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HIS HD6870 ICEQX Turbo Graphics Card Review

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Rating: 9.0.

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  • Frank

    WOw that cooler melts my eye balls.

    Thank god you dont have to look at it all the time once its installed !

  • Steven

    Hey, anyway we can petition them to make the cooler a different colour? that really is dire looking.

    but hey it works I ‘pose ! nice one.

  • Dave

    Why have they a y shaped plate over the memory? whats that about?

  • Muzz

    Bit of a contradiction that card. one of the best AMD 6870s and easily the ugliest.

    Those temperatures are great, especially for the new version of Furmark, which melts some cards. I am not sure I value furmark anymoer for temps, but I like the fact you include gaming results.

  • Tim

    @ Dave. the metal plate is obviously for cooling, there are probably thermal pads under it. and then the fan above keeps it cooler and it takes the heat from teh chips.

  • Garth

    Nice card design and great performance. as the review says though the 560 is a tough card to beat at this price point.

  • k0rn

    Weird choice of colours for the cooler design. its very bright. looks like cheap plastic.

  • Opotic

    I still have concerns about HIS warranty in UK, ive read horror stories.

  • Vinny

    Wow, 975mhz core, thats insane for an out of the box setting. They must have a good batch for this release.

  • John

    Very good card from HIS. Its a make I never look at when buying a card, but this one looks like one of the best.

  • Relayer

    the color isn’t for everyone, apparently. It’s a good match though for Gigabyte Mobo’s. Not that anyone should be buying a VC because of the color. Excluding case modders, possibly.

  • Seawer

    Where can I buy this exact card? I recently read a review in PC Gamer magazine noting it at £149, but can’t find this model online anywhere!