****HIS HD 7970 X Turbo IceQ X² 3GB GFX Review****

17 Jan 2010

Product homepage - http://www.hisdigital.com/gb/product2-730.shtml

I have here a HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB (with Boost) IceQ X² GFX card for show.

A little bit about HIS,

HIS - Hightech Information System Limited is an internationally acclaimed graphics cards company. Time and time again, HIS were compared and tested by hundreds of worldly renowned critics. The results are phenomena, HIS have proven to offer far superior, cooler, quieter, and faster graphic cards than any other leading rivals. Up to the third quarter of 2012, HIS has won over 1400 awards with AMD graphic solution from major media worldwide. HIS is being recognized by providing performance leading and award-wining products: IceQ, IceQ X and Turbo Edition.

HIS was established in 1987 with the mission to produce the highest quality PC products in the industry. Besides strong devotion to excellent products and services, HIS has been conducting business with the aim to "Glorifying God". Honesty and integrity are the two key principals of how HIS are conducted. Ethical business practice has been an everyday commitment to our clients, vendors, and investors.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, and with sales offices and distribution networks in Europe, Middle East, North and South America, Asia Pacific Regions; our worldwide customers benefits from efficient and localized services. HIS's manufacturing facility in China is managed by a team of professionals with expertise in quality control and production planning. Working with world-class clients, HIS has been consistently meeting high quality standards and fulfilled volume order in short lead-time.

HIS is proud to be AMD's Authorized 1st Tier AIB Partner, Certified Partner and Launching Partner. Long term and favorable relationship with AMD, enable HIS to work closely with AMD to promote the HIS AMD Graphics Board; and to strive for best value on the marketing and sales of HIS AMD Product Line.

In Sept 2003, HIS incorporated the state-of-the art Supreme Cooling Technology in the award winning HIS 9800Pro IceQ, which caught the attention of worldwide media. Since then, HIS IceQ series and the latest IceQ X series has been the limelight in the market for its outstanding performance and features over the other rivals.

Today, HIS continues its avid commitment to quality product and service. HIS is certain to be Your Choice of Graphics Board Supplier.
This particular card has a core speed of 1120MHz with a boost clock of 1180MHz which from a look around at competitor cards I think is the fastest clocked out of the box, the RAM is clocked at the same 1.5GHz (6GHz) as found on reference AMD GHz cards. Besides theses clock speeds the card also features a IceQ X2 cooling solution and even better, support for six screen Eyefinity. This is achieved by HIS fitting two extra mini-displayports and also a button on the rear of the card that will flip between five and six screen support by turning the dual link DVI port into a single link connection.

The power circuitry of the card is also redesigned and now features 18+1+1 power phases, the card requires two 8pin PCI-E power cables to run.

Box and accessories.

Included in the box are,

• Dirt Showdown voucher.
• Crossfire bridge.
• DVI-VGA adapter.
• Installation disk and envelope.
• Active mini-displayport to single link DVI adapter (an accessory worth £24 - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-058-HS&groupid=1929&catid=1757).
• Weight lifter.

The card.

300mm in length.

The display connectors, the blue button is the 5 to 6 screen Eyefinity switch, it achieves this by turning the dual link DVI port into a single link and then it can run the extra mini-displayport.

This card requires two 8pin PCI-E connectors.

Wish the PCB was black as black goes with everything.

These are the power phase LED's, it changes from green-yellow-red depending on the load.

Six voltage read points, but for a strange design reason they are not labelled on this side of the PCB.

The IceQ X2 cooler fitted to this card uses two 89mm fans.

Copper base and five heatpipes (3x 6mm and 2x 8mm).

The card is nice and quiet with the fan control set to auto within the included software, the average RPM is around 1800RPM and increasing to approximately 2200RPM during benchmark runs when I overclocked the card.

The maximum fan speed available is 3900RPM.

The power circuitry.

Tahiti XT core features 2,048 stream processors.

Fan noise.

Below is a video I have made of me manually adjusting the fan speed and hopefully giving some impression of what to expect. The card while gaming never gets loud at the stock clocks and remains in the lower speed range as shown by the green LED glow.

The LED goes from green-Blue-Purple-Red as the speed increases.


The temperatures below were the maximum reached while gathering the fps data by GPU-Z logging the sensors.


I used the iTurbo utility to overclock this card, the latest is available to download here - http://www.hisdigital.com/gb/download.shtml

This looks like a very easy to use and understand tweaking program with a good voltage range for the core and memory.

Pressing the iTurbo button increases the speeds from 1180/1500MHz for the core and memory to 1191/1515Mhz respectively.

The cooler and quiter mode just alters the fan speed settings.

But for some reason the actual performance of the card decreased a little bit compared to when it is at the boosted speed of 1180/1500MHz, I tried raising the power limit, messing with the voltages wondering if that was causing this odd performance drop, but it had zero effect.

Deciding to overclock the card myself I was able to get the card fully stable in all games and benchmarks with the following settings, but your own results may vary.

Core clock = 1275MHz
VDDC = 1312mV
Memory clock = 1675MHz (6700MHz effective)
MVDDC = 1531mV
Board power limit = +20%

Not too bad, but being braver and deciding to do a few suicide runs I was able to get the card to 1285MHz/1700MHz (6800MHz effective) with more VDDC/MVDDC and then run the new 3Dmark benchmark - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/519337

Then with the core at 1300MHz and the memory at 1740MHz (6960MHz) I ran Unigine Heaven Benchmark,

And then I ran the 3Dmark11 benchmark - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6395431

These tests completed without any artefacts visible on screen.

Also please note that I certainly am not an "extreme" overclocker, but even so, I am more than happy with the above results.


Test setup.

i7 [email protected].
Gigabyte X79-UP4.
Kingston HyperX Predator RAM@2133MHz.
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD's in RAID0.
Antec HCP 850W PSU.
Gigabyte GTX670 Windforce X3 at stock speeds.
Windows7 Professional.
Drivers used are Catylyst 13.3 beta3 and Nvidia 314.14.
Fraps was used where an in-built benchmark was not available and this recorded the framerate for 60 seconds.

The (OC) results are at the 1275MHz core and 1675MHz memory settings used above.

Alan Wake is maxed out.

Unigen Heaven4.0 and Valley tests were run at the same setting as used in the GFX card forum, then ran again at a higher 1920X1200 resolution which is the max of my monitor.

Bioshock Infinite is maxed out.

Tomb Raider is maxed out.

Dirt3 is maxed out but for 8xmsaa for the 7970 and 8xqcsaa for the GTX670 according to the results file.

Image quality.

Below are some ingame screenshots captured by FRAPS in BMP format.

The top one of each pair is from the 7970, the second is from the GTX670.

Final thoughts.

I have been using this card for a month now and have played through some of the latest games on the market, the 7970 has absolutely eaten them up at very high if not maximum detail settings with a good dollop of AA+AF included for good measure and also at an above average resolution of 1920X1200 (1920X1080 being the most common screen size used today), the playing experience has been spot on. It is well reported that prior to the latest handful of drivers the ATI cards have been accused of frame lagging/spiking and not giving as good as experience compared to an equivalent Nvidia card. As I only ever used Catylst 13.3beta2 and then beta3 I never experienced this frame spiking in games.

The HIS 7970 X Turbo IceQ is the fastest out-of-the-box 7970 avalible with excellent stock speeds yet with room enough to overclock even higher. The cooler is absolutely fantastic with strong performance and low noise during my testing and gaming.


• Superb performance out of the box.
• Excellent cooling solution.
• Good overclocking/Voltage unlocked.


• Not cheap.
• Need a higher resolution monitor or Eyefinity setup to make the most of the card.
• Blue PCB may not be to everyones taste.

Thanks to Ethermaster for the graph design.
Last edited:
7 Sep 2012
Lancashire, England
I personally think it should have been compared to a GTX 680 to make it a fair comparison. I think a Radeon 7950 is around the GTX 670 level (seeing as my 7950 is noticeably faster than my GTX 660 Ti, which is not much slower than a GTX 670).

Great review though and it certainly looks like a beastly card! Does it suffer from sagging or does it come with one of those weight lifter things? My HIS 7950 Boost Clock sags a bit under it's own weight :rolleyes:... Hopefully it won't damage the card or PCIe slot.
Last edited:
17 Jan 2010
Great review though and it certainly looks like a beastly card! Does it suffer from sagging or does it come with one of those weight lifter things? My HIS 7950 Boost Clock sags a bit under it's own weight :rolleyes:... Hopefully it won't damage the card or PCIe slot.

It comes with a weight lifter as shown in the first picture.
9 Nov 2002
Surrey, UK
Another great review stulid. Thank you for putting the effort in again.

I've got the HIS HD 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition (similar card just clocked at 1050MHz though I notice current batch on sale says they're clocked at 1000MHz) and I agree with your review. It's a very quiet card considering how powerful it is, so much so I haven't even bothered to watercool it; with my headset on and gaming I just don't notice it at all, and I'm very fussy about fan noise.

Running both a 1440p and 1200p monitor I just haven't bothered to push it past 1150MHz (at stock volts) as I haven't needed to. In fact I just run it at 1100MHz usually as everything I run is maxed out comfortably.

The only issue I've had is an annoying desktop flicker intermittently since the 12.11 beta drivers came out. It is much more occasional that it was in the early betas as AMD have finally got on top of the DirectX 9 issues that were plaguing the 7000 series cards. You need to run the latest betas as there are significant performance gains to be had, particularly in the newer titles, it's just annoying that AMD still haven't addressed/fixed the flicker issue (caused by the card dropping to a low power state or coming out of it I believe).

As for HIS' web site... it's pretty bad. If you attempt a download you will be amazed at how (dial-up) slow it is. HIS don't seem to put much effort into supporting their cards with custom firmware though, so you can avoid their site and just go with the standard drivers from AMD.
17 Jan 2010
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