HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo
The HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo is one of the most aggressively overclocked cards in our line-up, with a core running at 900 MHz. What makes the card interesting is its proprietary cooling solution, called Direct Heat Exhaust, or DHE. It purports to be both quiet and effective at moving heat away from the GPU and out of the case.
In this case, out of the case means just that. Standard axial-flow fans just push warm air away from the GPU and out into your chassis, forcing other fans to get that warm air out. The IceQ Turbo is built so that a radial fan sucks in the ambient air and then pushes all of it out the back of the card. Generally, the trade-off for adopting a centrifugal fan like this is less-favorable acoustics, so we're curious to see how HIS' submission performs in that regard.
One drawback attributable to HIS' DHE cooler is that this card is taller than a standard PCIe card. It needs about 6.5 inches (16 cm) of clearance, due to those heat pipes.
Although it sports a solid overclock and an aftermarket cooling, the IceQ Turbo's price tag is right in the middle of the pack for our European readers. Unfortunately, the 900 MHz trim isn't available in the U.S., which instead gets an 800 MHz model that ends up being the second most expensive model in our round-up.
The DHE cooling solution is applicable whether you're in Europe or the U.S., though, and we're looking forward to checking on HIS' claims of quiet operation with a centrifugal fan.