Moving onto the card the first thing you're going to notice is that it looks nearly identical to the reference card with the only difference being two HIS stickers on the front of the card. We've got the same fan design on the right that helps push air over the GPU and straight out the back of the case, along with the same black and red combination.
More often than not we see companies stick to the reference cooler design at launch of these high-end cards because they don't normally have the time to have their own design ready. XFX seemed to buck that trend this time around, though, hopefully we'll see companies like HIS offer us an IceQ model sooner rather than later.
Taking a quick spin around the card we've got our two power connectors at the back in the form of a single 6-Pin and 8-Pin PCIe power connector, closer to the front we've got two CrossFire headers that support up to four cards and next to that we've got our BIOS switch which we continue to say doesn't have the largest of use on this model. Like the HD 6900 series, we'll see how the BIOS switch develops over the upcoming models.
Finally we finish up with the IO side of things which sees a Dual-Link DVI connector, full size HDMI port and two mini DP connectors rounding out the bottom half. The top half is of course our vents to help let the hot air be pushed out the back of the case.
Moving into the specification side of things there's no real big surprise with the reference clocks that are present on the card. That means 925MHz on the core and 5500MHz QDR on the 3GB of GDDR5 memory. Since we've already looked at the performance of a reference clocked card we've chosen to look at the HIS card with it overclocked via the latest version of MSI Afterburner.
We ended up running our core at 1130MHz while our memory was running at a nice 6100MHz QDR. This is a really nice overclock from the stock clocks and should bring with it a strong performance increase. If you looked at our XFX review, though, you might've noticed that we achieved over 1200MHz on the core. It's worth noting that the XFX card was only tested at that speed under 3DMark 11 and the fan was set to 100%. Today we want to find an overclock that is usable across all our benchmarks, essentially something that people could use in day to day setup.
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