HIS iClear “noise reduction” PCI card doesn’t really do much of anything

his-iclear.jpg

Say “Hi” to the HIS iClear “noise reduction” card, a peripheral that snaps into your computer’s PCIe socket, just like a video card. What does it do? It is not clear. Dan Rutter investigates:

According to the iClear Card’s product page on the HIS site, it, and I quote verbatim, “is HIS latest solution to video card noise reduction. It has an excellent implement of state-of-the-art design and technology and give you a better gaming experience by reducing the distortion and noise generated from graphic card. It reduces the noise distortion generated from high-end graphic card (from both Radeon and GeForce) or TV tuner card, which provide up to 10% increase performance on Signal-to-Noise Ratio.”

The specifications page is empty. The PCB is just a slab of plastic with six capacitors and some board cruft.

Will plugging power-regulating gear into a leftover PCIe slot improve the output of a video card? Obviously not with video juiced directly from the PSU via molex. Rutter explores various other electrical scenarios in an attempt to find what it could possibly be doing with its little rack of capacitors, but remains unconvinced.

Alexey Samsonov has reviewed it. His results are that it produces a power-regulating affect of general inconsequence: a decibel here and there at rare frequencies. A human-discernible difference? Even test equipment mostly couldn’t tell a difference! Here’s an example chart from its review:

thechartoflol.jpg

Samsonov writes that it’s “attractive” to certain consumers; after all, it’s bundled free with video cards at Newegg.com. But he neglected to evaluate how danceable the signal-to-noise ratio was, which seriously compromises his review.

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About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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9 Responses to HIS iClear “noise reduction” PCI card doesn’t really do much of anything

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s just a screen you can put in front of your video card if it has a noisy fan. This way, it increases the signal-to-noise ratio of anything you hear!

  2. robofunk says:

    That test isn’t testing what this card is supposed to do. He sould test the SNR of the audio card in his system.

    In fact if your read the quote again:
    “It reduces the noise distortion generated from high-end graphic card (from both Radeon and GeForce) OR TV tuner card”

    TV tuner cards are purported a source of noise, not as a piece of hardware this card is claimed to increase the SNR of.

    I’m actually interested in seeing results of a proper test.

  3. Enochrewt says:

    Monster cables should get in on this technology, it’s right up their alley.

  4. Thinkerer says:

    Do you need one of those overpriced ($500) Denon network cables and some vastly overpriced ($7250) Pear Anjou speaker cables to make it work?

  5. Anonymous says:

    the first point in the “product advantage” section

    “HIS iFilter card provides a better image with clear picture”

    seems to strongly imply they are talking about improving your video, not audio performance

  6. weendex says:

    It definitely seems like this is more for audio noise than video noise.

    I do get a lot of graphics card interference on my HDA front panel audio (on the onboard sound). Rear audio connections are fine.

    I was able to minimize the interference by moving the HDA front panel cable as far away from the graphics card as possible. but it is still unusable in games or other apps where the GPU is running much above idle.

    I considered shielding the cable, and that may be what they are attempting to pull off here.

    I doubt it works, I’m as skeptical as you guys, but I do think this is for e/m audio noise interference not video noise.

  7. Scuba SM says:

    There seem to be a lot of people on BBG that can see their audio…

    I always thought a better image and clearer picture was video outputs only. Clearly the other readers need to share their magic beans.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I believe they mean noise in terms of signal integrity on the PCIe bus, not audible noise. However working in embedded systems, I concur that this is a complete sham.

  9. edgore says:

    Rats – I was hoping it was some kind of digital noise cancelling card that would put out negative sound to cancel out all of the fan noice in my computer. Actaully, now that I think about it…I really want something like that!

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