In this article we will take care of another R9 270X variant, this time from Gigabyte. While the AMD GPU comes with the Curacao code name, it is practically identical to the previously launched Pitcairn architecture, along with a few improvements while keeping the card in the same price range.
The stock Radeon HD 7870 was operating at 1GHz core frequency and the memory clock was running at 1200MHz. It had 1280 Stream Processors, 80 Texture Units, 32 ROPs and 2GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus. With the R9 270X AMD has raised the GPU frequency to 1050MHz while the memory is clocked at 1400MHz. As the variant we have reviewed from HIS, the Gigabyte R9 270X has higher clocks from the factory, but this time lower at 1100MHz while keeping the memory frequency at the same speed as the stock model from AMD.
The PowerTune function is now available on the full range so the GPU clock gets modified depending on power draw, heat and performance factors. Eyefinity has been also updated to V2 DDM, with the ability of 5x1 landscape and custom multi-monitor resolutions. Also, with the new series we are permitted to use the Eyefinity feature without the need of a DisplayPort adapter.
If the card provides for example two DVI ports and one HDMI, we can use all three to set up Eyefinity.
At the latest presentation, AMD has also introduced the TrueAudio DSP, which is unfortunately not included with the 280X and 270X, but it is present in the 260X and also top of the line 290/290X.
Mantle is a new API introduced with the latest seriers, which gives the game developers direct access to the GPUs by using the Graphics Core Next architecture. AMD has recently clarified that Mantle creates for PC a development platform which is similar to the one for the consoles, which already offer low-level APIs, close-to-metal programming, easier development and more. By creating a more console-like developer environment, Mantle improves time to market, reduces development costs and allows more efficient rendering and ultimately improves performance for gamers.
DirectX 11.2, which is coming with Windows 8.1 is compatible with the new series.
The main attraction of the latest DirectX seems to be Tiled Resources, which exposes AMD’s partially-resident textures via DirectX and we are also dealing with hardware-managed virtual memory for GPU.