HIS Radeon 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB

A new OC'd GPU from the HIS team, but can it take the fight to the mighty Nvidia GTX 260?

HIS Radeon 4870 Ice Q 4+ Turbo 1GB
The extra MHz HIS have cranked out of the 4870 isn't really worth the extra cash. Cash that would be better spent on an Nvidia GTX 260

Our Verdict

Unfortunately the IceQ 4+ Turbo isn't quite as good as the nearest competitor although it's still a quality card.

For

  • 4870 GPU is still good
  • 1GB of graphics memory

Against

  • Expensive for what it is
  • Not as good as the competition

It seems that in trying to resist the coffer-draining effects of the price war that's going on between all other graphics card manufacturers, HIS is resolutely sticking to the £200 plus price point for its overclocked Radeon 4870 GPU.

What you get for this extra £50 over the price of a standard 4870 is a whopping 20MHz overclock on the GPU and a new cooling solution.

Unfortunately, neither of these gains seem particularly impressive when you compare the card to the similarly priced, overclocked GTX 260: a GPU that single-handedly digs a shallow grave, drops the Ice-Q in, covers it up and does a little jig on the turned earth.

At every point, and in every test, the GTX 260 demonstrates its dominance over the Ice-Q – usually by a fair distance. Even when tested in the traditionally AMD-friendly GRID, we found the GTX 260 is capable of another 20fps on top of the Ice-Q's otherwise impressive 82fps.

The supplanted cooling solution ought to help out the overclocked chip's case, but while it does manage to keep the card cooler than its reference-designed brethren, the constant throttling up and down of the fan quickly becomes an annoyance.

So, while the Ice-Q is a pretty nippy card, it just can't perform fast enough to justify its price tag. Before the significant Nvidia price cuts this would have been a contender, but now it's been reduced to the lowly status of an also-ran.