Value and Conclusion
- We expect the HIS Radeon HD 6870 Turbo to retail for $249.
- Nice performance increase in this price segment
- Improvement in performance per Watt
- Low power consumption
- Native full-size HDMI output
- GDDR5 memory
- HDMI 1.4 & DisplayPort 1.2 support
- EyeFinity support - up to 6 displays with one card
- Support for DirectX 11
- Limited overclocking potential
- Overclock out of the box is rather small
- Noisy cooler
- High Blu-ray power consumption
- Lack of 3-way and 4-way CrossFire support
- CCC Overdrive limits might be too low
- DirectX 11 relevance very limited at this time
- No support for CUDA / PhysX
The HIS Radeon HD 6870 Turbo is the first overclocked variant of the HD 6870 design to reach our testing labs. At this time board partners can only perform minimal modifications to the reference design: bundle, sticker, clock frequencies and fan settings. More advanced changes like different thermal solution or PCB changes are not allowed by AMD at this time.
As a result the HIS Radeon HD 6870 Turbo is having a hard time separating itself from the rest of the reference design competition. In our testing we see an average performance increase of around 3-4% compared to the reference clocked versions. This is not enough to make up for the price increase of $15-$20 that we expect to see in retail. On the other hand, if you can spend the money and are afraid of doing overclocking yourself this offers an added value over the reference design.
Unfortunately HIS did not adjust the fan settings in the BIOS which would have helped, especially with idle noise. Another shortcoming that we saw on our sample is the considerably reduced overclocking potential vs. the other HD 6870 cards that we tested so far. Since all HD 6870 cards at this time are produced in the same factory, with the same components and to the same specifications I am certain that this is just a random variation on our sample and other cards should definitely clock higher.
Overall, the HIS HD 6870 Turbo is as solid as any other HD 6870 card on the market today, which means it comes at a good price/performance ratio, offers low power consumption and excellent connectivity features. But this also means that the Turbo version does not offer anything a willing overclocker couldn't achieve himself - if he has the time and skills to do the necessary tweaking.