Compared to the reference HD 6870, and at the moment any other HD 6870 for that matter, the HIS version isn't going to offer you anything too different except maybe a slight variation in the bundle. This is to be expected, though, as at the moment we're currently seeing partners restricted to reference designs only. No doubt within the next few months, or even month, we'll see companies begin to mix it up and HIS has two series we're big fans of; the Turbo series which is their main OC line and the IceQ series which uses upgraded cooling. We've got our fingers crossed we'll see the HD 6800 series with some lovin' from these lines sooner rather than later.
We didn't test single GPU performance for the simple reason we wouldn't see anything different to the reference card we'd already tested, so on the single GPU performance front the HIS HD 6870 by itself is going to perform strong.
Looking at Crossfire numbers, the decision to buy one or two cards is going to be a tough one. AMD has really gone to town on Crossfire scaling and it's not unusual for us to see gains that are tipping 100%. At the higher resolution we really do see the card fly along and buying two is going to be a must for anyone that's going to be running something like a 30" monitor and wants silky smooth gameplay.
The HIS HD 6870 is a really nice card and it's one worth keeping an eye out for. While at the moment the only real difference is the sticker that manufacturers are using, it has to be said that the HIS sticker is pretty cool, but I'm a fan of blue!
HIS has helped us make the decision to buy a video card a little harder today. The question is, do we buy one or two?