The entry-level market just got more competitive.
As I mentioned earlier, the IceQ X heatsink is spread out on the memory modules as well as the GPU, so I was expecting significant overclocking numbers. The Core clock I managed to push up to 1000MHz, however the Memory clock went only up to 1155MHz (effective 4620MHz). The latter was somewhat disappointing, but an effective overclock of 19% on Core clock and 10% on Memory clock speeds is still pretty damn impressive.
Leading the charts in the 3DMark tests, the HD 6790 is still outdone by the extra stream multiprocessors and Shader units on the HD 6850, resulting in a better score in Metro 2033.
The HIS IceQ X HD 6790 managed to stay very silent and remained at around 38°C while idling and 59°C under load. Overclocking the card resulted in a minor increase of maximum temperature of 62°C.
Initial numbers seem impressive on the HD 6790 for sure. HIS did a great job with the IceQ X cooler on this card, as they usually do. At $160, I believe the HIS IceQ X HD 6790 is just about good enough for entry level performance at 1920×1080. For $20 more though, the HIS IceQ X HD 6850 provides a very viable alternative.