|HIS Radeon HD6950 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Friday, 10 June 2011|
Page 17 of 18
HIS HD6950 IceQ X Turbo X Overclocking
Before I start overclocking I like to get a little bit of information, firstly I like to establish operating temperatures and since we know these are nice we can quickly move on. Next I like to know what the voltage and clock limits are, so I fired up MSI's Afterburner utility. I established that vCore was adjustable between 0.800v and 1.299v and clock speeds were limited to 950MHz max on the GPU and 1350MHz (5.4GHz effective) maximum frequency for the memory. This is not a lot of range to move forward with but I'm sure I can squeeze every last drop of performance out of the HIS HD6950 IceQ X Turbo X. My preferred weapons are MSI Afterburner (v2.2.0 Beta 3) for fine tuning while using FurMark (v1.9.0) to heat the GPU.
Without needing to raise the vCore I was able to push the GPU to its 950MHz limit. Increasing the memory speed to 1350MHz (5.4GHz effective) also required very little effort at all. I am really impressed by the capabilities of the already overclocked HIS HD6950 IceQ X Turbo X video card, I'm sure there is still some overclock headroom but 950MHz/1350MHz is the highest Afterburner will allow.
Armed with a 70MHz GPU overclock (150MHz over reference design) and a 50MHz memory overclock (100MHz over reference design), we went back to the bench and ran through the entire test suite. Overall we saw an average 6.77% increase in scores (at 1920x1080 resolution. We ran the fan speed at 75% to ensure the card stayed nice and cool during the overclocked benchmarking run as this card can get very hot if the fan speed is not adjusted accordingly.
We also re ran temperature tests at the overclocked speeds at a slightly higher ambient temperature of 26°C. The IceQ X cooler on the HIS HD6950 IceQ X Turbo X once again did not fail to please, at idle the GPU sat at 44°C (29% fan speed). Pushing the temperature up with FurMark saw the GPU load temperature rise to 78°C (51% fan speed). The auto fan speed is quite relaxed so next I tested at 75% fan speed and the temperature dropped to 68°C. Cranking the fan on manual to 100% saw the temperature drop to 63°C
That's all of the testing over, in the next section I will deliver my final thoughts and conclusion.