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HIS X1950Pro IceQ 3 Turbo review

by Josh Blodwell on 28 March 2007, 08:58

Tags: HIS X1950PRO Iceq 3 Turbo, HiS Graphics

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qah7p

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Card appearance and thoughts

As we've come to expect, HIS has done away with the reference cooler and added its third-generation IceQ 3 heatpipe cooler instead. The IceQ coolers are usually very quiet, and this third version of the HSF is no different. It remained quiet and offered good cooling through all of our tests.

The HSF doesn't cool the memory or the power regulators. Instead, a couple of chunky passive heatsinks are attached to stop those components overheating. This should keep the card's 256MiB of graphics memory cool. Additionally, the heatsink for the power regulators is directly under the fan shroud and is cooled by the rear of the fan.

The HIS IceQ 3 is yet another heatsink which expands the X1950 Pro into a double-slot card. If you're thinking of buying one of these cards to fit into a small form-factor PC, such as a Shuttle, then you may need to buy a card that uses the reference single-slot heatsink.

If space isn't a consideration, or your SFF has a spare slot in the correct position, then you can make the most of the extra cooling the HIS provides. Unlike many of the other designs, the IceQ 3 exhausts the hot air directly out of the case, meaning no recirculation within the chassis.

HIS ships its IceQ 3 X1950 Pro with overclocked core and memory speeds. Our sample was flashed with a BIOS that raised the default 574/1386 speeds to 635/1485 - a worthwhile increase, although retail models will ship at a slightly lower 620/1480, it seems.

The IceQ 3 cooler returned temperatures of 37°C when the system was idling, and 55°C under load.

Here's how that compares with a bunch of other similar cards we've tested recently:

Graphics cards HIS X1950Pro IceQ 3 (635/1485) Sapphire X1950 PRO 256MB (580/1400) Sapphire X1950 PRO ULTIMATE 256MB (580/1593) GeCube FZ Cool X1950 Pro (574/1593) ASUS EAX1950PRO (580.5/1404) XFX Geforce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 Extreme Edition (480/1400)
Ambient temperature 20.5C°C 21.5°C 19°C 20.5°C 19.5°C 23°C
Idling temperature 37°C 43°C 35°C 36°C 39°C 50°C
Load temperature 55°C 68°C 50.5°C 53°C 59°C 71°C

The HIS X1950Pro IceQ 3 does come with the VIVO ASIC. This is contrary to what we've come to expect from other samples of the X1950 Pro. This means that the central DIN socket will provide both TV-Out and capture. The twin (dual-link) DVI ports are both HDCP enabled, which is also good news.

There's not a lot going on at the back of the card, but as you can see it comes with the pair of edge connectors, which show this card to be CrossFire capable.