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HIS HD 6970 IceQ Turbo & HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: July 11, 2011
Product Name: HD 6970 IceQ Turbo & HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X
Part Number: H697QT2G2M & H695QNX2G2M
Warranty: 2 Years
 
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Conclusion


Since we havenít reviewed all that many overclocked AMD GPUs, it is a bit hard to determine where these two HIS cards fall in terms of overall performance against the competition. But that doesnít really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. Why? Because for whatever reason, we feel that AMDís board partners have been overly conservative when it comes to pre-overclocking their higher end products. Take for example the HIS HD 6970 IceQ Turbo: a 20 MHz core speed bump and memory thatís only 100 MHz faster than reference actually make it one of the fastest HD 6970 cards on the market barring the impossible to find MSI Lightning. The same can be said of the HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X since it sports minimal overclocks yet boasts the highest clock speeds of any readily available HD 6950.

So now that performance against their immediate competition has been not so firmly established, letís break these two cards apart and discuss their viability in the current market. The HIS HD 6970 IceQ promises lower temperatures and a quieter computing experience than the reference card and for the most part it achieves these goals. We werenít expecting all that much from its oddball heatsink design and yet it succeeded in knocking a good 11 degrees off the temperature of the stock HD 6970. Unfortunately, this is a far cry from HISí claimed 23 degree improvement and the IceQ fan is anything but silent (yet still quieter than the stock versionís). Unfortunately, the main issue with this card may be its price. It may not be the highest priced HD 6970 on the market but the IceQ Turbo runs quite close to the less expensive and quieter GTX 570. Granted, at higher resolutions this HD 6970 has a substantial edge, but for anyone gaming on a 24Ē or smaller monitor it is a bit hard to recommend, especially with its relatively short 2 year warranty.

We may not be all that high on HISí HD 6970 IceQ Turbo but the HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X is another matter altogether. A price that allows it to brush up against HD 6970 and GTX 570 territory could give many potential consumers the justification to look elsewhere but in our opinion that would be a huge mistake. Granted, this HIS cardís name may be a mouthful and its performance isnít particularly earth shattering but this is one of the quietest cards we have ever tested. What makes this achievement all the more impressive is the fact that temperatures were impressively low as well. For a sub-$300 graphics card, the IceQ X Turbo X provides an excellent all-round gaming experience without breaking the bank.

While both of these HIS products can be considered excellent choices if you are in the market for an AMD card, we feel that the HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X stole the show. It may have lost out in performance to its bigger brother yet the near silence, compact design and very low temperatures this card brings to the table has allowed it to win our Dam Good Award.



 
 
 

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