XpertVision HD 2600XT Sonic Graphic Card Review

xpertvisionhd2600xt


UPDATE : Some of you may remember that this card was awarded 0 (yes, ZERO!) before for refusing to work properly despite being decently overclockable. Now it works fine on everything, but overclocking is impossible. Confusing? Strange? Yeah I know, it’s a first time I ever come by such peculiar behavior on a graphic card.

The only reason I could think off would be that the card worked well after a warming-up period, pretty strange. Did I update my system with patches and stuff? No, that’s the thing that puzzles me. It worked like an untamed monkey before and now it’s purring like a nice kitten. Oh well, here is the re-evaluation.

The Appearance

XpertVision HD 2600XT Sonic is uses red PCB and black colored heatsink, comes with also with dual-DVI and a TV-out connector. The heatsink was placed quite closely to the RAM chips. I like how the heatsink was held by 2 clips instead of the usual screws.

The Bundle

– HDTV-out
– S-video out cable
– DVI-VGA converter
– Installation guide & driver CD.
– Xpand Rally Xtreme (Game)

Card Details

Here’s a summarized detail of the card.

GPU HD2600XT
GPU Code Name RV630
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Bandwidth 128-bit
Memory Capacity 256MB

More details at the official product page

Test Setup

Processor : Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz
RAM : 2GB DDR2 667
Monitor : 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Operating System : Windows XP (SP2)
Driver : Catalyst 7.9 (Version: 8.401.0.0)

The Performance & Overclocking

The card just refused to be overclocked, not even with 5mhz increase. It’s just too bad. 🙁 Let’s move on with the benchmarks.

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3Dmark06

Default setting.

Core / Memory Score
800/800 4649

F.E.A.R.

CPU performance settings to minimum while the graphic settings to maximum. Resolution was set at 1152 x 864.

Core / Memory Lowest Average Highest
800/800 17 28 54

Need For Speed : Carbon

Maximum settings for every graphic detail. Screen resolution was 1280 x 1024.

Core / Memory Lowest Average Highest
800/800 16 21 24

Ghost Recon : Advanced Warfighter 2

Medium settings on everything, anisotropic filtering to 8x, dynamic lights enabled, post effects low and no anti-aliasing.. Screen resolution was 1680 x 1050.

Core / Memory Lowest Average Highest
800/800 18 27 31

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Default graphic settings, resolution changed to 1680 x 946

Core / Memory Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
800/800 16.6 23.4

The card runs at 38°C on idle and 55°C on load, readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 25°C.

Conclusion

I love it for the price and what you get in terms of performance and features like all those HD stuff. I’ve always found ATI to display better colors when it comes to my desktop. I only wish that it could be clocked a little bit higher, yes I know that I’m being a little picky here. 🙂

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Personally I would have given it a perfect score but I’m hesitant to do so due to my unpleasant experience earlier on, and same experience faced by others, it wouldn’t be nice if someone actually bought the card based on the reviews so far and found it giving them nightmare!

So yeah, if it weren’t for that unpleasant experience I would’ve rated it perfect!

*I don’t like to penalize a card for not being able to OC either.

goldfries rated this product :

32 Comments

  1. thank goldfries..appreciate your work..now it clear all my curiosity..thanks!

  2. So does that means that 8600Gt is better?

  3. Author

    @fesick

    Sure, no problem. Just to add, I doubt the unit is faulty because if it was faulty then it would be consistent in giving errors and all but this wasn’t the case.

    It played well on some cases but not so well on others. I have no reason to doubt it was driver issues.

    @fatty

    I personally think the 8600GT is faster and has better drivers. The HD2600XT is more feature packed and generally cheaper. Do note that this is the DDR3 version. The DDR4 version is more pricey.

    I’m pretty sure it’s driver issue as I observed there were lesser glitches as I went from Catalyst 7.6 > 7.8 > 7.9.

    And yeah, I think I’ll add that to the article.

  4. Hi goldfries,

    I’ve read your review on the Xpertvision HD2600XT. FYI, the Xpertvision HD2600XT was my first HD2600 card, it gave me the same problem as you on the hiccups and artifact issue and in time, it suddenly gave up giving me blank display. I thought the HD2600XT suck pretty badly.. and nearly changed to the 8600GT. Thanks to the shop which i RMA the Xpertvision HD2600XT, they dont have any stock for 8600GT, so i take the chance and took the Sapphire version off the shelf.

    To my surprise, all the bugs that happened during my usage of Xpertvision was gone !! no artifacts, no strange hiccups / bluescreen etc. Just wanna add a point, that those issues are only happening to xpertvision, so far as i tested, Sapphire/HIS/gigabyte doesnt seem to be having the problem, only the Xpertvision 2600XT, and given the price difference between sapphire and xpertvision (+RM10). Sapphire is definately the better choice here.

    FYI, i started using sapphire during catalyst 7.7.

  5. Author

    AoiNatsume, thank you for your feedback! 🙂

  6. Xpert Vision HD 2600XT Sonic driver is searched.my driver doesn´t finish the installation.even the driver of the producer website. the driver in delievery can`t start at autorun.open the disk is available but no driver signification on windows.also no id.please help.the ati website driver don´t work,too.please need urgently help.

  7. Author

    strange. i used ATI’s drivers and it worked, and so did the drivers from XpertVision and it worked too, the one from XV comes to about 163MB in size.

  8. its a driver bug with the official drivers and the drivers taht came with it,

    you need to use Radeon Omega Drivers 3.8.413 (Catalyst 7.9.1) to fix the bug with the black screen thing 😀

  9. i have purchased this graphics card and im having the same problem i can get the graphics card on but when i reboot system all i get is the black screen. can you tell me exactly what drivers i need to download. could i also check what is the minimum power i need for this card at the moment i have 350 watts.
    My os is XP
    Thank you
    Julie

  10. Author

    Julie, I have no idea on which drivers would save your situation.

    As you can see that I’ve amended my post. With the same drivers, it seems to be working alright now, I’ve not changed any driver or setup.

    I’m under the impression that the card needs quite some warm up period but I don’t have a clue on why it works like shit for many weeks and now it works alright.

    Previously it was hell to use but does 840/840 OC. Now it works well but doesn’t OC at all.

    Best bet is just to update with all the latest drivers from Microsoft and ATI/AMD and if it still sucks, just return it to the shop you bought from and request to change to another brand. 🙁

  11. Hi,

    My brother brought me a 2600xt sonic and somtimes i get a black screen when im playing games, also the desktop get all scambled up.

    Shall i keep it and wait the teething problems go away or buy another, but i have a crap power supply?

  12. Author

    Hrmm. Sounds all too familiar, I’d say DON’T WAIT because you never know when will it disappear and what if it never disappears?

  13. I think that 8600GT still pawns 2600XT though for the mean time…….. Nvidia cards is still the best and stable in terms of driver and software……..

  14. Author

    Yup, it is. I have both and I find playing games more enjoyable on the nVidia card.

  15. hi..goldfries..found your review thru lyn.net..ok, i have this problem..i red your review on lost planet and i really want to play that game..i currently using amd athlon xp 2500+, 1 gb of ddr400 ram and ati 9800 pro 128mb agp…i think my graphic card cannot support the game and planning to upgrade it to this type of graphic card but the agp version…so, do you think its possible to just upgrade the graphic card? ill be playing it on 24 inch lcd dell monitor…

  16. i have 2 hd2600xt in crossfire with 2 bridge conected.on a 16x/4x lane.
    my cards are form diamond multimedia. they a slight difference in clocks
    my core clock is 800mhz and my memory is 700 mhz 512megs.with a dual 400mhz ramdacs.wich im not sure to know what it means.

    thing is i talked out with a computer maniac. he told me to try this out and wow.really worked. heres what to do. i used “gpu clock tool” form amd.
    and yes i downclocked my core to mactch the one of a 8600 gts. and the results is amazing. i even go faster then a 8600 gt. il give credit. this card is not made to be overclocked but just down clok it to get a perfect ratio. wich 1:1 isn’t necsseraly true on vga cards. the setting i tryed is 649/770. and it works real well. even better then default speeds. i get maybe like 30% speed increase.

    try down clocking your core until you get faster.cause right now its seems the 800 mhz would need a ddr4 memory wich 700mhz is to weak.try it for your selves. worked flawlessy for me. and btw it says my card is build on the half life 2 episode 2 engine.

  17. forgot to mension for crossfire. he told me not to activate crossfire.

    if for some reason the initial card needs more speed it will get on.

    it more likely back up the principal card instead of being fusioned to it.

    nvidia is owing ati for now. just wait. ati will get drivers that will make hd 2600 own. but for now the card is too new for that to happen. i know what your thinking.too new?? it is already starting to get old in the world we are in. but
    the thing is it toke to ati 3-4 years for making an awesome driver for the x800/x700 models. wich use the card at the real pottential. just wait.the card dosn’t have 1 years old.

  18. Author

    @aikanazirf
    You can try looking for an AGP version but on a 24″ monitor, I’m afraid you’ll have to turn the resolution down low if you wish to play at the native resolution. In fact you’ll probably have to lower many things.

    @Samuel
    Interesting info on the downclocking. Anyway, CFing the card is pretty fun, I do see some boost on framerates.

    I’m more interested in the HD 3850. 🙂 Pretty good card, surely better than nVidia’s offering at that price range like th 8600GTS.

    the HD 3870 is a decent performer compared to the 8800GT.

  19. I have just bought a AGP version HIS 2600XT, in the hope of doing one final upgrade to my older socket A pc, it turned out to be a bad decision…:(

    I have read about blank screen during games like COD4 and Crysis (which were also my main reason to upgrade my AGP card), but my problem is I can ‘t even boot into WinXP after installing the driver. I manage to boot into XP safemode, and tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but it just keeps giving me a blank screen during boot up.

    I have it exhanged with a new card but the same problem persist. I am from Hong Kong actually, so then I took it to the HIS HK head office and they have this engineer tested on their platform which is ok to run the XP driver, but didnt do any test on 3D gaming.

    So then it occurred to me it might be a compatability issue of my motherboard. i managed to find a different mb for testing. This time, it runs in XP.

    But then, when I ran games like Half LIfe 2 and SOF3, the rumoured problem occurred: images started to become choppy after a few minutes of gaming. For HL 2, I couldnt even see a proper shaing and mapping on models. Buildings appear purple-ish and greenish, character’s skin color look poisioned…

    What else can I do? I am desperately looking for a solution. I have heard from another guy saying that it might be related to insufficient power supply, since this kind of AGP card is actually a PCI-X card with an AGP convertor, so it might be that the AGP card is actually operating on a PCI-X spec which is not expected by old AGP platform. I have no idea, it sounded plausible, but then why wouldn’t the manaufacturer think of this beforehand?…

    Would be grateful for any advice, thanks.

  20. Author

    Ouh that’s strange. I’ve not come by such situations.

    I ran the HD2600XT on older AMD systems (PCI-E) and it worked fine as well.

    What motherboard are you using? I suggest you bug HIS persistently for the matter to be resolved since you’ve already contact them. They would be the one to know best of their product.

    If not, attempt to get a full-refund! Yup, no point having a card that doesn’t work.

    Not enough power supply? I don’t think so, insufficient power would lead the system to power down. Perhaps you could be having a faulty unit too.

  21. Hi. I have the exact same card as in the review. I have had it for at least 4 months now with no problems but lately (in the last 2-3 weeks) it has started being mental. Any time i try and play games, mostly css and WoW, i get crazy screen errors. When i am playing WoW i get artifacts (if thats the right word) i.e. big lines coming out of people and objects and the screen flickers until eventually it restarts my pc. When i play css i always get bits of texture that r mulit-coloured like when someone spills petrol on the ground and lines that are full of different coloured squares and then it also restarts my pc. On occasions there has been a line across my desktop as well and even more occasionally when windows is starting up the welcome screen is just blue with some mad lines at the top then the monitor goes black. As i say my pc has been playing these games flawlessly for months with this setup so i have no idea what could suddenly cause them.
    Any help appreciated, thanks.

  22. Author

    See if the latest drivers help. It shouldn’t be driver issues, how about sending it for RMA?

  23. Thanks for replying =) I have tried some stress testing software called “rthdribl” and it seems to be a hardware fault. When i change the Glare type the monitor flickers and goes black. Now my question is, is it possible for software (i.e. a game or a driver giving it incorrect instructions) to break a card to this extent? People tell me this isnt possible but the coincidence of it breaking just as a new WoW patch and new Catalyst 8.3 drivers were released is too much not to look into before i decide if someone is too blame or whether is was just one of those things. And also they wont RMA it without the drivers disk which i have lost =(

  24. Author

    I don’t know how it works from where you’re at Steve, but over here in Malaysia it’s just a matter of sending the goods to the company in charge of the product, whether it be the shop you got the goods from or the distributor. 🙂 Driver disks were never asked.

    Try the latest drivers, if not just send it in for RMA.

    I had problems with this card too and strangely it just went away and worked perfectly. I’ve sold this card quite a long while ago and so far no complaints from the current owner.

  25. Hi goldfires
    I have talked about my problematic HIS AGP version of this same card months ago. Thanks to the ATI offcial hotfix on AGP card, it seems to be running fine now. I got no problem playing COD4 and most other games, but still got very unsatisfying results like low frame rate and jerky motion in CRYSIS. Anyway, my experience with this final upgrade of a AGP system is overall negative, it simply causes so much trouble that it just doesnt worth it to tak up so much time for problem solving a display card. I’d have rather spent more on a full upgrade to new CPU, new PCI-E mb, new affordable PCI-E display card.
    cheers.

  26. Author

    Crysis is very demanding (or should I say, unoptimized!)

    the HD2600XT would crawl, you’ll have to settle with medium / low details. So far I’ve tried Crysis (DX9) 1680×1050 on high-details and only 2 cards satisfy me – 8800GTS G92 and HD3870X2. And that also I had only 2x or no AA enabled.

    AGP systems are older and less capable as a system in general to drive today’s demanding games. so yes, a new processor / board / RAM and card would help better when it comes to gaming experience.

  27. im also using this card .. onli 11month old.. last week sent to its factory coz got artifact prob & sometime make the driver not respond for awhile.. hv to wait for 1 month .. sigh

  28. omg.. juz get bac my 2600xt.. they change my non HDMI to HDMI 1..
    HDMO ver ‘s memory clock is onli 700mhz compare to non-HDMI 1 (800mhz)
    argh~!!!



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