[section_title title=Introduction]

Brand: HIS Digital
Model: R9 280X iPower IceQ X²
RRP: £240 (At time of review)


The AMD GPU market recently got a refresh, or so they claim. The new cards are nothing more than a rebranding of the ‘old’ HD 7000 Series cards which is probably why you will see them performing to nearly identical levels. However, there have been a few tweaks with clock speeds and the RAM that is used on said cards but other than that, they are identical in near enough every possible way. The PCB remains the same which means that if you own a 7970 for example, you already have a 280X and should not be looking to ‘upgrade’ as it is more of a side-grade. In fact, there have been reports around the globe that you can indeed flash your 7970 to a brand spanking new 280X although this is done at your own risk and we will not be held liable should it go wrong.

However, there is something that the refresh brought to the table and that is something called Mantle. Mantle is a low-level graphics API which is designed and geared towards AMD’s next generation of graphics cards and core technologies. If you wish to find out more about Mantle, please click here.

The HIS R9 280X which I will be taking a look at today features their IceQ X2 cooler and if we go back to my review of the HIS 7950 IceQ X², you’ll notice that the cooler is more or less identical to that. In fact, it is the same cooler but a little more stretched to accommodate for the longer PCB. I have absolutely no qualms over this though as the cooler is of proven design and performs brilliantly, even when put under very high levels of load.

On-board the 280X, you’ll find 3GB of VRAM which has a clock speed of 6000MHz (1500MHz) and a base clock on the core of 1000MHz which boosts to 1050MHz under load. It features a Dual Link DVI-I port, a HDMI port as well as two mini DisplayPorts. Both the HDMI and DisplayPorts on this card support full 4K (4096×2160) resolutions. To power the card, you will require two 8pin power connectors which does suggest that the card should be stable at higher clock speeds and voltages but only time will tell and we will find out in our review. If that wasn’t yet enough, you can also run up to four of these in CrossFire-X for maximum performance.

About HIS
HIS was established in 1987 with the mission to produce the highest quality PC products in the industry. Headquartered in Hong Kong, and with sales offices and distribution networks in Europe, Middle East, North and South America, Asia Pacific Regions; our worldwide customers benefits from efficient and localized services. HIS’s manufacturing facility in China is managed by a team of professionals with expertise in quality control and production planning. Working with world-class clients, HIS has been consistently meeting high quality standards and fulfilled volume order in short lead-time.


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