HIS Radeon X1950 Pro IceQ3 512Mb AGP Video Card Review

Videocards/VGA Reviews by jmke @ 2007-03-28

HIS brings us a highly overclocked X1950 Pro based video card with custom cooling for the AGP platform. Can it turn an aging system into a full blown gaming rig? Let´s find out.

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Test Setup & Testing Method

Test Setup and Test Methodology

JMke AGP Test Setup
CPU AMD Athlon 3200+ @ 2Ghz
Cooling TTIC NPH-K8 with Arctic Cooling 92mm fan @ 7v
Mainboard MSI K8N Neo
Memory 2 * 512Mb PC3200 G.Skill
  • Coolermaster ATCS 201 Mid Tower Case
  • Asus 6600 GT
  • Coolermaster 500W Real Power
  • Maxtor 200GB Sata HDD
  • Maxtor 80GB SATA HDD
  • Creative Audigy 2 ZS Pro
  • Plextor 8x DVD Writer

  • As you can see from the specifications above, this system is nowhere near high end, with only a 2ghz Athlon 64 (single core, socket 754) and dated 6600GT AGP video card, the gaming performance leaves much to be desired when you want to play the latest games.

    We ran through a few different games using the build in benchmark where available (FEAR, Painkiller, Supreme Commander) or rely on FRAPS to do repeated manual run-throughs (Oblivion). Mixing resolutions and AA/AF settings we try to see what image quality we can set and still keep playable frame rates.

    The latest ATI Catalyst drivers were used with the HIS X1950 Pro (7.2), as well as the latest NVIDIA drivers on the 6600GT (93.71).

    Comparing performance results

    While we loved to have a NVIDIA 7800GS AGP for comparison, we couldn’t get our hands on one in time for this review; what we settled on is the previous budget king from NVIDIA, the 6600GT, which proved immensely popular thanks to a very competitive price and good performance in (then current) games.

    The Asus 6600GT we acquired comes with a loud stock cooler, which was quickly switched to a Zalman VF700 Fatality edition. Set at only 5v the VF700 kept the 6600GT’s GPU cool and was extremely quiet.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Compared to the HIS X1950 Pro the Asus 6600GT is dwarfed, a real dual slot monster:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Inside the Coolermaster ATCS 201 room is limited and longer VGA cards do run into trouble with the hard drive racks. The HIS X1950 Pro did fit, but it was a close fit:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Onto the benchmarks ->
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    Comment from jmke @ 2007/03/29
    NVIDIA's 7800GS is no match for the X1950 Pro, the 7900GS was already behind the X1950 Pro, the 7800GS stands no chance, at this point in time, the X1950 Pro of ATI is king of the AGP hill
    Comment from MENINBLK @ 2007/08/06
    In your testing, did you note the power consumption of this card ?

    I'm only asking because the product requirement states:

    "HIS X1950 series requires a 6-pin standard graphic power supply
    connection direct from your PC's internal power supply for operation.
    A 450 watt power supply or greater with 30 AMPS current on 12V rail
    is recommended to ensure normal system operation where a number
    of other internal devices are installed."

    This bothers me because most power supplies I've seen
    only have 18 Amps on each of the 12V rails.
    They do not state if they can be combined.

    I am using an Antec TruePower Trio TP3-550 550 Watt PS
    on a system with an Intel D875PBZ motherboard, 2GB Corsair TWINXMS Pro,
    3.20GHz P4 Prescott, enough fans to create a small tornado, 2 DVD writers,
    2 WD 250GB hard drives, and a Creative SB X-Fi Fatil1ty PRO audio card.

    When I crank up the graphics in game, I get display errors when the board gets hot.
    This usually only happens at 16x12 or higher. At 10x7 it is fine.
    It takes a while to get to this point but I think it is because of the power supply.
    I previously had a 450 watt Thermaltake power supply and it would happen almost immediately.
    I think that I may need to upgrade to a 1000 watt supply to be safe.
    Comment from jmke @ 2007/08/06
    The AGP test setup has a 450W Coolermaster PSU (34A@12v line peak), it has no 6-pin adapter, so I used a converter to hook the card up. Found no issues with power, had a couple of hard drives, dvdwriter, 1gb of ram and bunch of case fans hooked up.
    Comment from Robbo @ 2007/08/09
    I bought this card and I have the same Problems with it. The graphics Corrupt after a short time even before the card gets hot and i have a 580W Power Supply with a Nominal 25A + & - (38 Peak) Bars on the 12V which is higher than what he tested it on.

    I contacted HIS Tech Support and they just said Try the Driver on the CD> Of corse it Didn't work. I still have same Problems Even on the lowest settings in games and on low res.

    I'm takeing mine back to replace it I feel I have a lemon card. I hope this don't Happen on the new card because it's a good looking Card and I don't want to change it.
    Comment from MENINBLK @ 2007/08/13
    Originally Posted by jmke View Post
    The AGP test setup has a 450W Coolermaster PSU (34A@12v line peak), it has no 6-pin adapter, so I used a converter to hook the card up. Found no issues with power, had a couple of hard drives, dvdwriter, 1gb of ram and bunch of case fans hooked up.
    According to this picture :
    it is only 18A peak on +12V1 and 16A peak on +12V2.
    I've never read anyting that states you can add the rails together.

    Comment from jmke @ 2007/08/13
    I used a 6-pin adapter which converts two 4-pin plugs to one 6-pin plug, I made sure to connect each 4-pin connector to a different rail