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21-04-2015


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Graphics card HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI (H285QMC2GD): review and testing

The hero of this review, the graphics card HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI (abbreviated HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC or HIS H285QMC2GD), made on the basis of graphics accelerator AMD Radeon R9 285, replaced by AMD Radeon R9 280. The range of HIS contains several modifications of the above model. The test version compares favorably among them by little reduced dimensions, which is reflected in its name as a prefix «Mini». Other advantages include factory overclocking, corporate cooler IceQ X² and quality components, which in theory makes the model profitable acquisition. But let's not jump to conclusions and to begin a look at the detailed specification of the test solution.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The specs:

Model

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI

(HIS H285QMC2GD)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 285 (Tonga Pro)

Quantity of shader processors

1792

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, AMD CrossFireX, AMD HD3D, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyespeed, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Mantle, AMD TrueAudio, AMD PowerTune, AMD FreeSync

Core clock frequency, MHz

938

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1375 (5500)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

176

Bus type

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 DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Support HDCP and decoding of HD-video

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

Additional PCIe sockets

2 x 6-pin

Dimension from official website (according to measurements of our test lab), mm

210 х 110 (227 х 112)

Drivers

HIS or GPU

Producer website

HIS

Tested modification of AMD Radeon R9 285 compares favorably with the presence of factory overclocking the GPU from standard 918 to 938 MHz. But the video memory subsystem fully complies with the requirements of the reference: 2 GB GDDR5 with 256-bit bus and the effective frequency 5500 MHz.

Package and content 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The novelty comes in a small, vertically oriented box, decorated in corporate style with light blue tones. In addition to the references to the capacity and type of video memory, the front side contains notification about the use of cooler IceQ X² and the presence of the supplied software to control the operation of the graphics card (HIS iTurbo). Here is the support for factory overclocking of the GPU. Do note the attention to 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 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The reverse side of the box contains mention about the use of high-quality solid capacitors with design PCB HIS H285QMC2GD. Used PWM controller supports active phase switching, helping to reduce power consumption in idle moments or weak load on the graphics card.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply unit should have a capacity of at least 500 W. As for the additional power, the new connection requires two 6-pin PCIe.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Supplied set of tested model includes only the disk with drivers and utilities and user manual. That is the optional accessories such as a DVI-D-Sub or adapter power for the graphics card, the user has to buy separately. This is done in order to reduce the final cost of the product.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Interface panel is equipped with the following ports:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

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

Design and circuitry

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The production of HIS H285QMC2GD was provided by original circuit board of black color. All elements are located quite standard: the power subsystem of GPU is on the left side of it, while the components of the power system of graphics card are on the right side. Circuitry includes extremely reliable solid-state capacitors, which should have a positive impact on the service life.

As you can see, the usual connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX in this case are not available, since the novelty supports this technology by communication cards through slots PCI Express x16. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Power of model HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC is performed at quite familiar 7-phase scheme, where five phases are reserved for the needs of graphic core, and two for the memory chip.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The GPU power subsystem is implemented on the digital PWM controller ON NCP81022, located on the front side of the PCB. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, power is provided by two additional connectors PCIe, placed on the side of the graphics card. In accordance with the recommendations of AMD, both are 6-pin. Do note that the connection and disconnection of cables PCIe in this case doesn’t provide any problems.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The reverse side of the video accelerator has the additional chip and the mounting screws of the cooling system. Since one of the advantages of new products is its compact dimensions, the cooling system does not protrude beyond the printed circuit board.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The heart of HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC is the graphics chip AMD Radeon R9 285 (AMD Tonga Pro). 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 already mentioned, the graphics core frequency was slightly increased on the recommendations of AMD and is 938 MHz.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The total capacity of memory is 2 GB, collected by using an 8-chip of company ELPIDA with capacity 256MB each. According to the marking (W2032BBBG-6A-F) and documentation of their nominal frequency is equal to 6 GHz, although in our case it was lowered to 5500 MHz. This allows us to hope for a good overclocking potential of use chips. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is realized through a bus 256-bit, which is able to pass 176 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

According the name of the graphic adapter HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC, for cooling it uses proprietary cooler IceQ X². The total length of the graphics card of dual-slot cooling system is only 21 cm.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The cooler consists of a massive one-section of the radiator, which uses in the construction of 36 aluminum nickel-plated plates, two axial fans with impeller of diameter of 76 mm and a plastic casing that covers the entire structure above. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The propellers are presented by model Apistek GA81B2U with rated voltage of 12 V and a current of 0.38 A, which results in a power of 4.56 W.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

For a more uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator there are three copper heat pipes made with a diameter of 6 mm. Unfortunately, they are not covered by a layer of nickel, which is used to prevent oxidation process of copper in operation and the subsequent fall of the heat exchange efficiency. The copper base of the cooling system is in contact with GPU through a small layer of thermal paste.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

To improve the efficiency of the cooler the contact of heat pipes with fins and big copper base is improved by using solder.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

To cool the FETs power subsystem uses a separate small radiator with thermal interface on the back side.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Under automatic fan speed control in case of maximum load, graphics core was warmed up to 68 degrees and cooler worked with the 46% of its maximum capacity. Subjectively, the noise was below average.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

After forced increase of the fan speed to the maximum level, the GPU temperature dropped to 59 degrees. The noise rose to an average level, but at the same time remained quite comfortable. By tradition, we note that a similar mode of cooling system will be claimed only in the case of manual overclocking.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)


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