AMD launched the Radeon R7 370 in June. At the time, it was targeting its competition from Nvidia. The GeForce GTX 750 Ti was never a value-oriented offering, and AMD must have believed it could nab a piece of that ~$150 segment without much effort. While it certainly outpaces the GTX 750 Ti by a significant margin, I don’t think AMD anticipated just how strong Nvidia’s newer card for that price point would be. The GTX 950 manages to best XFX’s R7 370 Black Edition in our entire benchmark suite with the exception of one overclocked result.
This is not to say the Radeon R7 370 is bad. It's simply a victim of circumstance. Had Nvidia’s GTX 750 Ti successor been delayed, the Pitcairn-based board would have been a clear winner. But AMD's competition came out swinging with an aluminum bat and nailed a home run.
Benchmark scores aside, XFX’s card does offer a few notable benefits. There's the cooling solution, first. Despite overclocking the GPU and memory to their maximums, we recorded temperatures quite a bit lower than other cards in the same price range. Before we started overclocking, the core never even hit 60 degrees.
That cooling comes at a price, though. In this case, you're going to suffer through more fan noise under load. The fans don’t stop spinning unless you turn your PC off or put it into hibernation. As a result, the card is never quite silent. It’s increasingly common for modern graphics cards to spin their fans all the way down under low load, yielding zero noise. Hit the XFX board with a taxing game, though, and you'll hear one of the loudest graphics cards I've tested in recent memory. It made so much noise that the fans overpowered the music I was listening to during my benchmark session.
It wasn’t long ago that you had to spend more than $200 to get the level of performance this card delivers for $170. The problem is that I can’t recommend it for the price because there are faster options for less money.
Kevin Carbotte is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware, covering Graphics.