Initially, AMD released their HD 7950 Boost Edition as a custom BIOS that enabled the boost state on reference HD 7950 cards for a quick and easy performance increase. While the new design hasn't led to as many new releases as the normal models, some board partners have chosen to build custom cards based on that new BIOS.
The HIS HD 7950 IceQ X² uses a new cooler that was introduced to the company's lineup recently. It also comes with a nice overclock out of the box and highly capable dual 8-pin power inputs.
Pricing is quite reasonable with $320, given that it is just $10 more than a normal HD 7950 reference design card and significantly cheaper than the GTX 670, which offers a similar performance.
HD 7950 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 660 Ti
7950 X² Boost
| HD 7970
|Memory Bus Width
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + Documentation
- DVI adapter
- CrossFire Bridge
HIS is using a large dual-fan cooler with a stylized X in the center. The back of the card is bare; other companies put something here to protect the card against damage, or to help with cooling.
Installation of the card requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include one DVI port, one full-sized HDMI port, and two mini-HDMI ports. You may use all the outputs at the same time.
The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.
Two CrossFire connectors are available, so you may combine this card with up to three other HD 7950s for improved performance.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front
). If you choose to use these images for voltmods, etc., please include a link back to this site, or let us post your article.
A Closer Look
HIS is using five heatpipes on their cooler. The cooler is connected to the GPU through a copper base.
You can see a secondary metal plate once the main heatsink is removed. It provides cooling for memory chips and voltage regulation circuitry, but does not fully cover up the memory chip located below the GPU (you can see the thermal pad sticking out).
The card requires two 8-pin PCI-Express power cables for operation. This power configuration is good for up to 375 W of power draw.
HIS has also implemented the dual BIOS feature that is available on most other HD 7900 Series cards. It acts as a safeguard against BIOS corruption during flashing.
The card uses a CHiL CHL 8228 for voltage control. AMD's reference design and most of the other HD 7970 cards use the same controller. It offers many monitoring and software voltage-control features and is well supported through overclocking software.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Elpida and carry the model number W2032BBBG-50-F. They are specified to run at 1250 MHz (5000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
AMD's Tahiti graphics processor introduced the GCN shader architecture. It is also the first GPU to be produced on a 28 nm process at TSMC. The transistor count is 4.31 billion.
Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
|Test System - VGA Rev. 24
||Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.6 GHz
(Ivy Bridge, 8192 KB Cache)
||ASUS Maximus V Gene
||2x 4096 MB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 DDR3
@ 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24
||WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB
||Antec HCP-1200 1200W
||Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1
||NVIDIA: 306.23 WHQL
ATI: Catalyst 12.8 WHQL
ATI HD 7000: Catalyst 12.11 Beta
LG Flatron W3000H 30" 2560x1600
3x Hanns.G HL225DBB 21.5" 1920x1080
- All video card results were obtained on this exact system with exactly the same configuration.
- All games were set to their highest quality setting unless indicated otherwise.
- AA and AF are applied via in-game settings, not via the driver's control panel.
Each benchmark was tested at the following settings and resolution:
- 1280 x 800, 2x Anti-aliasing. Common resolution for most smaller flatscreens today (17" - 19"). A bit of eye candy turned on in the drivers.
- 1680 x 1050, 4x Anti-aliasing. Most common widescreen resolution on larger displays (19" - 22"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
- 1920 x 1200, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical widescreen resolution for large displays (22" - 26"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
- 2560 x 1600, 4x Anti-aliasing. Highest possible resolution for commonly available displays (30"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
- 5760 x 1080, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical high-end gaming multi-monitor resolution. Very good looking driver graphics settings.
, released in 2012 for the PC, is a highly successful third-person horror shooter that revolves around the adventures of novelist Alan Wake who has to battle the "darkness" that takes over living and dead things. Alan's signature flashlight is used to strip the forces of darkness of their protection, which makes them vulnerable to conventional weapons.
The engine of Alan Wake
uses DirectX 9, but features complex lighting effects that make it quite a demanding title. We benchmarked with the highest settings possible.
Batman: Arkham City
is back on the LCD screen with Batman: Arkham City
, a sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum
by Rocksteady Games and WB. It was released on the PC platform in November 2011. Batman is imprisoned in Arkham City, an infamous district of the DC Universe that contains the scum of Gotham, most of whom Batman helped put in there. In order to get out, he must go through scores of baddies. He also encounters many of the iconic supervillains along the way and is not entirely alone in his endeavour.
Batman: Arkham City
uses the same Unreal Engine by Epic as Batman: Arkham Asylum
, but it has, thanks to the engine's modularity, been overhauled and equipped with the latest technologies, including a graphics engine that takes advantage of DirectX 11.
Arguably one of the most anticipated online shooters of recent times, Battlefield 3
is the latest addition to some of the most engaging online multiplayer shooter franchises. It combines infantry combat with mechanized warfare and includes transport vehicles, armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft; pretty much everything that goes into today's battlefields. Its infantry combat is coupled with role-playing elements, which makes the experience all the more engaging. It also has a single-player campaign that added a few gigabytes to its installer.
Behind all this is a spanking new game engine by EA-DICE called Frostbite 2. It makes use of every possible feature DirectX 11 has to offer, including hardware tessellation and new lighting effects, to deliver some of the most captivating visuals gamers have ever had access to. Not playing this game on the PC is a grave injustice to what's in store. Faster PCs are rewarded with better visuals.
is the successor to the famous first-person shooting game that doesn't take itself seriously. You get to pick from one of several characters that have unique abilities to make short shrift of the game's futuristic enemies. Set on the planet of Pandora, you have to help the local population wage intense battles against Handsome Jack of the evil Hyperion Corporation to discover a vault full of advanced future tech.
The game uses a heavily modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3, which is still running in DirectX 9 mode, but it does offer plenty of appealing visual effects.
After the tremendous success of Far Cry
, the German game studio Crytek released their shooter Crysis
in 2007. The game was by far the most hyped and anticipated game in 2007, and forums were full of "Can my system run Crysis?" threads because of its high hardware requirements. Just like in Far Cry
, the plot evolves on a small island with a thick and richly detailed jungle world. A lot of attention has been given to small details like accurate physics. When you, for example, fire on a tree trunk, it will shatter and the tree will fall over and leave a stump behind, and enemies in a car can be stopped by shooting the tire of the car. The game graphics are, even for today, top notch, yet the game still runs well on most computers.
takes the player into an alien-infested New York City. The game adds a tactical options mode that allows for several ways to attack a heavily infested enemy location. The new Nanosuit 2.0 that the player uses offers more freedom in ability use. Multiple abilities can, for example, be used at the same time. To better accommodate a given play-style, weapons can be customized with silencers, laser sights, or even a sniping scope.
For rendering, Crytek's CryEngine 3 is used. It comes with reduced system requirements compared to the first Crysis
game. Since Crysis 2
is a multi-platform game with major development focus on the console, the graphics on launch day were only DirectX 9. DirectX 11 functionality was added later in a patch. We used the DX11 version and the high-res texture pack for our benchmarking.
Blizzard's Diablo 3
is the latest release in one of the most popular action RPG series of all time. You, the hero, will experience epic adventures on your journey to defeat Diablo, the master of Hell. Diablo 3
set the record for the fastest-selling PC game by selling over 3.5 million copies on the first day of its release. It was also the most pre-ordered game on Amazon.
Blizzard's DirectX 9 engine provides the player with an isometric view on the action. The game has been tuned to run well on most computer systems, which lets as many players as possible experience the game. We tested Diablo 3
running at the highest image-quality settings available.
Dragon Age II
Dragon Age II
is the second game in BioWare's Dragon Age
franchise and was released in March 2011. You will be able to pick your hero, named Hawke, from several classes and grow him over the course of the adventure. Gameplay takes you through a linearly narrated story of Hawke's rise to become the legendary "Champion of Kirkwall".
BioWare's Lycium Engine has support for DirectX 11. It uses tessellation, advanced dynamic lighting, and camera effects like depth of field. We benchmarked the DX11 version with the highest possible details setting available.
is an official implementation of the Formula One 2012 circus with accurate teams, drivers, and cars. Two highlights of the game are its extensive realism options and its detailed weather effects. You pick a driver and get to race over several races; constantly improving your skill to impress the big teams for a contract with them, which would mean driving for the world championship with a faster car. The game is based on an improved Ego 2.0 engine Codemasters uses with all of their recent racing titles, and it features the latest in DirectX 11 technology. We used the highest details setting available for our testing.
Max Payne 3
Max is back! The long anticipated third release in the Max Payne
series is the first game developed by Rockstar, which took the title over from Remedy Entertainment. In this first-person shooter, using an over-the-shoulder camera view, you battle the bad guys using game-changing features like Bullet Time or Last Stand. The maps have scenic locations which take the player to places like New York, Sao Paulo, and Panama.
The Max Payne 3
game engine uses DirectX 11 with tessellation and very detailed textures. We tested the game with details set to the maximum possible.
is a first-person shooter that is set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow - inside the metro system as the name suggests. You will fight mutants or other humans who want to take away your shelter. The game has many gameplay elements similar to STALKER
; the engine also has similar features. This is because two STALKER
engine programmers left GSC Game World and started their own company to make Metro 2033
The engine has support for all the latest eye-candy, like DirectX 11 and tessellation. Unfortunately, it leaves a less than satisfactory impression, which makes it a candidate that surpasses Crysis
for highest hardware requirements. We tested the game in DirectX 11 mode with details set to "Very High".
is a GTA-style crime/action adventure developed by Square Enix. You are Wei Shen, an undercover police officer who is infiltrating the Hong Kong triads. The game's unique combat system gives you significant freedom over your movement, the actions you take, and your counter-attacks - individual body parts can also be targeted.
A custom in-house engine was developed to provide DirectX 11 graphics through a deferred renderer. This makes complex characters and graphical effects required for a realistic view of the beautiful city of Hong Kong possible. We tested Sleeping Dogs at its highest settings, but disabled super-sampling.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2
is a tactical shooter that lets you play through the Battle of Berlin during the early part of May in 1945. You are an elite American sharpshooter who is located behind enemy lines to stop the German V-2 rocket program. Gameplay does not focus on full frontal assault only. Elements of stealth and patience are also required to gain the upper hand. Sniper Elite V2
features a complex ballistics simulation that forces players to account for factors including gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, and aim stability.
Sniper Elite V2
uses DirectX 11 with tessellation and contact hardening shadows, and DirectCompute-based effects including anti-aliasing.
For our testing, we used the Sniper Elite V2 benchmark tool in DX11 mode. We used Sniper Elite V2's highest settings, but disabled super sampling.
STALKER: Call of Pripyat
STALKER: Call of Pripyat
continues shortly after the events of the prequel STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
. The player is one of many stalkers who are attracted to the Zone in hopes of finding fame, wealth, and artifacts. You meet Strelok, the protagonist of the first STALKER
game, over the course of the game and team up with him to progress through the Zone.
The game uses an updated X-Ray Engine 1.6 with support for DirectX 11 using DirectCompute Shaders to improve shadow rendering, and tessellation to improve model quality.
, released in July 2010, is a sequel to Blizzard's award-winning strategy game StarCraft
. In the 26th century, three species, namely Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg, are at war. The campaign takes you through many missions on different planets where you have to face various enemy factions or, sometimes, several of them at once. StarCraft II
features a similar number of units - some of them new - as the original game. Due to the massive success of the first game, Blizzard chose to focus a large aspect of the game on multiplayer combat through Battle.net. The campaign serves as a good introduction to units and concepts, but the real action is in competitive multiplayer combat.
The StarCraft II
engine only supports DirectX 9, but several patches have improved rendering quality and available options considerably. We tested the game using a recorded 1 vs. 1 multiplayer replay in the late-game phase. Please note that StarCraft II
is very CPU limited on high-end cards, especially on lower resolutions, so you may not see much scaling between some cards. StarCraft II
does not support multi-monitor gaming because it would provide an unfair advantage in competitive multiplayer as a larger portion of the map would be visible.
Total War: Shogun 2
Set in 16th century feudal Japan, Total War: Shogun 2
takes the player on a quest for domination to conquer and unite the warlords of Japan. Moving away from the European setting of previous Total War
games, the game is now designed around the principles of the brilliant Chinese general Sun Tzu and his book The Art of War
. Gameplay switches between real-time battles, during which units on the battlefield are controlled, and turn-based strategy, which focuses on diplomacy, economy, and production management. Taking control of a castle involves several different stages, which adds more complexity to the warfare in Shogun 2.
We benchmarked using the highest settings possible in DirectX 11 mode, which was added via a patch after release.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
This isn't just a game, but a masterpiece. TES: Skyrim
is a very large sandbox game that rejects the quality-quantity inverse proportionality. By genre, TES: Skyrim
is a role-playing game. It combines some of the best elements of older titles in the franchise with some new sandbox elements to churn out an extremely engaging and addictive game. It makes use of Bethesda's Creation Engine which isn't visually intensive in that it doesn't use taxing graphics features; instead, the game's presentation itself, with large open worlds, ends up taxing your hardware. Faster GPUs result in smoother gameplay with most eye-candy turned on.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
World of Warcraft is the most successful massively multiplayer online game in the world with far over 12 million monthly subscribers. The game is centered around the epic battle between the Horde and Alliance factions with many other races getting involved in a long and complex story line. Even though it has been released in 2004, Blizzard has always added incremental improvements to the graphics, especially with every new expansion. One key success of World of Warcraft is that it will run on a large number of slower systems while also delivering a decent graphics experience on high-end systems. We tested the game in DirectX 11 mode with details set to "Ultra".
3DMark 11 is the very latest benchmark test from the house of Futuremark, which has given out some of the most comprehensive benchmark applications for PC enthusiasts and gamers. 3DMark 11, as the name might suggest, makes use of the Microsoft DirectX 11 API and puts every feature of it to use, creating astonishingly realistic visuals. In the process, it evaluates DirectX 11-compliant GPUs and lets gamers know what to expect from upcoming games that make use of the API in terms of visual realism. The tessellation and depth-of-field tests are of particular interest here. 3DMark 11 has no proper support for multi-monitor configurations.
Unigine Heaven 2.0
Unigine Heaven was one of the first demos that supported DirectX 11. Heaven is a technology demonstration for the Unigine engine which supports DirectX 9 through 11 and OpenGL. Version 2.0 adds more scenes and, optionally, more complex tessellation features. Although there is some controversy surrounding the benchmark and as to whether it is an accurate representation of what to expect from future games in regard to DirectX 11, we still decided to use this test to get an insight into the potential of future gaming.
Cooling modern video cards is becoming more and more difficult, especially with users asking for quiet cooling solutions, which is why engineers are now paying much more attention to the power consumption of new video-card designs. An optimized fan-profile is also one of the few things that board vendors can do to impress with reference designs where they are prohibited from making changes to the thermal solution or components on the card.
For this test, we measured the power consumption of the graphics card only via the PCI-Express power connector(s) and PCI-Express bus slot. A Keithley Integra 2700 digital multimeter with 6.5-digit resolution was used for all measurements. Again, the values here only reflect the power consumption of the card measured at DC VGA card inputs, not of the whole system.
We chose Crysis 2
as a standard test representing typical 3D gaming usage because it offers the following: very high power draw; high repeatability; is a current game that is supported on all cards because of its DirectX 9 roots; drivers are actively tested and optimized for it; supports all multi-GPU configurations; test runs in a relatively short time and renders a non-static scene with variable complexity.
Our results were based on the following tests:
- Idle: Windows 7 Aero sitting at the desktop (1280x1024, 32-bit) with all windows closed and drivers installed. Card left to warm up in idle mode until power draw was stable.
- Multi-monitor: Two monitors connected to the tested card, both using different display timings. Windows 7 Aero sitting at the desktop (1280x1024 32-bit) with all windows closed and drivers installed. Card left to warm up in idle mode until power draw was stable.
- Average: Crysis 2 at 1920x1200, Extreme profile, representing a typical gaming power draw. Average of all readings (12 per second) while the benchmark was rendering (no title/loading screen).
- Peak: Crysis 2 at 1920x1200, Extreme profile, representing a typical gaming power draw. Highest single reading during the test.
- Maximum: Furmark Stability Test at 1280x1024, 0xAA. This results in a very high non-game power-consumption that can typically be reached only with stress-testing applications. The Card was left running the stress test until power draw converged to a stable value. We disabled the power-limiting system on cards with power-limiting systems or configured it to the highest available setting - if possible. We also used the highest single reading from a Furmark run that was obtained by taking measurements faster than the power limit could kick in.
- Blu-ray Playback: Power DVD 9 Ultra was used at a resolution of 1920x1200 to play back the Batman: The Dark Knight disc with GPU acceleration turned on. Playback started around timecode 1:19, which has the highest data rates on the BD with up to 40 Mb/s. Playback was left running until power draw converged to a stable value.
Power consumption in non-gaming states is roughly the same as the reference HD 7950, which is exactly what we expected. In these states, the clocks and voltages are the same as on the reference design. Boost and overclock out of the box will only affect gaming power-draw. However, even with performance taking into account, the HIS HD 7950 X² Boost is 15% less power efficient than the regular HD 7950 and 5% less efficient than the HD 7970. Only the HD 7970 GHz Edition does worse because of its much higher operating voltage to achieve stable clock levels.
NVIDIA's high-end GTX 680, GTX 670 and GTX 660 Ti do a bit better in power consumption, both in idle and under load.
In past years, users would accept everything for a little bit more performance. Nowadays, users are more aware of the fan noise and the power consumption of their graphics cards.
In order to properly test the fan noise that a card emits, we use the Bruel & Kjaer 2236 sound-level meter (~$4,000). It has the measurement range and the accuracy we are looking for.
The tested graphics card was installed in a system that was completely cooled passively. That is, passive PSU, passive CPU cooler, passive cooling on the motherboard, and on a solid state drive.
This setup allows us to eliminate secondary noise sources and test only the video card. To be more compliant with standards like DIN 45635 (we are not claiming to be fully DIN 45635 certified), the measurement was conducted at 100 cm of distance and at 160 cm off the floor. The ambient background noise level in the room was well below 20 dBA for all measurements. Please note that the dBA scale is not linear but logarithmic. 40 dBA is not twice as loud as 20 dBA. A 3 dBA increase results in double the sound pressure. The human hearing perception is a bit different, and it is generally accepted that a 10 dBA increase doubles the perceived sound level. The 3D load noise levels were tested with a stressful game, not with Furmark.
Noise levels in idle are clearly too high. It looks to me like the fan settings in the BIOS have not been properly optimized to the card's cooling capabilities and its idle heat output. Most other cards on the market will be quieter in idle.
Under load, the card is much quieter than the AMD reference designs in its performance range. Good job, HIS. Comparable reference design cards from NVIDIA emit similar or more noise. However, custom board designs like the ASUS GTX 670, end up being much quieter, so consider that if you are looking for a low noise and high-end graphics card.
The graphs on this page show a combined performance summary of all tests and resolutions from previous pages. Each graph shows the tested card as 100% and all other cards' performance as relative to it. A sixth graph summarizes all tests in all resolutions to calculate the total relative performance of the review sample.
Performance per Watt
The following graphs show the efficiency of the cards in our test group. We used the relative performance scores from the previous page and the typical gaming power consumption result.
Performance per Dollar
If you are looking for the best bang per buck, you will love this graph. We looked up the current USD price of each card on the popular online shop Newegg and used that value and all relative performance numbers to calculate the Performance-per-Dollar Index.
The overclocking results listed in this section were achieved with the default fan and voltage settings as defined in the VGA BIOS. Please note that every single sample overclocks differently, which is why our results here can only serve as a guideline for what you can expect from your card.
The maximum stable clocks of our card are 1210 MHz core (27% overclock) and 1500 MHz memory (20% overclock).
Fantastic overclocking potential! The card reaches clock levels that are usually only achieved with the HD 7970 or GHz Edition. Memory overclocking works alright as well, but other cards reached higher levels. Seems like the Elpida chips clock a bit lower than Samsung or Hynix.
Important: Each GPU (including each GPU of the same make and model)
|Maximum Overclock Comparison
||Max. GPU Clock
||Max. Memory Clock
|HIS HD 7950 X² Boost
|Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X
|Sapphire HD 7950 Flex
|ASUS HD 7950 DC II
|MSI HD 7950 TF III
|AMD HD 7950
will overclock slightly differently based on random production variances.
This table just serves to provide a list of typical overclocks for similar cards,
determined during TPU review.
Using these clock frequencies, we ran a quick test of Battlefield 3
to evaluate the gains from overclocking.
Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 22.8%.
Temperatures are excellent. Unfortunately, fan noise is not so great. I wish HIS had hiked temperatures up a few °C for a lower noise output.
Important: GPU temperature will vary depending on clock speed, voltage settings,
|GPU Temperature Comparison
|HIS HD 7950 X² Boost
|Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X
|Sapphire HD 7950 Flex
|ASUS HD 7950 DC II
|MSI HD 7950 TF III
|AMD HD 7950
cooler design, and production variances. This table just serves to provide
a list of typical temperatures for similar cards, determined during TPU review.
Modern graphics cards have several clock profiles that are selected to balance power draw and performance requirements.
The following table lists the clock settings for important performance scenarios, and the GPU voltage that we measured. We performed the measurement on the pins of a coil or a capacitor near the GPU voltage regulator.
|CCC Overdrive Limits
Value and Conclusion
- According to HIS, the HD 7950 IceQ X² Boost will retail for $320.
- Overclocked out of the box
- Excellent GPU overclocking potential
- Low temperatures
- Support for software voltage control
- Full-size HDMI output
- 3 GB of memory
- Dual BIOS
- Support for PCI-Express 3.0 and DirectX 11.1
- Memory not overclocked
- Noise could be lower, especially in idle
- Increased power consumption
||The HIS HD 7950 X² IceQ Boost uses the AMD reference PCB, although it's colored blue and comes with a large dual-fan cooler. Thanks to AMD's Boost technology and a generous overclock out of the box, we see the card cruise past the HD 7950 by, on average, 11%, which puts the card neck to neck with the NVIDIA GTX 670. I wish HIS had overclocked the memory a bit beyond the default of 1250 MHz for an easy performance boost.|
Overclocking worked fantastically with our sample. GPU clock went up by 27% and reached 1210 MHz, which is typically only seen on HD 7970 GHz Edition cards. Memory overclocked well too, but not as much as on other cards with Samsung/Hynix memory. In the end, overclocking yielded over 20% extra performance, putting the card even beyond the HD 7970 GHz Edition.
HIS chose a very capable cooling solution that easily handles the heat output. Unfortunately, noise levels are not ideal. I see plenty of headroom for additional noise reductions, especially in idle.
Power consumption during gaming has increased compared to the HD 7950 reference design, but that was to be expected. Running higher clocks and a higher voltage leads to higher power consumption and, as a result, more heat output. The increase shouldn't be a deal breaker though. HIS is using an 8+8 PCI-Express power configuration, which promises more power capability. Some older low-end power supplies might not provide the right power cables, but that can easily be fixed with a cheap adapter HIS has, unfortunately, not included as part of the package.
HIS tells us their card will retail at $320 – definitely a great price considering the normal HD 7950 reference design retails for around $310. This actually makes the card one of the best price/performance high-end graphics cards on the market. With the HD 7950 X² IceQ Boost, you also get a better cooler than the reference design, but the card still keeps the AMD reference design PCB with its solid VRM and software voltage control. Its closest competition would, compared to NVIDIA's offering and in my opinion, be the GTX 670; it is currently available for around $380 – significantly more expensive. While delivering similar performance levels, the GTX 670 has better power consumption, especially in idle, but it does lack software voltage control, something that might be important to many overclockers. Either way, the HIS HD 7950 IceQ X² should definitely be on your short list if you are in the market for a HD 79xx graphics card.