6 Graphics Cards with Luxury Trimmings

HIS Radeon HD 2600 XT Zalman

The Zalman cooler is both very low (65mm) and very quiet (38.3 dB(A)).

The Zalman cooler is a good alternative to HIS's own IceQ version. It is flat and very quiet at only 38.3 dB(A). When idling in 2D mode, the cooler keeps the GPU at only 42°C, which increases to 69°C in 3D mode. This Radeon GD 2600 XT is equipped with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.

While the box does not contain a DVI-HDMI adapter, the card does ship with a component output cable (HDTV). The gaming bundle only comprises Half Life 2: Lost Coast and Deathmatch; the Black Box is not included. Additionally, a flexible Crossfire bridge comes with the card for dual-card configurations.

In the cumulative performance ranking, the Radeon HD 2600 XT with the Zalman cooler comes in at 918.6 fps, while the HIS Turbo version with the IceQ cooler reaches 977.8 fps. The Zalman's 3D power should be sufficient for many games, although it can't offer smooth frame rates when maximum quality settings are combined with FSAA at high resolutions.

Beware! Any overclocking experiments are entirely your own responsibility and will generally void your card's warranty.

The Catalyst driver offers an Overdrive overclocking section, which is enabled by default. The automatic clock speed detection routine, which is meant to find the card's optimal frequencies, is not perfect, though: it attempted to increase the GPU frequency from 800 MHz to 880 MHz, which was too much for our sample. We manually adjusted the GPU's core frequency by 5 percent (840 MHz), which the card was able to handle. Next, we increased the memory speed by 10%, from 700 to 770 MHz. Finally, after tweaking the frequencies a little more, we settled on a combination of 850 MHz (GPU) and 770 MHz (memory) for our performance tests. As you can see, the card has overclocking potential, and may even reach higher clock speeds with a little more manual fine tuning. However, bear in mind that the Zalman cooler does not provide much cooling for the memory.

The card displays the Zalman logo and a picture of the cooler.

Our review sample shipped with a Crossfire bridge.

The backplane features two DVI ports and a video connector.

The flat cooler makes the card a single-slot solution.

The cooler's radius is quite large.

Some of the cooling fins may come in contact with the adjacent expansion slot.

The clock speeds can be set to 850 MHz (GPU) and 850 MHz (memory).