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HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo
Written by Scott Harness   
Monday, 08 November 2010 00:00

thumb1HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo

- The 6870 has been well received, but that just wasn't enough for HIS. They've increased the speeds on both the GPU and the Memory to give us this Turbo version of the 6870.


When the 68xx series was released a couple of weeks ago, it brought some confusion because of the naming scheme but overall favorable reviews due to the performance and price. Suffice to say, the 68xx series is the mid-range part of the Northern Islands cards which represent AMD's second generation of DirectX 11 architecture.

One thing that was apparent was that while not mind blowing in performance, the 68xx cards were very good performers, sitting somewhere close the to 58xx series. While the 68xx series are mid-range, the 58xx series are of course top end cards, but the price difference is what makes the performance of the 68xx so well received.

have supplied us with the first overclocked out-of-the-box 6870 we've seen as yet, the . This card aims to improve the performance with higher clock speeds, and all for a reasonable increase in the price.



Model Name
HIS 6870 Turbo 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/2xDVI/2xMini DP
Radeon HD 6870 PCIe Series
Radeon HD 6870 GPU
Memory Size
Manu. Process
Memory Type
Engine CLK
Memory CLK
4.48GBPs / 4480 MHz
Memory Interface
Bus Interface
PCI Express x16
Max. Resolution
3x 2560*1600
GPU Features
  • Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
  • AMD Eyefinity Technology
  • AMD Advanced Parallel Processing technology
  • Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology
  • AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
  • 3rd Generation TeraScale Engine
  • 40nm Process Technology
  • Accelerated Video Transcoding
  • Nearly 3 teraFLOPS of computing power!
  • Display Flexibility
  • HDMI 1.4
  • Dolly®TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support
  • AMD PowerPlay™ Technology
  • Enhanced Unified Video Decoder (UVD) 3
  • Accelerate the most demanding applications with AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) technology. Do more, faster.
  • Maximize your online and Blu-ray video experiences with a new level of smooth visual quality with AMD EyeSpeed visual acceleration technology.
  • Experience Blu-ray 3D as it was intended with AMD HD3D technology.
  • Take advantage of AMD Radeon™ HD 6800 Series graphics’ Dolby True HD and 3D HDTV support to create that theatre-quality experience.
Power Supply Requirement
500 Watt or greater power
2x DVI (Upper Single-link DVI-D + Bottom Dual-link DVI-I), 1x HDMI, 2x Mini DisplayPort


box_box1 box_box1

The box for the HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo is much like the 6850 we reviewed last week and identical to the standard HIS Radeon 6870 with the exception of the turbo sticker on the front. A nice black box designed to be stood upright, with the image of Excalibur which has been the HIS symbol for years now. Prominent features are badged on the front with extensive details on features on the rear. Also note that because this the top of the 68xx series, the HD 6870 is colored gold (the 6850 is colored silver).


box_box1 box_box1 box_box1

Inside is the now standard gray box that HIS use. This is a two layer package with a tray with the extra's on top and the card underneath.


box_contents1 box_contents1

Included with the HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo are a pair of 6 pin PCIe power to 2x 4 pin Molex power adapters, a VGA to DVI adapter, a CrossfireX bridge connector and a small folder. The folder has a paper manual, a case badge and the software disk.


card_card1 card_card1 card_card1

The card itself is quite large and reminiscent of the previous 5xxx series with a black shroud covering the card. Naturally we find HIS imagery on the shroud and the HIS logo on the red fan.


card_side1 card_side1

Red 'go faster stripes' are set into the sides of the shroud all around. The rear of the card is actually bare with not even a vent.


The PCIe headers have been moved to the side, which is good since with the card being so long, there is no way I would have got the card to install in the second case I tried, a standard mid tower. As it was, I had to rearrange the hard drives to sit above and below the end of the card. Keep this in mind folks.


card_back card_back

The back of the card shows off the nice black PCB and a matching black mount for the cooling set up. Like the 6850, the HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo only has a single CrossfireX header. If you want to run more than two cards from AMD's new 6xxx series, you'll have to wait for the 69xx series to appear.


The IO panel makes change from what we are used to. There is a two DVI ports (one single-link, one dual-link), an HDMI 1.4a port and two Mini-DisplayPort ports at version 1.2. There is also the exhaust grill for the cooling.


This card is also a bit of a 'heffer', weighing in at over 1.5kg's. That said, we had no problems due to weight installing the card in a standard mid-tower case or a Cosmos S.



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 November 1st 2010 and the OS is Windows 7 64bit.

For comparison, we are testing against a default clocked NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB card, a default clocked HIS 6850, and a default clocked 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 rates for each 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 each 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 that 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 that card.

Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark – Using a DirectX11 engine, this benchmark provides a nice repeatable test combined with FRAPS. Settings for each card were set to default benchmark settings at our chosen resolution.

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 Ray portion of the benchmark. Cards were set to highest possible for each card.

– A popular way of testing your graphics, and useful for stress testing while overclocking. We used the Performance benchmark to give us a synthetic score.


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