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Roundup: 9 Radeon HD 6850s!
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 13, 2011

HIS HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo
As well as its first model, HIS has also brought out an IceQ X version. It’s available in two variants:

HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X: €170
HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo: €180

The Turbo GPU is overclocked to 820 MHz and the memory to 1100 MHz, against 775 and 1000 MHz for the standard model, which is on the standard clocks. We tested the Turbo model.

The card

HIS uses the same PCB here as on its first Radeon HD 6850 and with an identical configuration. One of the 4 phases on the GPU power stage isn’t used. The memory is also identical: Hynix and certified at 1.25 GHz.

The card is also the same size except for the four nickel chrome heatpipes which run from a copper base across its cooler. A small radiator is fixed to the sensitive power stage components while a 9cm fan takes care of the cooling. While the fan does the job, its quality is debatable and it makes a small mechanical noise. In a closed casing you won’t be able to hear it but you will if you’re running an open system.

The bundle

HIS delivers its card with a CD containing the drivers, a small guide on how to mount it, a HIS sticker, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a CrossFire connector and a double molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertor.

The card is guaranteed for two years.

Infrared thermography

Graphics card at idle.

Graphics card in load.

Overclocked graphics card in load.

System at idle.

System in load.

This IceQ X HIS model is well cooled both at idle and in load, better than the basic model. The power stage does however heat up more given its higher clocks. This is particularly the case when the card is overclocked, especially as the card we received went quite high.

Temperature and noise readings

The readings confirm that the GPU is very well cooled, in all circumstances. Hot air isn’t however expelled from the casing. The fact that it is well cooled isn’t to the detriment of noise levels either: this model is quieter than the first HIS model, in spite of the factory overclocking.

Our opinion
The Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X is definitely a better buy than the basic HIS model. It has a more effective cooler and a more flattering design and is one of the better Radeon HD 6850s we’ve tested. The only small reservations we have is that the fan makes a slight mechanical noise that can be heard in an open system and that the higher overclocking potential would have benefitted from a full 4-phase power stage.

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