This, for me, is one of the best parts of a review. I am an overclocker by nature and I love pushing hardware to its limit. The one thing that did very quickly stop me in my tracks was the lack of voltage control. This is not necessarily HIS at fault here, it’s actually AMD who have restricted it, just like NVIDIA did when they didn’t want people killing off the chips with too much voltage and RMAing them for a new one when the card would have most likely lasted well beyond its warranty if it were not overvolted. Anyway, while that most certainly destroys most of the fun for me, let that not be too much of a dampener and let’s get on with the overclocking.
The HIS IceQ X2 comes at a base clock speed of 1140MHz which is already fairly high. As the voltage control is locked and there is no way of getting around this without modifying the card, I was very surprised to find out that the core had an extra 90MHz to give. While it did pass our entire benching suite without locking up, it may not prove to be 100% stable and as ever, an overclock is never guaranteed and your mileage may vary significantly.
I was a little disappointed with the RAM on this card and I was expecting at least 100MHz to be added to the base number, but sadly, it was not meant to be. The most I could get out of the RAM was around 75MHz extra which brought the total up to 1475MHz (5900MHz effectively). Given that they are Elpida chips, and they are usually fairly good at overclocking, it was somewhat disappointing. However, increasing the frequency at which the RAM runs at does not bring anywhere near as much performance to the table compared to overclocking the GPU itself.
Now that this part is complete, it’s time to pit the card against our other samples that we’ve had through the labs and find out how well it performs.