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

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions


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.  


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. 


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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  • Brian Blair

    I wonder if some R9 270 boards have the contacts still in place were the second 6pin outlet is supposed to be, If so you can easily solder one from another card on and then get the higher overclocks. I may try that when I upgrade my R9 270 to the R9 290 this summer.

  • BrokenBC

    I have the asus oc card. I have achieved a rock solid OC of 2015/1500 (I run it @ 2000/1500 due to heat.) by changing the power in the bios. The biggest issue is that the card is supposed to have a tdp of 150 wats but is set to 135 tdp in the bios. change that setting to 150 and the voltage to 1.25 and this card fly’s. For the price this is a hard card to beat.

    • Shredder

      I have the Asus Radeon R9 270.

      The best driver I found for overclocking is 14.4. I am a beta driver tester like others from Guru3D and the 14.7 beta red screens on overclocks.

      I’m running the core at 1085MHz so far and I’m going to test 1100MHz soon.

  • Brian Blair

    Anyone want to buy my old MSI GTX 650 Ti 1GB $50? And no I will not ship it, You will have to be responsible for shipping it, I can’t understand how some people think you should just buy them a new car just because they are they! LOL get over yourself already! Anyway the Card was used by me for about 10 months, It still looks new and no dust, It still has the box it came in, Has the owners manual and the accessories, Every single thing that originally came in the box is still in the box, The card was even put back in it’s original static bag. The card was never pushed just gamed with, I did overclock it some to see what it could do and it actually overclocks very well, But I mostly just kept it at it’s stock clock speed of 928mhz. The highest I clocked it was 1080mhz and the memory I never really messed with it. But it has Hynix V-Ram so it should do decent. I was going to use it as a physx card with my R9 270, But thanks to fascist Nvidia locking the drivers if it detects a AMD card, I can’t use it, I guess Nvidia thinks they have the right to tell you what to do with your own property.

  • rich

    r wolf

  • Brian Blair

    The Higher the clock speed the higher the G-Flops get, Save money and buy the 270 non X and just set her at 1050 in CCC, And then you have the same 32.8 GPxels and the same 92.0 GTexels and the same 2.69 TFlops. And without having to use the same power draw as the X model. I am sure the X model can ultimately reach a higher clock speed in the end. But lets face it, The moment that a major GPU overclock is needed, is the moment a upgrade is needed. I will not lie I would rather have the X model. But It just did not make sense to me paying $20-$30 more dollars for a higher clock setting. I know $20-$30 dollars is not much to some people. But it is to me. That’s a case of Natural Light and bag of Beer Nuts. And some left over for gas money so I can give MADD a reason to exist! HAHAHAHA!

    • martin

      witch brand did you buy, sapphire? asus? msi?

  • Brian Blair

    Best $179 I ever spent. You will not be disappointed buying the R9 270. It’s friggin power man!

  • Adino

    This is the latest comment,but whatever 😛

    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 :
    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?

    • Kai

      Don’t get it.

      Remember that the graphics card is permanent until you get a new one, and that it will be used to run any other game. Buying a graphics card because it comes with Battlefield defeats the purpose of buying the graphics card itself.

      Go buy yourself a better GPU and don’t buy one because it comes with a game. Graphics cards are expensive, buy one that you will be happy with, and that will last.

      By the way, I have the Sapphire Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5 Duel-X

      and it runs Battlefield 4 @ 60 FPS on High Settings. I recommend the Radeon R9 290 or 290x.

      MSI Radeon R9 290X:

      Sapphire Radeon R9 290:

      • Ashhong

        The dude is asking if he should get the card so that he can save ~$50 on Battlefield 4, and you recommend a card that is several hundred dollars more expensive? Clearly he wants to save money. Your 270 runs BF4 at 1080p @60FPS and you completely skip all the cards in the middle and go to the 290 lol. Ridiculous.

        • Brian Blair

          Yeah that is kind of a douche recommendation. I have had no problems maxing games with my R9 270. Not to mention he would have to spend more money buying a new PSU to power it. By the way I saw a dual fan Power Color R9 270 for $159.99

          That should save him money, LOL And he will get 2 free games like I did with my HIS, It won’t be BF4 but you can get Sleeping Dog’s Hitman Absolution, Alan Wake. And many more to choose from, I got Sleeping Dog’s and Alan Wake.

      • Havac B Cruizer

        are you kidding me ? battlefield 4 can run with ultra settings in 1600×900 resolution with Sapphire HD7870. you are saying R9 270 cant ? wtf

  • 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.

      • Brian Blair

        Wrong! Thy use E-6 Elpida Chips rated 6 Gbps at 1.6v , So that is why they overclock almost as good as Hynix. My His Model has Elpida and can go to 1500 and 1600, But I do not recommend anyone overclock V-Ram It is pointless anyway. The 270 already has a memory bandwidth of 179.2 GB/s a good number faster than the 7870’s was. And all your FPS gain will be in overclocking the GPU clock anyway. Overclocking the V-ram will just burn them up anyway and then you will get artifacts. So why risk it? Besides why would you need to overclock such a powerful GPU anyway? Makes no sense.

    • 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€.

    • Brian Blair

      I don’t rally think it is biased to MSI. Look at PC mag’s review of my HIS R9 270.,2817,2430169,00.asp

      I was actually going to buy the MSI gaming R9 270 for $179.99, But right before I bought it they raised the price to $189.99 LOL, So instead I got the HIS model R9 270 for $179.99, I also liked the way the HIS looked. And it is a smaller length making it a better fit for airflow. The only reason I was going to get the MSI was because my motherboard is a MSI, And my older 650 Ti (Now my Physx Card) is a MSI. So I trusted there products. But I like my HIS GPU, So far So good.

      • Brian Blair

        Then again I forgot you can use afterburner with any GPU so yeah they could have ran it at the same speeds instead of pretending they could only use CCC with the Saphire. So in a way you are right. Ok you are 100% right it is fake!

  • Nerdrage

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