HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition 3GB (H797QMC3G2M)
The HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition is packed into a beautiful azure-colored upright box with the name of the cooling system printed right in the center. HIS seems to consider it the key feature of the whole product.
We can learn that the IceQ X2 is 17°C more efficient and 15 dB quieter than the reference Radeon HD 7970 cooler. This information is detailed and added to on the back of the box where you can also find a list of awards the company has collected for its products.
There’s a robust cardboard box inside the colorful wrapper. After opening it, you can see two warnings about how to transport a system case with an installed graphics card properly and how to plug a graphics card into a mainboard slot.
The graphics card is snugly fitted into the tray which is made of a soft but reliable material:
Without a doubt, this packaging ensures adequate protection for the product.
The following can be found at the bottom of the box:
- DVI->D-Sub adapter
- CrossFireX bridge
- Installation guide
- CD with drivers and an electronic version of the installation guide
- CD with HIS iTurbo version 1.2.0
There are no bonuses like free games or something although we can still remember HIS having included screwdrivers with its graphics cards.
Manufactured in China and priced at $420 in retail, the card is shipped with a 2-year warranty.
The new HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition looks attractive with its large and stylish cooler that covers the entire face side of the PCB. There’s a letter X with the manufacturer’s name in its middle. The name of the cooler itself can be found in its top left.
The whole graphics card is 297 mm long while the PCB is 268 mm long. Being only 42 mm thick, the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition can be used in CrossFireX configurations with only one expansion slot in between.
The card offers a standard selection of video outputs: one dual-link DVI-I, one HDMI version 1.4a, and two DisplayPorts version 1.2.
There’s a vent grid in the card’s mounting bracket but some of the air from the fan remains inside the system case anyway.
The HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition carries two standard MIO connectors, so it can be used in a gaming rig with up to four such graphics cards.
This card isn’t standard in terms of power connectors, having two 8-pin plugs instead of one 6-pin and one 8-pin connector. This is indicative of a reinforced power system as we will check out shortly. On the other hand, HIS recommends a 550-watt PSU for a computer with one such card, exactly as is recommended by AMD for the reference Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.
The cooler is secured with four screws around the GPU. After taking it off, we can see a metallic plate that is responsible for both the memory chips and the power system components. The plate has additional fins in the VRM area which are cooled by one of the IceQ X² fans:
You have to unfasten a dozen small screws to remove the plate and detach it from the thermal pads. Then you can have a clear view of the card's PCB:
It is a copy of the reference design but the original 5-phase power system is replaced with a 6-phase one with solid-state capacitors and DirectFETs:
The GPU voltage regulator is managed by a CHiL CHL8228G controller:
That chip is installed on reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards, too. There are also two power phases for the graphics memory and PLL.
Manufactured in Taiwan, the 28nm Tahiti XT chip is 365 sq. mm large.
The HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition has a base GPU clock rate of 1000 MHz whereas its boost GPU clock rate is 1050 MHz. The GPU has a standard Tahiti XT configuration as listed in the table above. According to our monitoring tools, the GPU voltage is 1.255 volts in 3D mode. In 2D applications the voltage and clock rate are lowered to 0.850 volts and 300 MHz.
Like other products of its class, the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition is equipped with GDDR5 memory from Hynix Semiconductor. The chips are labeled H5GQ2H24AFR R0C:
They are clocked at their rated frequency of 6000 MHz. With the 384-bit bus, the peak memory bandwidth is 288 MB/s. The memory frequency is lowered to 600 MHz in 2D mode.
Thus, the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition has the standard Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition specs: