TweakTown

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review

It's been a while since we've seen anything from PowerColor, but today we check out the PCS+ based R9 270X. Let's dive in and check it out now.

@ShawnBakerTW
Shawn Baker
Published Fri, Jan 10 2014 9:00 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: PowerColor

Introduction and Package

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

We start off 2014 the same way we finished off 2013: Working our way through the massive number of video cards that we've received since the launch of the R series from AMD. Not only has AMD attacked the new series with a vengeance, but so have partners. We've seen partners offer us so many variations of the models since launch.

Today, we're looking at a card from PowerColor, a company we haven't seen anything from in a while. The particular R9 270X 2GB we're looking at today comes in under the popular PCS+ name, which has impressed us in the past. This is the first time we've seen a card from PowerColor under this label based on the new R series from AMD.

The R9 270X 2GB has been a model that has impressed us a lot since launch. We've said many times that AMD has done a fantastic job with the new R series. They have offered us not only great performance, but also a fantastic price point. Starting at just over $200, the R9 270X 2GB is a great model for many people.

Today, we need to find out if the PowerColor variation is one worth considering. So, with that all said and done, let's get into the package of the card before we get into the fun stuff.

Package

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 03 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Taking a look at the box, you can see that the front of it looks very sheik. It's fairly simple, but gives us all of the main information that you'd expect to see. It includes the brand, model, and a large focus on the fact that we're dealing with a PCS+ based model. Across the bottom of the box, you can see some of the main features, which include 2GB GDDR5, along with AMD Eyefinity, and 4K Support. We can also see that the bottom of the box has a large focus on the PCS+ cooler that is used on the card, along with mention of the Digital PWM, Ferrite Conducting Power, and Multi Phase Power Design. The top half of the box covers specifics that are more related to the GPU.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 05 | TweakTown.com

There's not much at all to be seen upon diving into the box. Apart from the Driver CD and Manual, the only other piece that is included with the card is a DVI to VGA connector. This is a particularly small bundle, with no power convertors included. With that said, we're not so sure why most companies bother these days, as power supplies that offer 6 and 8 Pin PCIe power connectors have been around for years now.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Taking a look at the card, you can see we've got a nice looking cooler that manages to take up pretty much the entire PCB. We've got a dual fan setup, with a massive heat sink in the back ground. You can see a number of copper heat pipes that help draw the heat away from the GPUs. The cooler looks strong, but until we get our temperature numbers, we really don't know for sure just how good it is.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 07 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Moving away from the front of the card, and taking the time to look at the other areas, you can see that power comes in the form of two 6-Pin PCIe power connectors. Staying across the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see we've got a single CrossFire connector, in the event that you want to run two of these cards together.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Before heading to the I/O side of things, we quickly flip over the card to see the Turbo Timer slot. The add-on for select PowerColor cards works the same way a Turbo Timer on a car works, by keeping the engine running, giving the chance for the Turbo to spool down. Once you turn your computer off, the fan on the card continues to run to cool the card down. It's not something we'd really recommend people bother with though. It's extremely gimmicky.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Finishing up our look at the card, we head on over to the I/O side of things. Here, we've got a fairly standard setup, with two Dual-Link DVI ports being offered; one being DVI-D and the other DVI-I. Along with those, we've got a HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off, along with some vents to help push some of the hot air straight out of the back of the case.

Specifications

Being a PCS+ card means that we've not only got an updated cooler, but also an overclock. Out of the box, a reference R9 270X 2GB will bring a 1050MHz core clock with it, while the 2GB of GDDR5 will come in at 5600MHz QDR.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 01 | TweakTown.com

Looking above, you can see that PowerColor has chosen to give the core a slight boost, moving it up to 1100MHz. As for the 2GB of GDDR5, while most companies choose to leave it alone, PowerColor has bumped that slightly to 5700MHz QDR.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 99 | TweakTown.com

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

As usual, we've got a bunch of cards in our graphs today that sit alongside the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB. On the AMD side of things, we've got the HIS R9 270 IceQ X2 2GB, reference R9 270X 2GB, ASUS R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB, VisionTek R9 280X 3GB, along with the reference R9 290 4GB, and R9 290X 4GB in Uber Mode to round things off. Along with all those AMD offerings, we've also got the NVIDIA GTX 770 2GB.

Before we get into the performance side of things today, it's worth quickly noting that the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is on the latest 13.12 WHQL driver. This is the first WHQL driver that the new R series based video cards have seen.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice, and smooth, gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS, making sure that you can continue to aim easily, or turn the corner with no drama.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better, and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it, you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D, you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious, and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of this, we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer, more intensive games with benchmarks come to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on, and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance, 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders, and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 20 | TweakTown.com

As you'd expect, you can see our PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB performs slightly above the reference clocked card; thanks to the overclock on offer. It looks like the new driver really makes no difference in this case.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Fire Strike performance on the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is good, and you can see we're ahead of the ASUS offering here, which is actually overclocked slightly higher. There's not a huge difference, but there is a slight increase at both resolutions.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

This new benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential, in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode, emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend, and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 22 | TweakTown.com

You can see a slight increase over the reference R9 270X 2GB, as you'd expect. We're not sitting all that far behind the slightly overclocked ASUS at both resolutions. Let's get into some games though, to see just what kind of performance we're able to get.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at this setting; if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 23 | TweakTown.com

PSO 2 performance looks good, and it's obvious that the new driver has given a slight bump in performance here, due to the fact that our PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is out performing the ASUS offering, which comes in at a slightly higher clock.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game: "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 24 | TweakTown.com

Lost Planet 2 performance is a little all over the place when compared to the other R9 270X 2GB cards here. You can see at the lowest resolution, the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB comes out ahead against the other two, while the higher resolutions see it fall more in line with the reference clocked model.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay, and confront his former mentor: Tom Sheldon.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Just Cause 2 numbers are great across the board, and you can see that our PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is pretty much in line with the slightly higher clocked ASUS offering. The most important piece of information though, is the fact that we've got playable FPS at all resolutions, including the higher 2560 x 1600 option.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012, players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas, and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Just like with Just Cause 2, the F1 2012 numbers look great. We've got playable FPS at all resolutions, and you can again see that the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB performs almost in line with the slightly higher overclocked ASUS version.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 27 | TweakTown.com

While we see that Metro: Last Light performance on the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is almost identical to the ASUS R9 270X 2GB option, the numbers are still too low to be playable, with the lowest resolution offering just 49 FPS.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds, and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 28 | TweakTown.com

DiRT Showdown sees the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB again score quite similar to the slightly higher clocked ASUS offering. Overall, we can see some great FPS at both 1920 x 1200, and 1680 x 1050. Moving to 2560 x 1600 though, you can see that the 55 FPS number falls just a little short of that 60 FPS number we're always-on the hunt for.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an arena first-person shooter that is coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced, with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world, while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic, and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 29 | TweakTown.com

Just like with Metro: Last Light, we can see that performance isn't where we need it to be at any resolution, with just 34 FPS being seen at the lowest resolution.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability, and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Like we saw under DiRT Showdown, the numbers at both 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050 look great. Moving to 2560 x 1600 though, you can see the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB, or just the R9 270X 2GB on a whole, isn't able to give us the FPS we need. It's not until we move to the R9 280X 3GB that we're able to crack the 60 FPS mark.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which players move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective, action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles, and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 31 | TweakTown.com

Sleeping Dogs is quite intensive, but you can see at all resolutions, the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB manages to put out some fantastic FPS. A very strong 71 FPS can be seen at 2560 x 1600. You can see little difference between the PowerColor and ASUS offerings, with the latter being overclocked slightly higher.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 32 | TweakTown.com

Hitman: Absolution numbers look great at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. Moving to the higher 2560 x 1600 resolution though, we can see that while the minimum FPS is strong at 42 FPS, the average at 51 FPS is just a little too low for us. Again, it's not until we move to the R9 280X 3GB that we can see playable numbers at the higher resolution.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 33 | TweakTown.com

Looking at Tomb Raider, you can see we're shy of that 60 FPS number we want at 1680 x 1050. However, because we've got a minimum in the 40 FPS range, and the average is in the upper half of the 50 FPS range, we'd say this is playable. Moving to 1920 x 1200 though, while the minimum is in the 30's, the average of 48 FPS is just too low. Of course, that means 2560 x 1600 isn't an option.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game, and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it was developed by Irrational Games, and released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 34 | TweakTown.com

Here, the 1680 x 1050 number on the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB sits in between the reference, and ASUS option; the latter of which is also the only playable resolution here. Moving above 1680 x 1050, the average FPS just too low.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Custom 60 Second Run with FRAPS

Developer Homepage: http://dice.se/

Product Homepage: https://www.battlefield.com/games/battlefield-4

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE, and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same; composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it. The lower right includes a compact ammo counter, and health meter. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 35 | TweakTown.com

Compared to the ASUS offering, we can see that the Battlefield 4 numbers for the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB have dropped off a decent chunk, with 1680 x 1050 being the only playable resolution. We're not sure if it's the new driver, or just the latest patch from EA. You can never tell with the Battlefield Series, but we'd be leaning more towards this being a problem on the game's side, rather than the driver.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here, we see video cards go from playable FPS, to an unplayable FPS, and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 36 | TweakTown.com

With non AA and AF not being an option under Metro: Last Light, it comes as no surprise that after turning on AA and AF, numbers are through the floor.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 37 | TweakTown.com

With AA and AF turned on, we can see that the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB manages to give us a strong 74 FPS at 1920 x 1200. Moving to 2560 x 1600 though, you can see the 46 FPS average is just too low.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 38 | TweakTown.com

Just like Metro: Last Light, as soon as we turn on AA and AF, Sleeping Dogs just doesn't get numbers anywhere near where they need to be.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run of 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 50 | TweakTown.com

Sitting in the bottom half of the pack, the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB manages to offer some good temperature numbers, with the idle looking great at just 30c.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter, we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that, we get a bit more serious, and place the device two cm away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode), and in load (3D mode).

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 51 | TweakTown.com

When it comes to noise levels, you can see we're in the top half of the pack. The card is by no means loud, but it does sit higher than some of the other R9 cards we've looked at. What's really impressive though, is the whisper quite idle level that also managed to give us the really strong idle temperature we saw on the last page.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01, or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated video cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in some particular tests, the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM, and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 Watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

PowerColor Radeon R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Video Card Review 52 | TweakTown.com

At just a little over 350 Watts, the power draw numbers on the card are very typical. We'd recommend any quality power supply in the 500+ Watts range for a setup like this.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

Coming in at $229.99 at the time of writing, the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to overall pricing. We've got a few cards that are more expensive, including the Devil 9 version of the card from PowerColor, which sits at $239.99. As always, when you start moving above the reference pricing, it's normally all about the cooler.

The PCS+ cooler that PowerColor uses seems to be strong. It puts out some great temperature numbers, albeit at a noise level that sits in the upper half of the graph. With that said, it's worth noting that while we are grabbing our noise levels, if we see the dB meter read something along the lines of 61 at first, and then finish up at 64.4 dB like it did today, the actual audible difference from 30cms away is not really noticeable. Of course overall though, we have to look at the numbers, and in the end this card does sit in the top half of the graph.

As for the bundle, there's almost nothing to it. With that said though, it is only slightly more sparse than what we normally see. The only thing this package lacks that we see most others include, are one or two Molex to PCIe power convertors. Considering how long PCIe power enabled power supplies have been around for though, we're not sure why companies still continue to include them in the package. The most important part of any package these days is the product itself, and we think PowerColor has done a good job in that regard.

When it comes to the performance side of things, PowerColor hasn't gone crazy with the clocks, but unlike a lot of other companies, they have chosen to increase the speed of the memory, which is nice. We can see that performance is slightly up over the reference card, which is as you'd expect due to the slight increase of the overclock.

When it comes to the Catalyst 13.12 Driver set today, there's clearly nothing in our benchmark line up that causes the driver to jump out in any huge way. Of course, with so many variations of the original 13.11 driver, it doesn't come as a huge surprise that there's not much change. During the course of that driver, we did see some decent changes, which saw big increases come to games like DiRT Showdown, and F1 2012.

If you're looking for a video card that comes in at that low $200 price bracket, then the R9 270X 2GB is a fantastic option. As with so many of the other R series cards, AMD has done a great job of pricing this card against its competition. Getting into specifics on what one to buy though, can be a little harder. PowerColor has put together a strong card here. It has an attractive cooler and while the overclock is not the largest, isn't bad at all; especially with the slight memory increase. And finally, the pricing is right where it needs to be.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles