Moving onto the card’s output capabilities, there are two gold-plated (and black) dual-link DVI ports which both support HDCP. Being dual-link connectors, they're both able to drive 30” monitors at resolutions up to 2560x1600. The video outputs are rounded off with a TV-out port. The black and gold complements the black (or boltgun) PCI bracket really well and, combined with the big-ass cooler and blue PCB, the card is fairly nice to look at.
All of these features make up what HIS calls “The ‘HD’ Concept”. While we don’t doubt the card’s looks, we do cast a shadow of doubt over the gold-plated connectors, as HIS claims they help to improve signal quality. Because the signal is a digital one, it’s either there or it’s not – there isn’t a great deal in between unlike an analogue signal, for example.
Interestingly, HIS hasn’t included a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor in the bundle, which is slightly misleading because the box actually states that the card supports HDMI – it’s not technically a lie, but because there isn’t an HDMI connector in the box, the feature is a pretty useless one to boast about. What you do get in the bundle though is a CrossFire bridge, a DVI-to-VGA connector, and cables for component out and S-video out. There’s also a driver CD, a Valve game bundle offer and a multi-lingual quick install guide.
HIS offers a three year limited warranty on all of its products that covers parts and labour. During the first year, this warranty is held with the retailer where you purchased the card and the remaining two years are handled by the manufacturer.
One thing that is definitely noteworthy is the fact that the warranty doesn’t start when you purchase the card, instead it starts from the day when the card was manufactured – that’s not ideal if the card is going to sit in a warehouse for six months. Despite that though, a good thing with HIS’s warranty terms is that you’re able to transfer this warranty should you choose to sell the card at a later date – this should sweeten the deal a little bit even if you’re put off by when the warranty term starts.
- HIS Radeon HD 2600 XT IceQ Turbo GDDR3 - operating at 830/1920MHz using Catalyst 7.7 WHQL
- Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB - operating at 675/1450/2000MHz using Forceware 162.22 WHQL
- Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 - operating at 800/2200MHz using Catalyst 7.7 WHQL
- Asus EN8600GT 256MB - operating at 540/1180/1400MHz using Forceware 162.22 WHQL
- ATI Radeon X1950 XT 256MB - operating at 621/1800MHz using Catalyst 7.7 WHQL
- ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB - operating at 580/1400MHz using Catalyst 7.7 WHQL
- Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS 256MB - operating at 450/1320MHz using Forceware 162.22 WHQL
- ATI Radeon X1650 XT 256MB - operating at 575/1350MHz using Catalyst 7.7 WHQL
- Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT 256MB - operating at 560/1400MHz using Forceware 162.22 WHQL
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (operating at 1.86GHz - 7x266); Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 (Intel P965 Express); 2 x 1GB OCZ FlexXLC PC2-6400C4 (operating in dual channel at DDR2-800 with 4-4-4-12 timings); Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 200GB SATA hard drive; OCZ GameXtreme 700W PSU; Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit; Intel Chipset Software version 220.127.116.113 WHQL.
We used the following versions of the games listed to evaluate the performance of these video cards:
- Company of Heroes, version 1.7.0
- Supreme Commander, build 3223
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, version 1.2
- F.E.A.R., version 1.08
- Call Of Duty 2, version 1.2
- Prey, version 1.3