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HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC Video Card Review

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Power Consumption, Temperatures and Overclocking

Video Card Power Consumption

For power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes an 80-Plus Gold rated Corsair HX750w (model: CMPSU-750HX). This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Ecos Plug Load Solutions. To measure isolated video card power consumption, I used the energenie ENER007 power meter made by Sandal Plc (UK).

A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows-7 and rest idle at the desktop before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the desktop. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark. Below is a table with the isolated video card power consumption (not system total) displayed in Watts for each specified test product. The HIS R9 290 iPower IceQ X2 OC 4GB requires 2x 8-pin power connectors from your PSU, so you will want to power it with a reliable power supply. The power consumption results discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

Power Consumption

Power State Power Consumption (watts)
Idle Desktop (no video card) 42w
Idle Desktop 27w (69-42)
FurMark Load (extreme burn-in) 242w (284-42)
Overclocked FurMark Load 268w (310-45)

Video Card Temperatures

Benchmark tests are always nice, so long as you care about comparing one product to another. But when you’re an overclocker, gamer, or merely a PC hardware enthusiast who likes to tweak things on occasion, there’s no substitute for good information. Benchmark Reviews has a very popular guide written on Overclocking Video Cards, which gives detailed instruction on how to tweak a graphics cards for better performance. Of course, not every video card has overclocking head room. Some products run so hot that they can’t suffer any higher temperatures than they already do. This is why we measure the operating temperature of the video card products we test.

To begin my testing, I use GPU-Z to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU. Next I use FurMark’s “Burn In test” (with extreme burn-in enabled) to generate maximum thermal load and record GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature is also measured throughout testing. FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than applications of video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The load temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

Ambient temperature 24.5°C

Fan Speed Temperature °C Noise level /10
Idle 20% 40 1/10
Load 41% 77 3/10
Load 100% 74 7/10
OC Load 47% 86 3/10
OC Load 100% 82 7/10

Overclocking

Before I start overclocking I like to get a little bit of information. Firstly I like to establish operating temperatures, and since we know these are nice and the IceQ X2 VGA cooler is very capable we can quickly move on. Next I like to know what the voltage and clock limits are, so I fired up the HIS iTurbo overclocking utility. I wasn’t able to adjust the vCore and mCore voltages in iTurbo or with MSI Afterburner but I was able to adjust the board power limit pecentage slider (for an extra 50%). Clock speeds were adjustable far beyond the speeds I managed to overclock to.

I was able to push the GPU to 1075MHz (+080MHz) and the memory to 1350MHz (+100MHz – 5.4GHz effective) which required very little effort at all. I am positively impressed by the capabilities of the HIS Radeon R9 290 IceQ X2 OC 4GB video card since it already has a decent overclock right out of the box. I did manage to raise the core and memory clocks higher but it was only at the speeds detailed above that it could pass through every benchmark without artifacts.

Overclocked speeds vs Stock speeds – Results

Test Item Standard GPU/RAM Overclocked GPU/RAM Improvement
HIS R9 290 IceQ X2 4GB 967/1250 MHz 1075/1350 MHz 108/100 MHz
DX11: 3dMark11 GT1 59.60 70.82 11.22 FPS (18.82%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT2 66.49 79.02 12.53 FPS (18.84%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT3 82.20 97.49 15.29 FPS (18.60%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT4 41.24 47.87 6.63 FPS (16.077%)
DX11: Aliens vs Predator 80.26 88.47 8.21 FPS (10.22%)
DX11: Lost Planet 2 79.10 82.61 3.51 FPS (3.45%)
DX11: Unigine Heaven 4 40.11 44.04 3.93 FPS (9.79%)
DX11: Battlefield 3 82.90 86.77 3.87 FPS (4.66%)
DX11: Metro 2033 74.81 80.79 5.98 FPS (7.99%)
DX11: Project CARS (Alpha 577) 62.24 62.65 5.95 FPS (9.55%)

Armed with a 108MHz GPU core overclock and a 100MHz memory overclock, we went back to the bench and ran through the entire test suite. Overall we saw an average 11.9% increase in scores (at 1920×1080 resolution), with performance on par with 1680×1050 scores, and a 18% increase in the 3DMark11 scores. This is impressive considering the card is factory overclocked already.

That’s all of the testing over, in the next section I will deliver my final thoughts and conclusion.


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3 comments

  1. Athlonite

    Which fans are they using on this cards cooler if the fans are made by Zunshan I wouldn’t touch it with a 2000mtr barge pole

    2 from 2 HIS graphics cards both with ZunShan fans had the fans fail within the first 12 months of ownership 1st fan failed at 9 months 2nd fan failed at 7 months, both became very noisy as if the bearing were dry neither could be re-lubed as neither fan could be taken apart to do so without breaking the housing making the fan useless

    1. Steven Iglesias-Hearst

      Hi Athlonite.

      This model isn’t using those ZunShan fans that you were referring to. Instead they are using FirstDO 12V DC Brushless 0.35AMP (model# fd7010h12d) fans.

      Hope this helps,

      Steve.

  2. iFLAME

    I like the way you’ve included R9 270x and 280 – gives pretty clear idea of how things start to scale with those extra stream processors. Pitting everything against a GTX Titan/R9 295 (like what some other sites are doing) sometimes yields only confusion. Fine review, Keep them coming :)

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