AMD R9 270X Review
When looking at the performance of any graphics card you always have to take into account the price of it. After all, none of us would expect a £100 GPU to perform as well as a £800 one. For a long while it was the case that £200 got you into the game, and £300 had you maximising the settings and spending your days grinning.
Recently graphics cards have had a major price hike, with £300 now being the middle ground and, amazingly, £200 now considered low to midrange. The R9 270X has a SRP of £179, so counts as a good value option.
It proves to be exactly that. Our testing is always done at the maximum possible settings to ensure that we have consistent results even when reviewing the most powerful setups. This does, for cards such as the 270X, lead to scores which appear to be too poor to be worth gaming with. However, dollops of anti-aliasing and high shadow quality can make an extreme difference to the performance and so with some careful choices in the settings menus there is a smooth gaming experience to be had from the R9 270X.
There is a lot of debate about what exactly lies beneath the cooler and AMD are understandably reticent to confess. Largely because no company wants to let on that they have merely rebranded an existing product. It's Apple's business model after all. Is it the Curacao XT or the Tahiti LE? Who knows. From looking at our graphs the R9 270X nearly perfectly matches the performance of the HD7870 either way, and so you can be sure that this is right in the performance/price sweet spot.
You can get a lot of GPU power for your money these days, even with the entire range from both manufacturers having a price-hike, and the R9 270X is no exception. Not quite as good as a GTX760 but slightly cheaper, you're almost getting exactly what you pay for. If you're a gamer on a budget you could certainly do worse than check out the 270X as, with some careful settings choices, it's capable of running all but the most demanding titles in a smooth manner. For that reason we will award it our OC3D Gamers Choice.
Now enough of these rehashed old models, AMD. Bring on the all new Hawaii based R9 290X.