The OS we use is Windows 8 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows Vista occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
We ran each test a total of 3 times, and reported the average score from all three scores. Benchmark screenshots are of the median result. Anomalous results were discounted and the benchmarks were rerun.
Please note that due to new driver releases with performance improvements, we rebenched every card shown in the results section. The results here will be different than previous reviews due to the performance increases in drivers.
|Motherboards||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|Ram||Gskill TridentX 8GB (2x4GB) 2666Mhz 11-13-13 Dual-Channel Kit|
|CPU Cooler||Custom Liquid Cooling|
|Hard Drives||8x Western Digital RE4 2TB 7200RPM 3Gb/s Hard Drives (Raid 5)|
|SSD||3x Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD|
|GPU||Powercolor Radeon R9-270X Devil
Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card
|GeForce Drivers||331.70 (GTX 760,770, 780, 780 Ti, TITAN and 690)
Catalyst 13.11 Beta 8 (AMD Radeon R9-280X, 290X, 270X)
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meks G1 Illuminated|
Synthetic Benchmarks & Games
We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the R9-270X video card.
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Dirt 3 Showdown|
|Metro Last Light|
|Sniper Elite V2|
Here you can see that the overclock for the Devil card brings it right up almost inline with the GTX 760 and even surpassing it in the lower res performance preset.
In 3DMark Firestrike and extreme the Devil card passes the GTX 760 with some room to spare in both tests.
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.
Heaven shows some nice performance and a single FPS behind the GTX 760 model which is a great value gamer card as well but at a bit higher cost.
Sleeping dogs being an AMD pushed game I was not surprised to see good performance but to see the 270X Devil pulling in just at the heels of the 760 is a very good result.
Even after many years, Metro 2033 is still one of the most demanding DX11 video games available to really push the limits of your system. The Devil again pulls a lead over the 760 here by 2 FPS and actually only two FPS behind the 770.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City is a fun game and utilizes FXAA fully. It is nice to see the full screen anti-aliasing getting picked up by popular titles. Batman AC being a heavily Nvidia based game I knew AMD would not fare as well but the Devil again pulls right past the GTX 760 and even this time right at the heels of the 280X which is honestly a extremely good result and places this cards performance in a much higher price bracket.
Batman Arkham Origins
Batman Arkham Origins once again being an Nvidia based game we were not surprised to see the AMD models pull behind but even as far as this is behind it still averages at a great FPS level at almost 90FPS. This means nice smooth gameplay on the newest Batman title.
Tomb Raider being a heavily AMD based game, I knew AMD cards would have an advantage but the Devil 270X pulls 2.5FPS over the 760 which comes in only a few FPS behind the 770.
Metro Last Light
Here we have Metro Last Light which is a brand new game added to our testing platform as it just came out. If you thought Metro 2033 was stressful you have seen nothing yet. The particles and lighting, as well as the PhysX effects all add up to an amazing looking game that can put a stun even the most powerful system in its tracks. For testing we disabled PhysX to ensure a level playing field since it would put extra load on the Nvidia GPU but not the AMD so we ensured the settings were kept equal. Here the 270X Devil pulls a really good run at the mid 20′s in FPS which comes in 1 FPS behind the 760.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2 is a fun game which, when first released, was quite stressful but still playable on most higher end cards. By now, most cards have surpassed it, the 270X devil pulls an average over 60 FPS and just 0.2FPS away from passing the 70FPS mark. This means that at max settings you can expect nice smooth gameplay.
Dirt 3 Showdown
Dirt 3 Showdown is a visually beautiful game with excellent lighting and overall motion blurring creating a real visual spectacle of a game. The Devil 270X pulls well in excess of 60FPS and almost 10 FPS over the 760, let’s not forget it literally is less than a single FPS below the 280X which once again means this card jumps into another realm in terms of performance.