Date: February 9th, 2005
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: HIS
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
Another interesting addition that was not included on preceding IceQ models was the inclusion of four blue LEDs into the fan housing with does add a nice blue glow to a computer with a side window. Also, the plastic outer shell of the cooler is UV reactive and will glow nicely when exposed to a UV cold cathode or UV LED array. The one thing that I wondered is why they didn't use UV LEDs instead of standard blue? Might as well take advantage of the capabilities if you have them.
While on the topic of effective cooling, I have to point out that HIS has decided to also cool all eight GDDR3 modules on the back and front of the videocard. You can't comprehend how irritated I get when a company slaps a big cooling on the core only to let the memory modules fend for themselves. Overclocking the memory will more often than not increase videocard performance more than the core seeing that memory bandwidth is a major key to higher framerates.
The ramsinks are actually quite decent and should have no problem getting rid of any extra heat from the memory as long as you have proper case ventilation. The 128bit GDDR3 is stock clocked at a modest 430Mhz (860Mhz DDR) which should allow for some overclocking headroom. We will see the core and memory overclocking results in the next section.
Now, I know that HIS has bundled in their iTurbo software for easy overclocking, but I was looking to get a little more performance out of this videocard other than the iTurbo maximum clock rates of 460Mhz core and 480Mhz memory.
To help push this videocard to its maximum, I installed my favorite ATI overclocking utility called ATITool which was created by TechPowerup and can be downloaded HERE. It is a great utility for simple and effective overclocking without any confusion. It even has a built in utility to find the highest core and memory overclock settings without artifacts. I myself did no use this feature, but it is there if someone is not as adventurous as I am.
Here are the results:
Stock Clock Rates: 425Mhz Core / 430Mhz (860Mhz DDR) Memory
Overclocked Clock Rates: 493Mhz Core / 493Mhz (986Mhz DDR) Memory
Differences: 68Mhz Core / 63Mhz (126 MHz DDR ) Memory
The overclocking was good, but was not as good as I initially expected. But realistically, it did overclock a little higher than the iTurbo setting which was definitely a plus. The overclocked setting will be included in the benchmarking along with the stock settings for a direct comparison of what this overclock will bring to your gaming system.