HIS Radeon R9 280, 285, 280X, 290X IceQ X2

Published: Oct 18th 2014, 09:57 GMT

Company of Heroes 2

HIS R9 Review _ Company of Heroes 2 _ 1080p

Company of Heroes 2 is one of the worst coded games I have in my library. Nothing explains its requirements, and nothing explains the lack of SLI or CrossFire support. Still, I included this game, because it’s one of the very few I play.

In both 1080p and 1440p scenario, HIS Radeon R9 290X is the best option. This title favors cards with wider memory bus, thus R9 285 turned out to be slower than R9 280.

HIS R9 Review _ Company of Heroes 2 1440p

At 2560×1440 resolution the gap between the cards with different interface became apparent. Radeon R9 285 was unable to compete with R9 280.

GRID Autosport

HIS R9 Review _ GRID AutoSport 1080p

Now it’s time for well-codded title. GRID Autosport allows you to enjoy the game with its very low requirements. This game is sponsored by Intel, a company which does not produce dedicated graphics cards, therefore optimization was crucial. Thanks to the hard work of CodeMasters programmers we can enjoy this game at ultra settings with $200 graphics cards. Of course, once we move to 1440p resolution we might consider R9 280X or GTX 770 as a better option, but no one is forcing us to play at highest settings.

HIS R9 Review _ GRID AutoSport 1440p

In 1440p GeForce GTX 770 was unable to compete with HIS R9 290X. While 256-bit interface is probably something you can live with, it definitely bottlenecks the performance at higher resolutions.

On the Red team, R9 285 was struggling to outperform R9 280 and GTX 770. Driving simulators are somewhat perfect examples for GPUs like Tonga and GM204. Both processors use comprehensive color compression algorithms to help efficiencies from any short comings from a smaller bus. The less that changes on the screen the less data has to be transmitted to the processor again. In driving simulators some parts of the screen change just occasionally (eg. cockpit or the hood, depending on what camera view you prefer), in the end less information has to be processed..

Hitman Absolution

HIS R9 Review _ Hitman Absolution 1080p

Hitman Absolution is very demanding title. Only two cards were able to offer ‘good’ framerates: R9 290X and GTX 780 Ti. Bear in mind, we were using Ultra Preset with MSAA at 8x.

HIS R9 Review _ Hitman Absolution 1440p

Since we are looking at a Gaming Evolved title, HIS R9 290X had no trouble taking the lead. On the other hand R9 285 struggled to reach R9 280 level of performance, while leaving GTX 760 in behind.

Watch Dogs

HIS R9 Review _ Watch Dogs 1080p

Watch Dogs is either very demanding or just poorly optimized title, depending on how you look at it. You can easily spot 256-bit cards that having trouble handling extra details on Ultra and the demands it places on the framebuffer. GeForce GTX 760 and 770 were the only card I noticed a huge stutter that spoiled the whole gameplay. On the other hand HIS R9 285 was capable of sustaining stable frame-rate, which despite lower average FPS offered much smoother experience. Of course 39 FPS is not enough to fully enjoy a game, so I would rather suggest adjusting the settings.

HIS R9 Review _ Watch Dogs 1440p

In 1440p test cards with 512-bit and 384-bit interfaces increased the gap between fastest and less powerful models. I do not recommend anything below R9 290 and GTX 780 (not included in this test) for 1440p Ultra gameplay.

Review Contents
Page 1Introduction
Page 2Overview HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC
Page 3Overview HIS Radeon R9 280 IceQ X² OC
Page 4Overview HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo
Page 5Overview HIS Radeon R9 290X iPower IceQ X² Turbo
Page 6Overview EVGA GeForce GTX 760 Superclocked ACX
Page 7Overview Palit GeForce GTX 770 JetStream
Page 8Overview Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti OC
Page 9Testing platform and methodology
Page 10Games Batman: Arkham Origins ● BioShock Infinite ● Total War: Rome 2 ● Alien:Isolation
Page 11Games Company of Heroes 2 ● GRID Autosport ● Hitman Absolution ● Watch Dogs
Page 12Games Metro: Last Light ● Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ● Tomb Raider
Page 13Games Battlefield 4 ● THIEF ● Sniper Elite III
Page 14Test 3DMark Fire Strike ● Catzilla ● CompuBench
Page 15Test ComputeMark ● TessMark ● Luxxmark
Page 16Test Power consumption ● Temperature
Page 17Test Overclocking
Page 18Conclusion