Radeon R9 280 Final Thoughts
HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 Conclusion
My performance rating of the HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X² OC 3GB is based on a comparison between a Radeon R9 270X and an NVIDIA GTX 770. While this isn’t the most ideal set to compare the R9 280 to, I’m hoping that you the readers will already know where these video cards stand in comparison to the GTX 760/660Ti. With a factory overclock of 953MHz, the HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X² OC 3GB was performing on par with an older HD7950 Radeon Video card.
I think the HIS IceQ X2 cooler looked absolutely awesome in the older black/silver design but I’m not overly keen on this new gold design. The stock box designs of the AMD reference video cards has had a snazzy makeover, but these after market designs just blow them out of the water. There is a downside to having a good looking card however. All of the after market designs that I have seen exhaust most of their warm air inside the case rather than straight out the back like the AMD stock design. Sure you get a cooler core but you will also get a warmer interior case temperature to deal with too.
The HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB is an extremely well constructed video card. Considering the size of the PCB and Cooler you could be forgiven for thinking it will be super heavy, but it’s not. There is a bit of weight to deal with, but HIS have this covered with their integrated component/mosfet/memory cooler that also doubles as a PCB support plate. Overall, the construction of the entire card, and layout of components are infallible.
Functionality wise, the HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB video card could have been better. Factory overclocked out of the box and cool and quiet operation are the strong points of this video card. HIS have pushed the GPU core but I couldn’t find much more overclocking headroom or voltage adjustments to get a meaningful boost. The default fan profile does an excellent job of keeping temperatures in check while remaining quiet. The noise of the fans at 100% isn’t really worth the temperature reduction when compared to the temperatures and noise level achieved with the default fan profile.
Priced online for 279.99 (NewEgg | Amazon), the HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X² OC 3GB Video Card is priced $20~$30 above the main competiotion but isn’t the most expensive model I have found. The question is whether or not the extra cost is worth the extra performance/functionality achieved. These cards are undoubtedly priced to take a dent out of NVIDIA’s profits and this is all good for the PC gaming community.
Unless you desperately need a current generation video card for whatever reason, you can do much better for your money at this level to buy a previous generation Radeon HD7950 if stock is still available. When the R9 series video cards were released AMD and their partners slashed prices on the older stocks. Savvy shoppers will always find a good deal and so should you, it always pays to shop around.
+ Excellent design and construction
+ IceQ X2 Cooler performs brilliant
+ DirectX 11.2 ready and PCI-e 3.0 Compliant
+ Supports CrossFireX
+ UltraHD 4K display support
+ Multiple outputs – 2x mini DisplayPort / full size HDMI /DualLink DVI-I
+ Supports Triple-display and AMD HD3D Technology
+ Good power consumption figures
– Vents exhaust inside your PC case
– No real overclocking headroom
– Price is relatively high on current market
Final Score: 8.80 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: What do you think of the new HIS IceQ X2 video card cooler design?