HIS Radeon HD 7970 IceQ X2 Graphics Card Review



Product: HIS Radeon HD 7970 IceQ X2
Company: HIS
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 16th, 2013

The IceQ X2

The HIS card comes in the traditional HIS packaging, adorned with imagery to suggest an iced window pane. The cool blues and purples don't dominate the eye nor do they blend too easily with the background, and are a welcome change from the scantily clad buxom vixens of some other manufacturer's card packaging. Removing the box from the sleeve reveals a matte black sturdily constructed cardboard box, which flips open to reveal black crush resistant packing foam.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2 unboxing
HIS 7970GE IceQ X2 iTurbo

The top foam layer removed, the HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition IceQ X2 gleams up at you, unadorned with ESD bag or other impediment - you're straight to the main event. A textured black aluminum heat shroud shines at you, two slim axial fans peering at you from the either side of the midpoint of the card. The heat sink shroud dominates the view, extruding over the rear of the PCB generously to cover the heat sink fins.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

The HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition IceQ X2 exceeds the physical dimensions of the reference card in two aspects, it's taller from the mainboard and has a longer overhang at the rear of the card.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2
HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

There are four large diameter heatpipes, three protruding out of the contact block from the top of the card and one at the base near the PCI-Express 3.0 connector, hidden by the removable dust shroud.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

The shroud doesn't fit flush with the backplane, and the heatsink fin array doesn't line up with the single full cool slot in the rear. Presumably this is to avoid too much static pressure for the fans to overcome through the fin array, but it does mean heated air is going right back in your case and is not a focused flow out of the rear of your card.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2
HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

The card matches the reference design in layout and options except PCI-Express power input.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2
HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

The metal shroud is held in place by four screws, somewhat easily removed for periodic dust cleaning. The heatsink itself is only retained by the four rear spring clamped mounting screws around the GPU.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

The combination stifferener and memory/VRM cooler is secured by many screws, along the length of the card, and uses self adhesive thermal pads to transfer heat to the stifferent/heatsink. The stifferener is sculpted to allow the heatpipes to pass close to it, providing a close tolerance for mounting the large cooler atop the GPU core. A solid copper base with built in shim meshes with the GPU for heat dissipation.

HIS 7970GE IceQ X2
HIS 7970GE IceQ X2

HIS includes their iTurbo application, the latest version of which can be downloaded from their website. This uses a siimilar technology to Sapphire TRIX and offers control of overclocking and one touch fan profiles, as well as giving information about the card.