The HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo sports an uprated cooler, higher clocks (as denoted by the Turbo monicker) and a less than huge price tag. But is it any good? Read on to find out how it does in our usual round of gaming tests.
It’s not a new thing to use up less than perfect GPU’s to create new graphics cards in a line up. This is how many of the lower end cards you’ve seen “fill the gaps” in the market. Nothing wrong with this at all, waste not want not and all that.
Sometimes however, the pricing and performance of these cards won’t fit in with the pr-existing market. The AMD 5830 springs to mind; A pretty good card, if a little big and power hungry compared to it’s siblings and rivals. But it’s performance was too close to the much cheaper 5770, and it’s price was close enough to a much better performing 5850 that most bought one of those instead.
However the 6790, which is also based on a cut down GPU, looks like it’s a pretty good card. Since card manufacturers have had free reign to make their own recipe for making a 6790 card from the get go, HIS have come up with the right from the start. This means an uprated cooler, and higher than standard clock speeds.
|HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/2xDVI/2xMini DP
|Radeon HD 6790 PCIe Series
|RadeonTM HD 6790 GPU
|Manu. Process (Micron)
|Memory Size (MB)
|Engine CLK (MHz)
|Memory CLK (Gbps)
|Memory Interface (bit)
|Power Supply Requirement
|500 Watt or greater power
|PCI Express x16
|Mini Display Port
|Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I
The box for the HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card is the ice cool blue and white that marks many of HIS cards these days. The front gives the most prominent details such as the fact that this is a Turbo card and indicates some of the features. The rear goes into detail on those and other features of the card.
Inside, everything is held in a grey cardboard box. A tray sits a top the card itself and holds the extra contents. Included with the HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card are a DVI to VGA adapter, two twin Molex to PCIe power adapters, a CrossfireX bridge connector and a small folder. Inside the folder is a quick install guide, a HIS case badge and of course the Software CD which includes (amongst other items) the Driver for the card.
The card itself, as part of the IceQ X range from HIS, features the new IceQ X cooler with it’s distinctive pale blue shroud and translucent blue 92mm fan. Around the fan is a matching colored honeycomb like design to add to the overall image.
Turning the card around we find the prominent 4 chrome heatpipes that keep things both cool and quiet during use.
You’ll also note that despite it’s bigger brothers only requiring a single PCIe power connector, the HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card uses two.
The rear of the card is pretty uneventful but you can get a clear view of the matching blue PCB.
The backplate sports twin mini-DisplayPorts, a full sized HDMI port and two DVI ports, one of which is only a single linke DVI and marked VGA. There is also a half sized exhaust grill for the cooling.
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 6850 (to show the extra performance over a standard card), and a default clocked HIS 6870.
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 Warhead – We used the Framebuffer benchmark tool to run through the Ambush 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 highest possible configuration and 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.