HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo Video Card Review

Product: HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo Video Card
Company: HIS
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: September 26th, 2012

HIS 7950 IceQ Turbo Introduction

Wow factor. That's what hits you when you unbox the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo. It's got presence. The normal, conservative-for-graphics-board-makers box art gives nothing away about what you're going to see when you slide the box out of the sleeve, open the lid and look under the crush resistant ESD-proof foam packaging. A gleaming silver heat sink and black fan shroud awaits, with a nicely contrasted blower-style fan in blue. It's big. Longer, Bigger, Faster. The bulbous end makes you mentally add 'Uncut', as well. At around $340USD, it's deep in the performance enthusiast market, past the traditional sweet spot and a little above the $319 price point set in AMD's announcement in late August.

HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo
HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo

The HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo features the AMD Tahiti Pro design, tweaked by HIS and augmented in two ways. Firstly, the reference design heatsink and fan is replaced with what appears to be a much larger design, utilizing bigger heatpipes and a longer heat fin array, plus a larger blower fan that pulls air in from both top and bottom. The design is touted as both quieter and cooler than the reference product, and HIS leverages this to offer more performance than a standard card by bumping engine clock up to 900MHz, a 100MHz increase over the base 800MHz of standard HD 7950's. This is complicated with AMD's recent release of new BIOS for the reference HD 7950, updating the clock speed to 850MHz and offering a new Boost feature of 925MHz.

HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo Specifications:

  • 28nm Tahiti Pro GPU using GCN architecture
  • 1792 Stream Processors / 20 Compute Units
  • 4.3Bn transistors / 365mm2
  • 900MHz Engine Clock
  • 1250MHz (5Gbps) 3GB GDDR5 RAM
  • 384-bit Memory Bus
  • 240GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 112 Texture Units / 7 R.B.E.'s
  • 32 ROPS
  • iTurbo software for Overclocking
  • DVI-DL + HDMI 1.4a (Fast HDMI supported) & 2 DisplayPort 1.2 mini outputs
  • DirectX 11.1 / OpenCL 1.2 / OpenGL 4.2 / C++ AMP
  • <3W idle (ZeroCore Power) / PowerTune limit 200W [adjustable +/- 20%]
  • $329USD SEP (with $20MIR)

So, today we'll look at how the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo improves upon the original Tahiti Pro configuration, and at how the new Boost abilities change the landscape.