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HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 Graphics Card Review

Rating: 9.0.

Last month Sapphire released one of the finest video cards we have ever tested … their state of the art 6GB HD7970 Toxic Edition, with custom PCB design, proprietary cooler and ‘Lethal boost’ overclocking feature. Today we look at the HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 which looks to be following the same design concept … to create a video card with no compromises.

Following the Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition is a tall order for HIS.

When Sapphire had finished modifying the reference AMD HD7970 it was barely recognisable. Noise levels and temperatures both dropped, clock speeds were massively increased, and performance was in a completely different ballpark. The 6GB Toxic Edition card could even give the overclocked GTX680’s a run for their money … not something I would have imagined before I started the review.

The HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 features a two fan cooler spanning the full length of the PCB. Let us take a quick look at the specifications.

Product AMD HD7970 GHZ Ed
HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2
AMD HD7950 AMD HD7870 AMD HD7850
Core Clock speed 1050mhz
800mhz 1000mhz 860mhz
Transistors 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 2.8 billion 2.8 billion
Stream Processors 2,048 1,792 1,280 1,024
Compute Performance 3.79 TFLOPS 2.87 TFLOPS 2.56 TFLOPS 1.76 TFLOPS
Texture Units 128 112 80 64
Texture Fillrate 134.4 GT/s
151 GT/s
89.6 GT/s 80 GT/s 55.0 GT/s
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Pixel Fillrate 33.6 GP/s
37.8 GP/s
25.6 GP/s 32.0 GP/s 27.52 GP/s
Z/Stencil 128 128 128 128
Memory Clock 1,500mhz
1,250mhz 1,200mhz 1,200mhz
Memory Data Rate 6 GBps 5.0 Gbps 4.8 Gbps 4.8 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s 240 GB/s 153.6 GB/s 153.6 GB/s

HIS have overclocked the 7970 X Turbo to 1180mhz, which is just shy of the 1,200mhz set by the Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition. Unlike Sapphire however, HIS have decided to cut the cost a little by holding true to AMD’s reference specifications, incorporating 3GB of GDDR5 memory, not 6GB.

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  • Denna

    Thats one of the sexiest video cards ive seen to date!

  • Brian

    havent had the change to read the whole review, but i need to ask why only OCUK stock these cards? I dont like ordering from them as I had bad experiences before.

  • Nick

    I need to ask, did Sapphire sell the HD7970 6GB Toxic at all in the UK? I never even saw it listed and I watched amazon, OCUK, DABS and ARIA for a week.

    This looks like a good second choice, but I want the turbo version. any ideas on stock?

  • Warren

    7950 is better value, although its nice to see some competition to Sapphire as XFX has disappeared this year.

    Shame you cant buy this one yet however

  • Anusha

    HIS are as far as I know, ONLY stocked in OCUK, not sure why. I have read that warranty is a concern with HIS, but OCUK replaced a dead card for me last year from HIS without a problem.

  • Norman

    I love the look of this card, and I also think its great to see Sapphire getting competition this year, they are alone up here at the top spot.

    One thing I dont understand is why HIS include that weight lifter thing, does it actually work, and do we need it? surely the screw on a case can hold the card in place better?

  • Paul Davidsen

    I would love to try something like this, im an nvidia purist, but im getting bored and want to try the ‘other team’ for a change. only thing is I had a terrible time with catalyst drivers in the past.

    are they any better now, or still as crap?

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  • Indloon

    Great card, I have always been fan of HIS, because they never disappoint !

    And could you guys also use OpenGL in Unigine Heaven? I would be interested of the performence difference between Direct3D and OpenGL, since Valve has said that OpenGL is faster + NVIDIA also.

  • stsh

    Great card. It’s unbelieveable quiet and mining bitcoins it does steady 600Mhash/s.

    I can recommend this for everyone how has the money needed for the card.