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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Thursday, 02 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

HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X Details

In this section we shall take an in-depth look at the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X video card and see what makes it tick.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_PCB_Front.jpg

With the cooler assembly and other heatsinks fully removed we can get a better look at the board, The overall layout of all the components is a little different with the 6000 series, the standard layout has moved the power phase/VRM section to the left hand side of the GPU, into an area that is normally left somewhat unoccupied. All in all the PCB looks good with no real waste of space and the soldering quality is of a very high standard as you will see in the close-up shots further down the page.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_PCB_Rear.jpg

The back of the PCB is utilised mainly for resistors and the soldering quality is excellent for such tiny components, man loses the war to the machine when it comes to detailed work like this. These days you don't generally see RAM on the reverse side of a 1GB video card design thanks to the smaller manufacturing process that allows more density in a smaller package. There are a few points of interest that we will look at in more detail in this section.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_Elpida_W1032BABG-50-F.jpg

The HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X uses 1GB of Elpida W1032BABG GDDR5 Memory rated 1250MHz (5GHz effective) at 1.5V.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_CHiL_CHL8214-01.jpg

For voltage control HIS have utilized a CHiL CHL82414-01 Dual output 4+1 phase PWM Controller. Below is a snippet from the product description.

The CHL8212/13/14 are dual-loop digital multi-phase buck controllers and the CHL8203 is a single-loop digital multiphase buck controller designed for GPU voltage regulation. Dynamic voltage control is provided by registers which are programmed through I2C and then selected using a 3-bit parallel bus for fast access.

The CHL8203/12/13/14 include CHiL Efficiency Shaping Technology to deliver exceptional efficiency at minimum cost across the entire load range. CHiL Dynamic Phase Control adds/drops active phases based upon load current and can be configured to enter 1-phase operation and diode emulation mode automatically or by command.

SOURCE: chilsemi.com

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_uP6122AF.jpg

The uP6122AF from uPI Semiconductor provides voltage control to the I/O buffer.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_uP7701U8_Front_PCB.jpg

Two uP7701U8 (above and below) voltage control chips are present, one on the front and one on the reverse of the PCB. Specifications for these chips are not readily available but there is a good chance that they are an improvement on an older design. They provide voltage control for the GPU.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_uP7701U8.jpg

One can only speculate as to why there are two controllers but they may not be both performing the same task. When we look at the vital statistics of this video card in GPU-Z we see lots of extra info not normally seen on this level of card. For instance, instead of just a regular vCore reading we get readings for 12V line quality, VDDC usage in volts and VDDC current usage in amps.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_uP6101BU8.jpg

A uP6101BU8 is somewhat of an older chip seen on much earlier 4000 series AMD Radeon video cards, provides voltage control for the memory.

HIS_HD6870_IceQ_X_Turbo_X_PI3HDMI4.jpg

The Pericom PI3HDMI4 chip controls the HDMI and DVI interfaces. Seen on a lot of Radeon video cards, this is likely to be the main reason why AMD video cards can support more than two monitors whereas NVIDIA cards can only support two max.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardAthlonite 2011-06-03 00:52
Also don't look for the fan on this card to last much longer than a year they're cheap sh!t fans the fan on this card is the same as my HD5770's which is only six months old and is already noisy as hell I think if you remove it and try looking for a way to re-lube it you'll find it's an completely sealed unit
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# RE: RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-06-04 11:45
I took a look at the HIS 5770 cards and I noticed that the cards that don't have radial fans have 9 blade fans, this card has an 11 blade fan which may be a better design, or I may live to eat my words...

All I know is that they are pretty damn good right now, noise and cooling wise.
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# COST EFFECTIVECHARLEY MACHICOTE 2011-06-03 11:19
looks like somebody did theie home work on this one .. More information than I need but Im sure other like . question what plugs into the mini dp ??? something new to me been out of the loop. acording to the stats this card is a great buy .. Fast and cool makes it very COST EFFECTIVE.
bore bang for the buck .The color blue very pleasing to the eye and a 90mm fan heat sinks for cooling really doing a job that others leave to water cooling .. overall I would purchace this card ..
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# RE: COST EFFECTIVEOlin Coles 2011-06-03 13:21
Hello Charley: those mini-DisplayPort connections fit some of the latest (and very rare) monitors which support it. DisplayPort enables you to chain monitors using other devices.
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# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardRobert17 2011-06-03 19:50
Thanks Steven. Good review. I hope HIS reads your post and addresses the fan control issue. Would probably push the card into "9" territory?

Just a note: had some pages of the review refused to load/display. Skipped ahead, or went back, restarted the browser. Didn't solve the problem. Couple of pages just plain missing?
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# Working at my end...Olin Coles 2011-06-03 21:21
Sorry for your problems, but I just went through the article page by page with IE, FF, and Chrom, and each page seems to load just fine.
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# RE: RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-06-04 11:32
HIS are looking into the issue and we hope to have a resolution in good time, whether it's just this card or all of their 6870 IceQ X Turbo X cards will remain to be seen till then. If this card didn't have the fan issue it would have quite possibly got a gold award.

Thanks everyone for the positive remarks.
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# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardMACK 2011-06-04 09:43
Really great review.
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# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardKyle 2011-06-07 12:10
I really like the review. I must say that I am fairly new to computers. I am looking around at many different video cards in the $200 to $250 Range.

My real question is does the 6950 version of this card have the same Fan profile issue as this card, 6870? I also took out of the review that this issue it not much of an issue. If I raise the fan speed will everything be fine?

Thanks.
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# RE: RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-06-07 13:21
Oki a little bit of info before the review is published, the 6850 and the 6950 HIS cards all have a very similar fan profile, the 6950 fan spins at 50% while the GPU is at 75C on it's embedded auto profile... And yes, if you raise the fan speed above 60% (preferably 70% for good temps) you won't have an issue.

Thanks.
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# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardDave Springs 2011-06-13 15:39
Is there anything out that would help me to "translate" the meaning of all the data that appears with the Benchmark Reviews --- especially relative to the Hackintosh effort?
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# RE: RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardDavid Ramsey 2011-06-13 15:42
What, exactly, do you need to help you understand the meaning of the data? Tell us and we'll do our best to provide it.

The Hackintosh is stable...I'm still running the same hardware configuration I wrote about in the original article. I've been very happy with it and the only bump in the road was a system software update that killed the sound; a KEXT patch brought that back.

I plan to migrate the Hackintosh to the Sandy Bridge platform sometime this summer and will have a new article when that's ready.
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# Great CardGadgeteer 2011-06-27 11:16
Hello Steve!

Thank you for a deep review. The card looks neat, and it's pretty good performance-wise.
Lower temps not only give space for overclocking, but also helps hardware live longer.
Fan issue doesn't look good... oh well it's fixable.
But the main reason I want this card is that it's quiter than other models with similar performance.

54-56db instead of 69-74 of Nvidia 560Ti/480. Impressive.

I'm building a rig with the following configuration:
AM3 AMD Phenom II X6 1090T BOX BLACK EDITION (amd)
DDR3 4096M 1333 Mhz Kingston Original (KVR1333D3N9/4G/KVR1333D3N9/4G-SPBK) - 2 pieces
HDD:500.0g 7200 Serial ATA III WD 16MB Caviar Blue (WD5000AAK?)
S-AM3: Asus M4A88T-V EVO/USB3.
PCIeX: ATI HD6870 HIS IceQ X Turbo 1024MB/256bit/GDDR5/2xDVI/HDMI/2xMini DP (975/4600) (H687QNT1G2M)
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus (RR-B10-212P-GP)
Sony Optiarc LightScribe, Black, SATA (AD-7261S-0B)
Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus (RC-912P-KKN1)
ANTEC High Current Gamer HCG-620EC 620W v.2.3,Fan135mm, aPFC, 80+Bronze, SLI, Retail

All for less than 800 dollars!

Way to go ATI!

Warm greetings from Russia.
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# 3 displays?Mathias 2011-07-17 04:30
Hi!
I have got 3 displays that I want to use with Eyefinity to play games like Bad Company 2 over 3 diplays to get a wider view. The problem is that my current graphics card does not support more than 2 displays. So my question is, does the IceQ X Turbo X support 3 displays? If it does, i'm probably going to buy one soon!

BTW very nice and thorough review!

Regards from Norway
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# 4 displays!Gadgeteer 2011-07-17 04:33
Actually it supports up to four displays :^)
Never tried to use more than 2, but I have no reason not to believe the specs from HIS site.

Don?t choose between play and work. Let up to 4 displays help you enjoy games, movies and the web at the same time.
##hisdigital.com/un/product2-593.shtml
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# 3 displays?Mathias 2011-07-17 08:16
I know it says that, but on the box belonging to my old graphics card it also said something about up to four displays, but it turned out it only supported two :(
Because of that I would like to know for sure that it supports three or four displays...
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# RE: 3 displays?Olin Coles 2011-07-17 08:52
It will support four displays using DisplayPort only, not DVI. You will need two cards to support more than two DVI displays.
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# RE: RE: 3 displays?Gadgeteer 2011-07-17 09:28
MOBO integrated graphics will do for third?
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# found smthGadgeteer 2011-07-17 09:32
the setup for a triple monitor setup should be:
1x DVI or HDMI monitor connected to the DVI or HDMI port
1x DVI monitor connected to a DVI port
1x ACTIVE displayport to DVI adaptered monitor.
source: ##overclock.net/amd-ati/869715-radeon-6870-multiple-monitor-issues.html
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# Fan issueEgil 2011-08-24 12:57
Hi,

I've just installed this card and found that it shuts down as mentioned.

I have tried the fix using afterburner that was suggested and F12010 crashes very quickly. The game runs on my computer with a previous graphics card installed

Has there been a permanent resolution to the fan issue?

Thanks in advance,

Egil
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# RE: Fan issueSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-08-24 13:07
This issue was forwarded to HIS before the review was published and to my knowledge there has been no resolution. You may want to check the HIS website to see if there is a BIOS update available.
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# 3D and HD 2DBrad 2011-09-18 06:36
I've heard alot about this card and 3D , i finally set my eyes on this for christmas but in some of the reviews they've been saying its good for 3D , will this work just as good on normal 1920x1080 HD games like Men of war , and stuff like that, 'cos im not bothered about 3D. Thanks
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# RE: 3D and HD 2DOlin Coles 2011-09-18 08:44
I think you've been confused with some of the marketing hype. Almost all games are 3D, at least in the sense that they generate 3D-like graphics with poloygons and shadows. Additionally, some of the new cards actually offer true 3D functionality with the use of special glasses or screens. 2D games still exist, but you'll only see them with parlor games like Solitaire or Minesweeper.
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# 3D and HD 2DBrad 2011-09-18 08:54
I probably have lol but when people talk about 3D its normally when 'graphics come out ' of screens. So yeah im looking for a 150$ graphics card to play minesweeper :)
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# RE: HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-09-18 08:38
The benchmarks tell the story buddy. But yeah, it will work just as well if not better in non 3d games.
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# ThanksBrad 2011-09-18 08:44
Ok cool im definatly got a graphics card out of weeks of hopping to other cards.
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# New plus model betterStu 2011-09-26 00:05
HIS have now released a special edition of this as a 'plus' model. It now included there hd6970 fan on it. This makes the card run very cool and is superb for overclocking.
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