Hardware

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 HD2600Pro IceQ Turbo 512MB PCIe The HIS HD2600Pro IceQ is HIS & ATI's answer to the low to 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 HD2600Pro Specifications

· 650MHz GPU core clock (varies by brand)

· 1.05GHz memory clock (varies by brand)

· 120 stream processing units

· 128-bit HDR lighting

· 512MB of 128-bit wide GDDR2 RAM

· DirectX 10 support

· HDTV/TV out, built in HDMI with a bundled in DVI-HDI adapter

· 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 GDDR 2 with a128-bit bus limits the memory.

The Comparison

Since the ATI 2600Pros sell for close to $100 I figured I’d compare it to some cards we’ve reviewed in that past that sell for $100 or less on newegg.com.

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)

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

Key NVIDIA 6600 Specifications

· 300MHz GPU core clock

· 500MHz DDR RAM

· 8 pixel rendering pipelines)

· 3 Vertex Shader Processors

· 128MB or 256MB of 128-bit wide DDR RAM

· Pixel Shader Model 3.0 support

· NVIDIA PureVideo video playback technology

Benchmark System Specifications

For our PCI-Express reviews, we have a fairly high-end system available. 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 · 120GB Seagate 7200RPM Hard Drive with 8MB Cache · SB Audigy 4 · Onboard Nvidia 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 with exception to the 2600Pro requiring 7.6 For the NVIDIA 6600/6800GS: ForceWare 84.43

Games Benchmarked and Setup

· Far Cry 1.33 · Half-Life 2 (current Steam version) · Quake 4 1.1 · Unreal Tournament 2004 ver. 3369 In the past we ran 3Dmark and Aquamark benchmarks but we were not able to get them to run with the new card/drivers.

Benchmark Results

As you can see the HD2600Pro suffers from the lower speed memory and bus here. Regardless it is still playable with a little over 50FPS.
ATI is favored card by the Half-Life 2 engine and the HD2600Pro has a respectable frame rate here.
The Quake 4 engine wallops the ATI’s. Nvidia is clearly preferred for this game. At almost 60FPS, the HD2600Pro is playable.
In this game the HD2600Pro barely beats the Nvidia 6600, which has been the last placeholder all along.

Conclusion

The HD2600Pro offers decent gaming performance but it’s more geared for a multimedia audience with the HDMI/1080p/Blue-Ray support etc. This card is Vista ready with DirectX 10 support. The other cards we compared it against do not support DirectX 10. If you’re just looking for a good gaming card for $100 or less, there are better options based on what games you plan on playing. Steam currently is offering Half-Life 2 Deathmatch and Lost Coast (technology demo) free to ATI Radeon owners.

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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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