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Diamond Boost Radeon R9 270X Review

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Diamond Boost Radeon R9 270X Conclusion:

After putting Diamond's Boost Edition R9 270X through its paces, it hits many of the marks it should regarding performance at 1920x1080. It's still got a way to go performance wise to get to GTX 760 levels, but does stay above 35 FPS in all but the Metro: Last Light test, where knocking the eye candy down a bit would get to the over 30 FPS threshold. At 2560x1440 the Diamond Boost R9 270X struggles in most games to get above 30 FPS, but again taking the time to tweak the visual quality back down will get you there in most games. The higher pixel count and availability of AMD's Mantle API lets you back off on any AA settings and enable Mantle instead of DX11 in games that support the API to take that load off the GPU.

Overclocking will help you get that last bit of performance out of the card. This Diamond Boost R9 270X has a good bit of additional overclocking margin despite the lack of voltage control. The core clock speed could reach 1190MHz, or 140MHz higher than the default clock speed on the core. The memory was a bit more giving and I was able to add another 200MHz to the 1400MHz base clock speed. Clocked together I saw a nice increase in Futuremark's 3DMark Fire Strike test of 827 points. Not too shabby for a few minutes time.

Where this card really showed it chops was in the power consumption and cooling tests. In both of these tests the Diamond Boost R9 270X cleaned house in load temperatures and power consumption, showing that the lower voltage applied and lack of voltage control keeps the temperatures lower than competing cards by a good margin. The five heat pipe-based design coupled with the unique fan design really does work when put to the test. Noise is another key element of how well the fans work and if an optimized design is used. Running the fans as controlled by the card's BIOS shows that at idle and under load I cannot hear the fans while under load. Bumping the fan speed to 100% gets you a noticeable increase in both noise and airflow. By noticeable I mean that I can hear the fans when spooled up to 100%.

With the purchase of this card from Diamond, it is supporting the Never Settle Space Edition bundle of games with the quantity of games dictated by the reward level of the card. Priced at $205, the Diamond Boost R9 270X is comparable in price with some of the manufacturers' non-stock offerings. That being said, there are deals available right now that put the price on some custom R9 270X designs as low as $149. Diamond has put together a card that is able to play the latest games without breaking the bank.

 

Pros:

  • Cooling performance
  • Power consumption
  • 1920x1080 performance
  • Low noise
  • Overclocking
  • Never Settle Bundle

 

Cons:

  • No voltage control
  • Pricing
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