Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC Video Card - GV-R927XOC-2GD
The Radeon R9 270X graphics card was released by AMD in October 2013 and quickly became a favorite for gamers wanting a new card at the $200 price point. When the AMD Radeon R9 270X card first came out we reviewed the reference card and a high-end custom card by Sapphire. Today we will be taking a look at the Gigabyte R9 270X OC that is sold under part number GV-R927XOC-2GD and retails right now for $199.99 plus shipping. Not a bad price for a custom designed card that is also factory overclocked and backed by 3-year warranty.
The AMD Radeon R9 270X is basically the old AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz with higher core and memory clock speeds. The heart of the Radeon R9 270X is the Pitcarin GPU features features 1,280 stream processors, 32 ROPs and either 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus. We are very familiar with this GPU and have found that it is well suited for mainstream gamers that run a single monitor at a screen resolution of 1920x1080 or thereabout.
Gigabyte only offers one version for the Radeon R9 270X, so if you are looking for a card they make it really simple. Although, they do have a Battlefield 4 limited edition sku under part number GV-R927XOC-2GD-GA, but it just comes with the BF4 PC game title.
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC features the WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System that is pretty standard on all of Gigabyte's custom cards these days. Gigabyte introduced the WINDFORCE 3X GPU Cooler design in 2010 and it is a pretty solid solution that helps reduce GPU and GDDR5 memory temperatures along with lowering the fan noise. The three 11-blade cooling fans are identical and have a fan blade measurement of 74mm. Under the triple fans arrangement you'll find a large heatsink in the center that is connected to two smaller aluminum cooling fin arrays by a pair of 8mm copper heat pipes.
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC has been factory overclocked by 50MHz on the core clock, so this card is running with a base clock of 1050MHz and a boost clock of 1100MHz. Gigabyte did not choose to overclock the 2GB of GDDR5 memory and left it clocked at 1400MHz. We've had pretty good lock overclocking Pitcarin GPUs in the past to around 1200MHz with no extra voltage or software, so these cards are usually overclocking friendly.
|AMD Radeon R9 270X||Gigabyte R9 270X OC|
|Clock Speed||1000 MHz||1050 MHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||1050 MHz||1100 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1400 MHz||
The Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD has two 6-pin PCIe power connectors located along the top edge of the card that are needed for proper operation. Gigabyte suggests using a 500W power supply for a single card operation. The AMD Radeon R9 270X reference card has a typical board power rating of 180 Watts, so you are looking at a good 600-650W PSU for a dual-card AMD CrossFire setup.
The AMD Radeon R9 270X can be run in CrossFire multi-GPU mode with one other R9 270X. Gigabyte has placed a single CrossFire interconnect along the top edge of the card for this.
Looking down from the top of the card you can see the cooling fins are arranged vertically, so most of the hot air that is coming off the card will be blown into the case and not directed out the exhaust port on the end of the card. This shouldn't be a big deal as most enthusiast cases have good ventilation these days.
The Gigabyte R9 270X OC is a dual-slot card that has a PCB that measures 9.375-inches in length, but notice in the image above that the GPU cooler extends a good distance past the end of the card. The total length of the Gigabyte R9 270X OC is 11.25-inches. This is fairly long for a mainstream graphics card, so be sure to ensure that it fits inside your case before ordering one.
Gigabyte just sent us the bare card for testing, so since we don't have the retail box or accessory bundle we can jump straight to testing!
Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. It should be noted that we average all of our test runs. There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago.
Video Cards & Drivers used for testing:
- NVIDIA GeForce 341.40
- AMD: Catalyst 13.11 V8 on R200 series and Catalyst 13.6 Beta 2 on Radeon 7000 series
Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform
The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 4401 that came out on 09/02/2013. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz quad channel memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 2T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD was run with firmware version 2.25.
|The Intel X79 Test Platform|
Intel Core i7-3960X
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe
16GB Corsair 1866MHz
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC 2GB Video Card GPU-Z Information:
Battlefield 3 (BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released in North America on October 25, 2011 and in Europe on October 28, 2011. It does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the eleventh installment in the Battlefield franchise. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release and the PC download is exclusive to EA's Origin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.
Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine. This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas. Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body.
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC averaged nearly 63 FPS at 1920x1080 and around 40 FPS at 2560x1600 with Ultra image quality settings. As you can see from the chart above it was slightly faster than the AMD Radeon R9 270X reference card thanks to the 50Mhz higher core clock.
BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games, and published by 2K Games. BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series, and though it is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, it does feature similar gameplay concepts and themes. BioShock Infinite uses a Modified Unreal Engine 3 game engine and was released worldwide on March 26, 2013.
We tested BioShock Infinite with the Ultra game settings.
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC was about 1.5FPS faster than the reference card and was just a tad slower than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is an open world first-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is the sequel to 2008's Far Cry 2. The game was released on December 4th, 2012 for North America. Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical island found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. After a vacation goes awry, player character Jason Brody has to save his kidnapped friends and escape from the islands and their unhinged inhabitants.
Far Cry 3 uses the Dunia Engine 2 game engine with Havok physics. The graphics are excellent and the game really pushes the limits of what one can expect from mainstream graphics cards. We set game title to 8x MSAA Anti-Aliasing and ultra quality settings.
Benchmark Results: We were averaging nearly 30FPS on Far Cry 3 at 1920x1080 with Ultra image quality settings. You want to keep above 30FPS on average to get an enjoyable gaming experience and this card is right at that threshold on a game that is pretty tough on modern GPUs.
Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth DirecX 11 video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. This game title uses the Glacier 2 game engine and was released on November 20th, 2012.
We benchmarked Hitman: Absolution with Ultra Settings.
Benchmark Results: Hitman Absolution is another tough game title when everything is cranked up and again we see the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X is able to produce good results on an HD monitor. When moving up to an Ultra HD monitor we see the average FPS drop down to 18.7 FPS, which is still respectable and right where the other Pitcairn models are at.
Metro Last Light
Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013.
Metro Last Light was benchmarked with Ultra settings
Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light the AMD Radeon R9 270X was just shy of 42 FPS at 1920x1080, which is about 3 FPS slower than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 reference card.
On March 5th, 2013 Square Enix released Tomb Raider, billed as a reboot of the franchise. In Tomb Raider, the player is confronted with a much younger Lara Croft who is shipwrecked and finds herself stranded on a mysterious island rife with danger, both natural and human. In contrast to the earlier games Croft is portrayed as vulnerable, acting out of necessity, desperation and sheer survival rather than for a greater cause or personal gain.
The game has been built on Crystal Dynamics's game engine called the "Crystal Engine" and the graphics look fantastic. AMD and Crystal Dyanmic's worked on a new technology called TressFX Hair, which AMD describes as “the world’s first in-game implementation of a real-time, per-strand hair physics system” for this game title. We set the image quality to ultimate for benchmarking, but we disabled TressFX Hair under the advanced tab to be fair to NVIDIA graphics cards that don't support the feature.
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC easily handled the latest Tomb Raider at both 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.
3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs
Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.
Fire Strike Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: The 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark has the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC scoring 5,593DMarks.
Fire Strike Extreme:
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC scored 2,784 3DMarks in the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark.
Catzilla is a relatively new benchmark that is made the Polish demoscene group Plasticis. It is being produced in collaboration with Polish post production company, Plastige. Plastige is the company that worked on Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition and some of the developers there were behind the PlayStation Network game Datura. The benchmark uses a parallel graphics engine that takes advantage of multi-core CPUs. This isn't a benchmark being made in some kids basement and it doesn't appear to be bought off by any companies yet, so it should be a good benchmark to use.
While this benchmark is in beta phases, we still have found that Catzilla is a good cross-API benchmark. You also can't go wrong with a benchmark that has a giant animated cat nuke cities with its laser eyes as you do. You can watch a video of the benchmark in action below.
We purchased Catzilla Advanced and ran the full Catzilla benchmark at 2560x1440.
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC scored 3,413 points in the Catzilla 1440P benchmark test.
Temperature & Noise Testing
Temperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC video card.
Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC 2GB Idle Temperature:
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC was found to idle at 24C with the fan running at right around 1600 RPMs. It should be noted that the ambient room temperature was 22.0C (72F).
Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC 2GB Gaming Temperature:
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC topped out at just 51C with the fans running at 2200 RPMs when gaming on it for an extended period of time!
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC was one of the coolest running cards that we have seen in some time. The idle temperatures was near the lowest that we have seen and the gaming load temperature was the lowest on our current test system. The temperatures on this card on our open air test bench are impressive, so what about the noise?
To test sound levels we use an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X has the fans spinning at 1600 RPM at idle and we hit 2200 RPM when gaming, so we knew right from the start that this card was going to be average. Once we put it in our chart we found that the sound levels put it near the middle of the pack. The cards noise isn't bad at all, but will be able to hear it when gaming.
For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran three games at 1920x1080 and averaged the peak results seen on the power meter.
Power Consumption Results: The entire platform with the Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB OC installed was consuming 109 Watts at idle and hit a maximum of 319 Watts when gaming. These are pretty good power numbers and are what we expected to see from this card, so no big shock or anything here.
AMD Radeon R9 270 GPU Overclocking
How well does the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC overclock? We were wondering the same thing, so we'll be taking a look at overclocking the Radeon R9 270X using AMD OverDrive.
After spending a morning overclocking the card we found that the memory on this card did not like to be overclocked at all. We managed to go from 1400MHz to 1435MHz on the memory, which is a miniscule 35MHz increase and one of the worst memory overclocks that we have seen in years. When it came to the GPU core clock we were able to go from 1100MHz to 1230MHz, which is an increase of 130MHz or 11.8%. This is the highest core clock that we have ever gotten on a Radeon R9 270X! So, we had the worst memory overclock ever and the best GPU overclock ever on the same card! Our card had the best stability with the power control settings left alone, so we did not make any adjustments to it.
The Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC in stock form was able to score 5,593 points in 3DMark Fire Strike.
After our overclock we were able to get a score of 6,082 3DMarks. This is an improvement of 8.7% from our 11.8% core clock increase and very minor memory boost.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Right now AMD Radeon R9 270X video cards range in price from $199 to $229 at Newegg and the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC comes in at just $199.99 plus shipping. The Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB OC that we took a look at today was a very impressive card. The card performed slightly better than the AMD R9 270X reference card thanks to the 50MHz factory overclock and the cooling performance was exceptional thanks to the WINDFORCE 3X GPU cooler. If you game on a 1080P monitor and don't have an unlimited budget this card is pretty much all you need. You'll be able to run the latest game titles like Battlefield 4 and Fary Cry 3 at 1080P with high image quality settings and get solid performance. This card can also run a fair number of game titles at 1080P with Ultra image quality settings, but that is really the limit of this card due to the power of the GPU itself and the fact that there is only 2GB of frame buffer on the card.
Overclocking was interesting to say the least. The memory on this card did not like to be overclocked, but the GPU was found to have a ton of overclocking headroom. We were able to take the core clocks from 1100MHz all the way up to 1230MHz with full stability in all the game titles and synthetic benchmarks we tried it out on. That overclocked helped give the card about a 10% boost in overall performance, which is a pretty decent amount and noticeable when you are pushing the card with Ultra image quality settings in some game titles.
The Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB OC video card had acceptable noise levels and the thermals were great at both idle and full load. The Gigabyte WINDFORCE 3X GPU cooler kept all 1280 stream processors cool and we never saw the temperature hit over 51C during all our testing.
At the end of the day the Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC (GV-R927XOC-2GD) appears to be a dialed in card with solid performance for $199.99 plus shipping. We are happy with the price versus performance of this card and it is impressive that Gigabyte didn't try to mark this card up. You can find other Radeon R9 270X models out there for $219 to $229 with higher factory overclocks, but is it with spending an extra $20-$30 bucks to go from 1100MHz to 1120MHz or 1150MHz? We don't think it is as all of the Radeon R9 270X cards that we have tested were able to be manually overclocked to 1200MHz or higher. The Gigabyte R9 270X OC is easily recommended as it priced right and has all the features one would want in a gaming graphics card in 2013.
Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB OC was found to have solid 1080P gaming performance and a great GPU cooler that runs cool and fairly quiet