The HIS 6870 IceQ X TURBO X has been marketed as the fastest 6870 in the world. With out-of-the-box clocks of 975 Core and 1150 Memory, it would seem to be true. We find out what this means for your gaming and your wallet.

Manufacturer: (Hightech Information Systems)
Price: $249.99 ($229.99 after rebate)


I always enjoy it when we get the chance to look at an Graphics card. I can’t recall ever reviewing a bad one, and if the card in question is not a launch card, will have upgraded the default design with a new cooler and most likely overclock it too. Sometimes they do this more than once for the same series.

Take today’s review item for example. We’ve already looked at the HIS 6870 Turbo a while back, which was one of the first overclocked 6870′s you could buy. Then released the 6870 IceQ X Turbo, a similar card but with an uprated cooler (and a cooler we’ve not seen before). But the card I have today is the . Sporting a core clock of 975MHz, it’s clocked quite high so I’m looking forward to putting it through our usual test games. Let’s check it out.


Model Name
HIS 6870 IceQ X Turbo X 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/2xDVI/2xMini DP
Radeon HD 6870 PCIe Series
RadeonTM HD 6870 GPU
Manu. Process (Micron)
Memory Size (MB)
Memory Type
Engine CLK (MHz)
Memory CLK (Gbps)
Power Supply Requirement
500 Watt or greater power
Max. Resolution
Bus Interface
PCI Express x16
Mini Display Port
Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I


As mentioned before, the core clock on the is raised from a default 900 to 975MHz, which is a pretty healthy increase. A normal HD 6870 sports GDDR5 running at 1050MHz (4.2GHz effective) but for this card, HIS have increased the memory speed to 1150MHz (4.6GHz effective) which is also a good increase.

box1 box2


The box for the HIS 6870 IceQ X Turbo X is the same ice imagery we have come to expect of the latest IceQ cooled graphics cards from HIS. You get lots of logos that indicate features of the card on a backdrop of a block of blue ice. The rear of the box goes into further details of many features and also explains about the IceQ X cooling setup.

box3 box4 box5 contents1


Inside, a gray box holds all of the contents. Opening the gray box we find a top tray with the extra contents. Included with the card are two Twin Molex to one PCIe 6 pin power adapters, a CrossfireX bridge connector, a DVI to VGA adapter and a small folder that holds the software CD, a quick manual and a case badge. To get to the card, you simply lift the tray from the top, and the card is held in a shaped clear plastic shell underneath. I like the HIS packaging as everything is recyclable and easy to get in to.


The HIS 6870 IceQ X Turbo X is quite striking at first glance. Much like the box artwork, the IceQ X cooling is an Ice Pale Blue in color. I know that some are not all that fond of the latest design but I kind of like it.

card fan sticker


HIS have used the same blue translucent finned fan as many of their previous custom cooler cards and it fits in well here with the rest of the cards color scheme. Sitting next to the fan is an IceQ X sticker and the card model, along with a cutout of the HIS logo.

card pipes

Popping out of the side of the card are 4 chrome heat-pipes which gives you visions of an engines exhaust pipes.


The twin power headers sit to the rear but face the side of the card, allowing you to easily plug in and remove the power connectors.

card rear

Turning the card over, we can see the familiar blue PCB that HIS use for most of their cards. With the blue fan and blue cooling shroud, it all matches nicely.


The IO plate has a quarter sized exhaust grill with the first of our DVI ports next to it. Below this are two Min Display-port Ports, and HDMI port and a second DVI port. The plate itself indicates which DVI is the single link header with a simple VGA next to it, which I think is a simple but good idea.



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 April 1st 2011 and the OS is Windows 7 64bit.

For comparison, we are testing against a default clocked 5870 (to show the progression over time), 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, 2xMSAA and 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.

– A popular way of testing your graphics, we ran the performance test.

– We’re not big on synthetic tests around here, but I do enjoy running the Heaven benchmark. Settings were the same for all cards.


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