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HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 Graphics Card Review

There are certainly no shortage of options in the high end discrete graphics market today. The Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor X and Asus GTX680 Ti Direct CU II TOP are excellent choices if you have around £300 on hand to upgrade the frame rate prowess of your system.

We have reviewed several ultra high end boards recently which have worked the enthusiast audience into a frenzy. If your credit card can survive the hit, then the KFA2 GTX680 LTD OC and Sapphire's HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition are two of the most impressive cards that immediately spring to mind.

Both have an asking price of £550 or more in the United Kingdom, although they are extremely difficult to locate. When the limited stocks hit the etailer, they sell out almost immediately.

HIS have clearly been preparing the 7970 X Turbo 3GB Ice Q X2 for some time, however they were pipped to release by Sapphire with their HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition. In some ways Sapphire stole their thunder, however there is no doubt that the HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 is a fantastic high end graphics card, only slightly slower than the Toxic Edition.

After I reviewed Sapphire's Toxic Edition I was inundated with emails from people complaining that stock could not be found in the channel, and a handful of cards that were in stock sold out immediately.

The Turbo version of the card we reviewed today will only be available in strictly limited supply, so the same frustrating situation may apply. HIS have told us today that a non-turbo version of the card will be more widely available, for less money.

Pricing for the HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 has been confirmed at $599.99 which should realistically translate to around £500 inc vat in the UK, although there will only be a handful available on these shores. Overclockers have stock of the non turbo version online today reduced from £479.99 to £455.99 inc vat.

The HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 is a great looking graphics card with no shortage of performance, an ideal solution for powering games across three screens at 5760×1080 or higher in Eyefinity.

While the card consumes a lot of power at the socket, the twin fan cooling solution doesn't emit an excessive amount of noise, and temperatures are maintained below 70c when gaming.

Pros:

  • Ultra high performing solution.
  • Good noise control.
  • looks great.
  • still some headroom for manual overclocking.
  • Free copy of the excellent Dirt Showdown.

Cons:

  • Consumes a lot of power.
  • Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition has stolen some of the thunder.
  • Stock will be very limited.
  • Expensive.

Kitguru says: Another fantastic HD7970 solution from an AMD partner. Well worth a purchase … if you can find one that is.

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Rating: 9.0.

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11 comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.