HIS Radeon HD 6790 1GB IceQ X Turbo Video Card Review

HIS slap the IceQ X and Turbo tag on the new HD 6790. Let's see how the model goes in our testbed.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, May 2 2011 9:34 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction and Package


Introduction

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Just before the launch of the HD 6790, HIS emailed us and asked if we wanted to get a sample of the normal version, or if we were happy to wait a couple of extra weeks for the IceQ X Turbo one.

Since we had a reference clocked card already on the way and the IceQ X and Turbo series being two great ones, it was a no brainer and we chose to wait. Well, the card finally arrived and we got a chance to put it through its paces to see what this new mid-range card was able to offer.

Being part of the IceQ X and Turbo series means we've got both an upgraded cooler and an overclock on offer. Before we get into that, though, we'll first check out the package. Once that's done we'll take a closer look at the card and IceQ X cooler before looking at the kind of clocks HIS has opted for with this Turbo variant.

Once all that's done, we'll see just what kind of performance we're able to get out of the card; but first let's look at the package.


Package

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Inside there's nothing too out of the ordinary. We've got the standard paperwork and driver CD, two Dual-Molex to 6-Pin adapters, DVI to VGA connector and a CrossFire Bridge.

Card and Specifications


The Card

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Looking at the card, you can see it's similar to other IceQ X cards we've looked at due to the simple fact it carries with it the same cooler. In the past the cooler has proven to be very quiet and efficient and it will be interesting to see how it goes on this slightly lower end HD 6790, since the last IceQ X card we looked at was part of the HD 6800 series.

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We mentioned in our initial review of the HD 6790 that there are a few configurations when it comes to the power setup. In this case it comes as no surprise that HIS have opted for the higher up dual 6-Pin one. Closer to the front we've got a single CF connector in the event you want to put two of these cards together.

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When it comes to connectivity, HIS has opted for the all-out option which includes a Single-Link DVI, Dual-Link DVI, HDMI and two Mini-DP connectors. This is a strong lineup which supports Eyefinity that we tend to see on higher end ones.


Specifications

Being part of the Turbo series means the card of course comes overclocked out of the box. The good news is that HIS has decided to overclock both the core and memory from the default 840MHz core clock and 4200MHz QDR on the 1GB of GDDR5.

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As you can see above, HIS has decided to up the core to a nice round 900MHz, while the memory jumps another 200MHz QDR to 4400MHz QDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark 11


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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, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Being a mid-range card, we'll be using the mid-range line up of tests today which mean we don't test AA performance, nor do we test at 2560 x 1600. As for the cards we're comparing the IceQ X Turbo against, we've got the old HD 5770, the reference clocked Sapphire HD 6790 and HD 6850.

As for cards from the other side of the fence, we've got both mid-range NVIDIA offerings in the GTX 550 Ti and GTX 560 Ti, with the former being more in the price range of the HD 6790.

Let's get started!


3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
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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Under 3DMark 11 we can see that there's a nice little boost in performance over the reference clocked card, which is a great start for the Turbo version.

3DMark Vantage




Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Vantage also manages to see a nice little boost and we again see the kind of improvement this card holds over the older HD 5770.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark




Version and / or Patch Used: 2
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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Throw some extra stress on the card in the form of tessellation and we continue to see those extra MHz help push overall performance up slightly. We can again see the kind of improvement over the old HD 5770.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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While we've already got some good numbers under RE5, the extra FPS generated by the HIS Turbo model is always appreciated.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/




Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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Like Resident Evil 5 we see a nice little boost in FPS and some very playable numbers at both resolutions.

Benchmarks - Mafia II


Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here




Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Mafia II sees a nice little boost in performance and you can see that extra MHz on offer helps push our 1680 x 1050 average to just over 60 FPS, which is that number we always aim for.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2


Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
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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While Lost Planet 2 manages to see an extra couple of FPS with the HIS model, the numbers are unfortunately too low.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator


Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/




Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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While the numbers aren't quite as low as the ones we saw in Lost Planet 2, they are still below the playable numbers we aim for.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV


Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/




While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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Street Fighter IV sees a nice little performance boost, but you can see with the averages we've got the extra FPS isn't all that needed.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


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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A nice little boost in both resolutions and some very playable numbers.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/





Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

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Batman AA performance continues to be strong with very playable numbers at both resolutions.

Temperature Test


Temperature Tests



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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It comes as no surprise when we check out the core temperature that it comes in strong thanks to that excellent quality IceQ X cooler.

Sound Test


Sound Tests



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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Noise levels are also very good with the card sitting towards the bottom of the pack, which is exactly what you want here.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new 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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A nice chunk under 300 watt means that you're not going to run into any real problems getting the card up and running on most power supplies.

Final Thoughts




I was a little surprised that we didn't see overclocked versions of the HD 6790 at launch, especially with how aggressive NVIDIA has been lately with the mid-range launches and giving companies the chance to go crazy with the model straight away.

That aside, though, the HIS HD 6790 IceQ X Turbo is a great mid-range model which carries only a slightly increased price tag of $159.99 US over some of the reference clocked models. Considering the overclock on offer that helps give us a nice little boost in performance, but more importantly the IceQ X cooler, it's really not a bad deal at all for people who want to spend around that mid $100 mark.

There's not a lot more that needs to be said about the card really. We've got strong out of the box performance for the price and the cooler as you would expect is excellent. The mid $100 price bracket is really heating up and HIS have put forward a really nice offering that should stand out to people.

As always, HIS help combine the power of the IceQ and Turbo series on a good looking mid-range card and ultimately end up with a winner. There's not a lot more you could ask for when shelling out $150.

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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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