS's recent movement towards the American market, very few retail shops carry this card. After talking to our contact from HIS in Hong Kong, we were given the following company information to pass along if you are interested in purchasing this or other HIS cards.
+1 (905) 940-2889
Fax: +1 (905) 474-0954
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Page 1 - Introduction:
Page 2 - The Card:
Page 3 - Performance:
Page 4 - Game Tests:
Page 5 - Image Quality: