HIS 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB PCIe Graphics Card
Just a couple of months ago we got our first taste of the HIS line-up in the form of their HD4850 IceQ 4 TurboX card. With its custom cooling, beefy overclock, decent accessories package and unique looks, the card was a refreshing break from the
usual array of reference ATI cards 'customised' with little more than a sticker by their AIB partners.
Since then HIS have been hard at work adding a bit of magic sparkle to the fairly new HD4870 1GB and today we've been given the chance to test the fruits of their labour. Crowned the 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo and dubbed by HIS as being the "The fastest single GPU card ever", this statement certainly leaves the card open to competition from the likes of NVIDIA's GTX280. However, before we get down to the nitty gritty of the review let's have a quick recap of HIS's mission statement for the benefit of those who haven't already had the pleasure:
Year 2002 marked a milestone in HIS's history, with "Excalibur" as the encore product for the company. The "HIS Excalibur Graphics Board" proved its name by passing the vigorous and stringent testing of the widely recognized media worldwide. Not only so, but has been crowned with various honors such as: Tom's Hardware, Anandtech and PC Magazine. In Sept 2003, HIS incorporated the state-of-the art Supreme Cooling Technology in the award winning HIS Excalibur 9800Pro IceQ which became the HIS IceQ, IceQ II and now the IceQ 3 Series. Since then, this product has been the limelight in the market for its outstanding performance and features over the other rivals.
Simply by analysing the name of the 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo we can tell that the card has been fitted with HIS's award winning aftermarket cooling system. This performed exceptionally well in our previous testing of the HIS 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX and as the following information below will tell us, slight improvements have been made to the IceQ 4 cooler design - hence the inclusion of an '+' symbol at the end of its name.
" With IceQ 4+, we have redesigned the heat distribution mechanism itself. Utilising a brand new 8mm heatpipe design means we have increased the thermal transfer capacity by 60% over the previous IceQ 4 design. HIS delivers gamers a triple-advantage of faster, cooler and quieter in-game performance! "
• IceQ 4 Cooling Technology - Faster, Cooler, Quieter, Crossfire Advantage, UV Sensitive
• Powered by Radeon® HD 4870 GPU
• 956 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
• 800 stream processing units
• DirectX® 10.1
• 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
• ATI CrossFireXTM multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
• Use up to four discrete cards with an AMD 790FX based motherboard
• PCI Express® 2.0 support
Manu. Process: (Micron) 55nm
Transistor: 956 million
Memory Size: (MB) 1024
Memory Type: GDDR5
RAMDAC (MHz): 400
Engine CLK (MHz): 770
Memory CLK (MHz): 4000
Memory Interface (bit): 256
As you would expect from a graphics card bearing the word 'Turbo' in it's name, the HIS 4870 1GB comes pre-overclocked to 770MHz / 4000MHz for the Core and Memory respectively. Comparing this to the 750MHz / 3600MHz clocks of a reference 4870 1GB we can see that HIS have err'd on the side of caution especially where the Core speed is concerned, quite possibly to leave plenty of headroom for a 'TurboX' version of the card if they so wish.
Now that we've got some of the formalities out of the way, let's move on to the unboxing of the card...