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Besides the enhanced power system, this card features the original IceQ X² cooler. Let’s check it out right now.

So, we have a large aluminum heatsink pierced by five nickel-plated heat pipes. The two central pipes are 8 mm in diameter whereas the outermost ones are 6 mm. Each pipe is soldered to the copper base as well as to the aluminum heatsink fins.

There are two depressions in the heatsink in which two fans are secured on metal supports.

The 11-blade fans from NTK Limited have a diameter of 86 mm.

The FD7010H12D model runs on two ball bearings and supports PWM-based regulation. According to our monitoring tools, the peak speed of the fans is 3750 RPM. Their peak power consumption is 4.36 watts at 0.36 amperes.

There’s a metallic plate with thermal pads on the memory chips and power system components:

The perforated top of the plate is cooled by the fans to lower the temperature of the memory chips. Let’s now check out how efficient the HIS IceQ X² cooler is:

To test the thermals of the reviewed graphics cards we are going to use five consecutive runs of  a pretty resource-consuming Aliens vs. Predator (2010) game with the highest image quality settings in 1920x1080 resolution with 16x anisotropic filtering and MSAA 4x antialiasing.

We used MSI Afterburner 2.3.0 and GPU-Z 0.6.6 as monitoring tools. This test was performed inside a closed system case at 25°C room temperature. All thermal tests were carried out before we took the card apart, i.e. with its default thermal interface still intact, as well as with the default thermal interface replaced with ARCTIC MX-4.

First let’s check out the temperature of the card with the cooler’s fans regulated automatically or set at their maximum speed.


Auto fan mode

Maximum fan speed

So, we have 69°C at 2560 RPM in the automatic regulation mode and 65°C at the maximum 3750 RPM. The numbers are okay since the reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition can get as hot as 90°C in the automatic mode of its single radial fan.

The HIS IceQ X² performs even better with the high-efficiency ARCTIC MX-4 thermal interface:


Auto fan mode

Maximum fan speed

The peak GPU temperature is now lower by 3°C and 4°C in the automatic and max-speed modes, respectively. The speed of the fans is somewhat lower, too. So, we’ve made sure that the HIS IceQ X² is very good at its job. Let’s move on to other matters now.

After some experimenting, we found out that the card was stable if its GPU and memory clock rates were increased to 1165 and 6960 MHz, respectively.

That’s very good, in our opinion. Unfortunately, increasing GPU voltage didn’t help us get any higher, so we stopped at 1165/6950 MHz:

When overclocked, the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition only got 3°C hotter in the automatic fan regulation mode (with the default thermal interface).

So, the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition is quite an interesting product with an enhanced power system, modest overclocking potential and a very efficient cooler. We have no doubt the other products from HIS will prove to be no less exciting.

 
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