HIS Radeon R9-280 IceQ X2 Turbo review
In this review we look at the Radeon R9-280 IceQ X2 Turbo review from HIS. R9-280 You read that right, anyone remember the Radeon HD 7950? Armed with a customized PCB and their top model IceQ coolers; they factory overclocked the product and will try to get you as much value for money as they can. Follow us into this review where we'll look at temperatures, noise, performance, Frame latency and we'll even give Ultra High Definition gaming a go with the latest game titles on the globe.
Now before we begin with the new graphics cards the first thing that you guys will need to get used to is the new naming scheme. AMD ended with the Radeon HD 7000 and 8000 series graphics card in 2013. Logic dictates that AMD would have continued with a series 9000. But hey now, we already have had the Radeon 9000 series many years ago (2003), oh and who doesn't remember the Radeon 9800 Pro right? As such it was time to bring in a new naming scheme, a bit more in line with AMD's APUs. R9 will be high-end and R7 will be mainstream and inevitably R5 being entry level. After that you'll notice products being tagged as 250, 260X, 270X, 280, 280X and the coolest of them all the Radeon R9 290, R290X and 295x2. Though almost all of these are all new model graphics cards, most of them are respin products based on the Radeon HD 7000 series with a number of improvements. The respin products will get a new PCB, cooling, clock frequencies and much like NVIDIA boost, power, voltage, fan and load limiters. In the long run there are three products in the lineup that come with a new GPU. For example The R7 260X and then of course R9 290 / 290X will be Hawaii GPU based. The cards with new silicon come with a truckload of new features like integrated DSPs offering TrueAudio technology. The rest (270X/280/280X) will keep the older specs. I agree that is a little confusing, but we'll explain it all over the next pages.
So for this particular review we have HIS insight on our radar, they are releasing several customized R9-280 models but today specifically we test the coolest one they'll offer, the IceQ X2 Turbo edition. This particular SKU comes factory overclocked for you guys. The GPU in reality is the Radeon HD 7950, being re-spun to a new product. The R9 280 series is really based upon the 28 nm "Tahiti" GPU (Radeon HD 7950). The chip has 1,792 stream processors, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 3 GB of memory. This round however the GPU is allowed to boost towards 953 MHz while the memory will run at 1250 MHz ( effective 5.0 Gbps data rate). There's more though, the card comes with two DisplayPort outputs one DVI-I and one HDMI connector. HIS on their end designed a custom PCB, rearranged a thing or two and then applied the IceQ X² cooler on there as well. The end result is a card that is big in size, but with the two-slot two-fan solution they did create a card that under full stress remains at roughly 60 Degrees C, and it's doing that while remaining 100% silent, and that is impressive to see. The card is designed for overclocking as well, voltage can be regulated and there are no real negative restrictions. The card has one 8-pin and a 6-pin power PEG (PCI Express Graphics) headers to give the tweaking experience a little more room next to the 4+2 PWM phase power design. Overall a great card to play the latest games with whilst offering a good memory size versus good price versus the Full HD / 1080P monitor resolution.
Below you can see the Radeon R9-280 IceQ X2 Turbo edition, a product with very decent game performance, a great feature set and excellent memory volume as the graphics card has a cool 3GB GDDR5 graphics memory. Head over to the next page where we'll start-up a photo-shoot first though.