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VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC Video Card Review

VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC Video Card Review

VisionTek has a mid-range Radeon R9 270X 2GB video card on its hands, priced at under $200. Here's Anthony's full review of it.

@anthony256
Anthony Garreffa
Published Wed, Apr 15 2015 9:10 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT
Rating: 72%Manufacturer: VisionTek

Introduction, Quick Specs and Availability & Price

VisionTek isn't the first name that will pop into your head when you think of video cards, but they have been around for what feels like forever now. The company is based in the United States with US-based technical support, something you don't see very often these days.

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VIEW GALLERY - 46 IMAGES

The company makes RAM, VGA cards, SSDs, cables and accessories as well as upgrades for Macs and so much more. When it comes to VGA cards, VisionTek has products ranging from the lower-end Radeon R5 340 for $59.99, right up to the insane CryoVenom R9 295X2, which has some insane cooling system keeping it cool.

There are plenty of products in between, with some Radeon R9 290X cards that feature a similar styled cooler to what we have here today with the R9 270X 2GB. Because I've only been the VGA Editor for a few months now here at TweakTown, this is the first product we've had from VisionTek. We hope to tighten that relationship as we shift closer to the Radeon 300 series that will launch in the coming months.

Quick Specs

VisionTek has a little bit of an increase on the Core and Boost Clocks on the Radeon R9 270X, with the reference GPU from AMD featuring a 1000MHz Core Clock and 1050MHz on Boost. VisionTek boosts things up a little, offering 1030MHz on the Core (up 30MHz) and 1080MHz on Boost (again, up 30MHz). Not too much, but every little bit counts, right?

Availability & Price

VisionTek sell their products on their own website, but you can always grab it from Amazon. At the time of writing, VisionTek lists it as $198.99 on their own website, while you can grab it from Amazon for $196.99. Not too bad, but let's see if it can justify its price when we get to the performance, especially when it's up against the GeForce GTX 960 from NVIDIA at $199.

Packaging, Detailed Look, Card Specifications & Cooling Setup

The Packaging

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VisionTek has some great space theme look on the front of the box, with a beautiful purple/red/blue scheme on the box. We can see in the bottom left that VisionTek is offering lifetime warranty on the Radeon R9 270X, as well as "intelligent overclocking". The major part of the front of the box is US-based technical support.

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On the back of the box, we find out that we can Crossfire this bad boy. Even with a multi-GPU setup using two of these VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB cards in Crossfire, it won't chew up much power thanks to having AMD's ZeroCore Power technology, which drops the unused card in Crossfire into power down mode. We have 4K gaming support, but we'll have to see how performance goes later in the review.

Detailed Look

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Starting at the front of the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB, we have a dual-fan cooling setup. We can see a large heat pipe teasing us at the top of the card, too.

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There's not much going on around back, but we do see two large heat pipes at the top of the card.

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We have two 6-pin PCIe power connections on the card.

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In this shot, we can see those two rather large heat pipes that are keeping the GCN-based core nice and cool.

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The VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB has one DisplayPort, one HDMI and two DVI outputs.

Card Specifications

VisionTek hasn't strayed too far away from the reference board of the Radeon R9 270X, but we do have 2GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus, and a slight increase on the Core and Boost Clocks. We have 1030MHz on the Core, up from 1000MHz on the reference card. The Boost Clock sits at 1080MHz, up from the 1050MHz found on the reference card.

The card comes with everything that the AMD GraphicsCore Next (GNC) architecture has to offer, so we have Crossfire, HD3D, PowerPlay technology, PowerTune technology, and much more.

Cooling Setup

VisionTek has deployed a dual-fan cooling setup on the Radeon R9 270X, and joining this dual-fan cooling system is a dual heat pipe system that ensures that the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X will not get too hot under any stress you can throw at it.

Testing Method & Test System Configuration

Testing Method

The VisionTek Radeon R9 270X is a mid-range card, which should only be reviewed against other mid-range cards. We will have our benchmark charts filled with other cards, but our final statement on the card will be judging its 1080p performance mostly.

Test System Configuration

We only recently built our new X99-powered system, something you can read about here. As for the detailed specifications, this is what we're running:

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  • CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K processor w/Corsair H110 cooler
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi
  • RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB SanDisk Extreme II
  • Chassis: Lian Li T60 Pit Stop
  • PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
  • Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
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We're running the system at stock CPU speeds, which will provide more of a 'real-world' feel to our benchmarks. Sure, this isn't an i7-5960X at 5GHz, but what person is going to team up an incredibly expensive CPU with a mid-range GPU? Not many.

Our GPU tests are changing, shifting toward more of a real-world feel. However, don't worry, we will be doing some crazy balls-to-the-wall tests that will see serious overclocks, Extreme Edition processors, and much more in the coming months. For the most part, we will be doing more real-world testing by teaming up the right processor with the right GPU in its price category.

Benchmarks - Synthetic (3DMark and Heaven)

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

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3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 1440p

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3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 4K

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Heaven - 1080p

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Heaven - 1440p

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Heaven - 4K

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The first benchmark out of the gate for our VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC is 3DMark and its Fire Strike 1080p benchmark, where the R9 270X loses out to the GTX 960 - not by much, but by enough. The Fire Strike Extreme test at 1440p has the VisionTek card losing out again to the GTX 960, with the same thing to be said for the Fire Strike Ultra.

Unigine's Heaven is just as harsh on any VGA card, with the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC losing out to the GTX 960 by 14FPS at 1080p, which equates to 39%. Moving on up to 1440p, the VisionTek card loses out by 7FPS to the GTX 960, or 32%. At 4K, we have the VisionTek card scores 9FPS versus the 12FPS on the GTX 960, losing by 33%.

Game Benchmarks (1080p)

Battlefield 4

This is one game that we did differently, as it does not feature a built-in benchmarking feature. When it comes to Battlefield 4, there are countless ways you can benchmark it. Some find a spot in the single player campaign which is easily repeatable, and use that. For our testing, we've chosen to use a 64-player online multiplayer server for real-time performance statistics.

We joined a 64-player map and played for five minutes using FRAPS, pulling our minimum/average and maximum FPS. We did this for each test, we run the game for 5 minutes at 1080p/1440p and 4K two times each. One time with Medium settings, and another with a custom Ultra preset (disabling AA). It's time consuming, but it gives us a perfect look into true real-world performance.

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And again, this time with the Ultra preset.

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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DiRT Showdown

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Game Benchmarks (1440p)

Battlefield 4

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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DiRT Showdown

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Game Benchmarks (4K)

Battlefield 4

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Performance Summary

How Does the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC Stack Up?

Even at 1080p, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X OC fails to impress. This is not VisionTek's problem by any means, and it's not really AMD's, either. The Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 960 from NVIDIA is one hell of a GPU, something that AMD is going to need to address with its Radeon 300 series that is due soon.

Performance at 1080p

Starting with Battlefield 4 performance on the Medium detail at 1080p, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC doesn't perform too badly at all, pushing out 99FPS average. The Ultra preset (minus AA) sees the card scoring 70FPS average, which is more than enough performance for anyone at 1080p on a 60Hz display.

GRID Autosport and Metro: Last Light have the card losing to the GTX 960, but the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC beats the GTX 960 in Shadow of Mordor, with 42FPS average compared to 34FPS average. A nice result for AMD's Radeon R9 270X GPU.

In the rest of our testing at 1920x1080, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC loses to the GTX 960 in every other test.

Performance at 1440p

Starting with Battlefield 4 on our Medium preset, the card pushed out a respectable 64FPS average, but lost quite heavily to the GTX 960 with its 101FPS average. Bumping up to the Ultra (minus AA) preset, the R9 270X did even worse, with 48FPS average compared to the GTX 960 with 71FPS.

It loses again in GRID Autosport and Metro: Last Light, but wins again in Shadow of Mordor. Surprisingly, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC has a much smaller gap at 1440p against the GTX 960 than it did in 1080p.

Performance at 4K

The Radeon R9 270X isn't the type of card you'd buy for 4K, but Battlefield 4 on our Medium preset at 3840x2160 performed well, with 34FPS average. Cranking it up to the Ultra preset (again, minus AA), we have 25FPS average, which isn't good enough (in our opinion at least) to run BF4.

When it comes to GRID Autosport and Metro: Last Light, the VisionTek R9 270X 2GB OC loses out to the GTX 960 by a decent margin on the former, but on the latter title, not so much - just over 10%. In Shadow of Mordor, the VisionTek card actually beats the GTX 960 by 10%. Thief, Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite see similar results to the GTX 960, which is actually quite good. We're looking at around 30FPS average at 4K, which is nothing you can complain about.

Overclocking, Power Consumption and Sound Testing

Overclocking

Any of our overclocking on the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC resulted in issues with artifacts beyond around 30-50MHz on the Core, and anything above 50-100MHz on the RAM. When the overclocks were stable, the performance benefits were not that great, resulting in less than 1-2% change.

Overclocking this card isn't something that it was made for, and it already has some slight OC on its clocks as it is. But, it's definitely worth considering - if you wanted to buy this card for the overclock, you might want to steer clear.

Power Consumption

If there's one thing that the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC does right, it's the power consumption. It's the most power efficient card we've tested so far, even when it's compared against the GeForce GTX 960 and its impressive Maxwell architecture.

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Sound Testing

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The VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC isn't the loudest card on our chart so far, but it does make some noise during Battlefield 4. Comparing this to the GTX 960 (which isn't on our chart at the moment - sorry), it is loud - as the GTX 960s make no noise during operation thanks to their super-cool operating temperatures.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC.

What's Hot

1080p Performance: VisionTek has a good card on its hands with the Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC, with some good performance at 1080p. It still loses to the GTX 960 in most of the tests, but AMD fans have a card that performs close to the GTX 960, with slightly less power consumption.

4K 30FPS Average: Most of our games in our benchmark lineup were running at around 30FPS at 4K, which is great for a card of this price.

What's Not

Loud Fans: During our testing, it was a strange thing to hear the fans on the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC turn on and make a decent amount of sound. Coming in off the various GeForce GTX 960s, which make next to no sound or none at all, it is a surprise.

AMD's Radeon 300 Series is Nearly Here: We shouldn't be waiting too much longer to see what AMD has in store for the world with its Radeon 300 series, which makes it hard to recommend what VisionTek has here for us today.

Final Thoughts

If this video card was something I reviewed before NVIDIA launched its Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 960s, I probably would've thought much different about it. But, when looking at all of the benchmark charts and seeing the Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC from VisionTek being slaughtered in nearly every test and in every resolution, it's hard to recommend.

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It's not a bad card, it's a multi-sided issue. I reviewed the card late into its life, NVIDIA has released the super-efficient GTX 960 GPU, and AMD is on the eve of unveiling its new Radeon 300 series of GPUs. This is when things are going to get very interesting for AMD and its AIB partners, but it leaves some of the older cards like the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC out in the dark at this time.

This isn't a problem with VisionTek or AMD, it's just bad timing. If you're in the market for an AMD video card and you are sure you don't want an NVIDIA chip, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC is a good card. It's not a great card by any means, with louder-than-normal fans (again, coming in from some pretty damn power efficient VGA cards), and not-so-great performance.

But, with 4K performance at around 30FPS average and 1080p performance of around 50FPS average, that's something you can't complain about. If you're in the market for an AMD-based GPU and you need something right now, and don't want to wait for the Radeon 300 series, the VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC won't disappoint... it just won't surprise you much, either.

Performance (overclocking, power)80%
Quality (build, design, cooling)70%
General Features (display outputs, etc)70%
Bundle, Packaging & Software70%
Value for Money70%
Overall72%

The Bottom Line: With the GeForce GTX 960 here and the Radeon 300 series right around the corner, this is a hard sell. The VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB OC is not a bad card by any means, it just has a hard spot in the market right now.

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

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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.

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