HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Review

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Today we will be taking a look at the HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X. It will round out the 7800 Series offering from HIS. You can check out this card’s big brother that was previously reviewed, the HIS 7870 IceQ X Turbo X.  The 7850 IceQ X Turbo X card features a custom IceQ X cooler and factory overclock, time to see how it performs!

Specifications and Features

Before we get into the actual performance of this card lets take a look at its specifications and features. This card features a factory overclock on both the core and memory. The core is clocked at 1 GHz up from the standard 860 MHz and 1250 MHz on the memory up from 1200 MHz. This should equate to a nice performance boost over stock clocked 7850’s.

GPUz

GPUz

Now we will move onto some of the features that help to make this card a cut above the rest according to HIS:

 

Cooler

IceQ X is cooler than the Reference Cooler. Thanks to the 9.2cm silent fan, massive amount of cool air is drawn from the central fan to cool down the GPU and graphics card directly. 4 heatpipes optimize cooling performance by removing heat from the core area, providing ultimate solution for professional gamers and HTCP users.

Quieter

IceQ X is one of the quietest coolers. The card is below 28dB when  watching movies, surfing Facebook, working. The card is quiet in 2D mode and remains quiet whether you are gaming, online socializing, entertaining or working.

 

HIS uses only the finest materials and the most advanced techniques to build our cards, making them one of the most stable and durable product in the industry.

Dynamic Phase Control PWM IC
The advanced energy saving technique not only makes HIS cards environmental friendly but also saves money on your electric bills!

Full Solid State Capacitors
These capacitors of the excellent quality and durability extends the lifespan of the card.
You can count on HIS cards to game hard for 24/7/365 for years!

Solid State Choke
Using these innovative material, HIS cards offer outstanding stability and power capacity -making the best out of power and unleashing clock speeds to the limit!

(Above from HIS website)

Photo Op

We will start from the outside of the packaging and work our way down to the card itself.

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Front

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Front

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Rear

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Rear

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Side 1

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Side 1

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Side 2

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Retail Packaging - Side 2

The exterior packaging on this card is very basic, but contains all required information to make an informed purchase. One thing that is nice to see is on the side of the packaging is a diagram with the different interface slot types. This will help a novice buyer avoid purchasing a card incompatible with their motherboard.

Now we will take a look at the internal packaging and card accessories:

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Internal Packaging

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Internal Packaging

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X in Packaging

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X in Packaging

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Accessory Compartment

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X Accessory Compartment

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X  - Card Accessories

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Card Accessories

HIS has done a good job with the packaging here. A simple, but sturdy, box and ample foam that provides protection for the card. Located beneath the protective foam is a separate compartment which holds the accessories: an install guide, driver disk, iTurbo disk, CrossFire bridge, DVI-VGA adapter and GPU weight lifter bracket.  This card features a nice amount of accessories for mid range card. It was nice touch having a GPU support bracket. This card isn’t very heavy so it isn’t entirely necessary here, but it was a nice addition to what you would usually see with a GPU. Now on to the card itself.

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Front

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Front

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Back

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Back

HIS 7850  IceQ X Turbo X - Backplate I/O

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Backplate I/O

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Cooler Removed

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Cooler Removed

Pitcairn - 7850 Die Shot

Pitcairn - 7850 Die Shot

HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X - Hynix Memory

Hynix Memory - H5GQ2H24MFR-T2C

If you hadn’t noticed before now, this card feature the IceQ X cooler from HIS, unlike the IceQ on the 7870 this cooler only has two heatpipes. This card expels air both inside and outside which should be taken into account, since some cases with poor airflow will not be able to take full advantage of this cooler design. The backplate I/O contains DVI-D, HDMI, and two Mini-Display Ports. Unfortunately, there is no form of heatsink on the VRM section of this card, which may reduce this card’s 24/7 overclock beyond its substantial factory overclock.  This card features memory from Hynix (H5GQ2H24MFR-T2C) which is rated at 1250 Mhz @ 1.5 V .

Performance and Overclocking

Test System

  • Intel 3770K CPU (Overclockers.com Approved)
  • Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen 3
  • G.Skill RipjawX 2×2 GB 2133 MHz 8-9-8-24 @1.65 V
  • Corsair TX750V2
  • Windows 7 64 bit with SP1
  • HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X @ stock and 1050 MHz (core) and 1350 MHz (memory)
  • Catalyst 12.3

Benchmarking Method/Settings

  • All synthetic benchmarks were run at their default settings.
  • Alien vs. Predator was run at its default setting, and the highest it offered (4xAA, textures set to “3″).
  • Hawx 2 was run at 1920×1080 with 8xAA, every setting at its highest. (DX 10 version)
  • Dirt 2 was run at 1920×1080 8xAA/16xAF all settings to their highest.
  • Stalker:COP was run at 1920×1080 Ultra settings, 4xAA with tessellation enabled using the Sunshafts portion of the bench only.
  • Unigine Heaven (Hwbot) was run with the “extreme” setting.
  • Benchmark results are graphed as percentages relative to the stock HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X. Meaning the HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X is always 100% and other cards are calculated as a percentage based on that.
  • The actual benchmark scores are below the percentages.

(Note: this review was done on the 3770K, the other cards it is being compared to were done on the 2600k. So they are not a perfectly equal representation. The 3D Mark 06 is the only bench that the 3770K has a distinct advantage being the most CPU bound)

Overclocking

This card was limited by only being able to go up to 1050 MHz on the core in Catalyst Control Center and MSI Afterburner. The supplied overclocking program iTurbo allowed adjustment up to 1400 MHz, but unfortunately any changes made did not stick and left clocks unchanged. This was verified by checking GPUz and benchmark runs scoring the same as stock. A more detailed and successful look at the iTurbo overclocking software can be seen in the HIS 7870 IceQ X Turbo X review.

Synthetic Benchmarks

We will start by taking a look at 3DMark 03,  you can see the advantage the 1 GHz core clock is having. This card is able beat many more expensive cards, including the 7950 and nVidia’s previous generation powerhouse the GTX 580. Although given the age of this benchmark, it only applies to any gamer running DX 9 games. One thing to note is this card had some serious issues with coil whine while running this bench. Which isn’t uncommon on some cards at very high frame rates, this was only an issue once over 1000 FPS.  It is unlikely to be an issue in daily use, but required a mention since it was noticeably louder than the fan.

3DMark 06, there is nothing too out of the ordinary here. Even with the very slight advantage of the 3770K, showing just how CPU-dependent this bench is. The HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X  fairs well  almost matching the 7970, while still trailing the GTX 580 and the MSI R7870 OC.

3DMark 03

3DMark 03

3DMark 06

3DMark 06

We will get into the newer benchmarks by looking at 3DMark Vantage, the HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X falls behind the other cards in the lineup. It does easily beat the HIS HD 7770 GHz Edition and the 6970, also once overclocked it comes close to GTX 580 and the MSI R7870 OC.

Time to take a look at 3DMark 11, once again the  trend of the 7770 being far behind even the stock HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X. Unfortunately, this cards limited ability to overclock resulted in it coming up behind everything except the previous generation HIS 6970 IceQ Turbo.

Unigine Heaven (HWbot Version), even at stock the HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X beats the 6970 and once again the 7770. Once overclocked this card was able to come within 3% of the GTX 580 and 7870, although still a very considerable amount behind the 7950.

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Unigine Heaven (HWbot Version)

Unigine Heaven (HWbot Version)

Now we will move onto the Gaming benchmarks, these will be a more accurate representation of daily performance.

Gaming Benchmarks

Aliens Vs. Predators (Default)

Aliens Vs. Predators (Default)

Aliens Vs. Predators (Highest)

Aliens Vs. Predators (Highest)

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

In the above games, you can see the HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X delivers playable framerates.  Staying comfortably above 30 FPS even in Aliens Vs. Predators with highest detail at 43 FPS and within 3% of the 7870. Time to see how it fairs in our final two benchmarks Dirt 2 and Hawx 2.

Dirt 2

Dirt 2

Hawx 2

Hawx 2

Nothing to gripe about here, this card is able to crank out well over 60 FPS even at stock with just the factory overclock.

Cooling

I am very impressed by the IceQ cooler. With its single 92mm fan, it is one of the quietest coolers I have heard…or haven’t heard I should say. Even under full load this card was able to stay below 60°C and the fan wasn’t even as loud the stock Intel heatsink on my test bench. I am sure once voltage and clock speeds are able to be increased the fan will ramp up to a higher RPM, but when I manually set fan speed t0 80% it was still very quiet. HIS claims this cooler is below 28dB when doing daily tasks, unfortunately I do not have a sound meter so I was unable to verify that claim. One thing I would have liked to see is four heatpipes on this IceQ X cooler, given the fact this is a factory overclocked card and you are paying a higher price over the regular IceQ version.

Conclusion

The HIS 7850 IceQ X Turbo X performed quite well. Given the overclocking difficulties had during the review process this card was not able to show its full potential, but it still gets an Overclockers.com Approved!

There are several reason this card gets the Overclockers.com Approved. Although it only overclocks an additional 50 MHz on the core, it was able to overclock the memory 400 MHz (100 MHz actual). Nothing in the testing hinted at any instability, so once software is released the card should be able to overclock much more. Also this card’s factory overclock helped pull it through some of the tougher benches with very decent scores. It also features one of the coolest and quietest coolers I have experienced to date! Given a MSRP of $289.99 this card is priced well compared to the competition, since the impressive factory overclock is one of the reasons this card managed to do so well. This card should be on your list if you are looking for a quiet and fast card in the mid-range price bracket.

– Benjamin Baxter (bmwbaxter)

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Discussion
  1. RADIO_ACTIVE
    Why the heck do companies feel the need to throw "i" in front of everything. Anyhow good review as usual.

    Thanks. :)
    I don't know why companies do that. I assume it has something with a certain company has already built up a empire around the "i" branding.
    I really like the look of that cooler. I am sure it is much quieter than Gigabytes 3 fans on my 7950. They are.... quite loud when they want to be.
    Really nice review though.
    scrambler
    I really like the look of that cooler. I am sure it is much quieter than Gigabytes 3 fans on my 7950. They are.... quite loud when they want to be.
    Really nice review though.

    Thanks.
    As I said in my review, it is super quiet. :) I wish more cards were this quiet.
    bmwbaxter
    Thanks.
    As I said in my review, it is super quiet. :) I wish more cards were this quiet.

    Quiet is no surprise. I have the 6970 IceQ 2gb.... Extremely quiet, until you hit around 80% on the fan.
    Nice review.