HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card

featured1The HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card features the new HIS IceQ X cooler, and as the Turbo in the name suggests, it also has been overclocked to provide extra performance. This is a really good card, so read on to see why I think it deserves a place in your machine.

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We are well into the cycle when it comes to graphics cards, in both camps. This means we are seeing some really nice third party configurations appearing with uprated cooling, higher clock speeds and even additions such as network interfaces!

The is one such addition to the market and it’s a good one. have used their new IceQ X cooling on the already highly tweakable 6850 GPU to come up with the . Whilst there is a HIS 6850 IceQ X Graphics Card, we are looking at the ; the Turbo marking this card as an out-of-the-box overclocked card. The card sports a core clock of 820MHz, and have also cranked up the memory clock to match as well (1100MHz/4400MHz).

It’s all sounding pretty good, so lets check out the specifications and see what’s in the box.

 

Specifications

Model Name HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E DP/2xDVI/HDMI
Chipset Radeon HD 6850 PCIe Series
ASIC RadeonTM HD 6850 GPU
Manu. Process (Micron) 40nm
Memory Size (MB) 1024
Memory Type GDDR5
Engine CLK (MHz) 820Mhz
Memory CLK (Gbps) 4.4Gbps
Memory Interface (bit) 256
Power Supply Requirement 500 Watt or greater power
Max. Resolution 2560*1600
Bus Interface PCI Express x16
Display Port Yes
HDMI Yes
DVI Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I
VGA No

 

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The box for the HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card gives you an impression of cool running, with lots of references and imagery of Ice. The front of the box immediately grabs your attention with the most pertinent details such as the quiet nature of the card and of course the Turbo fireball badge. The rear goes into specifics about the features of the card.

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As we have come to expect from HIS of late, inside is another box that holds everything safely. Opening the grey box we find a tray on top with the extras, and the card underneath held in moulded plastic insert.

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Included with the HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card are a Crossfire Bridge Connector, a DVI to VGA adapter, a double 4 pin Molex to a single 6 pin PCIe power adapter and a small folder. Inside the folder is a quick installation guide, and software disk, and a HIS case badge.

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The HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card itself sports the HIS IceQ X cooling setup, which is relatively new and as distinctive as the previous IceQ coolers. Central is a translucent blue fan, surrounded by honeycomb like blue highlights that sit on top of the rest of the pale blue shroud. Looking through the fan blades, we can see the multi-finned aluminum nature of the heatsink.

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The cooling uses the now almost obligatory heat-pipes, but I especially like the look of them on the HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card as you get this muscle car engine chromed exhaust manifold aesthetic. Since we are looking at the rear of the card, I’ll also say there is little else to see here.

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Moving to the back of the card, we can see that although it isn’t on show, HIS have also sleeved (well, heat shrunk) the fan cable to keep it all neat and tidy.

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Flipping the card over we can get a better look at the singular power header. A standard 6 pin PCIe power connector is required for use with this card.

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Finally we get to the backplate and it’s output options. There is a half sized exhaust grill sitting next to a DVI port on the first row. The second row as a full sized DisplayPort, an HDMI port and another DVI port. Don’t forget that only one of the DVI ports is dual link allowing for super high resolutions as per the new specifications for the 6xxx series.

 

Testing

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.

Software

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.

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