What does it mean if a graphics card is factory overclocked?

So as you guys all read the title (hopefully), can someone please to me explain what that means? Now before I begin, please keep in mind I am a totally newb when it comes to computers. I am trying to build a gaming PC, and this is my first build ever. Back to the topic, I recently ordered a Sapphire R9 270x Toxic Edition. I've been researching up on the card and have read it comes overclocked right out of the box. I'm kind of freaking out since I don't want to overclock yet. I've read the side effects of overclocking, and it seems horrible! So after knowing this, I'm also wondering if there is a way to go back down to I guess you can stay normal (stock) levels? Thanks guys for reading and to all helpers!

Here is the full name of the card:
SAPPHIRE 100364TXSR Radeon R9 270X 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
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  1. Best answer
    Factory overclocking means the card was tested by the manufacturer at a slightly higher clock than normal and it passed the tests. You are not supposed to overclock it any more yourself. Also, factory overclocked cards usually come with better coolers than the normal versions. Don't worry about it. As for the side effects of overclocking, I used to have a BFG 8800GTX OC2 that lasted 5 years. It's not that bad when done by professionals with cards specially selected (binned) for it.
  2. And yes, if you want to make the card run at a lower clock you can do that using software that comes with the card. But in that case you might as well get the cheaper versions without factory overclocking.
  3. Here's something that will make you feel better: check the temperatures of the card (with speedfan, a free download, for example).
    If you see something like 75C after some serious gaming then you're OK. The 270x is supposed to work until up to 100c or so.
    There's also a program called MSI Afterburner that will allow you to configure how the card is cooled.
  4. All video cards come with a GPU (Graphics Processing unit) that is made to a specific spec -like a CPU that comes at 3.4GHz A GPU will be made to a certian clock rate - most then go to them card manufacturers and most cards are OCed - say the GPU is made to run 900, when the cards come out brand X may have theirs OCed to 950, another may have them at 935 or different models (of course with the price going up) they may release a 935, a 950 and a 975....generally however you can take any card and OC it yourself if it has good cooling
  5. Er ma gerd! My mind has been enlightened!
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