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Razorsedge877

What is your opinion on a XFX R9 270x videocard

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I currently have an AMD A10 Processor with a Sapphire HD 7700 Video card that is 1gb. My motherboard is just a piece of I guess junk MSI board If that's even the correct brand. Last year I talked into buying the HD 7700 card from a computer builder. It was a mistake I'm not happy with it. My A10 has a built in card and I swear it seemed equal or maybe a lil better. I'm looking to buy a new video card. The local best buy has a XFX R9 270X 2GB Model CBDC for the same price I could buy it on Newegg. Sorry I don't know how to post links yet. Am I wasting my money or is this a decent buy? Will a 2 GB be enough or should I hold out and buy a 3GB card which will of course be better but I'm not trying to sink a ton of money in my computer unless of course it will be a waste only having 2 GB. What do you think of XFX in general? I'm not really trying to start an AMD intel or NVidia flame war my understanding is if you pair up an AMD Pc with a Radeon video card you get a possible Boost. I'm far from a tech head I'm just trying to get a lil advice.

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I generally think the 270x is great value. It might not be enough to run an extensive mod list with a performance heavy enb though, but this depends on your screen resolution.

For the best 270x you probably have to spend some time reading reviews. I would look for noise levels (they are never absolute, but you can see find out if the xfx is louder then the msi) and temperatures. Essentially compare which cooler gets you the best temps at the lowest noise. Techpowerup, techreport, tomshardware, anandtech, guru3d are some important review sites but there are a lot more. Also the quality of components is noteworthy. MSI seems a very good choice for a 270x. As far as I know the 270x is not much faster then a 7700 series card though but I haven't read a lot about those cards as I'm going for a performance option (290).

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Do not EVER buy XFX cards. I dare you.

I visit litecoin forums and there's this finnish programmer and overclocker who digs in BIOSes and stuff, and based on his recent posts, XFX cards are horrible garbage mixture of as cheap as possible mismatched components and utterly messed up BIOSes. He only talked about 79xx and R9 280x/290(x) cards, but I have no reason not to believe every product line is like that.

You will be much better off with basically any other brand. Let me dig up that post of his. I guess you can apply it somewhat universally:

280X cards best to worst:

 

ASUS all models (no variations in hardware, complies with AMD specifications)

HITECH (HIS) all models (no variations in hardware, complies with AMD specifications)

 

Gigabyte/MSI/Sapphire = Design and quality relatively ok, however highly variable hardware configuration (VRM).

 

TUL (Club3D, PowerColor, VTX3D) = Highly variable hardware configuration.

 

XFX = Absolute rubbish. Built from random parts, HIGHLY variable configuration even within the same model numbers. Might or might not work as expected. Good enough for gaming use but not for mining. It's like comparing a Lada to a BMW, both are cars but thats their only thing in common.

Keep in mind this was posted with cryptocurrencies mining in mind, so in the end it's not that bad. Just avoid XFX!!

MSI seems to make ok cards as well.

Basically you want something with non-horrible cooler (you'd have to read some reviews to get an idea about this, which might take time... usually there's plenty of good reviews on Techpowerup or Guru3d, if you feel like it), because it will be pushed hard while gaming, and those fans will spin.

 

Now, R9 270x is rebranded slightly faster 7870.

Let's compare some basic attributes.

I have no idea which 7700 you have, there are few versions of that GPU: 7730 (that's some super lowend crap), 7750, 7770 GHz edition, and 7790.

 

When describing a card, there are numerous important parameters, but for the purpose of this post, I will point out what I think is the most important.

We have:

1) GPU and memory clock speeds

2) something called "config core" on Wikipedia, which basically describes some key attributes (I don't really understand this stuff at this level, just playing smart). It's written in colon-separated numbers, and it means Unified Shaders : Texture Mapping Units : Render Output Units

3) bus width, which describes how fast can data be transferred

 

Let's make it simple. From left to right: core speed (boost speed) - memory speed - core config - bus width

7730       800       - 1125 -  384:24:16 - 128bit
7750       800/900   - 1125 -  512:32:16 - 128bit     (speed dependant on memory type, DDR3 vs GDDR5)
7770 GHz  1000       - 1125 -  640:40:16 - 128bit
7790      1000       - 1500 -  896:56:16 - 128bit
R9 270x   1000(1050) - 1400 - 1280:80:32 - 256bit     (effective memory speed is 5600)

 

Quite some difference, eh?

 

I hope I didn't overwhelm you too much :P

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As far as AMD cards go, I'd never get anything else than a Sapphire, MSI or ASUS. Also, if the R9 280X isn't much more expensive where you live, I'd recommend spending a little extra and grab that instead because it's somewhat more future proof.

 

I also agree with Octopuss' assessment on XFX cards, the way I see it, a carved-out tupperware with a generic 12V fan would do a better job than their cooling system. The custom PC building store I sometimes work at stopped importing those altogether because they've had too many customers complaining about the things overheating and needing to be underclocked to work properly.

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@Octopuss:

Yes for the 280x the Asus Top is the clear winner. Problem is, this really is card specific, on the 290x the DCU II is insufficient and the VRM reaches over 110°.

 

Powercolor is known for using quality components lately (using a lot of hynix ram and not so cheap capacitors on their VRM) I'd check them out as well.

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Thanks a lot for the discussion you guys are having and the info I am getting form it. I definitely am not getting the 270x and am going to at least get the 280x. Any extra info you guys have is much appreciated. I am doing the transfer from console to computer gaming and have a ton to learn about specs and everything that goes along with it. Its just scary reading reviews because I know there are people out there who do actual reviews and there are people out there who just buy components because they have a certain name slapped on them. Now I have list of reviewers to go by. And I have to admit I am a lil worried about the heat. Between that and my surround sound my entertainment area gets pretty warm in the summer. How important is a good motherboard compared to a good video card. Mine is just a piece of crap MSI but does have a 3.0pci slot m(if that's the correct term going from memory). Am I going totally backwards getting a good video card first or am I ok. Considering I'm a single father who had my child full time its tough to just drop a lot of money at once on a good gaming computer even though that's what I would rather do. I wish I had a better understanding of balance between future proofing and price if that makes sense.

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If you want 280x, by all means, get Asus. Specifically, the lower clocked version. It might cost a little more than the others, but it's worth every penny (or cent, depending where are you from) of it. There's no other discussion. Just go get that.

 

As for the othe components, motherboard is important, but it depends on several factors, like what features you want it to have, and if you want to overclock. Oh and how upgradable you want it to be.

I can recommend stuff from Gigabyte and Asus. They make decent stuff. But it depends if you want the PC to be AMD or Intel based. I don't want to start a war, but I recommend Intel myself. Probably Ivy Bridge based (that means socket 1155 CPUs), because it's already the previous generation and a bit cheaper. I could look around for something that has ok specs for regular gaming purpose. There is crap ton of models with different features and it's easy to get lost and either buy something useless or too expensive.

 

If you go with what I said, then the best choice of CPU would probably be Ivy Bridge Core i5 3570 (non-K, so pretty much not overclockable, but that should not be a problem).

Memory, DDR3, basically anything rated at either 1600 or 1866MHz (memory is not too expensive these days I believe, unless another factory caught fire). 8GB (2x4) is what you will ever need.

 

Single father? That's unusual :)

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