HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost Review


[section_title title=Closer Look]

Closer Look

HIS have seemingly been stuck with blue PCB forever and it doesn’t look like it is going to change any time soon. Whilst this isn’t a huge ordeal, some people do like their black PCBs which can and unfortunately does sway people away from the card that they want to buy. I for one am never too fussed as it is down to performance and its overclocking ability that sways me in whichever direction I may choose to go as I am an overclocking enthusiast rather than a system builder or 24/7 system kind of guy. Either way, let’s talk about the card rather than my personal endeavour to destroy hardware…

The 280X that HIS have produced uses their IceQ X² cooler as can be seen below. It features two 89mm fans in a dual axial position and a very densely packed heatsink to dissipate the heat. While this is not your typical blower style cooler, and the heat is expelled into the case, it should do a good job of keeping the card cool so that the heat output is kept to a minimum and the ventilation within your case should do the rest.

The back of the card has plenty of screws and you may be wondering why that is the case. Well, there’s a heat spreader which helps to cool the card down and keep it rigid too. There are far too many cards out there that do not feature such a plate and they bend horrifically under the weight of the cooler and they overheat too which is probably a bigger concern. However, what is interesting is that the entire weight of the cooler is secured by only four screws. The four screws are located around the core of the graphics card and are the ones which you can see in that square-ish bracket.

Many cards on the market require a 6pin and 8pin connector in order to power them. The HIS variant is somewhat different and requires two 8pin power connectors instead. This means that it is able to draw that extra power when you’re pushing those heavy overclocks. HIS recommend you use a 750W PSU with a single card and I can see why that is the case. You won’t believe how much power this card draws.

There are two CrossFire bridges on this card which allow for up to 4-way CF-X for that extra graphical grunt. Whether it scales properly is another story but the possibility is there nonetheless. Also in view in this image is the dual BIOS switch which may or may not be useful depending on how into your overclocking you are. The BIOS switch only really comes in handy when you flash the card with a custom BIOS as they can sometimes corrupt, or cause the card to have instabilities which cannot be undone without a flash back to its original state. It is of course at this point that I must warn you that HIS do NOT cover the card under warranty if you choose to do this. However, it is usually only done when the card has been heavily modified for LN2 usage so I doubt many would have warranty in mind anyway.

To finish off, the outputs of the card consist of two mini DisplayPorts, a HDMI port and also a DVI-I port.


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