HIS 6950/6970 Fan Turbo 2GB and HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB Graphics Cards
- Intel Core i7-975 3340 MHz CPU
- ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard on the Intel X58 chipset
- 6GB of 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM from Corsair
- WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD
- Tagan TG900-BZ 900W PSU
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, DirectX 11
- 30" Dell 3007WFP monitor
- VSync disabled
- NVIDIA Drivers 267.31/267.26/267.59/267.71
- ATI CATALYST 11.4 beta
- Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) — DirectX 10.0, Shaders 4.0 (HDR), built-in benchmarking utility (the Middle level), maximum settings.
- CRYSIS Warhead (Crytek/EA) — Cargo, DirectX 10.0, Shaders 4.0, Very High settings, batch file, timedemo available by e-mail request.
- Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (Codemasters) — DirectX 10.0/11.0, Ultra High settings, run as follows: "dirt2.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml".
- Metro 2033 (4A Games/THQ) — DirectX 11.0, Super High settings, PhysX disabled, run from in game.
- Just Cause 2 (Avalanche Studios/Eidos Interactive) — DirectX 11.0, Super High settings, run from in game.
- Aliens vs. Predator (Rebellion/SEGA) — DirectX 11.0, Shaders 5.0, Very High settings, run from in game.
- F1 2010 (Codemasters) — DirectX 11.0, Ultra High settings, run as follows: "formulaone.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml". Game provided by NVIDIA.
- Tropics Benchmark 1.3 (Unigine) — DirectX 10.0, High settings.
- Heaven Benchmark 2.0 (Unigine) — DirectX 11.0, High settings.
- 3DMark 11 (FutureMark) — DirectX 11.0, Performance settings.
We'd like to thank Unigine for helping us set up their benchmarks.
Despite factory overclocking all today's cards perform only up to 5% faster than their reference counterparts, so there's no sense in adding them to the diagrams. All performance conclusions relevant to regular Radeon HD 6850/6950/6970 cards will remain correct for these products from HIS.
Far Cry 2
Crysis Warhead, Cargo
Colin McRae: DiRT 2
Just Cause 2
Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11.0
Unigine Tropics Benchmark
Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 11.0
3DMark 11 Graphics Marks
HIS 6970 Fan Turbo 2GB GDDR5 is a copy of the reference card, just slightly overclocked. As we have found out before, performance of Radeon products increases noticeably only when core clock rates are raised by at least 80 MHz (with memory clock rates raised correspondingly). So in this case the "Turbo" suffix is sort of decorative.
As you can see from the diagrams, Radeon HD 6970 is generally faster than GeForce GTX 570 but slower than GeForce GTX 580. However, there are few worthy advantages. First, 2GB of memory are quite useful for a top-end solution these days. Second, tessellation performance improved compared with the GeForce GTX 5xxx series provides more comfort in DX11 games. Third, such solutions have acceptable power consumption and quiet enough coolers.
HIS 6950 Fan Turbo 2GB GDDR5 also copies the reference design while being slightly overclocked. In general, it can be a more reasonable purchase than a Radeon HD 6970, because it has a better price/performance ratio compared with GeForce GTX 570. Also don't forget the quiet cooler and a great set of output interfaces.
HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB GDDR5 competes well in its class with the numerous modifications of GeForce GTX 460/460 SE. Of course, a lot depends on actual prices. Just remember that the Radeon HD 68xx series is not to compete with the Radeon HD 58xx lineup. It's not a replacement of the latter, it's more of an intermediate which is closer to HD 57xx than to HD 58xx. And, yet again, don't forget about the very efficient cooler that really makes the card stand out in a crowd.
Judging by the results of this review, we believe that HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB GDDR5 deserves our Original Design award.
We express gratitude to HIS for the provided graphics cards. The PSU is provided by TAGAN, the monitor is provided by NVIDIA.
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