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

Published: 18th Oct 2014, 09:57 GMT

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X2 OC specifications

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARadeon R9 285 is the first Tonga-based graphics card. AMD made quite an interesting decision to replace 384-bit Tahiti with 256-bit Tonga, a decision which has its pros and cons.

HIS Radeon R9 285 is a factory-overclocked solution. The frequency difference is not particularly high, we are only getting 20 MHz more than what reference model would give you. However AMD did not release any reference models this time, therefore an apples-to-apples comparison is not really an option. Some sites decided to downclock their models and test them against themselves at higher speeds. In this review all models are custom, so we are not going the same path.

The R9 285 features Tonga PRO processor equipped with 1792 Stream Cores, 112 Texture Mapping Units and 32 Raster Operating Units. This particular model has 2GB frame buffer, but there are 4GB solutions if you really need them.

Tonga-based graphics cards are the newest addition to Radeon family. Since Tonga is based on the same GCN IP level as upcoming flagship GPU: Fiji, these cards are essentially a teaser to what is coming from AMD in the next few months.

HIS Radeon R9 Series
HIS R9 280
IceQ X² OC
HIS R9 285
IceQ X² OC
HIS R9 280X iPower
IceQ X² Turbo
HIS R9 290X iPower
IceQ X² Turbo
PictureH280QMC3G2M_04_1600H285QMB2GD_04_1600H280XQMT3G2M_Gold_4_1600H290XQMT4GD_05_1600
GPU CodenameTahiti PROTonga PROTahiti XTHawaii XT
Unified Cores1792179220482816
TMUs112112128176
ROPs32323264
Base Clock847 MHz938 MHz
1000 MHz1040 MHz
Boost Clock953 MHz1050 MHz
Memory Clock1250 MHz1375 MHz1500 MHz1350 MHz
Memory3GB GDDR52GB GDDR53GB GDDR54GB GDDR5
Memory Bus384-bit256-bit384-bit512-bit
Bandwidth240 GB/s176 GB/s288 GB/s346 GB/s
Power Connectors6pin + 6pin6pin + 6pin8pin + 6pin8pin + 8pin
TDP200W190W250W290W

Tonga, GCN: Part 3

A year ago AMD announced its Radeon R9 290(X) series, which were based on Hawaii silicon. At the time nothing except Hawaii and Bonaire was considered new, as most cards in the lineup were based on Tahiti, Pitcairn and Cape Verde.

Last month AMD has been in the news thanks it’s special event Celebrating 30 Years of Graphics and Gaming at AMD”, where The Red Team introduced Tonga GPU, along with a new Never Settle bundle program.

Tonga is essentially a cut-down Hawaii in upper mid-range segment. However, not only does it offer the same technology as it’s bigger brother, but it also brings more to the list of exclusive features of GCN architecture.

HIS has two R9 285 models in the offer, the mini-ITX version and the IceQX2, which is the subject of this review. Performance wise, you would probably want the latter, as it offers more efficient cooling and higher clocks, but if you are building HTPC, mini-ITX will fit perfectly.

Tonga, what’s new

Tonga is based on the latest iteration of the Graphics Core Next architecture. Radeon R9 285 supports Mantle and DirectX 12 APIs, Eyefinity, TrueAudio, XDMA Crossfire and FreeSync.

Since Tahiti was released, Graphics Core Next has gone through two major updates. The first update was brought by Bonaire (HD 7790). A few months later Hawaii processor was announced and AMD introduced new technologies. Features that are exclusive to Hawaii and Bonaire include TrueAudio, XDMA CrossFire and FreeSync support. GCN 1.1 also brought PowerTune enhancements.

Tonga inherits all features of GCN 1.1, including TrueAudio, Mantle or XDMA CrossFire. Tonga is also joining Bonaire and Hawaii with FreeSync support. On the lowest level, instruction set and work queues were improved.

Tonga also received tessellation improvements, more efficient lossless delta color compression (similar to Maxwell), updated instruction set, high quality scaler and new multimedia engine (improving 4K H.264 encoding).

A closer look at HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X2 OC

HIS decided to join the dark force with its new black IceQ X2 cooling solution. Although this is just a matter of personal preference, black and silver scheme does look more visually appealing than the gold shroud known from previous R9 cards.

IceQ X2 Cooling system – HIS R9 285 features well known IceQ X2 cooler, is equipped with dual axial 9cm fans, a large heatsink and five copper heat pipes. The cooler is slightly wider than the card itself.

iTurbo – a special application that takes overclocking to the easiest possible level. You can choose from either Quieter, Cooler or Advanced mode. This utility gives you full control of the core and memory clock speeds. It also allows you adjust voltages if you wish.

Physical specifications:

  • Width: 14 cm
  • Length: 27 cm
  • Height: 2-slot
  • Weight: 708 g
  • Cooling: IceQ X2 (dual-fan)
  • Display outputs: DVI-D, DVI-I, HDMI, DisplayPort

HIS R9 285 is equipped with dual 6-pin PEG connectors, which theoretically give us 225 W of power. That’s 30W+ headroom for any overclocking.

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HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X2 OC package

This is a standard Radeon R9 200 series box with specific icy theme. On the other side of the box you will find the list of important features, with a strong focus on Full Solid State Capacitors, IceXQ2 cooling, Mantle and newest GCN architecture. The bundle is rather modest, we received a small booklet with the driver CD, manual and HIS sticker.

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by WhyCry