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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: Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror, and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows. Metro 2033 uses the 4A game engine, developed by 4A Games. The 4A Engine supports DirectX-9, 10, and 11, along with NVIDIA PhysX and GeForce 3D Vision.

The 4A engine is multi-threaded in such that only PhysX had a dedicated thread, and uses a task-model without any pre-conditioning or pre/post-synchronizing, allowing tasks to be done in parallel. The 4A game engine can utilize a deferred shading pipeline, and uses tessellation for greater performance, and also has HDR (complete with blue shift), real-time reflections, color correction, film grain and noise, and the engine also supports multi-core rendering.

Metro 2033 featured superior volumetric fog, double PhysX precision, object blur, sub-surface scattering for skin shaders, parallax mapping on all surfaces and greater geometric detail with a less aggressive LODs. Using PhysX, the engine uses many features such as destructible environments, and cloth and water simulations, and particles that can be fully affected by environmental factors.

NVIDIA has been diligently working to promote Metro 2033, and for good reason: it's one of the most demanding PC video games we've ever tested. When their flagship GeForce GTX 480 struggles to produce 27 FPS with DirectX-11 anti-aliasing turned to to its lowest setting, you know that only the strongest graphics processors will generate playable frame rates. All of our tests enable Advanced Depth of Field and Tessellation effects, but disable advanced PhysX options.

  • Metro 2033
    • Moderate Settings: (Very-High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Fraps Chase Scene)

Metro_2033.jpg

Cost Analysis: Metro 2033 (1680x1050)

  • $139.99 Radeon HD6850 costs $5.67 per FPS
  • $159.99 GeForce GTX 460 costs $6.86 per FPS
  • $199.99 HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ 1GB costs $7.01 per FPS
  • $199.99 HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X costs $6.53 per FPS
  • $219.99 GeForce GTX 560Ti costs $7.60 per FPS
  • $229.99 Radeon HD6950 costs $6.91 per FPS
  • Test Summary: Metro 2033 is hard on all video cards, and in our tests only the factory overclocked video cards delivered acceptable frame rates. It is also rather apparent that the AMD GPU's deliver better performance across the board when compared to their theoretical rivals, another win for the overclocked HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ 1GB. This game was intended to be played with PhysX enabled and we all know this is something only NVIDIA cards can do well at the moment, hopefully in the future we might see PhysX code that is better optimized for multi-core CPU's.

    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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