In this review we take a peek at the MSI Radeon R9-270X HAWK. Armed with a customized PCB and their TwinFrozr model IV based coolers they factory overclocked the product and will try to get you as much value for money as they can. It is a beastly looking card alright. Follow us into this review where we'll look at temperatures, noise, performance, Frame latency and we'll even give Ultra High Definition gaming a go with the hottest game titles on the globe.
Now before we begin with the new graphics cards the first thing that you guys will need to get used to is the new naming schema. AMD ended with the Radeon HD 7000 and 8000 series graphics card in 2013. Logic dictates that AMD would have continued with a series 9000. But hey now, we already have had the Radeon 9000 series many years ago (2003), oh and who doesn't remember the Radeon 9800 Pro right? As such it was time to bring in a new naming schema, a bit more in line with AMD's APUs. R9 will be high-end and R7 will be mainstream and inevitably R5 being entry level. After that you'll notice products being tagged as 250, 260X, 270X, 280X and the coolest two of them all the Radeon R9 290 and R290X, (which have yet to be released). Though almost all of these are all new model graphics cards, most of them are respin products based of the Radeon HD 7000 series with a number of improvements. The respin products will get a new PCB, cooling, clock frequencies and much like NVIDIA boost, power, voltage, fan and load limiters. In the ling run there are three products in the lineup that come with a new GPU. For example The R7 260X and then of course R9 290 / 290X will be Hawaii GPU based. The cards with new silicon come with a truckload of new features like integrated DSPs offering TrueAudio technology. The rest (270X/280X) will keep the older specs. I agree that is a little confusing, but we'll explain it all over the next pages.
MSI releases their Radeon R9-270X HAWK series, a factory overclocked solution with room for even higher tweaks. The graphics card PCB utilizes an improved VRM design. The HAWK edition also comes with the V-Check points that allow voltage measurement points for enthusiasts wanting accurate voltage readings via multi-meter. The graphics card will receive power from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors, as is the norm with other AMD R9-270X graphics cards.
The cooler being used this time around is the all new TwinFrozr 4 with yellow tones. As mentioned the card comes factory overclocked, as the GPU core is running at 1150 MHz whereas the memory is clocked at reference frequencies. Combine that with all your favorite games and you'll notice that today's offering is solid in many ways.
Head over to the next page where we'll startup a photo-shoot first.
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