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jmke 19th January 2009 18:13

HIS ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB IceQ4+ Turbo
We had high hopes for the HIS ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB IceQ4+ Turbo, but sadly they haven’t been fulfilled. Typically, HIS goes out of its way to spice up AMD’s ATI Radeon graphics cards with an improved cooling solution, higher clock speeds and a few innovations added in for good measure. While we’ve got some of that here, the one thing we haven’t got is a new cooling solution – instead, it’s a refinement of the reference cooler.

What makes it worse is the fact that the refinements made appear to be for the worse – at least, where noise is concerned. HIS has essentially redesigned the fan shroud to expose the heatpipes to the elements and introduced a slightly different fan with fewer blades. In order to improve cooling performance, the fan speed has been raised and to such an extent that it's quite noisy (but not offensively so) when the card is idling – that’s not something we really appreciate.

Disappointingly, the core clock speed hasn’t been increased by anything more than a token amount and the result is that the real-world performance benefits are generally fairly limited. The memory clocks are impressive – there’s no doubt about that – but we would have hoped the core speed overclock would have at least come close to matching that.

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