HIS HD6970 IceQ Turbo Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅04-06-11
Test Setup
We have made a slight difference in our selection of hardware and our test setup. The reason for this is that we felt the current crop of resolutions were not stressing the latest generation of graphics cards enough. With this in mind, we have added a Dell 3007 WFP-HC to our system, allowing us to stress the cards by utilising a 2560x1600 resolution. We will however, still include 1920x1200 results as this is one of the most popular resolutions used by gamers.

Display - Dell 3007 WFP-HC
Case - Lian Li PC-P80
CPU Cooler - Prolimatech Super Mega (2xProlimatech 140mm Vortex)
CPU - Intel Core i7 920 @ 4GHz
RAM - 6GB (3x2GB) OCZ Blade DDR3 1600mhz 7-8-7-20 C1
Motherboard - ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Power Supply - Enermax Revolution 85+ 850W
Hard Drive - GSkill Falcon 128GB & Hitachi 250GB


Graphics Cards:
HIS HD6970 2048MB IceQ Turbo @ 900/5600MHz Pre-overclocked & 1000/6000MHz Overclocked – ATI Catalyst 11.5

Gigabyte GTX560 1024MB @ 830/4008MHz & 841/5016MHz Overclocked - Forceware 275.27
MSI R6970 2048MB Lightning @ 940/5500MHz Pre-overclocked & 1010/6000MHz Overclocked – ATI Catalyst 11.4 (8.840.3.0)
Inno3D GTX560Ti 1024MB @ 820/4008MHz & 950/4300MHz Pre-overclocked –Forceware 266.66
Inno3D GTX570 1280MB @ 732/3800MHz, 800/4000MHz Pre-overclocked & 901/4220MHz Overclocked - Forceware 263.09
ASUS GTX580 1536MB @ 782/4000MHz & 903/4220MHz Overclocked - Forceware 262.99
ASUS HD6970 2048MB @ 890/5500MHz & 949/5896MHz Overclocked - ATI Catalyst 11.4 (8.840.3.0)
HIS HD6950 2048MB @ 800/5000MHz & 865/5500MHz Overclocked - ATI Catalyst 10.11 (8.790.6.0, 8.790.6.2 & 8.800)
Nvidia GTX480 1536MB @ 700/3696MHz & 799/3906MHz Overclocked - Forceware 260.99
MSI R6870 2PM2D1GD5 1024MB @ 900/4200MHz - ATI Catalyst 10.10
XFX HD5870 1024MB @ 850/4800MHz & 942/5200MHz Overclocked - ATI Catalyst 10.10

Driver versions are extremely important when comparing a graphics card. It is however often important to update a driver version, especially when a new GPU is released and thus any change in driver will be clearly stated.

Overclocking
We will use MSI Afterburner tool for overclocking our GPUs and adjusting voltages which is consistent with the vast majority of end users.

Games:
Crysis Warhead
Metro 2033
Dirt 3
Mafia II
BF:BC2
Farcry 2
AvP

The games above represent equal bias toward both AMD and NVidia and are among the most demanding games available at present. Future releases will be evaluated for consistency and accuracy and then potentially added to the list when they become available

Synthetic benchmarks:
3DMark 11
Unigine Heaven 2.5
Tessmark 0.2.2
Furmark 1.9.0

Synthetic benchmarks are used to stress each feature of a GPU which may not be present in today's games. While nothing is certain, the benchmarks above do at least give us an insight into the possible future performance of the graphics card on test, invaluable when evaluating the potential lifespan of a graphics card.

Temperature, power consumption and acoustics:
Furmark 1.9.0

The above application is feared by most manufacturers as it has been known to destroy GPU's. While it is not indicative of 'real world' performance, it does represent the maximum possible stress your GPU could be placed under making it the hardest test to pass. For that reason alone, it is worthy of inclusion in our suite of benchmarks. Power consumption will be evaluated from the wall and will be a total system draw of the specification above.

Sound will be measured from a distance of 20 cm from the actual GPU with the case open. All system fans will be set to their lowest settings. Readings will be taken at both idle and 100% load.

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