HIS Radeon 9800Pro IceQ 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

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.

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
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.

Conclusion:

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:

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

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

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