Radeon R9 280X Final Thoughts
When I first heard the re-brand rumours I was slightly disappointed but then seeing the prices suddenly perked my interest right back up. AMD have been playing on the back foot in performance terms compared to NVIDIA. But now with the price cuts on the HD7000 series video cards, and the low intro price of the R9 and R7 video cards, AMD have changed the playing field considerably. All we want to see now though, are the ‘Hawaii’ R9 290 and 290X GPU’s. We want to see if AMD really have what it takes to compete with the ‘Kepler’ GTX780 and Titan video cards, and really even out the playing field.
HIS Radeon R9 280X IceQ X2 Conclusion
The HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB video card is priced to perform in comparison with an NVIDIA GTX 670 video card, but in reality performs more closely to an NVIDIA GTX 770. These new R9 line of video cvards are offering an excellent value/performance ratio. Since this is old stock that AMD needs to move, and considering their position vs NVIDIA, it is no surprise that we are seeing these results. Overclocking this already overclocked card saw an average 6.06% increase in benchmark scores (at 1920×1080) and an average 12.8% increase on the 3DMark11 benchmark scores.
I think the HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB video card looks absolutely awesome. 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 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 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 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB video card just about has it all. Factory overclocked out of the box, cool and quiet operation and plenty of overclocking headroom with voltage adjustments to back it up. The only thing that lets it down is its size. At 31.1cm long x 15cm tall, it is the biggest video card I have handled yet. Most entry level PC cases (and some more expensive cases) simply won’t be able to house this beast, but I don’t think this video card is aimed at the entry level market anyway.
Priced online for $319.99 (NewEgg / Amazon), the HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB video card is ~$20 more than your average R9 280X video card. The question is whether or not the extra cost is worth the extra performance 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.
+ Awesome Price/Performance ratio
+ Excellent design and construction
+ IceQ X2 Cooler performs brilliant
+ Priced for GTX760 performs like GTX770
+ DirectX 11.2 ready and PCI-e 3.0 Compliant
+ Up to 4-way CrossFire
+ UltraHD 4K display support
+ 9-Phase power design for stable overclocking
+ Multiple outputs – 2x mini DisplayPort / full size HDMI /DualLink DVI-I
+ Supports Triple-display and AMD HD3D Technology
– Very long and tall video card design
– Vents exhaust inside your PC case
– High power consumption when overclocking and over volting
Final Score: 9.20 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: Re-branded or Refined. What is your initial impression of these new GPU’s from AMD?