The HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB Graphics Card features an uprated cooler, higher core and memory clocks out of the box and promises to give you a great gaming experience. We see if the fastest 6950 2GB around is worth it.
The Cayman series of graphics cards from AMD came out at the end of last year, and were received rather well by everyone. The instantly recognizable change at this time was the inclusion of 2GB of GDDR as opposed to the 1GB we have come to expect. This was of course just one of many changes.
Speaking of changes, have been really making a push with their Turbo and Turbo X cards of late. The company has laid claim to some of the fastest out-of-the-box AMD Graphics Cards around. The is no exception, with dialing up both the GPU Core and the Memory.
Naturally of course, when the Press Release for the came through our inbox, we just had to take a look, so let’s get to it.
|Model Name||HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/2xDVI/2xDP|
|Chipset||Radeon HD 6950 PCIe Series|
|ASIC||RadeonTM HD 6950 GPU|
|Manu. Process (Micron)||40nm|
|Memory Size (MB)||2048|
|Engine CLK (MHz)||880Mhz|
|Memory CLK (Gbps)||5.2Gbps|
|Memory Interface (bit)||256|
|Power Supply Requirement||500 Watt or greater power|
|Max. Resolution||2560*1600 (Single Display)|
|Bus Interface||PCI Express x16|
|Mini Display Port||Yes|
|DVI||Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I|
The box for the HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB Graphics Card has images of cold ice cracking and little else. On the front, you get plenty of logo indicators for the main features and attractions of the card. The rear expands on these features so you should know exactly what you are getting.
Opening the box for the HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB Graphics Card, we find another box inside. The gray box opens to reveal a tray which supports the extra contents. Underneath this tray is the card itself, supported inside a preformed clear plastic insert.
Included with the HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB Graphics Card is a small folder which contains the Software disk (drivers, utilities, wallpaper, etc), a case badge and a quick installation guide. Also included are two twin 4 pin Molex to a single 6 pin PCIe power adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter and a CrossfireX bridge connector.
The card itself is big, bold and blue, sporting the recent IceQ X cooler. There are plenty of indicators in the form of stickers should you forget what card you have in your machine.
The surround for the cooler is a pale blue for the most part, but darkens into an almost turquoise blue-green around the central fan. This fan area also has a honeycomb like hexagon pattern which looks quite nice.
Looking through the fan blades we can see the aluminum fins of the heatsink underneath the shroud. The fan blades themselves are of the same blue-green as the honeycomb surround and are almost translucent.
Moving to the side, we can see another part integral to the cooling; the heat-pipes. These heat-pipes have been colored silver and give off a cool engine exhaust manifold appearance which should look good in any computer case with a window. Also of note for a 6950 is that unlike the reference design, HIS have forgone the inclusion of a dual BIOS switch, which is a bit of a shame.
This side also has two input headers for 6 pin PCIe power connectors. These connectors sit facing the side of your case rather than the more traditional rear of the card placement.
Turning the card over we can get a good look at the blue PCB. Overall the card has a theme of blue and silver which should match many enthusiast setups these days. You certainly won’t be hard pushed to find a matching motherboard and LED fans for example.
The back-plate is colored to a dark silver, almost a gunmetal appearance. The first slot has a half size exhaust for the fan with a Dual DVI port. Below sit two Mini DisplayPort ports, an HDMI port and Single DVI Port marked VGA.
Test Setup: Intel Core i5 750 @ 3.8GHz, 4GB of Crucial Ballistix Tracer Ram @ 1600MHz, MSI P55-GD65, Silicon Power M10 32GB + Western Digital 640GB, Custom CPU Watercooling, Hiper Type M 730w PSU, Cooler Master Cosmos S Case. All latest drivers as of May 2011 and the OS is Windows 7 64bit.
For comparison, we are testing against a default clocked 6950 (to show the extra performance over a standard card).
Left 4 Dead 2 – Recording a custom demo on the Dead Center, Hotel level (inside in the inferno), we used FRAPS to record frame rates as we played back the demo at highest possible settings for our test card.
Assassin’s Creed 2 – The second of our DirectX 9 games, we tested by climbing a tower repeatedly in the Venice, San Polo – Rialto Bridge area and taking a leap of faith to the hay below 3 times. FRAPS was used to record frame-rates and the cards were set to the highest possible for our test card.
Batman Arkham Asylum – We used a combination of the in game benchmark and FRAPS to gather our numbers for this game. All cards were set to the highest possible settings for the test card.
Crysis 2 – We used the Adrenaline benchmark tool to run through the Central Park demo and recorded the results with FRAPS. Settings for each card were set to highest possible for the test card.
Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark – Using a DirectX11 engine, this benchmark provides a nice repeatable test combined with FRAPS. Settings for the demo were at 2xMSAA with 16xAF.
Colin McRae’s DiRT2 – DiRT2 has some very good looking visuals and provides us with another DirectX 11 test. We used FRAPS with the games inbuilt benchmark to test a quick run around a London track.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat Benchmark – Our third DX11 test uses a combination of FRAPS and the Sunshafts portion of the benchmark. Cards were set to highest possible for the test card.
– We ran a standard performance test for all the cards used in the review to see which could give us the largest score.
– Using the Unigine Heaven v2.5 test, we ran a benchmark to see how we scored.