Often I see reviews on other sites that use the top of the line CPU and loads of RAM, £300 PSU etc etc these are great because using top of the range components helps to reduce bottlenecks in the hardware, however in the real world once someone has bought or build their PC they will tend to upgrade and update their PC and in my experience they don’t always use top end processors and motherboards with mid ranged graphics cards and components etc. With this in mind I have put together a modest little rig for testing the cards. (If any readers have been the recent Multiplay iSeries events and visited the CCL stand, they may recognise the specification as a CCL Eyas 2 Mini PC used for many an intense battle at LAN, this configuration is without the GTX 670)
My test system using the following components, which should be more than adequate to give the 270X ITX a run for its money.
- Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz CPU
- 8GB Kingston HyperX 1600MHz Memory
- ASUS P8H61-I ITX Motherboard
- OCZ Agility 3 SSD
- 1TB Western Digital Black
- OCZ 600W Modular SU
- Cooler Master Elite 120 Case with Stock Cooling
- Stock Intel Cooler
- AMD Catalyst Driver Version 14.4
- Windows 8.1
- View Sonic 1080p 22” Monitor
I needed a suitable opponent for the mini ITX card so I’ve been down to our warehouse and grabbed a full sized MSI 270X and as the ITX one is an OC I’ve chosen an OC Model to compare against (R9 270X GAMING 2G)
Here we have the two cards together so you can see how much smaller the ITX actually is. The first picture shows the slight variation on the backplane layout, with the ITX missing a DVI but gaining a second Display Port. You also notice the previously mentioned extended PCB and cooler design that MSI have used, and whilst is sticks up a small amount for the top of the PCI bracket it is smaller than the Full Size Version below. Onto the side photo, you immediately notice how short the card is, the full size has two fans on the cooler along with a large heat pipe, whereas the ITX uses more compact design with just a single fan. This photo also shows the varying PCI power connector also mentioned previously.
Anyway let’s get it all put together and see what the numbers look like.
First up is 3DMark 2011, yes it’s not the newest of the benchmarking tools, but it will still give the graphics cards a good push and as well as giving a final score we will get individual test scores, which might prove useful comparing the two editions.
3D Mark 11 – Extreme (X) Pre-set @ 1080p
R9 270X – X2451
(Graphics 2246, PhysX 6453, Combined 2816)
R9 270X ITX – X2443
(Graphics 2236, PhysX 6183, Combined 2828)
3D Mark 11 – Performance (P) Pre-set @ 720p
R9 270X – P7711
(Graphics 8434, PhysX 6201, Combined 6041)
R9 270X ITX – P7534
(Graphics 8353, PhysX 6160, Combined 5379)
Very similar results there from the two cards, the ITX did produce some slightly lower results than the larger sized version but nothing massive. And certainly not anything to worry about.
Moving onto the next benchmark – Unigine Valley