ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP Video Card Review

Today on our test bench we have the fastest AMD Radeon R9 270X offering from ASUS in the form of the ASUS DirectCU II TOP model. We will compare it to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 to see who reigns supreme at just over the $200 price point. We will compare it to a GeForce GTX 760, and overclock the R9 270X as high as it will go.

Introduction

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is one of the largest and most successful computer hardware manufacturers in the world. A Taiwan-based company, it manufactures a wide variety of computer hardware, including motherboards, video cards, optical drives, notebooks, networking equipment, barebones desktop, and server systems, among many others.

On our test bench today is the ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP video card.

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AMD Radeon R9 270X

The Radeon R9 270X consists of 1,280 streaming processors, 32 ROPs and 80 TMUs and is based upon the 28nm Pitcairn GPU that is a refresh of the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition GPU. The R9 270X’s clock speed is set to run up to 1050MHz with memory set to a 5.6GHz effective rate yielding up to 179GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The default configuration for the memory is 2GB on a 256-bit bus, however, 4GB is optionally supported. The chip carries a 180W TDP which is a 5W increase above the 7870 GHz edition GPU.

ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP comes equipped with a factory GPU clock of up to 1120MHz, a 70MHz increase over stock Radeon R9 270X speeds and features ASUS’ DirectCU II cooling system. It is configured with 2GB GDR5 memory running at a 5.6GHz effective rate which is a 200MHz boost over reference. The cooling system is comprised of three heat pipes that carry heat away from the GPU to an array of aluminum fins that are cooled by a pair of fans. It is sporting one DVI-I, one DVI-D, one HDMI and one DisplayPort 1.2 connector. The card requires two 6 pin PCIe connectors.

The card hails from ASUS’s DirectCU II TOP lineage which means that the card has the highest factory overclock that ASUS produces on the card and the GPUs are carefully selected to have the most overclocking potential. The card is equipped with DIGI+ VRMs with "Super Alloy Power" which claims to provide 30% less power noise, increase efficiency by 15% and improve overall longevity by 2.5 times over reference. Keep in mind that the DirectCU II branded cooling solution differs depending on the ASUS card that you purchase as it is more of a brand description than it is a set specification.

The ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP comes with a 3 year factory warranty and is currently available in etail for $209.99 ($189.99 after $20 MIR) and Prime Shipping. The card is also eligible for 3 free Silver tier AMD Never Settle games.

ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP Images

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The ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP is packaged in a black textured box that features a set of three claw marks that appear to have come from some sort of vicious animal. Luckily, the card was unharmed on the inside of the box. The front of the box also highlights the Radeon R9 270X GPU, 2GB of VRAM, the DirectCU II cooling solution, the TOP Overclocked Edition designation, Super Alloy Power and GPU Tweak. On the back, it goes into further detail with diagrams about each of the items on the front of the box.

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The front of the ASUS Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II TOP features a black metallic fan shroud with a pair of red panels that serves to house the fan and direct airflow away from the GPU. The cooling solution extends past the back of the PCB by about an inch and solution utilizes three heat pipes to pull heat way from the GPU to where it can be cooled by the dual fans. The PCIe power connectors are turned 180 degrees from the standard orientation, thus making it far easier to release the latches to remove the cable.

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On the I/O panel there are four ports. These include one DP port, one DVI-I connector, one DVI-D connector, and one HDMI connector. The power connector is on top of the video card and requires a pair of 6-pin PCI-e power connections. The video card’s measurements are 10.5 inches in Length, 1.5 inches Wide, and 5.5 inches in height.

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