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Date: July 26th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: HIS
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION


Although the IceQ has a MSRP of US$469, Hightech decided not to give you just some drivers and a game demo CD for your hard earned money.



Hardware:


- Installation & Owner's Manual
- Analog to DVI Convertor
- VIVO Dongle
- Power Cable
- Component Video Output Dongle
- PCI Exhaust Grill


Although most of the equipment is standard fare, some of the items need a little extra clarification. For instance, the two output dongles can only be used one at a time. If you have a standard video input/output, you would need to use the VIVO dongle. But, if by chance you want to hook the video output to a HDTV, you have the option of using the component output.


In addition, I want to cover the exhaust grill. When the card is installed, you will have to install the grill in your top PCI slot to allow the card to directly exhaust the VPU generated heat directly out the back of the case. Some people might be worrying about losing their top PCI slot but no one should be using it in the first place seeing it shares resources with the AGP. Sharing equals resource conflict and reduced videocard performance.



Software:


- PictureEZ Premium Digital Photo Suite 3.1 (http://www.3d-album.com/product_ez.html) US$39.95 Value
- HIS Driver CD
- Power DVD 5
- Counterstrike : Condition Zero (Full Version Game)
- Arx Fatalis (Full Version Game)
- Game Demo CD


Now one thing I have been banging my shoe on the table for is to have videocard manufacturers include something other than a crappy worthless game demo and driver CD. What is the point of buying a new videocard only to have to go out and buy a game to test it out.


Hightech on the other hand exceeded my expectations by including one of the most prolific bonus software suite I have seen to date. With full versions of Counterstrike: Condition Zero along with the full DVD and picture software, I would hate to settle for some of the more well known manufacturers that include squat in their packages. If I am going to be laying down US$400+ for a single card, you better bring the goods to the table or I will leave your product on the store shelf to collect dust. Honestly guys, don't put up with manufacturers charging you full price for just a card.



Next up is the actual Excalibur IceQ II in all its glorious beauty. Let me ask you this, have you seen another x800 based card that even comes close to this card?


Let's take a closer look....

 

 


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