HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost Review


[section_title title=Overclocking]


Overclocking any component within your system can and always will bring a bag of mixed results. Sometimes you will get stupidly lucky where the component(s) just fly and others simply refuse to play ball at all. This card does come with a clock speed which is higher than stock but that’s due to the cooler being very capable of cooling it. The question is though: how much further can it overclock and how much performance can you still get out of the GPU?

As this card comes at 1050MHz on the core as stock (1000MHz with 1050MHz boost), you might be wondering just how much room is left in the card. Well, I’ll tell you. At stock voltage, it isn’t an awful lot. The stock voltage is 1.2 volts and I managed to get to around the 1090MHz mark before I started to experience stuttering and freezes. However, this card has a beefy cooler, and it should be able to cope with the extra heat so I figured that I could crank up the voltage without any problems. Initially, I set it to 1.25 volts but I wanted more from the card so I set it to the maximum that MSI Afterburner would give me, and that was 1.3 volts. While I wasn’t expecting the world from the card as it is already quite highly clocked already, I was hoping it would exceed the 1220MHz it managed on the core. Granted, if I were in a colder place such as outside or just not in my sauna-like room, it may have overclocked a bit further. However, that wouldn’t simulate a real-world environment so I decided that it was best to leave it where it was

Note: GPU-Z reports this as a 7900 Series but the card will have absolutely no bearing on the results.

Of course, overclocking isn’t complete without taking the memory past and beyond its stock specifications so I had a play with that as well. As this card has that heat spreader that you saw earlier on in the closer look section, I decided and felt safe to turn the voltage up a little bit on the modules too. While 1.7 volts is available in Afterburner, I did not take it that high. I felt that 1.6 volts was more than ample and I also didn’t want to risk frying our VRAM, which is something I suspect you probably wish to avoid too. The memory is 1500MHz (6000MHz effective) at stock and I managed to push it up to 1725MHz (6900MHz effective) without any issue. Sure, I could push more volts through it and probably get past 1800+MHz quite easily, but is the extra heat and strain on your components really worth it?

So, how much performance does this card bring to the table when it is running at its standard clocks and how much more does it offer when it’s running that little bit faster? Let’s get on with the testing to find out. Before we begin though, let’s take a quick look at the power consumption and temperatures.

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