HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

If you’re an old-timer in the DIY PC scene, you’ll surely remember the brand HIS. We’ll have a look at how their IceQ X² cooler performs on the R9 285 GPU.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Before that, let’s have a look at the packaging – wowzers! Unlike other graphic card boxes, the one from HIS is packed vertically.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Here’s the box content, the beautiful IceQ X² cooler is visible through the anti-static bag.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

And so this is the graphic card, the IceQ X² cooler looks great but what I didn’t like was that HIS slapped an ugly sticker right at the corner (refer to first image, and the image above), what a way to ruin the beautifully designed cooling system.

Get this, I spent a little over 5 minutes just to remove the sticker. It took less than 30 seconds to remove the initial layer of the sticker, with the remainder of the time spend to remove the stubborn adhesive left behind. Arrgghhh. The card does look a lot better with the sticker removed, isn’t it?

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Seriously HIS, I’ve used many brands over the years and NONE of them placed an “OC” sticker on the shroud. It’s just plain ugly, when the blue sticker doesn’t blend well with the black & silver themed heatsink shroud.

OK, so design bashing aside, I love the appearance of the graphic card and I do see quite some modding potential here. From the top you’ll see that the PCB is actually quite short and the heatsink extends far beyond the length of the PCB. Note also that the R9 285 uses 2x 6pin PCI-E power connector instead of 8+6 like most R9 cards, some R9 280X cards use 8+8 pins.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

One thing that HIS could consider improving is the way the cables are visible, it’s rather unsightly.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Here’s the view from the back, a black PCB with a small plate holding the mounting points.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Lastly comes the output ports.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Here’s the GPU-Z info for the card.

HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Confused yet? The R9 285 has a higher model number than the R9 280X but it has much lower fillrate and memory bandwidth.

More details at the official product page.

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM Kingston HyperX 2x 4GB DDR3 2400Mhz Kit
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3
Cooler NZXT Kraken X31
Monitor Dell U2414H
Power Supply FSP AURUM S 600W
Casing NZXT S340
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64bit

Benchmark

Here we go!

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
HIS Radeon R9 285 50.4
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 58.4
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 77.2

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
HIS Radeon R9 285 53.0
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 55.0
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 78.5

Bioshock Infinite

Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – 1920×1080

HIS Radeon R9 285 81.68
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 82.03
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 114.07

The R9 285 performs very well despite being inferior on specifications, its performance hovers between the R9 280X and the R9 280 while consuming much less power.

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Below is the full load details.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
HIS Radeon R9 285 44 64

Power Consumption

Here’s what the power draw of the card is like. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. Seeing that it’s a 90% power efficient PSU that I’m using on the rig, the actual power draw will be estimated on the right most column.

The R9 285 is reported to be at 190W TDP, much lower than the R9 280X’s 250W TDP and below is the power draw comparison between them.

Card R9 285
Idle Wattage
R9 285
Estimated Draw
R9 280X
Idle Wattage
R9 280X
Estimated Draw
Furmark Burn-in 224 201 263 237
Unigine Heaven 4.0 219 197 241 216
Idle 54 49 54 49
Idle without GPU 36 33 36 33

The Verdict

The HIS Radeon R9 285 IceQ X² OC is currently not available in Malaysia and the estimated price to be at RM 850. It’s a great card, that’s for sure. It runs cooler due to the reduced power consumption and the IceQ X² cooling system could run at much lower RPM and still maintain good heat levels when in operation.

With the R9 280X being virtually extinct from the market, the R9 285 cards are the one that holds the fort at the RM 800 – 1000 bracket, with the R9 280 nearby (on the lower side) and the R9 290 on the upper side.

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