The first pictures of three new Tonga GPU graphics cards have been shown and as so often before, the guys over at Videocardz got the first scoop. We’re being presented with a few shots of the Radeon R9 285 series with cards from Sapphire , XFX and HIS Digital.
The new R9 285 will use the Tonge Pro chips, so we can most likely expect Radeon R9 285X to be based on the Tonge XT chip soon. All three new cards are short reference cards, but with custom dual cooler solutions.
They use the XDMA Crossfire so there is no need for bridges (and the pins for them). Connection wise we see the basic AMD setup of 2x DVI, 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort.
The actual specifications are still mostly rumours and speculations. We do know that it will have 2GB GDDR5 memory on a 256 bit interface, but besides that we’ll have to wait a little bit more. More should be known very soon as the launch is said to be only 2 weeks away.
The core clock is said to be 918 MHz and the memory clock will be 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective), and a bandwidth of 176 GB/s. The full Tonga chip itself has the same number of unified cores as the Tahiti, but we don’t know how many the R9 285 will have.
Thank you Videocardz for providing us with this information.
AMD’s R7 260X graphics card has become infinitely more popular since AMD reduced initial launch pricing down from $140 to $120. Of course the competitiveness of the R7 260X has been helped by the fact its biggest rival, Nvidia’s GTX 650 Ti Boost, has been discontinued and is now hard to find. This leaves Nvidia’s newly released Maxwell based GTX 750 to fight the R7 260X instead of the GTX 650 Ti Boost which is problematic for Nvidia as the GTX 750 is a much slower card that costs a similar price.Today we have an R7 260X from HIS Digital, their HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 graphics card. The R7 260X is known for being quite a hot running graphics card because AMD took the HD 7790 design, overclocked it even more and rebranded it. Therefore HIS’ implementation needs to effectively deal with the heat of the R7 260X and keep noise under control. If you haven’t read our launch day review of the R7 260X you can do so here.
Out of the box the HIS R7 260X is just a stock R7 260X in terms of its clock speeds so quite honestly we should expect within margin of error performance of the reference card as there are no thermal limitations a non-reference design can overcome. I am disappointed HIS haven’t overclocked the card and that they are charging more than reference pricing, in my opinion this card is priced too close to the R7 265 and GTX 750 Ti to be truly competitive, we hope HIS are just delayed in reducing their prices in response to AMD’s February price cuts….although February was an awfully long time ago.
Packaging and Bundle
The box points out what some of the HIS features mean such as iPower and iTurbo.
The rear details some of the components used and some of the generic AMD features.
Included with out sample was just a DVI to VGA adapter and warning document. The retail version will also get a driver CD, quick install guide and HIS sticker.
When it comes to gaming on a strict budget there are a tonne of choices: AMD’s R7 240, R7 250 and R7 250X all fall beneath the $100 price point while Nvidia’s GT 630 and GT 640 graphics cards also fall beneath the $100 level. If discrete graphics cards aren’t your thing then you can also get AMD’s A10-7850K APU which effectively has R7 250 level graphics, or the A10-7700K and A8-7600 which are somewhere between the R7 240 and R7 250 in terms of their performance. Today we are looking at the AMD R7 250 and more specifically HIS Digital’s version of it. It comes in at reference pricing of $90 and it opts for reference clock speeds but you do get a custom cooler and HIS Digital tell us there is great overclocking potential to be had on their R7 250 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB GDDR5 graphics card.
As we mentioned this graphics card runs with reference speeds and is also available in 2GB DDR3 or 1GB GDDR5 options. We’re testing the 1GB GDDR5 option today and I would encourage most people to also choose this option as it gives much faster speeds in the vast majority of games.
Packaging and Bundle
The packaging comes emblazoned with HIS Digital’s trophic “excalibur sword” and points out HIS Digital’s iCooler cooling solution which they claim produces less than 28 dB of noise.
The back details more of the features of this graphics card, most of which are just general AMD features like PowerTune and App Acceleration.
Included with our sample of this graphics card was just the card itself and a piece of documentation. According to HIS Digital’s website you should expect a driver CD and installation guide to be included in the retail product.
We have yet another R9 270X graphics card on the test bench for review today as we take a look at a second HIS graphics card in quick succession. This HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost 2GB graphics card we have here today comes with the same IceQ X² cooler we saw on the HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost 3GB graphics card that we reviewed a few weeks ago, if that’s anything to go by then this graphics card will have impressive cooling performance. For those of you who are yet to read our AMD R9 270X review we encourage you to do that because today we are not reviewing the R9 270X per sé, but instead what HIS have done with their version of it. AMD’s R9 270X has a stock clock of 1050MHz core and 1400MHz memory, HIS have bumped that up to 1140MHz core and 1400MHz memory making it the highest clocked R9 270X we’ve tested so far.
The particular version of this card that we received was simply a card inside a plain HIS digital box. It came with just a DVI to VGA adapter but of course the full retail package for this will have different packaging and a wider range of accessories which are clearly listed on the product page here.
Overclockers.uk have a custom-cooled HIS graphics card powered by AMD’s Hawaii GPU graphics card and states that it will be released on the 24th of January next year. The card in question is known as the Radeon R9 290X IceQ X2 Turbo and it comes equipped with the IceQ X2 cooler boasting two 89 mm fans as well as two 8 mm and three 6 mm heatpipes.
HIS’ upcoming card also has 2816 Stream Processors, a 512-bit memory interface, 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors, dual-DVI, HDMI and DIsplayPort outputs, and it comes bundled with a voucher of EA’s Battlefield 4. The Radeon R9 290X IceQ X2 Turbo doesn’t seem to have final clocks as they aren’t mentioned, but there is a spicy price tag of £499.99 though.
Radeon R9 290X
GPU: Hawaii XT
Stream Processors: 2816
Core Speed: TBAMHz
Memory Speed: TBAMhz
Memory interface: 512Bit
Memory capacity: 4096MB GDDR5
Cooling: 2Slot Blower Fan
Fan Speed: 20% 40% (Quiet Mode) & 20%55% (Uber Mode)
PCIExpress X16 lane required
750W or greater PSU required
Power Connectors: 8pin + 6pin required
Display Outputs: 2x Dual Link DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort
Comes with BF4 Voucher included in the box
DirectX 11.2 Support
Open GL 4.2 Support
Dolby TrueHD and DTSHD Master Audio support
Crossfire Support upto 4way: Native software crossfire (No bridge required)
Gaming @ 4k Resolutions (UltraHD)
Synergy with nextgen game consoles (Mantle)
Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture optimized from previous generation products
Another day and another AMD R9 280X review. Today we’ve got another custom cooled and overclocked graphics card but this time we’ve got a graphics card vendor that we haven’t taken a look at for ages – HIS Digital. This is the first HIS Digital graphics card I’ve ever looked at some I am quite excited to see what it can offer. Despite the fact this is an AMD R9 280X we won’t recap all the monotonous information about the R9 280X GPU that you’ve probably already heard a million times by now, if you want to read more about the R9 280X you can do so here. We want to focus specifically on this HIS card which is the “HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost” – yes quite a mouthful.
Firstly let’s quickly break down that really long name into what it all means. “iPower” is HIS’ way of saying an improved VRM and power delivery system. This graphics card has a 9 phase VRM, versus 8 phases on the reference design, uses DirectFET MOSFETs compared to your bog standard MOSFETs on the reference design and it has a pair of 8 pins instead of the 6+8 pin reference design meaning there is more power to be delivered to the GPU. Secondly, the “IceQ X²” part means this is using HIS’ IceQ X² cooling solution that features a pair of 89mm fans, two 8mm heat pipes and three 6mm heat pipes. That’s all encased in a large aluminium shroud which features the IceQ X² and Turbo branding on it. Thirdly and finally the “Turbo Boost” part is predictably an overclock. AMD’s reference R9 280X comes with a 850MHz core and 1000MHz boost, aka “up to 1GHz” while the HIS version comes with a 1000MHz core clock and 1050MHz boost clock. You can see those clocks below, the core is up 5% on reference and the memory is identical to reference.
The packaging comes with HIS’ usual frost/ice theme and a tonne of marketing stuff. Included with our sample was just a CrossFire X bridge and DVI-I to VGA adapter but we are informed the retail version also comes with an install CD, multilingual user guide, quick installation guide and HIS Power Up label.
AMD’s Radeon 7790, codenamed ‘Bonaire’ has been in the retail channels for a few weeks now and from what I gather, it has been welcomed very kindly by the consumers with its good level of performance for its price (as shown by the number of cards that I’ve looked at so far). Whilst the launch is a little while ago now, there are still a few of AMD’s partners that are keen for me to take a look at their cards and see how well they perform in one of the closest fought battles to be the best card that I have seen in a fair while. With different cards each giving their own edge over other brands in terms of overclocking ability, performance, cooling, temperatures and design, HIS have got their work cut out to make their card stand out over the rest.
It has been a little while since I’ve had a play with a HIS card – the last one being a 7750 which was launched right back at the start of last year and as we will see there are always those little things that certain brands stick to; in the case of HIS, this is the use of a green/blue PCB and blue fan – its all part of their colour scheme and it certainly makes their card that bit more distinct.
Whilst some manufacturers have updated their packaging designs over that last year or so, giving them a little bit of a face lift as well as updating the accessories that come with the cards, HIS have kept their accessory bundle pretty much the same as it has been for quite a while with a driver CD, VGA adaptor and manual alongside a flyer that highlights a couple of installation points for novice users.
PowerColor have kept the bundle very simple, with a VGA to DVI adaptor, installation guide and a driver CD. I do note that the CD still displays the ATI branding for some reason, although a guess would be that the image that is printed on to the disc has not been updated in a long time. I’d also recommended going to the AMD website to download the latest drivers.