AMD Radeon HD 6870 Roundup

Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: February 13th, 2012

HIS 6870 IceQ

The HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ features a cooler design that should be familiar to most long time overclocker modders, featuring a giant honking cooler. This design was first seen in the era of the VGA Silencer, which became the de facto aftermarket cooler for the time. HIS was quick to adopt it, and this card is the latest evolution. With stock clocks the 'Fast, Cooler, Quieter' mantra adorning the gorgeously overblown (geddit?!) cooler seems to be only two out of three; claiming 24C cooler and 10dB quiter than a reference design, but that cooler is not there for show; surely it's got potential to match?

The back of the card is bare, showing the cool aqua-marine colored PCB, and also one addition - a stiffening bar, to prevent card droop when hanging from the PCIe slot and case backplane. This is a sensible move, given the oversized cooler and four heatpipe heatsink affixed to the front.

Pulling off the cooler shows that the PCB is stock, with no additional VRMs or change in location of components. The cooler does however contact the memory, using adhesive thermal pads to interface the edge of the heatsink base to the memory chips.

The VRMs are cooled by an aluminum heatspreader, screw mounted from the bottom. This is located underneath the end of the heatsink fin array, which is designed to vent air out of the rear of the case although, like the stock AMD design, some airflow is vented back into the case by design.

The packaging for the HIS HD 6870 IceQ really doesn't give away the behemoth inside, giving you a nice surprise when opened. Instead of cardboard, HIS package with recyclable plastic which should offer great protection to the card while shipping and gives a little of the premium feel to unboxing that some consumers like. Inside you get a fancy foldout presentation of the driver CD and install guide, with two PCIe 6-pin power adapters, and a CrossFire cable. HIS also bundle a coupon for DiRT3, redeemable via STEAM.