HIS X700 Pro IceQ Turbo VIVO edition 256MBSupplier: HighTech
£163.65 (Source: Scan
ATI Radeon X700 Pro
Default GPU Clock:
Turbo GPU Clock:
Default Memory Clock:
Turbo Memory Clock:
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, we have reviewed a fair few of HighTech’s video cards in the past and, generally, we have been very impressed with both the quality of the product and the extras that are included with the card. They are a company who does their utmost to add some additional spice to ATI’s already rather spicy video card range. This card is no different with its flamboyant cooling solution. However, that is not the only thing that makes this product stand out.
There is a technology that has been around in HighTech’s product range for a while, but we have not really touched on it until now – it is known as iTurbo technology. Basically, this bit of software allows the video card to be overclocked beyond ATI’s default clock speeds without invalidating the warranty.
The card features the highly acclaimed IceQ cooling technology that, until recently, was an exclusive to HighTech video cards. The cooling solution is based around Arctic Silencer revision 3, and features blue LEDs that illuminate the bottom portion of your case when the system is turned on. It is an aluminium cooler which works very well, due to the fact that the hot air from the GPU is exhausted through the back of the case. The fan is a variable speed fan that can be controlled via Rivatuner, and of course HighTech’s own iTurbo software.
The fan is silent, even when we adjusted the fan speed to 100% – at least, we could not hear the fan above the sound created by the rest of our test system. The one slight drawback with the cooling solution was the fact that at the default speed of 67%, the LEDs would appear to flicker, mainly due to the slow speed that the fan is spinning at. This may be an annoyance to users who leave their system on overnight – the problem can be fixed by increasing the fan speed to 100% though, while still remaining seemingly inaudible.
Interestingly here, HighTech have opted to cool the BGA memory modules with some rather flashy aluminium RAM sinks that bridge across two DRAMs each. They are held on by glue, but don’t use them as a place to grab when removing the card from your system, as they are likely to fall off. I managed to pull one off without too much effort, which revealed the same Samsung 2.0ns BGA memory modules that were found on Club3D’s Radeon X700 Pro. Even with HighTech’s “Turbo” clock speeds, the memory remains well inside the specified 1000MHz – we will establish how useful these RAM sinks are later on when we overclock this video card.
The back plate has a VGA and DVI combination, coupled with a VIVO port for the budding video editor. The only missing feature from the back plate would be dual DVI for those who can afford dual flat panels, but that is hardly a blip on this product, as most TFTs have analogue and digital connections.
As we saw with HighTech’s Excalibur X800 Pro IceQ II VIVO Edition, there is a very similar collection of software included. There are two full games included in the bundle: Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, and Dungeon Siege 1.1 – the latter is on a bonus DVD that includes a demo of Dungeon Siege 2 as well. We also find VideoStudio 7.0 SE and 3DAlbum PicturePro along with the standard inclusion of PowerDVD 5. With the card having VIVO functionality, there are the standard cables included along with a Video-In cable featuring two pairs of connectors – there is both S-Video In/Out and also Composite In/Out.
<h4>HighTech’s iTurbo Software:
This software has been developed to act as an addition to HighTech’s already very attractive video card range, allowing them to add an extra bit of spice in to a product to separate their products from the ever-competitive pack. It is very simple to operate, although I did have a slight issue in finding the CD-Key initially – for those who go looking around the box, the manual and every other thinkable place, it is on the splash screen that loads up when you insert the CD!
The interface is very easy to get on with and, when minimised, it moves itself down to the task bar, next to the clock. It monitors the GPU temperature, fan speed, and both core and memory clock speeds. When you click on the “iTurbo” button, the card automatically changes to its enhanced clock speeds – you can automatically select the software to remember your previous clock speeds on start up, which means that you can have the video card running at its enhanced clock speeds all of the time should you see the need to do so. The most important thing to note about this software is that the interface is very easy to use – we feel that it will appeal to a broad spectrum of users because of this.