HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB IceQ Turbo Video Cards in CrossFire

We looked at the Radeon HD 7850 IceQ Turbo video card the other day, and today we throw a second into the mix and look at CrossFire performance.
| Dec 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm CST
Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction

VIEW GALLERY - 22 IMAGES

The other day we got a chance to check out the performance of the new HD 7850 2GB IceQ Turbo video card from HIS. Today we throw a second card into the mix and see what happens with CrossFire performance.

While testing CrossFire HD 7850 performance isn't anything new, we are excited about it since it's the first CrossFire setup tested with our new benchmark line up that we introduced recently. It will show us CrossFire performance on the new games while also giving us a judge on how performance from this setup is with the latest 12.11 drivers that we saw introduced recently.

Due to the fact we've already looked at the HIS HD 7850 IceQ Turbo in detail we'll refrain from covering it again. If you want to have a closer look at both the bundle and the video card itself, I recommend that you head over to our original review that was published recently.

Saying that there are still a few things we need to do before we get into the performance side of things. We'll take a quick look at the test system on the next page while also quickly covering the video cards that you will see in our graphs today. Just before we get into the benchmark side of things as well we'll look at the specifications and just double check that everything is looking good on the CrossFire side of things.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

Along with the HIS HD 7850 2GB IceQ Turbo in CrossFire we'll also have the results from when we tested it individually. We also have the higher end HD 7870 and HD 7970 GHz Edition along with the HD 7950 IceQ X2 card from HIS we looked at the other day, which was overclocked to 1200MHz on its core.

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Quickly looking above you can see we're dealing with that Turbo clocked card again with the increased core speed which sees a 1000MHz core clock. As we mentioned in our original review the 2GB of GDDR5 carries the default 4800MHz QDR clock. Across the bottom you can see that CrossFire is also in active via two GPUs.

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting out the gate with 3DMark 11 we can see strong performance which puts this CrossFire setup ahead of everything else. We're not ahead by a great deal, but you can see this setup does indeed manage to squeeze out the win.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven performance is fantastic. We see not only solid gains in performance, but just overall fantastic numbers that put it clearly ahead of the other setups.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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Over the single video card setup we see again a strong performance boost, but you can see in this instance we're behind the higher end single GPU solutions from AMD.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 numbers look great with some excellent performance at all resolutions. The gains are not only extremely strong, but overall we're seeing performance that is putting us ahead of the high-end single GPU solutions.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Just like we saw in Lost Planet 2 we've got not only great performance gains here again from the CrossFire setup, but also excellent performance across the board, with playable numbers at every resolution.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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With CrossFire you can see we've got some good gains, but we seem to be hitting a wall that isn't present in the single GPU setups. Fortunately for us that wall is around the 120 FPS mark so it's not something we're worried about. Also at the highest resolution this setup again pulls out the win.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Metro 2033 performance across the board is extremely strong with not only excellent gains, but also just very strong performance that gives us playable numbers at every resolution.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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Continuing on with strong gains we see playable numbers across the board here. We also see compared to our other setups the CrossFire one here manages to come out ahead across the board.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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It's been a while since we've seen a game not benefit from CrossFire, but looking above, you can see that Nexuiz doesn't seem to be making use of CrossFire with numbers that are near identical to the single HD 7850 IceQ Turbo configuration.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 sees some fantastic performance gains that put the setup ahead of everything else and offers us playable numbers at all resolutions, and that is what we love to see.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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In the case of Sleeping Dogs we see very strong performance again and we've got playable numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Looking at Far Cry 2 numbers there's no massive surprise with just strong numbers across the board being seen.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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Moving into our AA and AF tests you can see performance continues to be very strong here with the CrossFire setup again coming out ahead of everything else.

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Metro 2033 sees some great gains and we've got playable numbers at 1920 x 1200. Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, we see the setup fail to get the 60 FPS we want for a solid gaming experience.

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Just Cause 2 sees some strong performance gains and you can see we've got playable numbers at both resolutions here.

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Finishing with Sleeping Dogs we see some strong performance gains. Unfortunately at both resolutions you can see we're below the 60 FPS number we aim for.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Thanks to the fantastic design of the IceQ cooler you can see that even in CrossFire cooling performance is exceptional.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Throwing a second video card into the mix doesn't mess with the noise levels with solid results.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Finishing up with power draw numbers you can see they of course jump, but not to a level that is massively high. Any good quality 650 Watt power supply shouldn't have a problem with this setup.

Final Thoughts

It's been a while since we've tested CrossFire and it's great that we had a chance to not only test it on our new benchmark line-up, but also the new Catalyst 12.11 drivers which we tested when they first came out towards the end of October. The performance gains were extremely strong and it's great to see how CrossFire looks on the latest driver.

One of the most important areas when it comes to CrossFire, though, is the price of the setup and how it compares to others. This is especially important when you're looking at going CrossFire on mid-range video cards instead of a higher end single GPU solution. Having a look at the price of a custom HD 7970 GHz Edition you'll find the IceQ X2 version from HIS come in at around the $389.99 mark.

Looking at a pair of HIS HD 7850 IceQ Turbo cards they're going to set you back $439.98 - roughly $50 more than what a single HD 7970 GHz Edition is going to cost. Is the price difference worth it? For the most part we'd say yes. Performance gains over a single card are extremely impressive and most the time we see the setup have no issue outperforming the single higher end options.

Performance tends to especially be ahead when you compare games that are more intensive. The more pressure that is being placed on the card / cards sees the CrossFire configuration perform extremely strong. This is why we see strong leads at 2560 x 1600.

If you want to get ready for some holiday fun and you're looking for a setup that is going to come out ahead of top single GPU options, a mid-range CrossFire setup like the one we're looking at today is fantastic.

This particular setup stands out a little more than others due to the excellent cooling solution HIS has put together. Even when the video cards are close together in CrossFire mode, the IceQ cooler does a simply amazing job of not only keeping temps down, but doing it at a low noise level.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:31 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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