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:
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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