AMD Launches Radeon R9 370X on the Sly

While much of the attention today has been focused on the R9 Nano and what that card will mean for AMD, another card was also quietly released. Dubbed the R9 370X, the “new” GPU features our old friend Pitcairn. Like much of AMD’s lineup, the card is a rebrand of the 7870 and R7 270/270X, utilizing Pitcairn XT. This gives the card 1280 shader processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, connected to either 2 or 4GB of GDDR5 over a 256bit bus.

The biggest question remaining about the card is what clocks it will have. The 7870 debuted at 1000mhz while the 270X bumped that up to 1050mhz. Given the limitations of GCN, we peak boost clocks will probably fall between 1100-1150mhz. While this does provide a chip to slot in between the R7 370 and the R9 380, the card is still limited to GCN 1.0, meaning newer features like FreeSync, color compression, TrueAudio and improved tessellation performance are missing.

Interestingly, the 370X is only launching in one market for now, China. This means you shouldn’t expect the card to arrive in other markets just yet. The first AiB partner pictured is the Sapphire Vapor-X model which is pretty much the same look as the Vapor-X 270X. With the launch of Nvidia’s GTX 950, AMD had only the R7 370 to do battle but fell behind in performance. The 370X should give AMD the crown back as long as the price is competitive.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information 

AMD Radeon 370X Built on Full Pitcairn GPU

Details have emerged about AMD’s upcoming 370X graphics card. This budget-friendly GPU is designed to compete with NVIDIA’s GTX 950 which should arrive in retail stores within the next 2 weeks. According to GPU-Z stills from Expreview, the card will feature 1280 Stream cores and 2GB GDDR5 on a 256-bit interface.

This specification shows the GPU is utilizing AMD’s full Pitcairn graphical processor, which first came on the scene in 2012. Annoyingly, the Subvendor information is obscured, but I would expect the GPU clock to be virtually identical to AMD’s last generation, 270X. Expreview suggests AMD have simply created a BIOS revision and this new card shares the same Device ID as the 270X. This corresponds with AMD’s rebrand plans on lower-tier GPUs.

There is a strange anomaly from the screenshots which I find hard to comprehend. You might notice, the graphics card contains the R9 branding which is usually reserved for higher-end GPUs. Perhaps, the Fury range has made AMD alter their naming scheme and allow for budget cards in the R9 series. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see how AMD’s 370X compares to the GTX 950. While the performance numbers of the GTX 950 are still unknown, it doesn’t take a lot of time to work out the 370x’s gaming performance.

Do you think NVIDIA will begin offering better performing GPUs on a strict budget, or will AMD continue to be the value-orientated proposition?

The Best Chassis for Steambox/HTPC Style Gaming Systems

Introduction


Steambox is certainly grabbing a lot of headlines throughout 2014, with system integrators (such as CyberPower) creating their own custom Steambox style systems, and chassis manufacturers creating new cases that are suitable for the job. Of course, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding Steambox, but we’re going to blow away any doubt and get you up to speed on what a Steambox is and how you can do it.

First thing is first, Steambox is a PC, nothing less and nothing more. What we’re really looking at here is a clever rebranding by Valve to make HTPC gaming sound cool. Of course, it really is cool and credit goes to Valve for creating something that is appealing to both mainstream console gamers, as much as it is PC gamers. The major difference for Steambox is the introduction of SteamOS, which is still in beta, but once again all that really is a Linux distro designed to launch Steam as the native desktop. This may sound a little complicated for some, but don’t worry as I’ll be revisiting this subject over the next couple of weeks to bring you up to speed on how it all works, how you can build your own, set everything up and more.

While much of the fun stuff is certainly contained within the games you’ll be playing, let’s start things off nice and easy and find out about the chassis you’ll be using. There are lots of great PC chassis’ on the market, but I’ve picked up a bunch that I thought would be ideal for the job and today I’m going to put them to the test. I’ll be looking for several key factors from each chassis, their price, form factor, hardware/component compatibility, built quality, acoustic performance and thermal performance.

The chassis’ I’ve picked are quite varied, and I’m hoping to find something suitable for each budget from each of these.

  • Silverstone GD05
  • BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX
  • Corsair 250D
  • Thermaltake Urban SD1
  • Silverstone SG09
  • Cooler Master Elite 130

I’ll also be using my Lian Li test bench to get open-air results of the thermal performance on our CPU and GPU.

Sapphire R9 270X Toxic Vs NZXT Kraken Cooling Review

Introduction


Managing the thermal performance of a graphics card is no easy task, manufacturers extensively research their cooling solutions in a bid to offer the best performance and value vs their competitors products. Most graphics cards are created equal; take the Sapphire R9 270X that we have here today, it features a chip that is pretty much the same as any other R9 270X, but it also features one of the best coolers in its class. The extra cooling performance that Sapphires’ Tri-X cooler gives, allows the card to be overclocked for increased performance. Overclocking can make the card more powerful, but this also means it’ll generate more heat and you’ll have to add a better cooler. By adding a better cooler you reduce the heat of the card and leave more room for overclocking and so the cycle continues.

Overclocking is one reason for running a high-end cooler, but there are other benefits, as a more efficient after-market cooler can often run quieter than a stock cooler; lets not forget the fact that keeping your hardware from overheating can improve its lifespan. Today I’m going to be taking the NZXT Kraken G10 graphics card mount, which allows you to connect an Asetek water cooling unit directly to the GPU for improved cooling performance, and today we’re going to be doing that with the help of the NZXT Kraken X40 140mm AIO water cooler.

The G10 is a simple enough device and comes packaged in a small box, with a nice image of a cooler mounted to a GPU.

In the box you’ll find a simple instruction guide, two rubber blocks, the GPU back plate/screws, the metal frame of the bracket and an 80mm fan.

MSI Radeon R9 270X Mini-ITX Gaming Graphics Card Winner!

It’s that awesome time of the week once more as we get to pick a lucky winner for our latest competition! First of all I would like to take a moment to say a big thank you to the team at MSI for providing us with this incredible prize, I’m sure the winner is going to be very happy with this in their system. All that power from such a small form factor; perfect for a LAN gaming rig.

If you would like to know more about the prize, you check out the official MSI product page right here.

And the winner is….

Brian Pardee of Louisville, KY!

Well done to our winner, I hope you enjoy your prize. For everyone else, please don’t feel too bad if you didn’t win, we’ve got loads of great competitions running which you can enter here and even more on the way very soon! Keep those entries coming in and good luck to all!

Win An MSI Radeon R9 270X Mini-ITX Gaming Graphics Card

We’ve got an absolutely awesome prize for you this week, we’ve joined forces with the mighty MSI to give you all a chance to win one of their new Radeon R9 270X mini-ITX Gaming series graphics cards. This is still a fully fledged R9 270X graphics card on the inside, but it’s been given a much revised form factor that makes it highly compatible with small form factor PC cases. There is nothing stopping you from plugging this into a full-tower gaming rig, but it’ll look all the sweeter in a compact LAN battle station.

If you would like to know more about the prize we’re giving away, then check out our the official product page right here.

If you want a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is follow the instructions below, it couldn’t be much simpler than that. Good luck!

Rules and regulations:

  • The competition is open globally
  • The competition ends at midnight GMT on the 8th September 2014 and winner(s) will be notified by Friday 12th September 2014
  • In the event of a dispute, eTeknix staff hold the final say and no discussions will be entered into
  • Delivery is not in the hands of eTeknix and can take some time to arrive
  • Full shipping address and phone number is required in your email entry to speed up dispatch of prizes to winners and to prevent multiple entries
  • If the auto-fill email link doesn’t work, email us the information and include the subject “Win An MSI Radeon R9 270X Mini-ITX Gaming Graphics Card”
  • In the event that the prize is unavailable, eTeknix reserve the right to offer an alternative of equal or greater value
  • Winner(s) will be announced on our competition winners page
  • By entering this competition, you adhere to the above rules and regulations

Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Black Diamond Announced

Sapphire have given the massively popular Radeon R9 270X a taste of their Tri-X formula, giving it higher factory overclocks and re-releasing it as their mighty Black Diamond Edition graphics card. The only downside is that the card is currently exclusive to the Greater China region, but should the card prove popular, we hope that it will start to ship internationally in the near future, or that a similar model will be produced for other markets.

The new card features their awesome triple fan cooling system known as Tri-X, which features a huge back-plate similar to that normally found on the higher end R9 280X graphics cards. The aluminium fin heatsink and fan combination is well known to be effective and we’ve no doubt that it’ll keep that overclock GPU core nice and cool.

With a clock speed of 1100 MHz, GDDR5 memory of 6GHz over a 256-bit bus, dual-BIOS with UEFI Modules, the 28nm Curacao hardware should offer some impressive performance thanks to its 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs and 32 ROPS.

Now take note Sapphire, we want this card in other markets!

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

New AMD Never Settle Forever Gaming Bundle Launching Next Week

AMD have had massive success from their Never Settle bundles, offering gamers a huge saving on their graphics cards by bundling many of today’s top gaming titles. Of course some of those games are getting a little older now, but that’s spurred AMD to go back to the drawing board and make a few tweaks to their playlist, and they’ll be relaunching the revised bundle on the 21st of this month.

The bundle will be divided over three tiers, those who buy a R9 295X2, R9 290(x) or R9 280(x) will be entitled to pick three games, R9 270(x) and R7 260 purchasers can pick two games and finally R5 250 and R7 240 will allow you one title from the list. The keys that are bundled with the cards can be activated up until August 2014.

The latest title to the list will be Murdered: Soul Suspect, which is not yet released, but will pre-activate for download in June and you’ll also not the addition of 4 indie games which will be available in packs of two (of your choosing).

The rest is pretty much the same, so you can still expect the big hitters such as Tomb Raider and Hitman, but BioShock, Crysis and Far Cry are unfortunately gone in favour of Thief, which now supports both AMD TrueAudio and Mantle.

Check out the list below for full details and thank you VideoCardz.com for providing us with this chart.

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of VideoCardz.

Club3D Showoff Latest Poker Series GPU’s At CeBIT 2014

Here we are at CeBIT 2014 in Hanover where hundreds of technology companies from around the world have gathered for one of this years largest trade shows with their latest and greatest products. To start things off we’ve stopped by the Club 3D booth to see what products will be available to consumers this year, starting with the latest additions to their legendary Poker series.

The Poker series is a special brand for Club 3D that allows them to distinguish their custom graphics cards from their stock offerings, so users can expect these cards to have everything from new coolers, faster clock speeds, improved component quality, overclocking potential and a whole lot more.

Much like a deck of cards in Poker, the graphics cards in the series are ordered from the royalQueen which offers light modifications such as improved cooling, then you have the royalKing series which offers higher end performance, better cooling, factory overclocks and more, finally with the royalAce you can expect everything to be dialled up to 11 to offer flagship performance out of the box.

Below we have their new Radeon R9 270X royalQueen which features 1280 stream processors, a 1080MHz clock speed, 2048MB GDDR5 memory at 5600MHz. TDP of 175 watts, Eyefinity 4 capability and it’s fitted with their high performance Coolstream cooler.

The Radeon R9 280x royalQueen offers up a lot more performance than the 270X with 2048 stream processors, a 1000MHz clock speed, 3072MB of GDDR5 at 6000MHz, a max TDP of 280W, 6 display Eyefinity (when combined with the DPI1.2 MST Hubs), the Coolstream cooler and quad Crossfire capability.

The 290X royalKing start to push into their enthusiast range, offering up a whopping 2816 stream processors at a clock speed of 1030MHz, 4096MB GDDR5 at 5000MHz, a max TDP of 250W, 6 display Eyefinity (when combined with the DPI1.2 MST Hubs), a 512Bit memory interface and a powerful dual fan Coolstream cooler. This card is ideal for pushing 4K and eyefinity systems and can be run in dual Crossfire configuration for some seriously high-end performance.

Finally we have the leader of the pack ,the 290x royalAce edition (no box displayed in case). This card is as flagship as the come, offering up 2816 stream processors and 4096MB of GDDR5 memory just like the royalKing edition, but this time with a higher clock speed of 1050MHz and 5400MHz respectively. The higher clock speeds are handled by select high performance components and a tripple fan CoolStream cooler, making this one of the fastest and most powerful GPU’s on the market today. This card is also capable of dual CrossFire and 6 screen eyefinity.

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in cryptocurrency mining, or gaming from any resolution such as 1920×1080 right up to 4K, it looks like Club 3D have you covered. All of these cards are available on the market right now, expect to pay a premium for each series over the standard club 3D cards, but also expect to get a considerable improvement in performance for your investment.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV5wRFDFpTk&list=UUb9tDXXfM-REtXni2MOpwgA&feature=share&index=1[/youtube]

We’ve got lots more great coverage from Club 3D and many other brands here at Computex 2014, as well as more great video interviews from the Club 3D booth coming very soon, so stay tuned for more information throughout the week.

Radeon R9 270X OC with 4 GB Memory Launched By GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE launched the Radeon R9 270X graphics cards with double the standard memory amount. The GV-R927XOC-4GD, available in a standard edition and one with a Battlefield 4 Origin key, features 4 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit wide memory interface, clocked at 5.60 GHz, at which the GPU has 179 GB/s of memory bandwidth at its disposal. The card features a long, non-reference design PCB, and the company’s new generation WindForce 3X cooler, which together give the card a high-end look when installed. 4 GB of memory makes the R9 270X meet the recommended system requirements of Battlefield 4.

The factory-overclocked card offers 1050 MHz base GPU clock, and 1100 MHz PowerTune Boost frequency. The card draws power from a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors, display outputs include a pair of dual-link DVI, and one each of HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2. Based on the 28 nm “Curacao” silicon, the Radeon R9 270X features 1,280 GCN2 stream processors, 80 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. It features a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. Its API support includes DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle. GIGABYTE didn’t reveal pricing of the two.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Radeon R9 270X Dual-X 4GB Graphics Card Unveiled By Sapphire

Sapphire has just unveiled a new variant of its R9 270X GPU, namely the new R9 270X Dual-X 4GB GPU, which features the same specifications of its previous counterpart, except the new 4GB model features double the RAM (obviously). Sapphire says that they have updated the card with 4GB of RAM to meet Battlefield 4 recommended specs, although I have yet to find an optimized game that requires more than 2GB.

The R9 270X Dual-X 4GB features 4GB of GDDR5 RAM that has been clocked in at 5.6GHz across a 256-bit wide interface and is capable of cranking out a bandwidth of 179GB/s. The card is a non-reference design, and features Sapphire’s Dual-X cooling solution which helps the card remain budget friendly while managing to keep things cool. The new card is expected to retail between $220 / €161 / £135 and $230 / €169 / £141.

Thank you Tweak Town for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tweak Town

’14Series Graphic Cards Announced By Club 3D

The first ’13Series was introduced by Club3D as an addition to the PokerSeries gaming cards. They were stripped of all bundles and the ‘light’ retail package was aimed for system integrators. But consumers also saw an advantage in this deal, having all bundles stripped and the price considerably low, it was perfect for users who were looking for an upgrade or a second card for their rig.

Now Club 3D announces a new and improved ’14Series, with better performance improvements. The first video cards from the Club 3D ’14Series will be the Radeon R9 270 and 270X, and should be an affordable product for PC users and gamers looking for a full-HD 1080p gaming experience.


Club 3D Radeon R9 270 specs:

  • 1280 stream processors
  • Up to 955MHz clock speed
  • 2048MB GDDR5 memory @ 5600MHz
  • TDP of 150 watts
  • Fitted with quiet high-performance CoolStream cooler
  • Will benefit from AMD Mantle technology

Club 3D Radeon R9 270X specs:

  • 1280 stream processors
  • Up to 1080MHz clock speed
  • 2048MB GDDR5 memory @ 5600MHz
  • TDP of 175 watts
  • Fitted with Coolstream cooler
  • Eyefinity 4 capable

If you are interested in more details, you can go to Club3D’s official website for more information about the ’14Series Radeon R9 270X and 270.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Club3D