The HIS HD6870 ICEQX is one of the finest HD6870’s we have tested in our labs. While the somewhat gaudy appearance of the card will certainly split opinion, there is no denying that technically the custom design is extremely capable.
When compared to the bog standard card, noise levels are reduced by 5dBa and temperatures drop by around 12c. These are significant improvements to AMD’s reference design, especially when we factor in that power consumption figures have only risen slightly. The return to idle temperature results are the best we have seen in this sector, a primary indication that the quad heatpipe design is working extremely well.
Out of the box, the card delivers marked performance enhancements due to the staggering core clock of 975mhz. While many AMD partners are selling HD6870’s with 920mhz core clocks, the ICEQX definitely stands out at the head of the pack.
The HIS HD6870 ICEQX faces stiff competition from overclocked GTX560’s such as the MSI N560GTX Twin Frozr II which we used today as a £200 reference point. There is no doubting that the MSI board is faster in almost all of our testing, however it isn’t quite as clear cut as that, which makes the debate more interesting.
If you have plans to game on more than a single screen, then the AMD cards offer a better investment. As our testing has highlighted today, the HIS HD6870 ICEQX is capable of powering through many games across three screens at 5760×1080 resolution. With the Nvidia GTX560, you need to buy two cards and this money could be used to fund for another 24 inch screen.
These options highlight that the consumer today is literally spoilt for choice, and it is hard to go wrong in either direction. As a purchasing decision, it is difficult to fault the ICEQX – the performance is class leading and the card doesn’t demand a lot of power, or generate much noise either.
We have not yet received pricing information, but you can expect to pay a modest premium for the custom cooler design and high overclocked settings.
- low noise levels
- massive ‘out of the box’ overclocks
- great cooler with class leading ‘return to idle’ delta curve
- efficient power consumption
- much cooler than reference design
- single card can support multi screen gaming
- it has a tough time against overclocked GTX560’s
- colour scheme may not prove very popular
KitGuru says: If you want an HD6870 then this is one of the best you can buy.