The AMD Radeon R9 270X & R9 270 Review: Feat. Asus & HISby Ryan Smith on November 13, 2013 12:01 AM EST
Meet The AMD Radeon R9 270X
We’ll start off with our sole 270X card, AMD’s reference Radeon R9 270X. Unfortunately this is one of those cases where the reference card hasn’t been picked up by their partners for their own use, so this card isn’t going to be available at retail. The partners have all gone with their various standard open air cooler designs – honed from the 7870 – which means that a 270X with a blower will unfortunately not be available. The open air coolers do well when it comes to noise, but in this segment it’s nice to have a blower or two available for cramped OEM systems.
In any case, the reference 270X is a very natural evolution of the 7870 that came before it. AMD has kept the same board length of 9.5”, so in terms of functionality and size little has changed. And of course the livery has been done to match the GTX 290 series, featuring the same style shroud and the same fan used to complete AMD’s flagship cards.
Cracking open the reference 270X, we can see that AMD has gone with the same design principles internally too. The 270X is designed like a smaller 290, right down to the metal baseplate providing cooling for various discrete power components and the RAM chips. Meanwhile the heatsink is a scaled down version of the heatsink AMD used on 290, retaining the same general fin structure but forgoing the vapor chamber for a triple copper heatpipe design. Though the placement of the heatpipes strikes us as a bit odd; they’re directly in the channel that air should be going through, and where the 290 had more heatsink instead.
Moving on to I/O, the reference 270X utilizes AMD’s new reference design of 2x DL-DVI-D, 1x HDMI, and 1x DisplayPort. Compared to the 7800 series AMD has dropped the two Mini DisplayPorts for a single full-size DisplayPort, and brought back the second DVI port. Whether partner cards use this implementation or not is largely going to depend on whether partners utilize new board designs; if partners reuse 7800 series board designs, then they’re likely to have 1 DL-DVI port and 2 Mini DisplayPorts, and otherwise it will be AMD’s reference design.
Finally, as a 180W card the 270X has the standard 6-pin + 6-pin PCIe power sockets. It’s only rated for 180W, so this will provide ample power and then-some.
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iTzSnypah - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkI'm not sure I like the R9 270. It should have been a cut card ~18CU's. I mean you can edit the BIOS to let up to +50% power limit so the only differentiation of the 270 and 270X (power) can be side stepped rather easily.
The only hope is the 270X is binned much much higher than the 270 (to the point where the 270's are dogs), else there really isn't that much reason to buy one.
Also I'm surprised that the ASUS R9 270 wasn't a single 8pin connector.
blanarahul - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkA single 8-pin connector would essentially make it a 270X.
Gnarr - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkAre you really complaining that the card is not handicapped enough and that you can get a very powerful card for a low price? And you say that you don't like that you can get this card this cheap?
P39Airacobra - Saturday, May 31, 2014 - linkWTH? Really? That is the dumbest thing I ever heard! That is like getting a million dollars and then saying you should have got less. What is wrong with you?
I am glad the 270 is just the same as the 270X, I only paid $179 for it, And all I have to do is go into CCC and set my clock from 925mhz to 1050, And bam I got 270X , And with better power efficiency. However I leave it at 925mhz because it has more than enough power to max most games at stock. You can't get a better deal than this right now. Now if AMD can just get their drivers right and keep the artifact problem gone. So far 14.4 stable has no artifacts, But the new 14.6 beta has artifacts in games that require physx, (like Mafia 2) So I just keep 14.4 installed. It's sad that it has been over 2 years and AMD is still having artifact problems in their drivers. This has effected allot of 280/280X users. Some figure out that it is the drivers, And others just returned their cards, It's amazing how nobody wants to admit what the real problem is, It is like they want to worship and praise AMD instead of solving the artifact issue.
The Von Matrices - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkThe 270X seems like a pointless card to anyone willing to adjust clock speeds since it is the same GPU as its cheaper sibling, much like the 7970 GHz edition was to the 7970. I remember most 7970s (including mine) easily clocked to 7970 GHz edition speeds with little or no voltage increase. Is the 270 the same in regards to reaching the clock speed of the 270X?
kyuu - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkI'm guessing the difference will be binning. So while you might end up with a 270 that can clock up to (or beyond) a 270X, there's a chance you may not if you were unlucky and ended up with lower quality silicon.
blanarahul - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkThe difference will be TDP. I think the 270 is already operating near it's power limit. But the 270X has a lot of headroom.
yacoub35 - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkThe right choice would be to get a 7950 Boost for under $200 and skip the 270-series generation which is rebranded lower-level hardware.
doggghouse - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkYeah, the 7950 Boost is a great bargain for now... until the supplies dry up. I managed to grab one for my nephew's new PC for $160 after rebate! It even came with the Never Settle Gold... going to be a great addition to his first PC :)
garadante - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - linkI'm not sure if I'm missing the section that points it out, but what does the asterisk behind the 280X in the graphs represent? Does it represent some sort of caveat or warning that we should be aware of?