HIS Radeon 9600XT 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 XT is pretty impressive. Call of Duty is the only
game that I saw noticeable jagged edges. The 3dMark IQ tests and Halo
seemed to show that this card puts out some nice quality.

Overclocking:

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.


Max Overclock

Using
the strategy described above, I first found the max of the core to be
567MHz (up from 500MHz). After resetting the core frequency, I then found
the max of the memory to be 348MHz / 696MHz DDR (up from 325MHz). Finally,
when I overclocked the core and the memory, the max of our sample card
was 567MHz on the core and 337.5MHz
/ 675MHz DDR on the memory. So we ended up with a 67MHz increase on the
core and only a 25MHz increase on the memory. I was surprised that I had
to drop the memory so much when obtaining the max of the card since the
memory used is rated at 700MHz DDR.

The benchmark
result from running 3DMark2003 overclocked was 4230 (unoverclocked result
was 3921), UT2003 Average FPS was 75.70 (unoverclocked result was 75.62),
and Halo Average FPS was 28.40 (unoverclocked result was 28.03). So the
synthetic test shows the potential performance gain from overclocking
this card, but the game tests I ran showed no performance increase.

Conclusion:

This
is the first 9600XT video card we have tested. I must say that I was very
pleased with its performance. I would definitely advise this card to the
mainstream gamer who wants the most performance in their price-point.
I would have trouble recommending a card any slower than this one due
to the wear we started noticing on this card on games like Call of Duty
and Halo.

For the
‘light’ gamers out there, or anyone else in the market for a video card
upgrade, this card has all the power you need in todays market. I would
definitely go for this 9600 XT card if I were looking to upgrade for almost
any reason.

I would
like to give HIS some kudos for creating a graphics card using the 9600
XT graphics core because it really does hit a big market since not everyone
can afford a $300-$400 video card. This card performs just as it said
it would and with our “out of the box” testing strategy, we
found no issues and were very impressed. I would recommend this card to almost anyone in the market
for a mainstream video card!

Legit Bottom Line:

The HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600XT Turbo graphics
card provides sufficient performance for gamers and provides maximum performance
for non-gamers.

For more
information on HIS and their product lines, visit their website.

Update: I have received a few emails from our readers asking where they can actually
purchase this product. I went to our contact at HIS in Hong Kong, and
here was his reply:

Dear
Justin,

Please
kindly have them to contact following in the mean time. They can send
their request by e-mail and the sales will follow up with the end user
accordingly.

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

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