HIS Radeon 9600SE ViVo Video Card

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Image Quality:

Testing Procedure:

To test
Image Quality, we used the Image Quality tool built in to 3dMark2003.
We ran at 1024×768 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
 
Mother Nature
 
Stalingrad Intro
 
Halo Timedemo

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.

Overclocking:

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.


Max Overclock

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!

Conclusion:

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.

Daiwa
Distribution Inc.
Ontario, Canada
+1 (905) 940-2889
Fax: +1 (905) 474-0954
mailto: daiwa@daiwa.net

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