Today, we bring you HD 2600XT IceQ Turbo. That means that HIS is with us once again, and that we probably won't be disappointed by this card's capabilities. At least that was the case with all the cards from HIS that we've tested which bear Turbo insignia and the excellent IceQ cooler.
As they've done many times before, HIS Turbo models come with factory pre-overclocked BIOS. Before we start talking about IceQ Turbo let us remind you of the reference speeds that ATI has set for HD 2600 XT cards. The normal speed of Radeon HD 2600XT cards is 800MHz core and 700MHz for GDDR3 memory. GDDR4 cards have 1100MHz memory speed.
The card we received uses GDDR3 memory. Since the reference speeds are low, HIS opted for much higher clock than reference 700MHz, so they clocked the memory to 960MHz. The name “Turbo” suddenly starts making sense. As for the graphics processor, we were expecting a bit more than 830MHz.
The IceQ cooler has proven its good reputation on previous cards, by making good core and memory overclocking possible. After a couple of initial tests, we tested Turbo HD 2600XT capabilities and we weren’t disappointed. We increased the core speed by more than 100MHz, and the memory ran at GDDR4 speeds.
The downside to IceQ is that it takes up two slots on the motherboard, and an overall flaw of HD 2600 generation is that it’s using 128bit memory interface.
The rest is quite standard for ATI's HD DirectX 10 generation: HDTV, HDCP, UVD, integrated audio controller, Vista ready, Crossfire ready.
One of the things that HIS used to improve their card is gold plated connectors that should improve signal quality. Normal connectors are not bad either, but if you want the best, Hi-Fi Concept, as HIS likes to call it, this could come in handy.
For now we did a couple of tests, so let’s check out the results. For testing we used the following:
Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI (Supplied by EVGA)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 6800 Extreme edition (Supplied by Intel)
Memory: OCZ FlexXLC PC2 9200 5-5-5-18 (Supplied by OCZ)
CL5-5-5-15-CR2T 1066MHz at 2.2V (during the tests)
Graphics: Zotac Geforce 8500GT AMP, 8600GT Zone Edition and HIS HD 2600 XT Turbo IceQ
PSU: Tagan ITZ Series 1300W
Hard disk: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB SATA (Supplied by Seagate)
CPU-Cooler: Freezer 7 Pro (Supplied by Artic Cooling)
Case Fans: Artic Cooling - Artic Fan 12 PWM
At a first glance, HIS HD 2600XT IceQ Turbo looks like superior compared to Zotac's Geforce 8600GT Zone Edition.
ATI really handles the tests better, until you turn antialiasing on. However, HIS still has enough juice to fight Geforce 8600GT and it wins in most cases.
Check out the results from F.E.A.R. and you’ll see what kind of results we’re talking about. The rest is soon to follow.