The R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX offers the same great features as its standard-size sibling, in a much smaller form factor.

IMG 0948 1024x682 MSI R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX review

Once thought of as a niche category, the mini-ITX form factor is becoming mainstream. To cater to the rising interest from system builders, vendors like MSI, Gigabyte, Asus and others have launched product lines that target this segment.

Design and hardware

The R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX is a diminutive version of a standard R9 270X, measuring only 170mm in length, which is almost 50mm shorter than AMD’s reference cards. The dual-slot design card features a RADAX fan, which is a hybrid solution that combines axial blades with radial fins.

MSI mentions that the fan can reduce temperatures by up to 30 percent, but in reality, the number is closer to 10 percent, which is still great, considering that one of main issues with mini-ITX cards is effective heat dissipation. The R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX has no such issues.

As for the heatsink, MSI has used the same one it has featured in the mini-ITX variant of the GTX 760, which sits right beneath the RADAX fan. The aluminium heatsink covers most of the PCB, and is connected to a contact plate which is attached to copper heatpipes. MSI’s design also sees a metal plate that covers the back of the PCB, which the vendor says aids in lowering temperatures.

The card comes with an 8-pin power header and a TDP of 180 Watts and a Crossfire connector, which allows system builders to link two cards.

The R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX features a 28nm Pitcairn (Curacao XT) based GPU along with 2 GB GDDR5 video memory which ticks at 5.6 Gbps on a 256-bit wide memory bus interface. The core frequency is at 1,030 MHZ with a boost frequency of 1,080 MHz, which is slightly higher than the 1,050 MHz seen on the reference design. The outputs on the card include a Dual-Link DVI, HDMI, and two Mini-DisplayPort.

Benchmarking

Thanks to the overclocked frequencies, the R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX outdoes other cards in this segment like the GTX 660, GTX 750 Ti, the standard R9 270X and an R7 265.

In benchmarking tools like 3D Mark, the card managed to achieve a score of 5,715. Boosting the clocks to 1,080 MHz allowed us to see a score of 3,215 in the 3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme test, whereas on the core clock we managed to see a score of 2,860.

3D Mark MSI R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX review

Gaming performance of the card is stellar considering it costs under $200, as you can see below from the benchmarks.

game benchmarks MSI R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX review

As for power consumption, the R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX was drawing around 43 W when idle, and around 180 W when running a game like Battlefield 4 full-tilt. Temperature of the card was at 23 – 25⁰ C with no load on the card, and even when gaming, the card did not exceed 70⁰ C. Noise levels were at 33 to 38 Decibels.

If you’re primarily interested in full-HD gaming, the R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX is a great choice as it offers tremendous value for money.

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