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HIS Radeon X800 GTO IceQ II Turbo 256MB (PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 24th October, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Choice of a New Generation

In the ever-changing technology sector, bombarded on a daily basis with marketing hyperbole and paper specifications that boast of 'twice the speed at half the price', it can be easy to slip into the mentality that newer is better. While we do not dispute that this assertion holds true most of the time, it is important to take a step backwards from the glitz and promises. While the early adopters who crave to be the first to possess the latest toys may disagree, the first generation of any product is likely to be sold at a premium while there are probably hidden bugs that have yet to be ironed out. Many products find it hard to live up to its hype.

On the other hand, some of the more mature technologies have actually showed marked improvements since its debut. Not only are the features less buggy, the cost of production would probably have fallen and the manufacturers are likely to pass on the savings to the consumers. So which should you go for? The newer, more expensive product or the older but mature one that gives you more value for money?

That is a frequent scenario faced by consumers and which has probably crossed the minds of quite a few hardware enthusiasts in wake of the recent graphics card launch from ATI. The lure of the new X1000 series of cards is the addition of features like Shader Model 3.0 on ATI cards at last and the potential of the Avivo technology. This is counter balanced by its almost non-availability and high entry price. Meanwhile, one of the last cards released by ATI from the older generation, the Radeon X800 GTO continues to impress with its excellent performance and price ratio. In fact, we wished that the original X800 XT were as attractive as the X800 GTO when it was initially launched. Now, lest you think that we have been brainwashed by the marketing suits, let us present you with our impression of the HIS Radeon X800 GTO IceQ II Turbo and you can decide for yourself if it's worth considering. Here then are the technical specifications for the uninitiated:

It's the usual HIS retail package, with an oval window to display the card. Unlike some vendors, HIS has kept its graphics boxes relatively modest.

HIS Radeon X800 GTO IceQ II Turbo Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON X800 GTO Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Stock VPU clock = 400MHz
  • Turbo Mode = 500MHz
  • 12 parallel rendering pipelines
  • 6 parallel geometry engines
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • SMARTSHADER™ HD
    • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    • 2.0 Vertex Shaders
      • Supports vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
      • Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
    • 2.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
      • Supports up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
      • 2nd Generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
      • 32 temporary and constant registers
      • Facing register for two-sided lighting
      • 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
      • Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
    • Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® via extensions
  • SMOOTHVISION™ HD
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
      • Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      • Lossless Color Compression (up to6: 1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
      • Temporal Anti-Aliasing
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes
      • Up to 128-tap texture filtering
      • (Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • 3Dc™
    • High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
    • Works with any two-channel data format
  • HYPER Z™ HD
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 48:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
    • Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
  • VIDEOSHADER™ HD
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
    • VIDEOSOAP™ noise removal filtering for captured video
    • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
    • Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Single and dual link external TMDS transmitter support for high resolution and/or multi-monitor DVI configurations
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Default Memory clock = 980MHz (490MHz DDR)
  • Turbo Mode = 1000MHz (500MHz DDR)
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
I/O Faceplate Connectors
  • 1 x DVI-I connectors
  • 1 x mini-DIN connector
  • 1 x analog VGA output
Drivers & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / NT / 2000 / XP
  • Dungeon Siege 1.1
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 3 SE Plus
  • CyberLink Power2Go 4
  • 3D Album PicturePro
  • iTurbo Overclocking Tool
  • Flatout
Other Information
  • PCIe x16 slot required

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