MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC Video Card Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

efficient-r270

The AMD Radeon R9 270 is all about efficiency and trying to get the most performance that one can get from a 150 Watt graphics card.  This is a pretty big deal to those that are looking for a quick upgrade to an older system and they don’t want to bother with upgrading their power supply to handle a more power hungry graphics card. The AMD Radeon R9 270 doesn’t use a new GPU, but it’s the first time this GPU has been used for a 150W card. 

When it comes to performance the MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC were both found to be solid cards.  They are best suited for 1080P gaming, but that is fine as that is what the vast majority of gamers play at! The AMD Radeon R9 270 was also able to outperform both the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST across our test suite. Not bad for a $179 graphics card as the GeForce GTX 660 usually runs around $189 (although they can be found for $169.99 shipped after rebate from time to time). The real winner here will again be gamers as AMD will be forcing down pricing as they continue to release competitive cards at fairly aggressive price points and NVIDIA has been slashing prices to stay in the mix.  

amd-game-rewards

One thing you have to keep in mind when shopping for a graphics card is that the AMD R9 270 is now part of the AMD Never Settle Forever game bundle promotion.  That means while supplies last, you’ll be getting a game key for Battlefield 4 with the purchase of the Radeon R9 270 at participating retailers. This is an added bonus as BF4 is $59.99 at most retailers right now and if you factor that into the price of the Redeon R9 270 it certainly makes it a sweeter deal.

UPDATE 11/14/2013 - Not all Radeon R9 cards will be getting BF4 as it is only going to be available on select cards picked by the retailer and board partners.  You can read more about this here.

  Radeon R9 270 Radeon R9 270X Radeon HD 7870 GHz
Release Date November 2013 October 2013 March 2012
Original SRP $179 $199 $349
GPU Pitcarin Pitcarin Pitcarin
Process 28nm 28nm 28nm
Transistors 2.8 billion 2.8 billion 2.8 billion
Stream Processors 1280 1280 1280
Clock Speed 925 MHz 1050 MHz 1000 MHz
Frame Buffer 2GB 2GB 2GB
Memory Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Clock 1400 MHz 1400 MHz 1200 MHz
Compute Perf 2.37 TFLOPS 2.69 TFLOPS 2.56 TFLOPS
Texture Units 80 80 80
ROPs 32 32 32
Typical Board Power 150W 180W 175W

Our overclocking of the AMD Radeon R9 270 showed that both of the retail cards that we had could be overclocked up to 1050MHz on the core, thus turning them into a Radeon R9 270X. When we reviewed the AMD Radeon R9 270X graphics card in October we found that both cards could easily overclock beyond 1200MHz on the core, so if you want to overclock the AMD Radeon R9 270X is the best bet as you can feed the board with more power and get higher overclocks.  The purpose of the Radeon R9 270 isn’t to go crazy with overclocking though as a throttled down Radeon R9 270X to fit into a specific power envelope. 

sapphire-r9-270oc

The AMD Radeon R9 270 looks like it is going to be a great graphics card for those looking to do 1080P gaming.  The MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC were both great graphics cards. The MSI R9 270 Gaming OC can be purchased online for $184.99 shipped today and we liked it the best between the two cards.  It ran both cooler and quieter, overclocked easier and has a bit more visual appeal.  There is nothing wrong with the Sapphire card, but it was outclassed today.

LR Recommended Award

 

Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Radeon R9 270 at $179 is a solid gaming graphics card for 1080P gamers and it’s a heck of a deal if you can find one that comes with BF4 for that price.

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  • Adino

    This is the latest comment,but whatever :P

    If I buy this card now,does they gave me any Battlefield 4?

    I will buy a MSI R9 270 (specifically the Gaming 2G BF4 version. Site : http://www.msi.com/product/vga/R9_270_GAMING_2G_BF4.html#overview)
    According to the site,they will gave me a free copy of BF4.My local store had one left in the stock,however I was unable to see the box.

    I was worried that I wouldn’t get any BF4,as I can buy better card from other brand BUT not getting any BF4.(Please take consideration that this is April 2014)

    What do you guys think,should I get this card or not?

  • realdeal

    This review is very bias toward msi. Msi is not that better like it was represented in this review. Especially overclocking part, Ask yourself why they did not tested sapphire at gpu 1050, mem 1500, and power +20 ??? As you can see memory on sapphire can easily go to 1625, that means that is it BETTER MEMORY CHIP, at that matter most (beside GPU chip).

    This review is FAKE.

    • Matti Alexander Christensen

      most likely not, and no, they both use hynix memory chips, but sapphire uses better vrm. however the hynix memory seems to have a wall at 1500 mhz, meaning that going above that will decrease performance in many cases.
      so what we are seing is that the sapphire card can clock just as high, while using less power, and even go beyond the limits of the memory chips, even though its inefficient.

    • Ansau

      Your arguments are the fake:
      1- What we see is SOFTWARE LIMITATION. This is what you can reach with Catalyst. With MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X numbers could be higher.
      2- Yes, with Catalist you can push Sapphire much higher, but they also said they let to 1050MHz cause higher was unstable. And that means they reached its cap. We don’t know how much MSI can be pushed, but it’s easy to be higher than Sapphire (normally, higher base clocks allows higher OC clocks).
      3- Better clocks setting doesn’t mean better performance. 3DMark punctuations show you. MSI=5646, Sapphire=5467. MSI performs better with the same GPU clock and slightly slower memory clock.

      That doesn’t mean Sapphire is a bad choice, they have done a good job, just maybe MSI has done a killer.

      PD: Also, there’s a MSI promotion with BF4 for just +10€.

  • Nerdrage

    Great review. Sapphire need to offer more if they want to better.