HIS R9 280X IceQ x2 Turbo Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅22-12-13
Closer Look

We love the new ICEQ cooling design which is a great step forward in our eyes from the older model. The sleek black looks with honeycomb centre inserts certainly make the card stand out but not for all the wrong reasons like previously.

Spoiling the design, HIS have stubbornly kept the blue PCB of yesteryear. While it understandable HIS wish to remain 'iconic' with a traditional blue PCB, we can't help feeling black would have been a much better choice for a card of this calibre.

The card is quite a long beast measuring 31.1 x 15 x 4.2 cm so expect some overhang over a standard ATX size motherboard. The overhang is made worse thanks to the extended heatsink shroud which doesn't seem to serve any use other than to enhance aesthetics.

The I/O area features a Dual link DVI-I port, full size HDMI and twin DisplayPorts.

From a profile angle we can see the card sports a few heatpipes hinting at some serious cooling power with the ICEQ design. We also appreciate the discreet HIS logo rather than on over zealous attempt at product identification.

To power the card, you will need twin 8pin PCIe power ports. This is a strange step by HIS given that few cards, let alone the 280X require such power. To make matters worse, you do not get any power adaptors with this product!

The mammoth ICEQ x2 is made up of an off-centre copper core contact plate soldered to an aluminium frame, in turn soldered to 5 heatpipes which dissipate heat across the huge aluminium finned heatsink array.

The baseplate has a brushed finish rather than mirrored yet appeared to be very flat and judging by the thickness of the copper and holding brace will not bow under pressure.

The card has a very thick midplate which serves two purposes. The first is to act as a heatsink to both memory chips and VRM areas. Secondly, the midplate will brace the card preventing unwanted bowing under the enormous weight of the heatsink.

The VRM is made up of seven power phases and comprises of solid state capacitors and Coiltronics inductors.

Controlling the voltages is the CHiL CRL8228G controller.

Thankfully the memory hails from Hynix which carries the product code of H5GQ2H24AFR R0C which should mean we see some good memory overclocks.

Finally, we reach the core of the card. The Tahiti core is a tried and tested design which is not only a capable performer but also responds well to overclocking.

Like the HD7970, the R9 280X is capable of CrossfireX meaning multiple cards from the same family can be added to your setup for enhanced performance.

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