HIS Radeon R9 280X IceQ X2 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 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB requires 2x 8-pin power connectors from your PSU and features a beefed up 9-phase power design, 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) 45w
Idle Desktop 15w (60-45)
FurMark Load (extreme burn-in) 274w (319-45)
Overclocked FurMark Load 445w (490-45)

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 temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

Ambient temperature 22°C

Fan Speed Temperature °C Noise level /10
Idle 20% 32 1/10
Load 45% 71 3/10
Load 100% 67 8/10
OC Load 65% 84 5/10
OC Load 100% 81 8/10


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 was able to adjust the vCore (1218mV~1337mV) and mCore (1500mV~1575mV) voltages as well as a board power limit pecentage slider (for an extra 20%) thanks to the excellent power management capabilities of this aftermarket design. Clock speeds were adjustable far beyond the speeds I managed to overclock to.

I was able to push the GPU to 1200MHz (+150MHz) and the memory to 1670MHz (+170MHz – 6.68GHz effective) which required very little effort at all. I am positively impressed by the capabilities of the HIS Radeon R9 280X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB 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 HD7850 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB 1050/1400 MHz 1200/1670 MHz 150/170 MHz
DX11: 3dMark11 GT1 51.08 57.62 6.53 FPS (12.79%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT2 53.85 60.95 7.09 FPS (13.17%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT3 67.18 75.43 8.25 FPS (12.28%)
DX11: 3dMark11 GT4 29.25 33.05 3.79 FPS (12.97%)
DX11: Aliens vs Predator 78.60 86.8 8.20 FPS (10.43%)
DX11: Lost Planet 2 74.23 76.8 2.56 FPS (3.45%)
DX11: Unigine Heaven 4 36.40 40.04 3.64 FPS (10%)
DX11: Battlefield 3 77.70 81.23 3.52 FPS (4.53%)
DX11: Battlefield 4 BETA 73.50 76.34 2.83 FPS (3.85%)
DX11: Metro 2033 66.93 73.85 6.92 FPS (10.33%)
DX11: Project CARS (Alpha 577) 55.95 62.65 6.93 FPS (11.96%)

Armed with a 150MHz GPU core overclock and a 170MHz memory overclock, we went back to the bench and ran through the entire test suite. Overall we saw an average 6.06% increase in scores (at 1920×1080 resolution), with performance on par with 1680×1050 scores, and a 12.8% 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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