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


HIS recently launched a new Radeon HD 7970 model, based on the GHz Edition specification but with a new dual-fan heatsink and tweaked for overclocking. The HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition IceQ X2 features additional power input capacity in the form of dual 8-pin PCI-e power inputs and a custom cooling design. It launched alongside AMD's Never Settle bundle to give holiday season shoppers the most incentive to team Red - if you're in the market for the fastest single GPU card. The Never Settle bundle is still in effect, although the Medal of Honor: Warfighter discount has now expired.

HIS IceQ X2 7970 GE
HIS IceQ X2 7970 GE

The last quarter of 2012 has been a great one for AMD, with a performance driver delivering significant and consistent performance increases and stability fixes for the now nearly year old Graphics Core Next based Southern Islands lineup of discrete GPUs. It appears like the earliest either performance GPU vendor is going to refresh their products is late Q1 2013 or even Q2; many buyers will be looking to get the best bang/buck deal this holiday season.

December 22nd marked the one year anniversary of the first GCN GPU, and the six month anniversary of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Edition, the first AMD card to turn PowerTune around and include a boost state. The default AMD Boost clocks for the 7970GE are 1GHz with a 1.05GHz Boost state, and 1500MHz memory. The HIS 7970 IceQ X2 doesn't change this, sticking with reference clocks. What changes is the cooling and the power input. When the 7970 first launched the reference design was noted to have pads and traces for a dual 8-pin power input, which we haven't seen utilized until now. AMD made it easy for partners to turn the dial up to eleven, and HIS is using it here.

The specifications of the HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition IceQ X2 are:

  • 28nm Tahiti XT2 GPU using GCN
  • 2048 Stream Processors / 32 Compute Units
  • 4.3Bn transistors
  • 1GHz Engine Clock / 1.05GHz Boost
  • 1500MHz (6Gbps) 3GB GDDR5 RAM
  • 384-bit Memory Bus
  • 288GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 128 Texture Units
  • 32 ROPS
  • 4.3TFLOPS SP / 1.08 TFLOPS DP
  • DVI-DL + HDMI 1.4a (Fast HDMI supported) & 2 mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs
  • DirectX 11.1 / OpenCL 1.2 / OpenGL 4.2 / C++ AMP
  • <3W idle (ZeroCore Power) / 250W typ. board power (PowerTune limit 300W)
  • 2ea 8-pin PCI-Express 150W Power Inputs
  • $459USD
HIS IceQ X2 7970 GE
HIS IceQ X2 7970 GE

Today we're going to run the card through it's paces at 1080p and Eyefinity resolutions, and test out some dual-GHz edition crossfire, using our newly developed analysis methods. First, let's look at the card package.