ASUS R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2 GB Review 14

ASUS R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The ASUS R9 270X DC II TOP is currently available online for $210.
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Very quiet in idle
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Low temperatures
  • Native, full-size HDMI & DisplayPort
  • Noisy during gaming
  • Memory not overclocked
  • No support for AMD TrueAudio
The ASUS R9 270X DC II TOP is a solid addition to the company's graphics card lineup. It comes overclocked out of the box, which gives it a 2% performance advantage over the AMD reference design. Not really much, but better than nothing, it makes the card 1% faster than the HD 7950 and 3% slower than the GTX 660 Ti. The more expensive GTX 760 ends up 9% faster. It would have been nice of ASUS to also include a memory overclock to help with performance, and while the memory chips are not amazing overclockers, they could certainly handle a few MHz extra.
We've seen the Direct CU thermal solution on many cards before, and it does a good job at keeping the card cool. Temperatures were excellent in both idle and load. Idle fan noise was outstanding, too, making the card almost inaudible, which will be useful for productivity or media playback systems. The ASUS card ends up a bit noisier than it should be during gaming, though. The main reason is their decision to focus on temperatures instead of providing a balance between noise and temperatures. We then see noise levels similar to the GTX Titan and GTX 780 Ti, cards that are much faster than a R9 270X, during gaming. ASUS boldly put "20% cooler" on their package, but also "3X" quieter - a measurement they might have taken in idle.
With a price of $210, the card is just $10 more expensive than the cheapest R9 270X on the market. We recently reviewed a R9 270X from HIS which comes overclocked out of the box, with a higher overclock and without a price increase, so it could be an option if you absolutely have to save as much money as possible. Personally, just the reduced idle noise justifies the $10 to me.
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