Graphics cards for the AGP port are rare today, so when HIS showed us that they didn't forget about the AGP market, we were pleasantly surprised. Today we have the HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo AGP edition in our test bed. Since the card is Vista certified, we wanted to see how this card would behave under Windows Vista.
The card features the IceQ Turbo edition cooler that coveres the RV560 GPU manufactured at an 80nm process. The combination with the IceQ cooling gives the card higher clocks than reference cards.
HIS decided to go with 600 MHz for the core, which is 25 MHz higher than the 575 MHz reference speed for the X1650 XT. We noticed that HIS also offers cards that work at 630 MHz, but the test sample was clocked at 600 MHz. The card we tested had 256MB of 128-bit GDDR3 memory clocked at 1.46 GHz. ATI's reference clock for this cards memory is 1.38 GHz which is 80 MHz slower than HIS' card.
The card comes with all the features that can be expected from any other ATI DirectX 9 card. Some of the important features are 2x Dual-Link DVI ports with HDCP support, HDTV out, AVIVO for video, Crossfire support, RoHS compliant. All these are most commonly seen on the X1650XT PCIe version.
The only big difference between the PCIe and AGP card is that this one has a bridge chip, known as RIALTO. This chip is placed on the back of the card. The Rialto bridge chip is used to translate PCIe instructions to AGP. Without that a PCIe GPU would never work in an AGP slot.
The excellent IceQ cooling is a great feature as the card is almost silent, as the cooler operates at under 20dB and as HIS claims, it makes the card up to 11 C cooler than ATI's reference cooler. The IceQ cooling takes the air from inside the cooler and effectively cools the GPU by pushing the air outside of the case. The cooler is UV sensitive, so it will glow blue when illuminated by UV light. The IceQ isn't perfect since it takes up two slots on your motherboard. The card also needs additional power from a 4-pin floppy connector.
At idle the temperature measured in the Catalyst control center is about 50 degrees Celsius, and when under load this climbs up to 70 degrees Celsius.
The box is covered with all the information you need to know about the card and its features. HIS packed the card with its Platinum Pack of software which includes a full version of Dungeon Siege. CyberLink Software is standard and comes with PowerDirector 5 SE Plus, Power2Go 5 and Media@Show 3. A CD with drivers for the card, manual and GameShadow is also in the box.
As for the cables, you get an S-Video cable, Mini-Din to RCA adapter, HDTV out cable and DVI to VGA dongle.