HIS 7870 IceQ Turbo
When looking at the Radeon 7870, this card could be viewed as the successor to the 6870, though the reality is that it’s such a vast improvement over its predecessory that the two cards really don’t share much in common except nomenclature. In fact, the 7870 is so good that it manages to beat Nvidia’s GTX 580 in most instances. And AMD calls this a mid-range card; it’s really quite a juggernaut in the middle performance class. Granted, the GTX 580 is the last-gen flagship, but framerates are still framerates, and this card delivers nonetheless.
Beyond the framerates, however, the reduced temperature output of the new 28nm manufacturing process is noteworthy, which produces outstanding results when coupled with the IceQ heatsink. Seeing a full load temperature of only 62°C for a card that beats the GTX 580 in horsepower is nothing short of outstanding. Bear in mind, this is an overclocked card, so that’s even more impressive.
We come away very impressed with AMD’s mid-range lineup, which is a particularly important and lucrative market segment and AMD and Nvidia. It appears Nvidia’s current lineup can’t withstand the AMD cards, so until the former’s Kepler mid-range cards really hit the shelves, AMD has a stranglehold on this important market.
The HIS 7870 IceQ Turbo is a big card in several regards, not only in physical size but overall performance and gaming value. At a price of about $380, it’s an outstanding product, beating a GTX 580 while running improbably cool and costing less. If you want excellent horsepower without shelling out a small fortune, this card is a top pick.