HIS HD 7970 IceQ X≤ & HD 7950 IceQ X≤ Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: January 21, 2013
Product Name: HD 7970 IceQ X≤ HD 7950 IceQ X≤
Part Number: H797QMC3G2M / H795QMC3G2M
Warranty: 3 Years
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In such a competitive GPU market, uniqueness usually garners a great amount of interest but it rarely sells graphics cards. The reason behind this is quite simple: gamers may love looking at the newest Matrix, Classified, Lightning or Super Overclock card but they can rarely afford such an expensive upgrade. So while there may be very little to differentiate the HIS HD 7970 IceQ X≤ and HD 7970 IceQ X≤ from their immediate competition due to a true lack of game changing features, thereís still plenty to like.

Without taking any risks or building additional cost into their IceQ X≤, HIS was still able to release a pair of highly appealing products. They accomplished this by combining a top notch heatsink and great overclocking abilities with decent software by way of the new iTurbo application. The result is a pair of cards which overclock extremely well without a substantial increase in fan noise or heat.

While we actually achieved some reasonably high clock speeds sans voltage changes, HISí iTurbo application was more than willing to take things to the next level. With slight modifications to the core and memory voltages, the HD 7970 IceQ X≤ and HD 7970 IceQ X≤ were really able to fly.

Unfortunately for some, HIS has equipped the HD 7970 IceQ X≤ and HD 7970 IceQ X≤ with a high efficiency PWM design which is quite loud when under load. Regardless of the fairly impressive reduction in power consumption, the components tend to buzz, sounding like a pack of pissed off cicadas. Once the card is installed into a case and game sounds start blaring, youíll never hear it but the noise created did drive up the decibel readings in our tests.

The real question here is quite simple: why should you, the end users consider one of these cards? Sure, they overclock well, run at low decibel levels and remain cool even in the most intense gaming scenarios but there are two dozen or so competitors which can claim the exact same thing. In addition, AMD has let their value-added free game promotion run its course and a replacement hasnít been announced so buying a HD 7900-series product isn't as "rewarding" as it used to be.

HISí selling point isnít chart topping performance, boatloads of extreme features or other items which will prove pointless for most gamers. Rather, these are no-frills products with a great heatsink and a killer price. By spending a mere $20 more than the reference version (and in some cases less than that), a gamer can upgrade to a significantly more capable card without breaking the bank. Thatís a small price to pay for what HIS is bringing to the table.


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