HIS has added some extra value to the stock X800GT. They provide a very nice bundle (though it's a bit dated now), and use a cooler that would cost $30 or more if you bought it separately (and installing it would likely void your warranty). To top it off they also provide an extremely easy to use overclocking tool that overclocks the card slightly, making it just a bit faster. With the high clocks the card is capable of it's a bit surprising to see the very conservative clocks that HIS went with for the Turbo mode however.
The X800GT IceQII is actually a pretty decent performer, I honestly expected it to not do as well as it does in this review as it has done. Considering the performance I think the X800GT would be a good upgrade for anyone wanting to make that extra performance step but not quite ready to go all out and drop a lot of cash on a really high-performance part. Even though it doesn't offer Shader Model 3.0 like the 6600GT does, it is faster (thanks to the 256MB of very overclockable GDDR3 memory on a 256-bit bus) and it comes in at the same price point.
However, anyone currently considering an upgrade might want to wait a bit. With HIS' next generation lineup based on ATI's R5-series of graphics processors just around the corner, which should all support Shader Model 3.0 and a bunch of other new features and enhancements, it would be a wise decision to hold off on the X800GT (and frankly any card) until you see what the new generation has to offer.
Good interm upgrade for anyone who needs something affordable now, but ATI's soon to be released next-generation screams Shader Model 3.0. Upgraders would be wise to wait.
- Impressive overclocking ability
- Excellent cooling performance
- Decent bundle
- No external power requirements
- UV glow looks perdy
- Very conservative Turbo mode overclocks
- Shader Model 2.0 is so 2004