HIS Radeon HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo 1GB Video Card Review

HIS throw both the Turbo and IceQ X tag on the mid-range AMD model - the HD 6770. We check it out to see what's going on with it.

Manufacturer: HIS
13 minutes & 13 seconds read time

Introduction and Package


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Video cards have actually been really quiet lately. The fact that both AMD and NVIDIA have had the current crop of models out for a while means that most companies have exhausted ways to make them stand out from the pack.

Still, with that being said, it's not dead completely. So today we're looking at a HD 6770 from the peeps over at HIS. The HD 6770 is a great mid-range model, but we haven't seen companies do heaps with it. It's also one of the more recent VGA releases, so that could have a bit to do with it as well.

Today, though, the HD 6770 we're looking at from HIS carries with it our two favorite labels - IceQ X and Turbo. We know exactly what that means; we've got a nice upgraded cooler that falls into the IceQ X series and the Turbo label means the card comes overclocked out of the box.

So let's see what HIS are doing with the HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo we've got on our hands today. We'll start by looking at what's going on with the package and once that's done we'll take a closer look at the card itself before we take a look at the specifications to see just what kind of overclock is offered on the card when compared to a stock clocked one.

Once all that's done, we'll get into the performance side of things to see just how the HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo performs before we wrap everything up in our final thoughts.


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The whole package while taking a bit of a beating in transit, was all good once we opened it up. Inside we've got nothing out of the ordinary with a driver CD, manual, sticker, DVI to VGA connector and dual Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E power connector. The stand out would have to be the inclusion of the Dirt3 coupon which can be used to get a copy of the game.

Card and Specifications

The Card

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Looking at the card, there's nothing too out of the ordinary to be honest. We've seen the IceQ X cooler from HIS before, so looking at the card doesn't show anything too different to what we've seen before. We've got that larger fan in the middle and under that we can see the huge heatsink that covers the whole card.

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Looking around the card, you can see we've got a single 6-Pin PCI-E power connector at the back of the card. Moving across the top, you can see some of our heat pipes that come out of the core area along with a single CrossFire connector closer to the front of the card.

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Turning the corner and checking out the front of the card, you can see our two DVI connectors. Along with that we've got a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round off the outputs.


Being part of the Turbo series means that the card comes overclocked out of the box. HIS haven't done heaps with the clock speeds, but they have given a slight bump to both the core and memory.

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As you can see, the core has been pushed to 880MHz. This is 30MHz up on the standard 850MHz clock we see. As for the 1GB of GDDR5, that's also been bumped up to 5000MHz QDR from the default 4800MHz QDR. It's a nice little overclock out of the box and should hopefully yield some good overall performance.

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.

Today we'll be looking at our HIS HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo against a number of other cards including the Sapphire HD 6670, HD 6770, HD 6790 and HD 6850. On the NVIDIA front, we've also got a couple of cards including the GTX 550 Ti Cyclone and GTX 560 Twin Frozr II from MSI.

As for our HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo, that'll be using the new 11.6 Catalyst driver while our other AMD cards will use the popular 11.4 driver. The 11.6 driver, though, as we discovered in our most recent Catalyst round up brought with it some very strong performance gains. Unfortunately we didn't look at those gains on the HD 6770, so while looking at the HIS HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo, we'll see what kind of performance boost we get from the card with the most recent driver update and some extra MHz on the core and memory.

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 you can see we're off to a great start. You can see the kind of boost we're able to get when compared to the Vapor-X model from Sapphire using those 11.4 drivers and coming in at stock speeds.

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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Checking out Vantage, we continue to see those strong gains that come from the overclock and the new driver. The HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo manages to put out some really strong performance these days.

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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Firing up Unigine, we continue to see strong performance from the HD 6670 IceQ X Turbo and we also see how well AMD are performing under those Tessellation heavy situations now.

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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Getting into some games, you can see the latest driver does wonders for the HD 6770, fixing up some initial issues where performance was identical to the HD 6670. Now you can see we've got playable FPS at both resolutions including the higher 1920 x 1200 one.

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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H.A.W.X. 2 sees some strong performance and while we could see our HD 6770 scrape over that 60 FPS barrier earlier, you can see now we're able to sit ahead of it by a good margin making the game extremely playable.

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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While we do see a nice boost in performance under Mafia II, unfortunately we're just shy of that 60 FPS mark we want at 1680 x 1050. The good news is we're only 2 FPS away from it, though, so just a minor detail drop will bring us up to what we would say is a playable figure.

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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Looking at Lost Planet 2, you can see that our FPS falls way short of what we want. This isn't much of a surprise, though, as you can see not a single card here gets that 60 FPS average that we always try and aim for.

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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Aliens vs. Predator paints much the same picture as we saw in Lost Planet 2. It's not quite as severe, but you can see across the board our cards to struggle to get that 60 FPS mark that we aim for, which we consider playable.

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 doesn't hold any surprises and you can see across the board we've got very strong FPS.

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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Getting into Far Cry 2, you can see a strong boost in performance with the latest drivers which puts us above that 30 FPS minimum we expect at both resolutions. You can see initially Far Cry 2 didn't want to play all that nice with our minimums being lower than the HD 6670; the average on the other hand was fine. Nice to know everything is working out well now.

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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Across the board we see strong FPS and you can see you're going to have no problems playing Barman AA with the HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo at 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200.

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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Checking out the temperature of the card, it comes as no surprise that the IceQ X cooler does a great job keeping our temperatures at a really nice level.

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 in the middle of the pack. As usual, the IceQ X cooler does a great job of offering us good temperatures at a good noise level.

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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Power Draw on the card sits nice and low and you'll find most power supplies won't have an issue handling the HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo from HIS.

Final Thoughts

HIS has put together a really nice card here with a superb cooler and a nice little overclock. Combined with the latest Catalyst release, you just end up with a card that offers us fantastic performance at a $139.99 US price point.

The HD 6770 is just a really great model from AMD that offers us strong performance in a lot of today's games. Sure, it struggles in extremely intensive ones like Aliens vs. Predator and Lost Planet 2, but we can see in games like Batman AA, Far Cry 2 and Mafia II we have some really strong performance that equates to a good gaming experience.

Combine this performance with the IceQ X cooler that has served us well in the past and continues to serve us well today, and you find yourself looking at a really great card that hits the mid-range market perfectly.

Unfortunately I find myself running out of things to say for the simple reason the card itself is simple. It looks good, performs well and comes in at a great price point. For $139.99 US, it's just a fantastic option for people who are on a budget.

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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.

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