As we start a new year it's time to get back into the swing of things and the first video card to be tested this side of 2013 comes from HIS who sent us a bunch of cards before the new year. The latest is one of our favorite models, the HD 7970 3GB, which has served us extremely well for over a year now when it launched last January.
After a year, though, it does come as a bit of a surprise that we're seeing companies continue to release new variants of the model. Considering at one point we had companies on a six month cycle for high-end cards, we're surprised not to be hearing more about the upcoming Radeon HD 8000 series which we thought would have showed part of its face by now.
We continue to not really hear anything about the HD 8000 serious, though, when it comes to desktop parts and the latest we're hearing from companies is the second half of 2013 for launch. For anyone interested in grabbing a new video card the good news is that while the HD 7000 series might be a year old now, they're going to be around for at least another six months - at least that's what we're hearing.
Let's find out exactly what HIS is doing with its latest offering. The first thing we need to do is take a closer look at the package to see what's going on in terms of the bundle. Once we've done that we'll take a closer look at the video card itself along with the specifications, and here we'll also take the time to cover overclocking. We'll then quickly cover our testbed and the cards that are in our graphs today before we get stuck into testing side of things to find out just what kind of performance we're able to get.
We've got all the usual information highlighting most of the main features with the biggest of course being the cooler which assists the video card to not only operate cooler, but also at lower noise levels. We can see the back of the box then goes on to highlight some of the main features slightly more with again the emphasis being on the IceQ X2 cooler.
Looking at the bundle you can see a fairly standard HIS setup with a manual, case sticker, driver CD along with a second CD that includes the iTurbo software. Along with those items we've also got a CrossFire bridge and DVI to VGA connector. The only extra that really stands out is the Mini DP to DisplayPort connector.