HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock Graphics Card Review
   
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HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock Graphics Card Review

January 6th, 2014 Mike Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Meet the new AMD Radeon 7870GHz Edition! Wait a minute, that’s not right. Here we have the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock (H270XQMT2G2M) Graphics Card. This is based around the same Pitcairn architecture of the AMD Radeon 7800 series. The R9 270X is very similar to the 7870GHz Edition released in 2012, but offers a few of AMD’s newer technologies (see features below) and as a result it’s a notable improvement.

This particular R9 270X features a slightly smaller version of the utterly brilliant IceQ X2 as featured in our recent HIS Radeon R9 280X iTurbo IceQ X2 Turbo review. This should allow the card to remain very quiet and cool even when under load. Also rather nicely the card comes pre-overclocked with a core clock of 1100MHz, boost of 1140MHz and 2GB GDDR5 clocked at 5600MHz, not bad given the AMD reference card has a core clock of 1000MHz and boost of 1050MHz, although the memory remains at 5600MHz.

 

HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - box front HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - box back

 

On the front of the box we have the now familiar HIS IceQ cool design. The box shows the HIS (faster, cooler, quieter) brand, IceQ X2 cooler logo, the card model, iTurbo details, Turbo (factory OC), then specifications such as PCI Express 3.0, 2GB GDDR5, 4Kx2K Ultra HD, HDMI and of course AMD Radeon R9 series.

The back of the box lists the specifications and features (see below) and also highlights many of the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock technologies, as follows:

AMD

  • Eyefinity Technology
  • GCN Architecture
  • Crossfire Technology
  • Zerocore Power Technology

 

High Quality Components

  • Full Solid State Capacitors – These capacitors of the highest quality and durability extends the lifespan of the card. You can count on HIS cards to game hard 24/7/365 for years! .
  • IceQ X2 cooling Technology – The large 7.5cm dual axial fans draw massive amount of cool air to cool the GPU directly
  • Dynamic Phase Control PWM IC – The advanced energy saving technique not only makes HIS cards environmental friendly but also save money on your electric bills!
  • Cooler – R9 270X IceQ X2 is cooler than the Reference Cooler.
  • Quieter – R9 270X IceQ X2 is quieter than the Reference Cooler
  •  

    FEATURES

  • Microsoft DirectX 11.2 Support
  • GCN Architecture
  • AMD Eyefinity Technology
  • AMD HD3D Technology
  • Display Flexibility
  • HDMI
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support
  • AMD App Acceleration
  • AMD HD Media Accelerator
  • AMD PowerPlay technology
  • AMD PowerTune technology
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • AMD CrossFire technology
  • 28 mm Process Technology
  • Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology
  • Enchanced Internet Applications
  •  

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - side (right) HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - side (left)

     

    On the right side of the box we once again have the IceQ X2 logo, images depicting the GPU has 2GB GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0, Kingdom of Gamer (HIS registration, technical support and E-news), what’s in the box (HIS Graphics Card, DVI-D to VGA Adapter, HIS Power Up Label, Install CD and quick installation guide).

    Then on the left, again the IceQ X2 logo, System Requirements and HIS details.

     

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - inner box HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - inner box (open)

     

    Hidden inside the display box is a black inner-box with the HIS logo printed on it. Upon opening this we find some packing foam, under which is the card itself.

     

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - box contents

     

    Also within the review sample box is a DVI-D to VGA adapter. Within the retail box you’ll also find an installation guide, driver and utilities disc, as well as a HIS Power Up sticker.

     

    At the time of this review the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock Graphics Card is retailing for approximately £170, comes with a 2 year warranty and an Origin voucher for Battlefield 4.

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of HIS

    Model Name HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost Clock 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I/HDMI/2xMini DP-
    Chipset AMD Radeon R9 270X
    Memory Size 2048 MB
    Memory Type GDDR5
    Core Clock 1100 MHz (Boost Clock 1140 MHz)
    Memory Clock Up to 5600 Gbps
    Memory Interface 256 bit
    Power Supply
    Requirement
    500Watt (or greater) power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connector recommended
    600Watt (or greater) power supply with four 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended for AMD CrossFire technology.
    Max. Resolution
    (per Display)
    DisplayPort 1.2 – 4096×2160
    HDMI – 4096×2160
    Dual-link DVI with HDCP – 2560×1600
    Interface PCI Express 3.0 x16
    Outputs DLDVI-I + HDMI + 2xMini DP

    * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

     

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock

     

    Let’s take a closer look at the card itself. First off we have the IceQ X2 cooler in black and silver just like its bigger sibling the HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo, except it’s notably smaller (270x140x42mm). It certainly still looks good though… 😉

     

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - top HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - back

     

    The IceQ X2 cooler houses two 86mm dual axial fans and a 60 x 62 mm copper heatsink.

    The PCB is again the familiar dark aqua colour and the GPU has the same retention bracket. I really do like the IceQ X2 design, but I can’t help but wonder how much better the card would look with a black PCB and or a full backplate?

     

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - left HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - right

     

    On the side of card we find a single CrossFire connector, four of the five 6mm heatpipes, two six-pin power connectors, as well as the black shroud with a silver HIS logo. I think HIS have nailed the design of their new R9’s having produced a Graphics Card that looks good from all angles.

    HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - outputs HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock - end

    Right at the the back of the card, we can see four outputs. Two DisplayPorts, one HDMI and one DVI-D.

    Then on the opposite you’ll see the end of the 60x62mm all copper heatsink.

     

    Hardware Installation

     

    Installing into the Test Rig (see below) and into the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING motherboard was easy as always. Made easier still by the card’s size.

     

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair AX760i
    Motherboard MSI Z87-G45 GAMING CPU Intel Core i5-4670K
    CPU Cooler Raijintek Themis RAM Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz
    Graphics Card HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock SSD (mSATA – on-board port) ADATA SX300 (64GB)

     

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    The Test Rig received a fresh install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit (Service Pack 1) and all associated drivers, AM​​D Catalyst™ 13.11 Beta 9.2 Driver was then installed and used throughout testing (seems we’re all beta testers eh??).

    For all benchmarking tests, both HIS iTurbo (here) and MSI Afterburner (here) were installed. HIS iTurbo is included with the retail card.

     

  • Overclocking the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost via HIS iTurbo
  •  

    HIS Turbo - Info HIS iTurbo - Basic HIS Turbo - Advanced

     

    This time round I decided to give HIS iTurbo a bigger crack of the whip (also because it’s very similar to MSI Afterburner anyway). So being heavy handed I straight away hit iTurbo on! This gives a little push in the right direction with a Boost clock of 1151MHz and Memory clock of 1414MHz (5656MHz effective). The card is of course already heavily overclocked out of the box with a GPU Boost of 1140MHz). Which is a pretty big jump up from the AMD Reference Design with it’s Boost clock at 1050MHz!

    So would it seem HIS have done all the hard work for you and overclocked the card to it’s limit???? Simply put, no. By pushing the voltage right up, I managed to raise the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock further still, giving it a Boost clock of 1205MHz and a memory clock of 1500MHz (6000MHz effective). Which for a GPU with an RRP of £170 is pretty stunning, let’s see exactly what these increases do to the benchmarks.

     

    HIS Turbo - News HIS Turbo - FanControl HIS Turbo - Settings

     

    Whilst at stock or even with its heavy overclock, the IceQ X2 remains cool and quiet, just as expected. The average temperature under load was under 60 degrees Celsius!

     

  • Benchmarks Used:
  •  

     

  • Games Played:

    • Battlefield 4
    • Metro Last Light
    • Tomb Raider

     

    Hardware Performance

     

  • HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost – Stock Settings (Boost Clock: 1140MHz / Memory: 5600MHz (effective))
  • Benchmark Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temp Result
    3DMark (Fire Strike) 21.00 54.00 33.00 5555
    UNiGiNE Heaven 22.00 64.00 42.00 FPS 28.8 Score 726
    UNiGiNE Valley 22.00 61.00 39.00 FPS 35.4 Score 1479
    Tomb Raider 21.00 60.00 39.00 49.1 FPS (average)
    Metro Last Light 20.00 62.00 42.00 41.67 (average)

     

  • HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost (HIS Turbo – iTurbo on) (Boost Clock: 1151MHz / Memory: 5656MHz (effective))
  • Benchmark Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temp Result
    3DMark (Fire Strike) 21.50 50.00 28.50 5611
    UNiGiNE Heaven 20.50 57.00 36.50 FPS 29.2 Score 734
    UNiGiNE Valley 21.00 58.00 37.00 FPS 35.7Score 1493
    Tomb Raider 20.00 57.00 37.00 49.4 FPS (average)
    Metro Last Light 20.50 58.00 37.50 42.33 (average)

     

  • HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost – Overclocked Settings (Boost Clock: 1205MHz / Memory: 6000MHz (effective))
  • Benchmark Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temp Result
    3DMark (Fire Strike) 21.00 57.00 36.00 5712
    UNiGiNE Heaven 21.00 62.00 44.00 FPS 30.7 Score 773
    UNiGiNE Valley 22.00 60.00 38.00 FPS 37.6 Score 1571
    Tomb Raider 21.50 57.00 35.50 51.1 FPS (average)
    Metro Last Light 23.00 57.00 34.00 44.0 (average)

     

    The HIS iTurbo application is a nice and very simple to use piece of software (although it didn’t ‘Turbo’ the card as high as I had hoped!). I managed an incredible manual overclock, which when duplicated via MSI Afterburner gave the same results. Sadly those high overclocks didn’t transfer over to massive gains in performance as hoped, I guess the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock leaves the factory right near its very limits and it just goes to show how good a job HIS have already done.

    Something you may have noticed in the benchmark results are the GPU temperatures. How can running at stock be hotter than an iTurbo Boost or manual overclock I hear you ask? HIS have simply adjusted the fan control settings whilst in iTurbo mode to run the fans faster, allowing the IceQ X2 to get rid of the heat a bit quicker. The great news here is not only does it do so well, but with no noticeable sound gain!

    Free Battlefield 4? Yes please! While still a little clunky, BF4 is a game that many of us want, so why not eh? Again I must also state that currently BF4 runs particularly smoothly on AMD cards, with HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock giving an average FPS of 45.8. Maybe the imminent release of AMD’s Mantle Technology may bring further improvements still, I guess we will have to wait and see…

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    As I may have mentioned before (once or twice ;)), the HIS IceQ X2 based cards look good and this HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock certainly does not break that trend. It definitely lives up to the HIS ‘Faster, Cooler, Quieter’ slogan. Under load it’s inaudible and very cool indeed. The GPU also offers the latest DirectX (11.2) support, AMD TrueAudio, 4k support and of course AMD Mantle (is it really the game changer we’re all hoping for?) straight out of the box.

    In fact my only gripes and they really are minor ones, are the blue PCB and the lack of a backplate. How much better would an already great looking card look with one?

    The R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock graphics card offers you plenty of bang for your buck. Whilst it won’t offer you earth shattering performance (should that be bank account shattering??), it’s still a very good mid-range GPU and a free copy of Battlefield 4 makes it a bit of a bargain, especially for anyone wanting to play games at 1080p. Although sadly the card isn’t currently available in the uk.

    It’s also worth taking notice of the AMD pricing. There seems to be a pretty wild fluctuation due to availability and the current bit-currency mining craze. I’d say at approximately £170 you’re paying a fair price , but there’s a very good chance the price could go down (or sadly up). I guess time will tell.

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…

     

      Design/Quality pcGameware awards the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost Clock a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

    Many thanks to HIS for providing this sample for review

     

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