When the package arrived at my house on a frosty October morning I knew this was going to be something special. I ripped all the bubble wrap off said package like it was Christmas morning, and awaiting me inside all that protective wrapping was the prize, an HIS HD 6870 IceQ 1GB Video Card.
The HIS HD 6870 comes factory overclocked at 900MHz GPU and 1050MHz Memory making up for the fact that it has 1GB less memory than some of its 6870 Brethren.
Looking at the front of the box you definitely get that icy vibe HIS was going for with their IceQ series of cards. For those of you who do not know, the IceQ series of video card by HIS are overclocked boards with a custom cooler specially built by HIS for super cooling performance. The front of the box gives you a quick rundown of some of the cards main features such as; PCI Express 2.1 Support for newer motherboards, 1GB of GDDR5 Memory, Full support for HD 1080p Resolutions, and last but definitely not least HDMI 1.4 Support, which is the latest version of HDMI on the market as of today.
Moving to the back of the box HIS kicks it off with a nice little story comparing their product to that of King Arthur and Excalibur, interesting comparison. Moving down the box we see some of the finer features of the custom IceQ cooler. The IceQ is built to run up to 24c cooler than the stock HD 6870, they also state it is more than 10db quieter. HIS also delves into the fact that the fan draws air in from both sides of the fan for better cooling performance, and that there is a massive heatsink with 4 large copper heatpipes running off the top. The big feature pointed out on the back of the box though is support for AMD Eyefinity, with support for up to five monitors at a time.
After popping the box open we see they have included another box inside. Way to go HIS, the more boxes the better the chance that there is no video card damage from those pesky delivery companies.
Once the second box is open we can see all the extra goodies HIS bundled with the HD 6870 IceQ card. A Drive and Installation Guide including case badge, Crossfire Bridge, DVI to VGA Adapter, Two 6 Pin to Molex Power Adapters, and a Promo Code to get DiRT 3 for free (how sweet HIS.)
And now a look at the beast, the HIS HD IceQ 6870 is quite a menacing video card. Pulling it out of the box I was genuinely surprised by not only the length of the card but the weight as well. As you can see the front has a frosted plastic shroud over the heatsink and PCB giving you that icy look. Underneath the shroud is the heatsink with the large porrtruding Copper Heat Pipes, and to the right is your rather large cooling fan. A note, the fan may look small but it is due to the size of the shroud around it, the cooling fan is actually much larger than that on the reference cooler.
Taking a closer look we can see the card comes in at a whopping 11.3″ long which for a Mid-Range graphics card is crazy. You’re going to want at the bare minimum a Mid-Size tower case to fit this behemoth, and even that is cutting it close.
At the rear of the card we can see all the various video connections, the HIS 6870 IceQ comes stock with two Display Port, one HDMI, and Two DVI connectors for support of up to five monitors.
From the top you can again see the large copper heatpipes, and also get a good look at some of the capacitors, the power connectors, as well as the crossfire connector (The HD 6870 only Supports 2-Way Crossfire).
Taking a quick glimpse at the back of the card there is a nice piece of brushed aluminum running along most of the top of the card which not only helps dissipate the heat but also keep the card from bending due to weight. You can also see right in the middle of the PCB is the back of the GPU chip itself.
Thank You And Please Click Here For Part-Two of the Review Which Includes The Comparison Benchmarks.
If You Would Like To Check Out Other Awesome Products From HIS Please Visit The Official HIS Website.