This MSI R9 270X 2GB HAWK is a card that I've wanted to test since the R9 270X launched. We've actually been sitting on the cards for weeks because when we went to test it, we went into MSI Afterburner only to find that the ability to adjust voltages wasn't available. While not always a big problem for everyone, the bottom line is: the HAWK series of cards, like the Lightning series, are all about overclocking.
One of the bigger features of these two series is that they added an extended range of options when it comes to adjusting voltages. So to not be able to adjust the voltages on the card seemed almost pointless. We emailed MSI and they said a newer version of MSI Afterburner was coming that would open up these features, but it wasn't yet available. So we shelved the card for the mean time and worked through what felt like a 100 different video cards while we waited for an updated version of MSI Afterburner to come out.
When we finally got ourselves a new version of the software, we installed it alongside our MSI R9 270X 2GB HAWK for the second time. Once we got into Windows, we found ourselves greeted with our lovely voltage adjustment options. Woohoo!
So with all that working, it was time to see just what we could get out of the new MSI R9 270X 2GB HAWK. Before we show you just what we managed to achieve, we've got to do a few other things; the first thing being a look at the package.
Looking at the front of the box, you can see the MSI logo in the top left corner and a clear indication that we're dealing with a HAWK series card. You can see in the top right corner that the exact model we're dealing with is the Radeon R9 270X. If we open up the box, you can see the top flap gives us an absolute wealth of information. We've got: a run down on the Dual BIOS switch that offers a mode for LN2 overclockers, the Military Class 4 components that bring with it the Super Ferrite Choke, Highly Conductive Capacitors, and Dark Solid Capacitors. Finally, the main highlight is the OC KITS, which brings with it the Voltage Check Points and Triple Overvoltage via GPU, Memory, and VDDC.
If we head to the bottom half of the box, you can see the Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler is the highlight here with its Dust Removal Technology, Dual 10CM fans, nickel-plated copper base, and SuperPipe Technology. Turning the box over, you can see we've got features that are more related to the GPU itself along with the minimum system requirements.
Moving away from the outside of the box and onto the inside, you can see we've got a quick user guide, manual, and driver CD across the top. We've also got two dual Molex to 6-Pin PCIe power connectors, DVI to VGA connector, and the three cables required to use the V-Check Points on the card. We'll take a closer look at those when we look at the card itself in just a moment.