Legit Video Card Reviews
HIS Radeon 9800Pro IceQ Video Card
|Product:||Excalibur 9800 Pro IceQ Version Platinum Pack|
|Date:||Fri, Jan 16, 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
I noticed a significant improvement in image quality with the HIS 9800 Pro over the HIS 9600XT Turbo from our last HIS review, especially in Call of Duty where the rail of the boat is almost completely smooth now. 3DMark2003 and Halo also show the superior image quality of this card.
To overclock this video card, I used the Rage3D 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 have 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.
Using the strategy described above, I first found the max of the core to be 438.75MHz (up from 380MHz). After resetting the core frequency, I then found the max of the memory to be 371.25MHz / 742.5MHz DDR (up from 337.5MHz). When I overclocked the core and the memory, the max of our HIS 9800 Pro was 432MHz (+58MHz from default) on the core and 364.5MHz (+54MHz from default) / 729MHz DDR on the memory.
The benchmark result from running 3DMark2003 overclocked was 6198 (unoverclocked result was 5623), UT2003 Average FPS was 75.95 (unoverclocked result was 75.93), and Halo Average FPS was 32.25 (unoverclocked result was 35.3). As usual, the synthetic test shows the potential performance increase by overclocking the video card, but the actual game scores show no gain in performance by overclocking the HIS 9800 Pro IceQ.
The HIS 9800 Pro IceQ 128mb version shows the power behind the R350 VPU. This card was able to play graphic intensive titles like Halo and Call of Duty very smoothly. If you are one who wants to have a card that is able to play any of today's games with minimal hitches and don't need to have the best card on the market, then this card is an option for you. If you are the hardest-core gamer out there and money is not an issue, then there are a couple of other choices on the market for you to consider.
The last comment I would like to point out on the HIS 9800 Pro is the IceQ cooling system. I would have to say that HIS did a great job of choosing a nice and quiet solution without sacrificing the enthusiast's need for a well cooled graphics card. However, I am still surprised that HIS didn't have the air duct extend out so it was flush with the back plate of the card to ensure all the hot air was efficiently ejected out of the case.
Legit Bottom Line:
The HIS Excalibur 9800 Pro IceQ 128mb version performs as expected for an enthusiast level graphics card and will play today's games at high quality settings without sacrificing playability.
Since HIS is just now expanding into the North American market, there are only a handful of places that carry this card. I talked to our HIS contact in Hong Kong about where Americans can purchase this card and he informed me that the following Canadian distributer carries HIS products:
+1 (905) 940-2889
Fax: +1 (905) 474-0954
For more information on HIS and their product lines, visit their website.
Questions or Comments? View this thread in our forums!
Page 1 - Introduction:
Page 2 - The Card:
Page 3 - Performance:
Page 4 - Game Tests:
Page 5 - Image Quality: