When AMD launched the 7000 series of graphics cards, an evolutionary approach was made, moving the bar by improving not only gaming horsepower, but also power efficiency and temperatures. AMD ruled the roost for a time, until Nvidia came along with their 700 series cards, pushing things and gaining the upper hand. Like two titans battling for supremacy, these two companies trade blows with each successive generation launch.
And that brings us to the latest generation of AMD products: the R7 and R9 series graphics cards. AMD is again looking to capitalize on their latest architecture, but the company has made it clear that framerates aren’t their primary goal. They want to make affordable products that offer strong gaming performance, which is arguably one of the most important criteria for gamers out there who may be hard-pressed to choose where to spend their hard-earned money.
Interestingly, both cards are an evolution for AMD; the R7 260X comes from the Bonaire core we saw in the Radeon 7790, while the R9 270X is the offspring of the Pitcairn core we saw in the Radeon 7870. Unless AMD has some serious tricks up their sleeve, we expect the performance of both cards to be a modest improvement upon those respective models. That puts the R7 260X and R9 270X squarely in the budget and mid-range performance echelons for consumers.
Today we’re focusing on two cards from HIS, a company we’re very familiar with, having seen many of their products in the past couple of generations in AMD cards. HIS typically produces cards with custom coolers and aggressive factory overclocks, and these two are no different. The R7 260X IceQ X2 and R9 270X iCooler IceQ X2 (Turbo) have excessively long names, but more to the point: they are sleek, come with impressive overclocks, and look to offer good gaming value.
Let’s take a closer look at the HIS R7 260X IceQ X2 and HIS R9 270X iCooler IceQ X2 (Turbo) to find out how they measure up.