Rundown, Power and Thermals
While a GPU can have all the power in the world, it’s important to know if it’s cooled well enough. On top of that, will it ramp up your electric bill?
Power results were taken using a wattage metre. They measure whole system power draw so some watt usage must be attributed to CPU draw. Temperatures were taken using the GPU logging feature in Furmark, which was also used to load the GPU.
- Idle: 151
- Load: 304
- Idle: 42
- Load: 62
While the wattage load isn’t that bad, the temperatures are very impressive. Max load of 62 degrees? Very nice.
Ambient temperatures were 18 degrees.
While a card like this comes pre-overclocked, most people buying aftermarket GPUs will want to know if they can squeeze a bit more value for money out of their new card. With that in mind, we ramped up the clocks in the Catalyst Control Centre and found that the HIS 6870 IceQX card is able to go from stock clocks of 975/ 1150 all the way to 1200/1250. However, this wasn’t even remotely stable in any benchmarks. As I performed more testing the clocks went down and down and ultimately, you can’t overclock the GPU beyond its “stock” setting and have it stable during a full benchmark. The memory can be bumped about 50mhz, but that’s about it.
While the stock clocks are still 75MHZ/100MHZ higher than fully stock cards, the IceQ GPU doesn’t overclock very impressively.
While it didn’t come top in anything, the HIS 6870 IceQX card does very well and holds it own against cards that cost quite a lot more. The GTX 570 is at least £100 more and the 6970 about the same. The fact that the 6870 was able to remain only a few FPS or points behind these two cards much.
There do appear to have been some anomalies in the Crysis Warhead testing. Whether there’s been some big driver improvements since the GTX and 6970 results were taken or its just a fluke, I can’t tell you. However, either way, the 6870 IceQX performs very well indeed.
The HIS IceQX will run you around £180 depending on where you get it which is about right for this kind of performance.