ASUS Radeon R9 270 DirectCU II OC Review

Published by Christian Ney on 27.11.13
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Today, we have a chance to check out the new ASUS Radeon R9 270 DC2OC graphics cards that is a part of ASUS' Radeon R9 line-up and features fully custom design, on both the PCB and the cooler. ASUS decided to use its own DirectCU II cooler that we had a chance to see on some ASUS graphics cards earlier. With a slight factory overclock and full custom design, we definitely wanted to see how it will perform against its big sister the Radeon R9 270X DirectCU II OC and the now retired Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II Top V2.

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ASUS R9 270 DC2OC is based on a completely custom design and the PCB behind the DirectCU II cooler is completely different from the ones we had a chance to see on the R9 270X, HD 7870 or the HD 7790 from ASUS and even features a slight factory overclock. The DirectCU II cooler on top of the custom PCB is a bit different that what we are used to see when we talk about ASUS' DirectCU II coolers as this is a small size version, something similar to what we saw back on the ASUS HD 7790.

Based on the AMD 28nm Pitcairn GPU, the R9 270 is a bit different than the HD 7850 which actually used a cutdown version of the HD 7870 GPU, while R9 270 uses the same GPU found on the R9 270X, just with slightly lower clocks.

Since it is the DirectCU II OC version of the ASUS Radeon R9 270 series, the card features a slight factory overclock of 50 MHz which takes the GPU Boost clock up to 975MHz. Although the factory overclock is a mere 50MHz, the ASUS  DirectCU II OC is still the fastest and highest clocked Radeon R9 270 on the market, considering that Gigabyte's R9 270 OC , HIS' R9 270 IceQ X  and MSI's R9 270 Gaming share the same clock, link.

Although the R9 270 has the PowerTune Boost functionality we simply did not see it in action during our testing. This means that the ASUS R9 270 DC2OC actually has a core base clock of 950 MHz and a boost clock of 975 MHz. During our testing, the card was always running at full speed of 975 MHz under load, and it did not apparently need to reduce its GPU clock speed. The downclock was only triggered in FurMark since the PowerTune Boost is power based and the graphics card goes above its TDP limit in Furmark. In this case, after launching FurMark the GPU goes directly down to 950 MHz/1.175V from 975 MHz/1.213V. FurMark is usually the best tool to show the performance of the graphics card in worst case scenarios, although it is highly unlikely that you will see it during gaming or any other scenario.


Radeon R9 270X ASUS R9 270 DC2OC Radeon R9 270 Radeon HD 7870
Chip Pitcairn XTL
Curacao XT
Pitcairn XT
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2.80 billion 2.80 billion 2.80 billion 2.80 billion
GPU clock 1'050 MHz 975 MHz 925 MHz 1'000 MHz
Memory GDDR5 2'048 MB 2'048 MB 2'048 MB 2'048 MB
Memory clock 1'400 (5'600) MHz 1'400 (5'600) MHz 1'400 (5'600) MHz 1'200 (4'800) MHz
Memory interface 256 Bit 256 Bit 256 Bit 256 Bit
Memory bandwidth 179.2 GB/s 179.2 GB/s 179.2 GB/s 153.6 GB/s
Shader Cores 1'280 1'280 1'280 1'280
TMUs 80 80 80 80
ROPs 32 32 32 32
TDP 180 Watt xxx Watt 150 Watt 190 Watt
PCB Type Reference Design Custom Design Reference Design Reference Design
Lenght (PCB - Total) xx.x - xx.x cm 20.8 - 22.9 cm xx.x - xx.x cm xx.x - xx.x cm
Height (PCB - Total) 11.1 - 11.1 cm 11.1 - 12.4 cm 11.1 - 11.1 cm 11.1 - 11.1 cm
Slots 2 2 2 2
Cooler AMD Reference DirectCU II AMD Reference AMD Reference
Launch Price $199 $XXX $179 $350

Page 1 - Presentation / Specifications
Page 2 - The card
Page 3 - Photo Gallery / Delivery
Page 4 - In-Game Performance
Page 5 - Temperatures / Noise levels
Page 6 - Performance/Price & Performance/Watt
Page 7 - Conclusion

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