In this article we test and review the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock 3GB. This 31CM sized beast is one heck of a graphics card. Announced a while back and now finally available in the stores, this card sure is impressive.
Custom PCB, custom cooling, it is a low noise card and a factory faster clocked card series as it clocks in at 950 MHz. Oh and in terms of tweakability, it will not disappoint either as 1100-1150 MHz is a target you can achieve without too much effort. And that brings this card close to Radeon HD 7970 regular and 7970 GHz performance. We test the product with the hottest games like Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Hitman Absolution and many more.
Now you have seen the word 'Boost' a couple of times already, but what is up with that ? Well as you guys know AMD released the 7970 GHz edition, all of the sudden it came with turbo slash boost functionality. Basically depending on power load the GPU core clock frequency can clock up and down in a dynamic fashion. The function is not new and was introduced by NVIDIA on the series 600 cards, it's the very same principle really. That means that if your graphics card is allowed to use up-to 150 Watt the core frequency will be increased up-to a certain threshold until that 150 Watt margin has been reached, that means much more flexibility and where allowed, a little performance boost.
Now, the 28nm Tahiti PRO that powers the reference Radeon HD 7950 with its 1792 shader processors typically is clocked at a 800 MHz reference base clock. On the Boost versions, two things changed, the boost functionality itself and the core is now allowed to boost to 950 MHz. That means that under the right conditions the card gets a bump of 5 to 10% performance according our measurements over the regular/reference 7950. That actually brings this HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock 3GB version we test today smack down in the middle of a reference Radeon HD 7970 performance wise.
850 (Boost Clock 950) MHz
PCI Express 3.0 x16
31.1 x 15 x 4.2 cm
So with that 'clock upgrade' towards 950 MHz this Radeon HD 7950 will perform quite a bit better. Honestly price/performance wise the R7950 always has been one of my favorites. Especially with the recent driver upgrades and that 3 GB graphics memory these cards just make a whole lot of sense.
HIS on their end designed a custom PCB, rearranged a thing or two and then applied the IceQ X² cooler on there as well. The end result is a card that is big in size, but with the two-slot two-fan solution they did create a card that under full stress remains at roughly 60 Degrees C, and it's doing that while remaining 100% silent, and that is impressive to see.
The card is build for overclocking as well, voltage can be regulated and there are no negative restrictions. The card has a 6 and 8-pin power header to give the tweaking experience a little more room next to the 4+2 PWM phase power design. Overall a great card to play the latest games with, and up-to the end of March you can benefit from AMD's Never Settle Reloaded campaign as well, meaning you will receive Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite for free with this graphics card.
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