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HIS HD6970 IceQ Turbo Edition Review

We have reviewed many HD6970’s this year and the HIS HD6970 IceQ Turbo Edition is one of the best we have reviewed. This is high praise especially as there is such stiff competition in the £200-£250 sector.

Aesthetically, the card could be classed as a bit of an eyesore. Personally I don’t mind the appearance, but it will certainly divide opinion. Feedback from previous HIS reviews indicate that our readership find the ICEQ cooler to be rather unattractive, but to be fair this should be a side issue, especially as it is technically very capable indeed.

When compared against the reference design, HIS claim temperature reductions of 23c. This card certainly operates at reduced temperatures, but the claims are rather optimistic. We recorded around 70c under load, which is around 5-8c less than our reference card. On a much more positive note and partly due to a very relaxed fan profile, the HIS HD6970 IceQ Turbo Edition is one of the quietest high end solutions we have tested and is a massive improvement when compared with AMD’s reference edition. It isn’t only proven with our sophisticated recording equipment, but it is immediately noticeable to the naked ear.

AMD’s power efficiency is much better than Nvidia’s and we particularly like the fact that we can game across three screens if the need arises. If you want multiple screens and also would like to play the latest games, then the HD6970 is one of the best cards to buy.

What other cards should you shortlist? MSI’s R6970 Lightning Twin Frozr III is quite possibly the best card in this range although it is significantly more expensive. The Asus HD6970 Direct CU II is another solution which would make it into our shortlist, as it combines fantastic cooling with the highest levels of build quality, negatively it is a three slot design which might be a problem for some people.

The HIS HD6970 IceQ Turbo Edition isn’t as fast as the MSI R6970 Lightning Twin Frozr III and the cooler isn’t as good as the Direct CU II on the Asus board, but as an overall package it really makes a lot of sense. If you can live with the gaudy see-through cooler design, it combines very high levels of performance with one of the lowest noise emissions we have recorded for a card in this range. If noise is a problem for you then this could very well be a perfect, high performance partner.

Pros:

  • cooler is really quiet
  • build quality is high
  • price point is competitive

Cons:

  • looks won’t appeal to everyone
  • no free game

KitGuru says: A well designed HD6970, fine tuned to be as quiet as possible. Thanks to the cooler design, the fan spins very slowly at all times, even under extended load.

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Rating: 9.0.

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