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::>Graphics cards > 2014 > 12 > HIS H280QC3G2M

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HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M) graphics card:  review and testing

Continuing familiarity with the product range of the company HIS, we will talk about a very original variation of quite popular graphics card AMD Radeon R9 280, namely HIS R9 280 IceQ OC 3GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I/HDMI/2xMini DP.  Hereinafter we will use the shortened title HIS R9 280 IceQ OC or HIS H280QC3G2M.

New product has very rare cooling system of the turbine type called «IceQ», as well as factory overclocked graphics core that will allow users who are not familiar with the world of overclocking to get a slightly better performance in the state from the box.

As for the cooler of turbine type, HIS IceQ favorably differ from the other models, despite the well-known fact about the noise of such systems. However, the cooling system will be described a little later, but for now we suggest to familiarize with the detailed specification of new item.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)



(HIS H280QC3G2M)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 280 (Tahiti PRO)

Q-ty of shader pipelines


Support of technologies and API

DirectX 11.2, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, AMD CrossFireX, AMD HD3D, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyespeed, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Mantle

Nominal/dynamic core frequency, MHz

847 / 953

Nominal memory frequency (effective), MHz

1250 (5000)

Memory capacity, GB


Memory type


Bus size, bit


Memory carrying capacity, GB/s


Bus sire

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x HDMI

2 x Mini DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding


Минимальная мощность блока питания, Вт


Additional power sockets PCIe

1 x 6-pin

1 х 8- pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

281 х 135 (295 х 138)


Drivers can be downloaded here: HIS or GPU

Producer website


Note that the model HIS R9 280 IceQ OC differs from the standard version by the presence of factory overclocking of the graphics core, which in dynamic mode operates at 953 MHz instead of the standard 933 MHz. Also do note the modified set of video outputs that includes only one DVI-I, one HDMI and two Mini DisplayPort instead of two DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort.

Packaging and content

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

Packaging of the product is made in the traditional vertically oriented style. It is decorated with the light blue printing. In addition to the references to the amount and type of video memory, the front side indicates about the use of corporate cooler IceQ. A separate logo is the mark taken about factory overclocking of the GPU. Do note the use of internal PCI Express 3.0 interface and support for video output in an ultra-high resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The reverse side of the box has only the mention about the use of high-quality solid capacitors in design of PCB HIS H280QC3G2M. Used PWM controller supports active phase switching, helping to reduce power consumption in idle moments or weak load on the graphics card. Also here is the use of four heat pipes in the cooler part, which contributes to more efficient removal of heat.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

A list of system requirements for the computer is placed on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply should have a capacity of at least 750 W and contain two cables PCIe: one 6-pin and one 8-pin.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

Delivery set of tested model includes a CD with drivers and utilities, user guide and an adapter for connecting an analog monitor. As for the power supply adapter for power of graphics card, if necessary they should be bought separately.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

As we’ve mentioned above, in order to display the picture the HIS R9 280 IceQ OC has a modified set of video outputs:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 2 x Mini DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The graphics card HIS H280QC3G2M is performed on a blue the circuit board. It uses quite familiar layout of on-board components: all memory chips are soldered on the face around the GPU, and power subsystem is on the right side of the PCB.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

Power of model HIS R9 280 IceQ OC is performed by 9-phase scheme (six phases for the GPU, two for memory chips and one for the PLL).

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The GPU power subsystem is implemented on the digital PWM controller CHIL CHL8228G. The circuitry of the graphics card is performed using quality components: solid capacitors and ferrite chokes.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, power supply of the product is provided through two additional connectors PCIe, located on the side of the card (1 x 6-pin and 1 x 8-pin). In this case, the close proximity to the radiator is a bit inconvenient for the connection and disconnection of the power cord.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

To implement the technology AMD CrossFireX the model HIS R9 280 IceQ OC has two connectors for installing the appropriate bridges which allow you to combine up to four graphics cards for shared calculation of graphic effects.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

Since all the memory chips and the PWM controller are on the front side of the board, the back side contains the mounting screws of cooling system, some of the electrical components and service information stickers.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The heart of HIS H280QC3G2M is graphics chip AMD Radeon R9 280 (Tahiti PRO), which is determined by utility GPU-Z 0.8.0 as «Tahiti». It is produced by the norms of 28-nm process and consists of 1792 unified shader pipelines, 32 ROP units and 112 texture units. As we mentioned, the dynamic graphics core frequency was increased to 953 MHz.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The total capacity of memory is 3 GB and it is collected by using 12 chips SK Hynix with capacity of 256MB each. According to the marking (H5GC2H24BFR-T2C) and documentation, their nominal frequency is equal to 6 GHz, although in our case it was reduced to 5 GHz. This allows us to hope for a good overclocking potential of the chips. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is realized through a 384-bit bus, which is able to pass 240 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The cooling of the main elements of the graphics card HIS R9 280 IceQ OC is provided by corporate IceQ cooler of turbine type. The total length of the graphics card with installed cooling system, which occupies two expansion slots is 295 mm (as measured in our lab).

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

The cooler consists of 82-mm radial fan (turbine) and fairly compact radiator based on a large copper plate that provides heat distribution over the entire area of the heat exchanger. The radiator has 29 nickel-plated aluminum plates which are arranged longitudinally, which promotes the release of heated air outside the case.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

For a more uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator there are four heat pipes of different diameters (two 6 mm and two 8 mm). Note that they are coated with a layer of nickel, which serves to prevent oxidation of copper during operation and the subsequent fall of the heat exchange efficiency.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

To cool the power elements of the power subsystem a separate heatsink with thermal interface on the back side is applied.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

In case of automatic fan speed control and under the maximum load, graphics core was warmed up to 74 degrees and cooler was working with the 42% of its maximum capacity. Subjectively the noise level can be described as quiet.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

After forced increase of the fan speed to the maximum level, the GPU temperature dropped to 58 degrees. The obtained noise exceeded the average level and become uncomfortable for prolonged use. By tradition we note that a similar mode of cooling system operation will be claimed only in the case of manual overclocking, so in everyday use you won’t have a high level of noise.

HIS R9 280 IceQ OC (H280QC3G2M)

In case of the absence of load the frequency of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, allowing them to reduce power consumption and heat. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 36 degrees, and the level of noise was almost indistinguishable against other components.

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