HIS HD 6970 IceQ Turbo & HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X Review
After seeing a good number of reviews which covered overclocked and custom cooled versions of NVIDIA’s flagship card –the GTX 580- many of our readers have been asking for us to cover the same types of cards from AMD’s side of the fence. Today we mark the first step of our journey into the world of high performance Radeon products with a pair of Turbo-branded cards from HIS Technology.
Being one of AMD’s premier board partners has granted HIS Digital and enviable position within the North American market but their presence here at Hardware Canucks has been slim to none over the last few years. Nonetheless, their newest HD 6970 and HD 6950 cards commanded our attention since they are different from almost everything else out there. Both sport increased clock speeds but what really distinguishes them from many competitors is different versions of HIS’ iconic IceQ heatsink design.
Just like many NVIDIA lines from the past few years, higher than reference performance AMD cards seem to be a dime a dozen these days and in terms of clock speeds, neither of these cards is anything ground breaking. Truth be told, AMD’s partners are quite conservative when it comes to pre-overclocking their designs and HIS follows along in the same footsteps.
The $369 HD 6970 IceQ Turbo is the flagship of HIS’ current single GPU lineup but it only offers minimal clock speed increases over the reference card which is likely why it only commands a $30 price premium. The HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X on the other hand offers a reasonable overclock but its price of $299 causes it play in the same market as some GTX 570 and HD 6970 2GB cards. That’s some tough competition indeed. But according to HIS, most of these cards’ appeal comes from their quiet operation and low temperatures rather than any real world performance improvement over stock designs.
So what we have here are two AMD cards that should be the best of the best among their respective peers but can HIS’ promises of cool, quiet computing justify their increased cost? We’re about to find out.
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