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HIS Radeon R7 260X 2GB IceQ X2 Overclocked Video Card Review

HIS Radeon R7 260X 2GB IceQ X2 Overclocked Video Card Review

We take a look at our first retail Radeon R7 260X 2GB video card from HIS and look at its gaming overclocking performance in detail.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Oct 25 2013 1:03 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 33 IMAGES

I'd like to say we're slowly working our way through the pile of R series based video cards, but if we're completely honest, we're flying through them at a rapid rate and continue to have more to look at. Today we're looking at our first HIS video card and our first retail version of the R7 260X 2GB.

The particular version we're looking at is the IceQ X2 variant from HIS and as you may have guessed carries with it the popular IceQ X2 cooler. Because the card doesn't come overclocked out of the box and we already looked at the performance of a stock clock cared through our original R7 260X 2GB reference card review, we thought we'd get into the overclocking side of things to see just what kind of performance we're able to get from the new model.

For $139, we already found ourselves impressed with what AMD was offering gamers on a budget. Today, though, we're really looking forward to seeing just how much performance we can get out of the model when overclocking is thrown into the equation.

So, without dragging on, let's take a look at the package.

Package

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Taking a look at the package, you can see the overall design and layout is almost identical to other IceQ X2 cards we've seen from HIS before. We've got the model across the bottom, including some of the main features, while some information on iPower and iTurbo is also covered.

If we turn the box over, we get a little bit more detail on some of the main features including Solid State Capacitors and Choke, along with a bit of information on the IceQ X2 cooling solution.

Normally we'd move from here and onto the package to see just what is being offered, but we got this product quite early from HIS, and while we got the box, we didn't get the full bundle as it wasn't fully ready at the time of shipping to us. Fortunately we can head over to the HIS website and see just what comes with the card. It's a very typical mid-range HIS bundle which includes a driver CD, manual, DVI to VGA connector and a HIS case badge sticker.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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This isn't the first time we've seen the IceQ X2 cooler and due to the fact that it takes up majority of the PCB, most HIS cards that use it do look very similar. You can of course see the two fans and behind that we've got a massive heatsink that covers almost the entire card. Looking closer, though, you can see the massive copper plate that sits over the top of the GPU and a number of heat pipes coming out the bottom and making their way to the top of the card.

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Taking a quick look around the card, you can see that power comes in the form of just a single 6-pin PCIe power connector sitting at the very back. Moving to the top of the card and all the way to the front, you can see a single CrossFire connector that allows you to run a pair of these cards together. This is something we really want to look at a little later as it would be interesting to see how this $280 CrossFire setup performs.

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Finishing up our look at the card, we head over to the I/O. Here you can see two Dual-Link DVI connectors - one in the form of a DVI-D and the other in the form of a DVI-I. Alongside these, we've got the two normal connectors you'd expect to see, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Specifications

As we mentioned in the introduction, the HIS R7 260X 2GB IceQ X2 comes out of the box with the same clocks as the reference card. Looking below, you can see that means the core comes in at 1100MHz, while the 2GB of GDDR5 carries with it a clock speed of 6500MHz QDR. Because we've already tested the reference card at the reference clocks, we figured that we would just see what happens when we overclock the model.

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Firing up Afterburner we had hoped to adjust the voltage of the core, but we quickly discovered this option wasn't available. At the moment we're not sure if this is a feature that's coming with a later version of Afterburner or if core voltage adjustment just isn't an option on the model period.

For now, though, we simply increased the clock speeds without the help of any extra voltage. Looking above, you can see in the end we managed to get another 125MHz on the core, bringing it up to 1225MHz. As for the memory, we also managed to give that a bump and that now comes in at an even 7000MHz QDR.

It will be interesting to see what kind of performance increase this gives us when compared to the reference clocked card.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

Considering we've overclocked the HIS R7 260X 2GB IceQ X2, one of the main pieces of information we want to walk away with today is just how much extra performance the overclock brings when compared to the reference clocked AMD R7 260X 2GB.

From the AMD side, we've got the AMD R9 270X 2GB, MSI R9 270X 2GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC, PowerColor PCS HD 7950 2GB overclocked to over 1100MHz on the core, along with the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition and Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC.

On the NVIDIA front, we've got the Colorful GTX 760 iGAME 2GB OC and NVIDIA GTX 770, both models that sit a decent chunk more expensive than the HIS offering we're looking at today.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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As always, starting with 3DMark 11, we can see straight away we've got a nice little boost in performance thanks to the overclock we've achieved.

What we really want to know, though, is what kind of performance we get in our game tests. We'll move onto them a little later, but first let's check out Fire Strike on the next page.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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Fire Strike also sees a nice boost in both resolutions. You can see we're over the 4,000 point mark in the standard preset and almost hitting 2,000 in the Extreme test.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven sees a little increase that equates to around an extra 10% in performance at both resolutions. An extra 10% performance from overclocking is nice, and we hope that this is the kind of increase we see in our game benchmarks.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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PSO2 has always made good use of overclocking and you can see that we're seeing almost an extra 20% performance with the overclocking we've done here on the HIS card.

Considering we're in the lower-end of that 2,000 - 5,000 point range, the extra performance is really appreciated.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Looking above, you can see that Lost Planet 2 does get a nice bump with the overclock bringing our 1920 x 1200 numbers out of the 40 FPS range and into the 50 FPS area. We see an extra 3 FPS at 1680 x 1050, which is nice, as we move from an average of 52 FPS to 55 FPS.

We would've really liked a little more, though. As we draw closer to the 60 FPS number, though, we can get away with a small detail drop to gain that extra 5 FPS we want and need for smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Just Cause 2 sees a nice bump at all resolutions, and you can see at 1920 x 1200, we move out of the 60 FPS area, and into the 70 FPS area.

Whenever we're floating around in the 60s, the extra performance that brings us in to the 70 FPS range is always appreciated, as it really makes us feel a lot more comfortable about the smoothness of the game.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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F1 2012 really makes some great use of the overclock we managed to achieve here with the HIS card. At the lower resolutions, we get a little bump in performance, but it's the 2560 x 1600 number that really interests us.

You can see at the reference speeds fall short of the 60 FPS range by 3 FPS. With an increase of around 10%, you can see we're now getting 62 FPS with this HIS offering that we've overclocked.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

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While overclocking brings with it a little bit of movement across the board, Metro Last Light continues to struggle on the R7 260X 2GB, like it does on almost all the other video cards here.

The only time we see above 60 FPS is at 1680 x 1050 on the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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Dirt Showdown really appreciates the overclock. You can see at 1680 x 1050 we move from 58 FPS on the reference clocked card to 64 FPS on our overclocked HIS one.

While we do fall short of 60 FPS at 1920 x 1200, the boost from 51 FPS to 57 FPS is strong and if you did want to game at this resolution, you really would only need to drop the in-game detail ever so slightly.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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When we tested the reference R7 260X 2GB, we ran into problems with Nexuiz, so we don't know what kind of performance boost the HIS brings when we overclock it. With numbers that are well below playable at all resolutions, it's not really relevant though.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 sees some nice increases and the bump from 52 FPS to 57 FPS at 1680 x 1050 is appreciated. While we're still short of the 60 FPS number, it's always worth remembering that we have our in-game settings always maxed out.

With only 3 extra FPS needed to hit the 60 FPS mark, a small detail drop, that shouldn't affect the overall look of the game too much, will give us the extra FPS we need for a solid gameplay experience.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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Sleeping Dogs numbers are good at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050, with a bit of extra breathing room being seen at 1920 x 1200.

While we do see a 10% increase at 2560 x 1600, it's not enough for the game to be playable, as we sit in the 40 FPS range.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Far Cry 2 already saw some strong FPS across the board and you can see that overclocking brings with it a bit more breathing room.

Overall, though, it's not really necessary as we manage to squeeze a 40 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600 on the reference clocked card.

Please Note: We still include Far Cry 2 in our benchmarks (we know it's old) as a way for our readers to get a general representation of how older games perform on new hardware.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

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Looking above, the extra FPS we see at 1680 x 1050 is nice, as we move from a 54 FPS average to 59 FPS. While we are always on the hunt for the 60 FPS number, because of the strong 48 FPS minimum, you won't have many issues.

Moving above that, we do see positive movement as you'd expect, but not enough for us to feel it would make a real difference on your gaming experience.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

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While we see the minimum at 1680 x 1050 hit 30 FPS on the HIS card when overclocked, the 40 FPS minimum is just too low for us to consider these playable numbers.

Across the board we continue to see a bump in the FPS numbers, but with 1680 x 1050 being a struggle, every resolution above that is of course also a problem.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

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BioShock Infinite sees an increase across the board at all resolutions, but with 45 FPS being the highest number we're seeing, the numbers simply aren't where we need them to be for us to consider the game playable on this video card.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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On these lower-end cards, Far Cry 2 does struggle. Overclocked, though, you can see we're able to break into the 30 FPS minimum range and 60 FPS average range at 1920 x 1200. Just sneaking in, though, 2560 x 1600 is not an option.

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We see no movement at 2560 x 1600 and just an extra 2 FPS at 1920 x 1200. While the latter does equate to around a 15% increase in performance, 16 FPS is a number that really does nothing for us.

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While we do see a performance bump at both resolutions, we're still a decent chunk away from the 60 FPS number we need making the game unplayable with these settings.

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Finishing up with Sleeping Dogs, we continue to see a slight increase in performance. As you'd expect, though, the numbers continue to just be too low for the game to be playable.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Looking at the heat numbers, you can see that the HIS card is in the bottom half of the graph with 62c at load.

Considering the 80c we saw on the reference card with its stock clocks, this is a really nice number - even more so when you consider overclocking is thrown into to the mix.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Along with good heat numbers, you can see that noise levels are exceptional.

The non-reference cooled R series cards have really thrown out some good noise levels and this one from HIS is again no different.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Finishing up with power draw, you can see the HIS card is sitting a bit over 300 watts at load.

A quality power supply isn't going to have problems dealing with this kind of system.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

I'm never a fan of testing these under $200 video cards because for the most part they just feel a bit boring. The good news is, though, as we're getting further and further ahead with technology, the power that these $1xx cards can offer really is quite amazing.

Out of the box, the reference R7 260X 2GB puts out some pretty good numbers for the price point it hits at. The HIS offering comes in at $149.99 and out of the box, the performance when it comes to gaming is going to be near identical due to the fact to carries the same reference clock speeds. If you don't want to throw overclocking into the mix, though, you can know that you're buying a card that is going to run a decent chunk cooler than the reference one, while still maintaining low noise levels.

If you want to throw overclocking into the equation, though, you can know that what you manage to achieve really gives us some nice performance increases. At times, we see we're able to hit the 60 FPS number we want or get ever so close to it. Other times we see that the overclock just gives us a bit more breathing room for solid gameplay, which is always appreciated.

While we didn't have the bundle of the card with us today, a quick trip to the HIS website reveals exactly what we would get. Looking at it, you see everything you'd expect from a video card that sits at this price bracket.

We're not sure if voltage adjustment is going to be something that is thrown into the mix later and if it is we'll of course come back and revisit the overclocking sides of the R7 260X 2GB, more than likely from a different brand, though. While we know a new version of MSI Afterburner is due in the next week or two, we're not too sure what it's going to bring with it.

This is our first retail R7 260X 2GB and we're impressed with what HIS has done. It would've been nice to see them maybe bump the core up 50 MHz or so, but ultimately the cooler is the highlight of this product when compared to the reference model, and when it comes to the cooler, it really stands out for all the right reasons. If you're looking for a mid-$100 video card, this is one that you could consider.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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