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Written by Steve Hearst   
Wednesday, 09 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ Video Card
Closer Look: HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ 1GB
HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ 1GB Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
VGA Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ 1GB Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ 1GB Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2 has been optimized for DX11 enabled GPUs and has a number of enhancements to not only improve performance with DX11 enabled GPUs, but also greatly improve the visual experience while taking to the skies. The game uses a hardware terrain tessellation method that allows a high number of detailed triangles to be rendered entirely on the GPU when near the terrain in question. This allows for a very low memory footprint and relies on the GPU power alone to expand the low resolution data to highly realistic detail.

The Tom Clancy's HAWX2 benchmark uses normal game content in the same conditions a player will find in the game, and allows users to evaluate the enhanced visuals that DirectX-11 tessellation adds into the game. The Tom Clancy's HAWX2 benchmark is built from exactly the same source code that's included with the retail version of the game. HAWX2's tessellation scheme uses a metric based on the length in pixels of the triangle edges. This value is currently set to 6 pixels per triangle edge, which provides an average triangle size of 18 pixels.

The end result is perhaps the best tessellation implementation seen in a game yet, providing a dramatic improvement in image quality over the non-tessellated case, and running at playable frame rates across a wide range of graphics hardware.

  • Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark 1.0.4
    • Extreme Settings: (Maximum Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, DX11 Terrain Tessellation)

HAWX_2.jpg

Cost Analysis: HAWX 2 (1680x1050)

  • $139.99 Radeon HD6850 costs $1.89 per FPS
  • $159.99 GeForce GTX 460 costs $1.87 per FPS
  • $199.99 HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ 1GB costs $2.35 per FPS
  • $199.99 HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X costs $2.38 per FPS
  • $219.99 GeForce GTX 560Ti costs $2.00 per FPS
  • $229.99 Radeon HD6950 costs $2.58 per FPS
  • Test Summary: HAWX 2 is a strange game in that you need to look very close to see the difference in quality settings, the main difference is in the terrain but this is easily overlooked as you are busy fighting with the controls just to fly in a straight line. The GTX 560Ti pummels on all of the video cards in this line up, beating them in both FPS performance and price per FPS, but all of the other cards also deliver excellent frame rates. The landscapes are beautifully rendered making the game scenery pleasurable, now I just need to master the controls.

    Graphics Card Radeon
    HD6850
    GeForce
    GTX 460 (OC)
    HIS Radeon
    HD6870 IceQ 1GB
    HIS Radeon
    HD6870 X Turbo X
    GeForce
    GTX 560Ti
    Radeon
    HD6950
    GPU Cores 960 336 1120 1120 384 1408
    Core Clock (MHz) 775 715 900 975 822 800
    Shader Clock (MHz) N/A 1430 N/A N/A 1645 N/A
    Memory Clock (MHz) 1000 900 1050 1150 1002 1250
    Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5
    Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit



     

    Comments 

     
    # RE: HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ Video CardSun Down 2011-11-09 22:31
    Great review of the card. Honestly, the name already gives away on how much it could be overclocked, you could use an air conditioner to push the card further. On your first point, saying the PC gaming is dead is like saying that every scientist in the world is dead. We're the pioneers of interactive graphics.
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: RE: HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ Video CardWhyNotV2 2011-11-17 03:37
    Sun Down, he wasn't saying he believed PC gaming was dead, read the whole statement...

    "A lot of people are speculating that the PC and PC gaming industry is dying but I beg to differ. I think the Tablet/Smartphone era is just a novelty phase. One problem lies with power delivery, and we all know that today's batteries just don't cut it when we want to use our devices for extended periods..."

    Nowhere did he say that he himself agreed and actually said he disagreeed.
    Report Comment
     
     
    # InfoChris 2012-01-17 11:13
    I have this motherboard:
    ##gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=1928#sp

    I wanted to put this graphics card on my system with full 4gb of RAM. I already updated the bios system to hande 2.1 PCIe. Would it work on my motherboard? How would it run if so?

    Thank you
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: InfoSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-17 11:28
    Your motherboard is fine and this card will run as it is intended to on it. Just make sure your PC case has enough room and that your power supply can handle the extra load.
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: RE: InfoChris 2012-01-17 16:08
    Thanks Steven. Yeah I want to build a new pc but don't have the cash at the moment so I was looking into a new graphics card for now.
    I was thinking about this HIS ice 6870 or this:
    ##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102924
    Which would you prefer? Or what other card would you consider?
    Thanks
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: RE: RE: InfoSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-18 16:32
    The Sapphire card is OK buddy although it is $10 more. Maybe consider looking at some NVIDIA cards too - GTX 560, GTX 560Ti or GTX 560Ti 448
    Report Comment
     
     
    # okChris 2012-01-18 17:11
    Thanks. I took your advice and looked into the Nvidia cards.
    This is what I found that I think would go well:
    ##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127608
    Report Comment
     
     
    # not a bad time...Pinakio 2011-11-10 14:41
    Great review from BMR as usual, keep'em coming! Despite what most people say, this is good time for upgrading GPUs. The price has reached a level of tranquility and is quite reasonable than ever and we've a pretty good idea of the performance that we can expect from both camps. Surely one can wait for GCN (SI/Kepler) but that ain't happening before 2012 as we all now know. But what we have in the market is proven GPUs with custom designs like this one and MSI TwinFrozr II/III, which are great for OCing and bang for $$. These AIBs are doing a great job of making innovative and effective designs and they should not be afraid of dishing out some significant amount of factory OC. Also considering the number of big tittles that are to be released like BF3, MW3 and Skyrim- we shall see a surge in the sells of discrete GPUs!
    Report Comment
     
     
    # Voltage ControlChris 2011-11-17 12:32
    That is an awesome overclock for not bumping the voltage. I'd love to see if you have control over this and see if you can get an even higher overclock. You can use ATI Tray Tools to get past the 1Ghz limit and you can punch in your own voltage. I have a pair of Vision#s and they will not allow you over mess with the voltage at all. Not even at the Bios level.
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: Voltage ControlSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-11-17 13:23
    I bumped the voltage to 1.3V to get that overclock and I was able to get past the 1GHz barrier by using the unofficial overclocking method whereby you modify the MSIafterburner.cfg to give more headroom. For all my efforts I couldn't get it stable beyond 1GHz. This was written in black and white in the overclocking chapter of this article.

    "More overclocking headroom could be unlocked for the GPU Core and Memory speeds using the unofficial overclocking method in MSI Afterburner, but I wasn't able to keep this card stable during testing when I went past the previous limits. I bumped the vCore to the max 1.30V and was able to push the clock speeds to 1000MHz GPU and 1250MHz (5GHz effective) Memory and still remain stable during the benchmarking run."
    Report Comment
     
     
    # This card awesomeTrevor 2011-12-01 21:28
    This card is awesome... I don't need to overclock it at all... everything is good excepted it is big for my mid tower
    Report Comment
     
     
    # InfoHurricane 2012-09-12 04:47
    I have this motherboard
    #in.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H67M_LX/

    and wanted to know whether this graphics card would work on it .So will it work ?
    Report Comment
     
     
    # YesBruce 2012-09-12 06:57
    Why would you think that it wouldn't? Just curious....
    Report Comment
     
     
    # RE: InfoAthlonite 2012-09-12 17:27
    as long as your Mother board has an x16 slot it will work even if that slot only runs at x4 speeds it'll still work
    Report Comment
     

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