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HIS Radeon X800 GT 256MB Turbo (PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 12th September, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

Arctic Cooling Again

The unique VGA Silencer cooler from specialist firm Arctic Cooling seems to be the 'standard' feature for high-end HIS graphics cards these days. A favorite among enthusiasts for its efficient heat removal and quiet operation, this cooler has been increasingly spotted on graphics cards from quite a few vendors. Usually, these cards are overclocked in the factory and hence would benefit the most from this excellent cooler. However, users would have to sacrifice the expansion slot next to their PCI Express slot to accommodate the cooler, which is a reasonable compromise considering the cooler completely exhausts all heat out of the system.

It can be difficult to distinguish which card is hiding behind that large cooler.

No doubts here which company made this, the HIS logo is emblazoned on the cooler retention bracket / rear heatsink.

Similarly, the HIS Radeon X800 GT Turbo is another overclocked graphics card, though this time, it is based on the new Radeon X800 GT from ATI. Ostensibly a new product, the Radeon X800 GT actually recycles graphics cores from some of ATI's older X800 series that did not live up to the required performance standards. For the case of the HIS Radeon X800 GT Turbo, the core used is the R423, which is also found in the low profile Radeon X800 SE that has similar operating specs to the Radeon X800 GT. There are also two versions of the Radeon X800 GT available, either 128MB or 256MB of memory. The HIS Radeon X800 GT Turbo comes with 256MB of DDR3 memory to enable its overclocking. For more information on the Radeon X800 GT, like the variety of cores used, please refer to our previous article on the PowerColor Radeon X800 GT .

We're sure most of you would be familiar with HIS and their extensive use of coolers from Arctic Cooling.

In case you're feeling curious, that warning should serve its purpose.

As the HIS Radeon X800 GT is a Turbo edition, it has a Turbo Mode that can be enabled through the iTurbo overclocking tool included. The reference clock speeds for the Radeon X800 GT are 475MHz for the core and 980MHz DDR for the memory; when Turbo Mode is activated, these would be increased to 500MHz and 1000MHz respectively. The magnitude of the overclock is not very large and given the very good cooler on this card, users should be able to achieve higher speeds. But before you go on some extreme overclocking stunts, do remember that the warranty offered by HIS for the iTurbo overclocking would not apply for any further increases in clock speed beyond the Turbo Mode speeds. Nevertheless, the slight increase in clock speeds should put it at an advantage compared to other normal Radeon X800 GT cards in the market, along with its quiet and cool operation.

The size of the cooler means that you need to give up one expansion slot.

HIS has included a number of applications and games in its package but we were just a bit disappointed to find that the suite of programs is identical to that in other HIS cards that we have reviewed some time back. Some of them, like Dungeon Siege, are getting long in the tooth and we hope that newer programs would be included in the future. Luckily, the cables and accessories never go stale and HIS has covered all the bases here with a comprehensive selection. The following are the contents of our bundle:

  • DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • S-Video extension cable
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Composite dongle
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component dongle
  • User Manual
  • Driver CD
  • 3D Album PicturePro
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 3 SE Plus
  • CyberLink Power2Go 4
  • iTurbo Overclocking Tool
  • Dungeon Siege 1.1
  • Flatout (full game)
  • Game Demo CD
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