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Product : X850XT IceQII Turbo VIVO AGP and X850XT Platinum Edition IceQII VIVO AGP
Company : HIS
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Date : May 9th, 2005

Introduction

X850XT IceQII Platinum and X850XT IceQII Turbo
X850XT IceQII Platinum and X850XT IceQII Turbo
The biggest mistake ATI made last year was under-estimating the AGP market and focusing too much on PCI-Express platforms. They pretty much admitted that themselves. They had high-end X800 AGP cards out there, but they were all but impossible to find anywhere. Without any available competition for the high-end AGP platform people moved en masse to nVidia's camp and bought up the 6800GT and, to a lesser extent, the 6800 Ultra at a remarkable rate.

With ATI loyalists screaming for AGP boards, ATI finally made a couple of moves to increase their AGP product range. The key move was Rialto, ATI's PEG-to-AGP bridge chip. Rialto is a small chip that sits on the back of ATI's graphics cards and converts the signals coming from native PCI-Express graphics cores into signals that the AGP bus can understand. Basically it allows ATI to design a native PCI-Express chip and put it on an AGP graphics card.

What many people were waiting to hear was the announcement of a new high-end AGP card. Not long after Rialto was revealed, ATI broke the news that they would be making available an X850XT for the AGP bus, but surprised a lot of folks by saying that it wouldn't be using their brand new Rialto bridge chip. Instead, the X850XT would be designed using a new native AGP graphics core based on the PCI-Express R480 core. The result is the R481 core which in all aspects, other than the bus interconnect, is identical to the R480. So the masses rejoiced. ATI has finally started providing high-end AGP parts.

HIS, one of ATI's original launch partners and one of only a few companies to offer a full range of ATI graphics cards, was one of the first partners to announce X850XT AGP cards after ATI unveiled them to the public. They had not just one, but several different models to choose from targeted at a couple of different segments. On the enthusiast level are the two cards that I'll be looking at in this review; the X850XT IceQII Platinum Edition and the X850XT IceQII Turbo. Let's get to it.

Bundles

Both the X850XT-PE and X850XT come with respectable bundles. The only difference between the bundles are the X850XT comes with a CD that contains HIS' iTurbo utility and a DVD containing bonus software and games. The X850XT-PE doesn't need the iTurbo software so that's not included, but for some reason it also doesn't include the bonus DVD. It does however include a PowerDVD 6 CD. I've listed the contents of both bundles below:

X850XT IceQII Platinum EditionX850XT IceQII Turbo Bundle
HIS X850XT IceQII Platinum Edition Bundle
HIS X850XT IceQII Platinum Edition Bundle
  • Flatout game CDs
  • PowerDVD 6 CD
  • HIS "Power Up, Gamers" drivers and software CD
  • Video-In/Video-Out cables
  • Component-out cable
  • S-Video cable
  • Composite cable
  • DVI to VGA adapter
  • Molex power cable
  • Installation Manual
HIS X800XL IceQII Turbo Bundle
HIS X800XL IceQII Turbo Bundle
  • Flatout game CDs
  • iTurbo overclocking software CD
  • Bonus software DVD
  • HIS "Power Up, Gamers" drivers and software CD
  • Video-In/Video-Out cables
  • Component-out cable
  • S-Video cable
  • Composite cable
  • DVI to VGA adapter
  • Molex power cable
  • Installation Manual




X850XT IceQII Platinum Edition Retail Box
X850XT IceQII Platinum Edition Retail Box

X850XT IceQII Turbo Retail Box
X850XT IceQII Turbo Retail Box

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