So starting out with an overall look at the HIS R9 280 IceQ X2 3GB graphics card, the first thing that you will undoubtedly notice is the gold coloured IceQ cooler that this card comes equipped with; very bling bling. The chip itself is based on the Tahiti architecture which is nothing new; in fact this particular card is nothing new and has already been released for a while but with the recent AMD price drops, it should make for a good review (theoretically speaking). The cooler also features 2 x fans which signify this card is a turbo; fancy marketing or does it make a difference?
The R9 280 features 3GB of GDDR5 memory running over a 384bit bus which should equate to very decent memory bandwidth performance; although subjective unless running over multi monitor setups or on resolutions of up to 4K etc.
The rear of the card is clearly noticeable as this is where the bling bling changes into what happened? This card would have much suited a full black PCB and it spoils what generally is a great looking card; that isn’t to say it still isn’t good looking, just not as good looking as it could have been.
Touching more on the specs of the card itself, this particular card features stock clocks of 847MHz with a boost up to 953MHz as standard. This is coupled with a memory speed of 1250MHz which when you look at it on paper isn’t all that “OC” name worthy but it’s still an improvement over reference; I will say now that this card is just a rebadged AMD HD7950 with a tweaked BIOS, new cooler and apart from those variables, it’s the same card.
The HIS IceQ X2 cooler itself has a triple nickel plated copper heat pipe design which is designed to dissipate all that nasty heat which is generated by a core powering all those lovely games you want to play. Aside from cooling the core, the card itself features a 4+2 power phase design which is pretty standard for an aftermarket R9 280.
The HIS IceQ X2 cooler has a very nice aesthetic overall and I really love the white/gold contrast; the IceQ X2 is badged onto the top left hand corner of the cooler.
To power the card, you are going to need 1 x 8pin and 1 x 6pin power connector on your power supply; a 6pin to 8pin adapter is included in the box but looking closer at the ports, they are both a difference shade of black which isn’t “bad” but OCD might kick in and ask the question….why? Not that you will see them installed into a system but for you hardware porn junkies it certainly might annoy a couple.
Last but not least we have the rear I/O which varies between manufacturer but with this particular version you get 1 x DVI port, 1 x HDMI and 2 x Mini DisplayPort connectors; a full size DisplayPort input would have been nice but Mini works just as well; providing you have the relevant adapter.