HIS Radeon RX 480 IceQ X² Roaring Turbo 8GB GDDR5 Review

Specification and Features

 

his_rx480_spcc2

HIS has improved Radeon RX 480 design and let it run faster than the reference design. In the specification we can’t see many changes but only a quick look at the PCB is telling us there are more improvements. From these more interesting for most users is improved power section, 8 pin power connector which let to deliver 75W more and higher core boost limits.

In general specification we can see that AMD and HIS are recommending 500W PSU. I was testing RX480 also on Corsair SF450, 450W Gold 90+ PSU and all was working fine so I assume when you have high quality PSU then it can be less than 500W. Still better to stick to what’s recommended.

 

his_rx480_spcc1

Above is a table with more detailed GPU specifications of popular graphics cards. New Ellesmere GPU is targeted to about the same customers as Nvidia GTX1060. Tested HIS Roaring version is clearly faster than the reference RX480. How much faster we will find out on the next pages of this review.

rx480_his_gpuz

Above is also screenshot from the latest GPU-Z version. HIS RX480 Roaring is idling at about 300MHz while core temperature is about 35-39°C. Seems like high but take a look at the fan speed … it’s not spinning at all when card is not under load. It’s simply silent if you are not playing games. Additionally regardless what you do, you can’t hear that annoying coil whine which we could hear on some older series graphics cards. So again you can count on silent work.

Maximum temperature which we could see in our tests was 75°C. This is where fan is going up to 3000 RPM. As you can expect it’s already noisy. However for most of the time temperature is lower and fan speed is around 2000 RPM.

his_rx480_mt2

Above screenshot was taken after longer session in Black Desert Online.

 

Package and Contents

Below is our unboxing video which will show the card better than usual photos. Enjoy!

I won’t hide that looking at the design of the front of the card, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand it has new, effective looking painting with a roaring animal ( lion ? ). On the other hand it could look better, lighter and somehow fresh. I feel like we’ve already seen similar coolers in the past while this new series is just asking for something really new. I also know it’s not only my opinion and many potential users were sharing their thoughts on the forums after they saw press releases of HIS RX480 Roaring graphics card.

Now maybe what I really like. I can start from backplate. It looks simple but really nice and it’s also removing part of the heat from the card. Why I’m mentioning about using metal backplate is that I’ve recently seen plastic backplates on GTX1060/70 graphics cards and I just can’t understand how one can save on something like that. HIS made that right and it looks really cool.

We can also see mentioned 8 pin pcie power connector. Comparing to reference RX480 design, custom HIS PCB can deliver more power so also can overclock higher. We can see it starting from high boost clock which is one of the highest on the market nowadays – 1338MHz.

On the top of the card there is HIS sign with LED – it’s giving nice white light which is not too flashy so perfectly fit to some other components which are popular recently like Corsair Vengeance LED ( white ) memory kits or Deepcool Captain EX ( white ) AIO water cooling kit which will be reviewed soon.

HIS RX480 Roaring has arrived in a retail package which is not containing much. There is of course graphics card and driver CD so all you need to install the card. However I was counting on additional software from HIS which let me to overclock the Roaring RX480. Sadly on the CD are only drivers and software is not available on the HIS website so I will have to use third party software or AMD control panel where are also available overclocking options. Downside of using AMD tools is there are voltage and power limits which won’t let me to check full potential of the graphics card. We will still show you how high is overclocking HIS RX480, but that a bit later. HIS OC software is mentioned on the website so I assume we will get it soon.

Above are photos of the card after removing cooler. We can see 6+2 power section. Digital PWM is marked IR3567B. It won’t say much to most of the readers so I will only say it’s better than reference design and will let to keep stable voltages after overclocking.

Under the smaller heatsink we can find Samsung memory chips which are usually better for overclocking than the competitive memory ( read Hynix, Micron and sometimes Nanya but I guess Nanya is no longer used in newer graphics cards ).

On the top of the card we can find small switch which lets us use one of the two BIOS configurations. HIS RX480 Roaring has two BIOS chips what is great news to all who like to modify BIOS searching for improvements or simply if one BIOS has any issues then we can use the second one.

FunkyKit redaction also took part in Mod-my Box event with Project Core Arancio which you can see clicking on this link. Computer’s core is HIS Radeon RX480 IceQ X2 Roaring Turbo graphics card.

 

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About Bartosz Waluk 300 Articles
Bartosz Waluk aka Woomack is from Poland. He's been interested in computer hardware and extreme overclocking for over 15 years. Bartosz has also over 12 years experience in IT what includes sales, technical support and computer building ... but not only. He joined the Funky Kit team in January 2013.