AMD Radeon R9 270 Review: Replacing The Radeon HD 7800s

Test Setup And Benchmarks

We've almost completely eliminated mechanical storage in the lab, and instead lean on solid-state drives to alleviate I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our offices 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.

Naturally, discrete graphics cards require a substantial amount of stable power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (notably higher than the inside of most enclosures).

The Radeon R9 270 is being tested against three other Pitcairn/Curacao boards: the Radeon HD 7850, Radeon HD 7870, and Radeon R9 270X. We're also including a Bonaire-based Radeon R7 260X to gauge the spread betwen the 270 and the next model down (once the 7850 disappears, that is). Nvidia's portfolio is represented by the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost and GeForce GTX 660.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Test System
CPUIntel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
MotherboardAsus P8Z77-V LX LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
NetworkingOn-Board Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryCorsair Performance Memory, 4 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
GraphicsReference Radeon HD 7850 1GB860 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s)Reference Radeon HD 78701000 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s)Sapphire Dual-X R9 270945 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5300 MT/s)*GPU downclocked to reference 925 MHz specification for benchmarking*Reference Radeon R9 270X1050 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5300 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 660980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
PowerXFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriversAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2, Nvidia GeForce 331.65 WHQL
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Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Metro: Last LightVersion, DirectX 10, Built-in Benchmark
Call Of Duty: GhostsVersion, Version, 25-Sec. Fraps
Tomb RaiderVersion 1.04, Custom THG Benchmark, 60-Sec. Fraps
Battlefield 4Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark, 60-Sec. Fraps
BioShock InfiniteVersion 1.0.1441711, Built-in Benchmark, Fraps
Company Of Heroes 2Version, Built-in Benchmark, Fraps
  • 16bit
    Seems like a pretty solid card, but I would like to see benchmarks that include some of the higher end cards. Curious how big the gap between the 280x and the 270 is.
  • CaptainTom
    I actually like this card... Make an overclocking review!
  • esrever
    I feel like they don't need a 270x now since board partners could just have released OCed versions of this to fill the slot. Strange that they don't have a 7850 replacement.
  • m32
    11925880 said:
    I actually like this card... Make an overclocking review!

    I doubt this card has too much headroom in that department. The 6-pin is a gift and a curse.
  • wdmfiber
    The chart need a typo fixed. The 7870 is I incorrectly labeled as 40nm, but it's built on the 28nm fab process; just like everything else. .

    Frig... we've been stuck at 28nm for so long it's just "understood". You could get-away with leaving that whole column out.
  • Sakkura
    Wonder if there'll be any versions with two 6-pin power connectors. They could be great value for overclocking.
  • bustapr
    I wonder, how exactly does overclocking work with these cards? Wouldnt it just be varying its fan speeds whenever it hits a certain temperature and sends clockspeeds all over the place?
  • AMD Radeon
    i am waiting for a price cut for R9 series

    the previous version, 7870 GHz edition and 7870 XT is now so cheap
  • tomfreak
    I will not be surprise they gonna release a R9-260X (R9 version of 260X) that is a rebrand of 7850. A curacao chip with a broken CU has to go somewhere.....
  • witcherx
    why not radeon 7850 2gb?