HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost 3GB Graphics Card Review




/ 5 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Pricing

In the UK HIS are selling the R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost graphics card for £245.99 while in the USA it retails for $319.99 and if you want the cheaper non-overclocked version that costs $299.99.

Overview 

I’ve seen a fair number of R9 280X graphics card come and go in the office and so I’m now in a position where I can definitely make a more informed judgement on what HIS have done with the R9 280X. Actually despite the very little I’ve heard about HIS I was immensely impressed with this graphics cards for quite a few reasons, in fact arguably the numbers don’t do it justice. Firstly, it was very quiet compared to other R9 280X graphics cards I’ve tested. Under real gaming load it was barely audible and ran at around 60-63 degrees in a room that was 22 degrees celsius. Most other R9 280Xs I’ve tested ran towards the high 60s and were noticeably louder. We are currently in the process of building a meaningful database of power/temperature/noise results for “real” 3D gaming loads as well as the current Furmark loads we test with, however, that isn’t ready yet as our graphs show. What I can say is this graphics card is the quietest of all R9 280X GPUs I have tested, and to be honest none of them have really been that quiet until this one. While the decibel meter gave relatively modest results the HIS model is one of those graphics cards where it returns loud dBA results but the tonality of the noise is so low and calm that its not an issue. The fans certainly aren’t screechy or whiney. So that’s the first reason I like it, it runs quiet. Second, as I’ve already alluded to, it runs very cool. Again our results don’t do it justice because under Furmark it falls down the charts due to the relatively relaxed fan profile but under gaming load it runs at great temperatures for an R9 280X so I can say the IceQ X² cooling solution is really very good. As far as the performance goes well its only clocked at 1050MHz, the lowest clocked R9 280X we’ve tested, and unsurprisingly it came last of all the R9 280Xs. However, it overclocks great and I’ve seen similar reviews that say the same thing so despite having a smaller factory overclock, it has more overclocking potential than most rival cards. In that sense this graphics card is a great choice.

What things didn’t I like? Well firstly the card is just huge. Sure it keeps to a dual slot design which is great but sadly at 12 inches long this is going to cause problems with some people’s cases. If you have a smaller case you need to triple check compatibility if you’re interested in this graphics card. Secondly, I feel like the factory overclock is too low. Most other vendors are offering higher than 1050MHz so more than 1050MHz would be ideal, I’m thinking HIS should jump on the 1100MHz bandwagon. Finally the last thing I didn’t like is something that is just a personal opinion, but an opinion I know is shared by quite a few, the blue PCB. It isn’t trendy any more and I can see this putting some people off.

Pros

  • Great cooler
  • Overclocks really well!
  • One of the quieter R9 280x graphics cards on the market
  • Competitively priced
  • Dual DisplayPort
  • Battlefield 4 Promotion Eligiblity

Cons

  • Only a 2 year warranty
  • Slightly low factory overclock
  • Perhaps too long at 12 inches

Subjective Issues

  • Blue PCB

“This is my first outing with a HIS graphics card and I like what they’ve done with R9 280X. I’ve seen a fair few R9 280X graphics cards from AMD partners and the HIS R9 280X is one of the more refined versions. While it isn’t the cheapest, there’s only a tiny amount in it, and for the little bit more they charge I think it is worth every bit extra. This graphics card runs cool and quiet under all gaming scenarios, has bags of overclocking potential and is just a solid all-rounder. Only the excessive length and blue PCB might put people off.”

 

HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost 3GB Graphics Card Review

Thank you to HIS for providing this review sample.

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