Gigabyte Windforce R9-27xOC-2GD
OverviewHardware: Video Cards
WHAT WE LIKED:Performance, Price and Value, Cooling, Quiet and looks.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:None
Simply put, you can game with high settings on the Gigabyte Windforce R9-27xOC for a moderate budget price of just $199. You will not get some of the bells and whistles features that were detailed above, like TrueAudio or bridge-less Crossfire; however, what you will receive instead, is great support for OpenGL, DirectX11.2 and AMDs Mantle API. You also get 1080p gaming at high settings and of course the 4k UltraHD gaming & movie capabilities. You will no doubt have to turn down the settings to take advantage of that last feature, but the point is that it is an option, and one that is not found anywhere else at the moment.
The Windforce R9-27xOC runs head to head with a basic model 7950 and holds its own against an advanced version of that. If you said this is not an apples to apples comparison you would be right. If we look at pricing structure at release then I should be showing you a test vs. a 7870 or a GTX 660. Why not compare to current pricing since that is what drives a purchase?The truth is, no-one cares what it cost a year ago. The 7950 is the closest to the R9-270x in pricing and specs.
The 270x may be just an updated 7870 on paper, and you would think the 7950s should still outpace the Windforce R9-27xOC by a larger margin, yet, somehow they don’t. When comparing we have a 256bit bus vs. 384 bit, 2Gb vs. 3Gb, 1792 Stream Processors vs. 1280 yet the Windforce is still in the game. They must have made the cores a lot more efficient in terms of processing power and thermal output. Gigabyte added to that by kicking the core voltage up a tad and outfitting it with one of the best cooling solutions in the business. This solution will allow a bit more overclocking head room for the memory and the core clock. That overclock could just help it pass the 7950 in most tests. The Gigabyte Windforce R9-27xOC is the most silent of the cards we tested today. The Dual-X 7950 is known for its great cooling solution and low noise output, but the Windforce 27xOC tops it in both noise and thermal testing.
I’m not telling you to go sell everything you currently have in your rig to run out and buy one, but if you are already in the market to replace for your aging card, then you should seriously consider looking into the Gigabyte R9-27xOC. Or, if you are just now wanting to get into gaming, then you can’t go wrong with this solution. Did I mention you can always add another one later? Two of these are the same price as the beefy 7950 used in this review. Performance, cooling, eye candy appeal and overall great value is why I am giving the Gigabyte Windforce R9-27xOC our Pureoverclock Editors Choice Award.