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First of all, thanks a lot to HIS for giving us the opportunity to review this video card.

About HIS

HIS is a graphics card company that primarily builds ATI-based products. They are a Christian company as well. This is part of their company statement: HIS was established in 1987 with the mission to produce the highest quality graphic cards in the industry. Besides strong devotion to excellent products and services, HIS has been conducting business with the aim to "Glorifying God". Honesty and integrity are the two key principals of how HIS are conducted. Ethical business practice has been an everyday commitment to our clients, vendors, and investors. Most of us pick a video card based purely on chipset and price. It\'s good to see HIS is more than a typical ATI card manufacturer - they have a mission that CCGR can agree with. Even so, this review is based on the quality of the product reviewed; no unnecessary bias has gone into the review process.

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 256MB PCIe

The HIS X1650XT IceQ is HIS & ATI\'s answer to the mid-range market. With a price tag of $150 or less you can get a lot of card for your money. The video card also claims a noise level of less than or equal to 20 decibels, which is fairly quiet.

Key ATI/HIS X1650XT Specifications

· 630MHz GPU core clock (varies by brand) · 1.46GHz memory clock (varies by brand) · 24 Pixel Shader Processors · 8 Vertex Shader Processors · 256MB of 128-bit wide GDDR3 RAM · Pixel Shader Model 3.0 support · HDTV/TV out · Dual-DVI support (needed to support super-high resolution displays) Of particular note is the Dual-DVI, which allows you to use those nice 30" displays, and the very high GPU and Mem clock. Keep in mind that the 128-bit bus limits the memory.

Key NVIDIA 6800GS Specifications

· 485MHz GPU core clock (factory overclocked by XFX) · 1100MHz memory clock (factory overclocked by XFX) · 12 Pixel Shader Processors · 5 Vertex Shader Processors · 256 with 256-bit wide GDDR3 RAM · Pixel Shader Model 3.0 support · DVI and VGA connections

Benchmark System Specifications

For our PCI-Express reviews, we have a fairly high-end system available, so direct comparisons to the AGP reviews of similar video cards are not fair. Nevertheless, it should make fairly clear where the GPU limitations are, since we are not CPU bound here. · AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU (2.2GHz) · ASUS K8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard, using the NVIDIA NForce 4 SLI Chipset · 2GB of DDR400 RAM, Dual-Channel, CAS 2.5, 1T command rate · 160GB Seagate 7200RPM Hard Drive with 8MB Cache · onboard Realtek 7.1 sound · Onboard ethernet · Windows XP Pro Windows XP was installed with Service Pack 2 slipstreamed in. No other Microsoft updates were installed. There was no anti-virus software or anything of that nature installed. The driver versions were as follows: · NVIDIA NForce 4 AMD Edition drivers, ver. 6.70 · For the ATI cards: Catalyst 6.10 For the NVIDIA 6800GS: ForceWare 84.43 Games Benchmarked and Setup · 3DMark06 · AquaMark 3 · Far Cry 1.33 · Half-Life 2 (current Steam version) · Quake 4 1.0 · Unreal Tournament 2004 ver. 3369 All games and benchmarks were run at the resolution of 1280x1024, except for Aquamark3 which is set to 1024x768 and cannot be changed. Far Cry, Half-Life 2, and Quake 4 were benchmarked using the HardwareOC BenchTools. UT2004 was benchmarked using UMark. Far Cry used the PC Games Hardware Demo, Half-Life 2 was benchmarked with the Anti-Citizen map, Quake 4 used the Guru3D demo, and UT2004 was tested with ONS-FrostBite.

Benchmark Results

3DMark06

The HIS X1650XT took a dramatic lead here; the pixel shaders gave it an edge.

AquaMark 3

Both cards did very well but the 6800GS takes the lead.

Far Cry

The difference here is only a couple FPS but again the Nvidia takes the lead.

Half-Life 2

The source engine loves ATI and here’s more proof!

Quake 4

A difference of about 5FPS, hats off to Nvidia.

Unreal Tournament 2004

A difference of a couple FPS here, again the 6800GS dominates.

Conclusion

By looking at the GPU clock and memory timings I thought I was going to upgrade my video card and switch to ATI. As it turns out the cards are pretty similar but I think the 128-bit memory bus hampers the performance of the X1650XT card. It does have more pixel and vertex shaders, which some programs will utilize, but all in all the bottle neck is in the memory. This card has some great things going for it. The fan on this card is nice and probably allows for some good over clocking opportunities. As always your mileage may vary on the results. The fan is so big that it will take up 2 slots, so make room in your case! This card does support crossfire so you can combine video cards (If you have 3-4 slots free). The oddity worth mentioning is that you can only boot off of one of the DVI ports, the other is activated through the driver. Overall this is a great card for the money. If I were stuck at stock speeds (425/1000) the HIS X1650XT Turbo would definitely be a faster card. This card is a great addition to the mid-range consumer market and I highly recommend it for price conscious gamers.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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