Slowly but surely, the situation with the availability of video cards Radeon RX 480 starts to improve, the market appears more and more models with alternative cooling system. We have tested three of these graphics cards, today our review is dedicated to another – HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo. The difference in frequency between the video cards are small, which is not the cooling systems. We will test and evaluate the performance potential of the graphics card.
AMD officially introduced the Radeon RX 480 back in early June, although the first graphics cards began to appear only on 29 June. But it took several more weeks before the video became available in large quantities at reasonable prices. This situation can occur for two reasons: either the demand for AMD cards exceeded expectations, or the company could not deliver a sufficient amount of GPU to its partners. For consumers, the reason is not so important. But at least now you can get an effective and decent mid-range graphics card at a reasonable price.
The video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo relies on the GPU Polaris 10, namely 10 Polaris XT. It is produced by 14-nm process technology at Globalfoundries plants, GPU contains 5.7 billion transistors. HIS, as well as all partners AMD, added a small factory overclocking. Boost frequency of the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo increased to 1.266 MHz reference version to 1.338 MHz. The base frequency of the video card AMD does not matter, under load it runs at Boost 1.338 MHz. The difference with other graphics is not so much, for example, if a competitor running at 8 MHz slower, that is 1.330 MHz, in games you are unlikely to feel the difference.
8 GB of GDDR5 memory at HIS graphics card work at 2,000 MHz. Thanks to a 256-bit memory interface, we have the capacity of 256 GB / s. Of the other architectural details note 2,304 stream processors, 144 texture units and 32 raster operations pipeline, as well as at all the other Radeon RX 480.
If you are interested in details about the architecture of Polaris, we encourage you to read our first review of the reference Radeon RX 480. AMD has transferred the production of new chips on 14-nm process FinFET, which should positively affect the efficiency.
GPU-Z screenshot confirms the theoretical specifications of the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo.
As shown by numerous tests with the new GPU, whether it’s from AMD or NVIDIA, the performance of graphics cards with alternative cooling systems significantly influence the clock frequency and temperature. Although AMD situation is not as intense, less capacity is limited in the cooling system, and other constraints, unlike GPU NVIDIA.
In the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo we got the maximum GPU temperature of 78 ° C, which is less than the threshold level that activates throttling. 77-78 ° C for modern GPU temperature is not critical. As a result, the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo in our tests have always worked with a maximum frequency of 1.338 MHz, the GPU.
Before we move on to a detailed examination of HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo, let me give you a cooler specification, PCB, etc.
Standard graphics card AMD Radeon RX 480 is quite compact. But, as shown by the tests of video cards with the alternative design, manufacturers prefer a little more space on the PCB. In the case of HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo PCB length is 267 mm, and the video card – 280 mm. Video card can not be called a compact. According to the thickness it occupies two slots, cooling is provided by two fans. In idle mode, they stop. Below we look at the video card details.
For Radeon RX 480 dimensions HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo is quite bulky. All the same length of 280 mm at the video card is noticeable at first glance. Although many other partners AMD also released a video in a rather bulky format. Compared with its previous video cards HIS slightly redesigned. While most people are indifferent would react to the translucent blue fan and lion logo.
Behind there is nothing remarkable, HIS is completely closed circuit board metal plate. The latter painted black, are provided for ventilation holes. Not without HIS logo and a stylized lion.
Two fans have a diameter of 85 mm each. They are turned off when GPU cooling below 44 ° C temperature. The fans are switched again GPU when heated to 66 ° C. Then, fan speed is slowly increased up to the level of 2,065 rev / min. By reducing the load speed is reduced slowly.
In the standard version Radeon RX 480 error with the power distribution has been revealed. It was decided to update the driver, although the majority of AMD partners decided to strengthen the power system. In the case of HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo mounted 8-pin auxiliary power. Theoretically, together with PCI Express slot on the video card can be supplied power to 225 watts. Power consumption is unlikely to exceed 180 watts, so this level is more than enough.
With the end of the video card is HIS backlit logo. Users with closed cabinet lighting is unlikely to be relevant. HIS graphics card with Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo refused RGB-illumination.
The height of the PCB HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo is 100 mm. But due to the protruding cooler graphics card is not only long (280 mm), but also very high – 120 mm. At the height of the video card is not inferior to high-end models. The reason – in the extended cooler HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo.
In the slot cap can be seen HIS logo made from the vents. As for the video outputs, the buyer will receive dual-link DVI and HDMI 2.0b, and three DisplayPort 1.4 / 1.3.
Below we look at the video card without a cooler.
First, we removed the heatsink itself. Only six screws To do this, unscrew the rear. The photograph clearly shows that the GPU is surrounded by a metal plate. She is in contact with eight chips, boards, removing them from the heat.
PCB design from HIS is somewhat different from traditional models, the power subsystem phase shifted to the left from the GPU and memory chips. However, such a solution, we met, and other manufacturers of video cards Radeon RX 480. Also in the picture is clearly seen that HIS has caused a very thin layer of thermal grease, a portion of which flowed from the GPU package. However, for some problems, this has not resulted.
As in the case of standard video card, HIS established on Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo six phases. The amount is the same, but HIS opted for a more productive and high-quality components. Also used and digital PWM-controller from International Rectifier – IR3567B.
Some components of the power system is moved to the rear of the PCB. Here are all quite spacious. Paths between components visible on the top layer of the PCB.
We took the back plate, allowing the PCB to consider. However, any special features we have not found.
For cooling HIS used the copper contact plate, set into an aluminum radiator. Besides GPU radiator removes heat from the VRM components – visible in the picture corresponding to the violet thermal interface.
A copper base of the cooler are four copper heatpipes. They help to remove heat from the GPU to the entire heatsink. One of the heatpipe goes in front of the radiator, the other three – in the rear.
Let’s start with the test results of power consumption, noise and temperature.
There is nothing remarkable in the idle mode, the card turns off the fans and works completely passive. Due to lack of fan noise, we believe HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo silent, as well as other video, the fan stops.
Under load the noise level of more than interesting. Here the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo showed noise level of 38.9 dB (A), that is, she worked louder PowerColor Radeon RX 480 Red Devil and a Sapphire Radeon RX 480 Nitro + OC, but quieter ASUS ROG Radeon RX 480.
In idle mode, we got quite a typical temperature for a semi-graphics. In HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo temperature was 41 ° C, we can not say anything good or bad.
Under load, the result is more interesting, as the cooler has to cope with the heat generated. Temperature 78 ° C video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo was just below the magic strap 80 ° C, but the GPU throttling was not observed. The cooling system video card copes with its task, GPU is always at maximum frequency of 1.338 MHz.
Idle power is very dependent on the other components of the test system. The video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo has contributed relatively little to the order of 15 watts total power consumption is perceptible difference between the video cards are not observed.
Under load, the test system with the video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo consumed 324.8 watts on average level compared to other graphics cards Radeon RX 480. The difference is small. So the power of the test video is hardly a deciding factor when choosing a model.
We do not see major problems when connecting multiple monitors. Energy consumption throughout the test system increases significantly.
Video Card Radeon RX 480 is slowly but surely penetrate the market. And in the next quarter or two, we will be able to see if AMD strategy paid off. Today you can buy not only the standard version Radeon RX 480, but the graphics card from AMD partners, including a tested today HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo.
The performance of HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo refers to one of the fastest options Radeon RX 480. But we should remember that the difference between graphics cards from different manufacturers is low. Frequency range GPU 1.266-1.342 MHz is not so big. Of course, with a frequency of 1.338 MHz video card HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo nominally belongs to the leaders. Before us is the fastest video card among visited our lab. But the gap between the next model in the 8 MHz is small, the same applies to the differences in the tests.
Therefore, a more important question is cooling. HIS, like many other manufacturers, stops the fans in an idle mode. There is no unique advantages, but note once more silent operation card. After heating the GPU to a certain temperature the fans start spinning again and slowly increasing their speed. Under load competitors PowerColor and Sapphire still work a little quieter HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo.
The temperature at idle does not matter, under load HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Turbo heated to 78 ° C – a good result, throttling was not observed. Power we got on a typical level for Radeon RX 480, which, again, draws attention to the cooling system and the noise level under load. Acceleration also proved to be the typical level here from AMD partners do not have much room to maneuver even with a modified PCB.