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HIS's budget dual-link DVI card

HIS PCIe/AGP hybrid concept

The AGP bridge chip

Dual dual-link DVI and HDMI
x1 PCIe, HDMI and AGP/PCIe hybrids

Hightech Information Systems, also known as HIS, had a couple of interesting new products at its Computex suite this year. The first of three new products is a new graphics card based on the ATI X1300 Pro GPU. It features 512MB of HyperMemory which in reality is only 256MB of physical memory -- the other 256MB are utilized from the system memory. While the specifications of the X1300 Pro card are nothing special, it sports a PCI Express x1 interface with one dual-link DVI connector. If priced similarly to other X1300 Pro based cards, expect the dual-link DVI equipped X1300 Pro to cost south of $100. Board manufacturers only offered X1600 based cards as the lowest model with dual-link DVI, with the HIS X1300 Pro HIS may have a product for an untapped market for users that want a 30” display but don't care about 3D performance.

Users that want an AGP graphics upgrade but fear incompatibility when building a new PCI Express based system may be interested in another new HIS product. The new HIS X1600 Pro Dual DVI Dual Interface card offers compatibility with PCI Express and AGP equipped systems. The ATI Rialto bridge chip provides AGP compatibility while a couple of internal switches allow the switching between PCI Express and AGP interfaces. Samples shown at the show required a few jumpers changed to switch between PCI Express and AGP but HIS stated shipping models will have an auto switching system. Aside from the dual interfaces the X1600 Pro based card has the usual 500MHz core clock and 800MHz DDR2 memory with a 128-bit interface. CrossFire compatibility is retained in PCI Express mode while a single dual-link DVI port is added into the mix.

Home theater PC aficionados will be interested in the last of three new HIS products. Packing support for dual dual-link DVI, HDMI, component video, S-Video, and composite video outputs the X1600 based card has the output capabilities of a perfect HTPC graphics card. The low profile form factor makes it ideal for low profile HTPC cases. Because of the low profile size and video outputs it occupies two expansion slots. There is one minor detail with the video output capabilities though -- users have to pick between having dual DVI outputs or one DVI and one HDMI since the rightmost DVI and HDMI output are shared.

HIS employees stated the card will be HDCP compliant and have audio output capabilities. The card will have a S/PDIF audio pass-through for those that prefer to use an external sound card. It is unknown which audio codec will be used, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the same Sigmatel audio codec used in the Sony VAIO XL2 Media Center. Typical X1600 features such as AVIVO with H.264 hardware acceleration is supported. 

Pricing and availability information is unknown at the time.



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RE: PCI-E x1
By LoogieXX on 6/8/2006 7:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
I was just about to flame you and then I read your second post :)....

Words to the wise... read then flame. !


x1600....bleh
By hwhacker on 6/8/2006 7:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
While the concepts are all right and good, and I especially think the 1x card is interesting (if not slightly pointless other than more displays considering any pci-e board will have a full 16x slot for an adapter), I wonder why nobody went beyond concept with the dual agp/pci-e cards long ago, when transition was most prevalent, and on a decent-level card (XL-type or newer x1700's)...Not ATi's terrible (x700-x1600) mid-range. AGP is/was never existant on either new AMD/Intel platform, it's essentially dead. I can't see many who would grab an x1600 at this point in time...It'd serve little use, as the x1600 is pretty crappy to begin with, and would be worse when you'd want to upgrade If used just for display adapter, then why not use intergrated graphics?

As for the HDMI card, when are they actually going to put this on a card anyone wants to buy? Why so much attention to the x1600 noone wants? Am I only one that sees it that way? Either add it in the later x1700 parts, or decent current parts...Or like I said, if just for a display adapter, why not an x1300. The x1600 just doesn't make any sense to me other than the fact it's slightly higher-end than the x1300 and still incredibley cheap.


RE: x1600....bleh
By LoogieXX on 6/8/2006 7:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
I like the idea of a 1x card for Physics.. getting a 1300/1600 for that bit. And leaving my precious 16x slot for the regular graphics


RE: x1600....bleh
By OvErHeAtInG on 6/8/2006 12:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
other than the fact it's slightly higher-end than the x1300 and still incredibley cheap.

Umm... exactly. X1600 (Pro in particular) does play games just fine. It's also great for an HTPC setup since it decodes H.264 in hardware, and provides DVD playback quality on par with a high-end DVD player. Remind me why no-one cares again?


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