Authour: Mark "Ratchet" Thorne
Date: January 30th, 2006
At the time, the X1600XT was overpriced and underperforming part that made many of those that had the opportunity to test it out give it a solid thumbs-down. Making matters worse was the delayed launch of the part. Initially launched in early October with a release date of late November, the part never showed up on shelves until mid-December.
Thankfully ATI appeared to agree with what users were saying, that at $249 the X1600XT was way overpriced for the level of performance it offered, and it wasn’t much longer after retail availability that the price was slashed from $249 to a much more reasonable $179.
Seated in its proper price bracket, the X1600XT had one problem remaining: noise. The stock cooler with its tiny, high-RPM fan produced a level of noise that few could tolerate for any extended period of time, and with competing cards offering better performance at lower dB levels, it was a hard sell for the X1600XT.
Enter HIS and their X1600XT IceQ Turbo. Not only did the loyal ATI partner effectively solve the noise problem by installing a double-height, ultra-quiet cooler on the card, they also potentially helped alleviate the performance issues as well by providing a tool to automatically overclock the card.
It’s an improvement, no doubt, but whether it makes the X1600XT a valid entry into the ultra-competitive mid-stream market segment is something we’re going to take a look at in this review. Read on.