PowerColor Devil R9 270X Reviewccokeman - November 14, 2013
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PowerColor Devil R9 270X Conclusion:
Knowing what PowerColor brings to the table with the Devil series cards, it's easy to see it put forth the effort to make sure the design just works. First and foremost it is built to give the enthusiast a long life, all the while delivering great performance for the $239 price point. PowerColor does this by leveraging a custom PCB equipped with its "Platinum Power Kit" 7+1+1 phase digital power delivery solution to make sure the power plane is stable and efficient over the long term. Next, PowerColor adds in a custom three fan, quad heat pipe, dual fin array equipped cooling solution to keep this factory overclocked card from making a trip to the nether world early in its lifespan.
If looks do drive your purchases, then there is no doubt the Devil R9 270X from PowerColor, much like its predecessor the Devil HD 7870 we looked at back in July, is a great looking option for any build that follows a black and red theme. It's one that is ever more popular with offerings from ASUS ROG and MSI's gaming series motherboards. Straight out of the gate the Devil R9 270X is going to deliver better performance than a reference design based on clock speed alone. A base core clock speed of 1150MHz with a boost clock speed of 1180MHz on the Pitcairn-based core is the highest set of base and boost clock speeds I have seen on available R9 270X offerings. Memory speeds on the R9 270X also take a 150MHz jump from the 1250MHz used on the HD 7XXX series Devil HD 7870. By cranking up the speeds from the factory, PowerColor gives the end user a higher level of FPS that at many times borders on what the GTX 760 delivers in game or better.
Stock speed performance is impressive for a $239 custom built card. Unfortunately without any voltage adjustment I feel that the overclocking potential is a little compromised at this point. I was only able to wring another 43MHz out of the core, yet was able to pull an additional 192MHz out of the memory; it was a trade off that still enabled the Devil R9 270X to deliver some excellent improvement in 3DMark scoring. Given the fact that PowerColor put the screws to the Devil R9 270X right out of the box, this outcome was not wholly unexpected.
Looking at the cooling performance delivered by the R9 270X it is out performed by the previous gen build and the comparison R9 270X at stock speeds. The higher core speed can account for some of that, but I feel the fan speed is a bit lower as well to combat any non-existent noise while gaming. The 100% fan speed overclocked cooling results are much improved based on the clock speeds and voltages applied to the comparison cards, but you still get a GPU that when aggressively air cooled delivers temperatures in the mid 50 °C range. Not bad to say the least.
Looking back over my notes on the Devil HD 7870, it looks like the one challenge I had with the card was that I must have gotten a Monday/Friday card. Most of you know what that means, but the HD 7870 had a few loose screws on the shroud that lead to a rattle when the fan speed was ramped up. Running the same tests on this card I was met with a card with no rattles and was pleased to see the noise signature did not change. Three fans are not going to be silent in any way, shape, or form, but PowerColor manages the noise quite well with the design of the cooling solution and fans chosen for the cooling solution.
Overall I have to say the Devil R9 270X is a great performing card at its $239 price point. It offers up support for the latest DirectX API, is factory overclocked with a warranty, and even comes with a great looking and performing game pad so you can show off the Devil inside!
- Great looks
- Good performance
- Low noise
- Non reference build
- Power consumption
- Platinum Power Kit
- Powerup Tuner
- Included gaming pad
- Crossfire support
- Eyefinity Support