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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Friday, 03 June 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video Card
Closer Look: HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X
HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X Details
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 HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

IceQ X Turbo X Final Thoughts

If it wasn't for the issue with the card shutting down in two of our benchmarks then this would have been a great card to recommend, as it stands though HIS need to look into this issue and pre load this model with a more aggressive fan profile or provide a BIOS update with a more agressive fan profile embedded for cards that are already out. This issue could lead to a lot of unnecessary RMA's which wouldn't be good for HIS.

The IceQ X Cooler with its 92mm fan is more than capable of taming the HD6870 GPU even with its extreme overclock, but not with its default fan profile. The fan isn't even that loud when set to 100% so I don't understand why the HIS labs have is spinning so slow. When I gave the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X a more performance related fan profile in Afterburner (v2.2.0 Beta 3) the problem had all but gone away, it wasn't until I started overclocking it that it reared its ugly head again. Thankfully setting the fan to 100% saw me through my overclocking run and showed what sort of performance the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X is really capable of.

HIS HD6870 Conclusion

Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar video card that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.


The graphics performance of the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X is very good indeed, in four of our ten tests it was able to match the performance of the stock GTX 560Ti and then more so when it was overclocked. This card comes with a pretty high clock already and pushing it further requires the fan profile to be altered if you want it to remain active. Overclocking is always uncertain territory so we should be thankful that there is any headroom at all.

The appearance rating of the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X is up for debate. The bright, in your face aqua/turquoise colored shroud and fan serve as a visual metaphor of ice (hence the name) and give this video card a very unique and individual look that is sure to appeal to some but to me it is a bit too much. The side view is its saving grace, the IceQ cooler looks nicer from the side and makes all the difference once you install the card into your system. There are some that will surely disagree but thanks to the graphic nature of this review you can easily make your mind up for yourself.

Construction is excellent as you would expect from a company with a good reputation like HIS, despite the use of plastic for the shroud the whole package feels quite solid. Taking the card to pieces and reconstructing it was a breeze and everything lined up perfectly, the IceQ heatsink is solid and really adds some weight and girth to the card which reassures you that it is no fragile piece of hardware.

Functionality is very good, I can't help but keep singing praise for the IceQ cooler, it really is so good, even though it was let down somewhat by a relaxed fan profile. There are some extra sensor readings in GPU-Z not seen on all other cards and help you keep track of things in real time when overclocking or load testing.

The HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X video card model H687QNX1G2M will cost you $229.99 at Newegg and Amazon retailers, and at this price point it sits directly between the much loved NVIDIA GTX460 and the GTX 560Ti and falls between them performance wise too. On average the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X costs $5.61/FPS in our benchmark tests, and I believe this to be very reasonable for a performance card like this.

I have no problems recommending this card to anyone who is in the market for a mid/high end card. You will definitely want to run the fan speed a bit faster to stop the GPU heating up too fast under a heavy load but that's childsplay... Right?


+ IceQ cooler is excellent
+ Fan at 100% is not too loud
+ Excellent build quality
+ Great performance
+ Good value for money
+ CrossFireX Support
+ Clocks over 1GHz
+ Variety of outputs: Display Port, DVI-I and HDMI


- Hot air from GPU exhausted into case
- Fan profile is too relaxed for a real heavy load
- Looks are not its best feature


  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 8.75

Final Score: 8.90 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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