HIS definitely has a great card at hand with the Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo model. All variables are right from performance, to cooling and to noise levels. The one thing you might dislike are the overall looks of the cooler. If that is an issue for you, granted... it's not the most sexy product to look at.
However, if you tuck it away in a PC with a closed side-panel, who's going to notice anyways? The temps this cooler offers are just brilliant, under full stress and load you might hit 65 Degrees C but that's it. The cooler doesn't make any noise either.
So yeah, it is an inaudible graphics card with temperatures that stay below 70 Degrees C. Power consumption really impressed us, with the GPU at 100% load our X58 Core i7 based AMD test PC was consuming merely 310W. When we input the variables and reverse calculate the TDP, we end up at a score of just under 160W for this card, and that's good.
Gaming wise obviously you will not have anything to complain about either, all modern games play perfectly up-to at least 1920x1200 and higher. The 3GB memory is grand, but realistically it only comes into play once you start to set up Eyefinity with at least three screens, as that's where memory starts to matter. Overall we do think the GTX 670 from NVIDIA has the better performance to offer and both cards can be purchased for exactly the same amount of money. But the GTX 670 wins some and loses on others. Choose whichever one you prefer of course.
When you look at the overall package, performance, the new Eyefinity updates, PCIe gen 3 compatibility and all the other stuff then we can only conclude that we happily embrace the Radeon HD 7950 in the enthusiast graphics card arena.
Overclocking then, there again seems to be massive headroom for overclocking. 1125 MHz on the graphics core was not an issue, the memory will likely run 6000 MHz as well. So yeah, I expect to hear about your overclocking and tweaking experiences in our forums a lot in the months to come. Bear in mind that overclocking per card can differ. You might end up at 1000 MHz, some will even end at 1100 MHz. We did voltage tweak a little, 1225 mv.
The product as released by HIS as tested today works out well. It has all the variables to become a successful product, we do worry a little about the price level though. But we'll have to see how that develops.
Overall, again a nice product from HIS that will certainly get your gaming freak on. The performance level of the Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Turbo is good for the money. If you game at 1920x1200 then this is definitely a product we can recommend, if your budget allows it.
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