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Sapphire Toxic R9 270X review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £170
inc VAT

A fast, high quality card, but it’ll be too long for many PC cases

When it comes to computer components, no design is as exciting as that of a high-end graphics card. Once installed, many cards will go unseen, even those in cases with fancy Perspex cases and illuminations than a northern seaside town. Yet even before you’ve seen one frame from the latest must-have card you know you want it.

Sapphire Toxic R9 270X

The Sapphire Toxic R9 270X is one such card, resplendent as it is in a fetching black and orange casing through which can be seen a thin, metal heatsink. One glance at it and you know the Toxic R9 270X is going to perform well. Unfortunately, you’ll need a deep case in which to install it because the card is a massive 308mm long. Indeed, it only just fitted in our test PC by a whisker. Once installed, you’ll need two spare 6-pin PCI-E connectors to power it.

The Toxic R9 270X is an overclocked version of the AMD Radeon R9 270X. Whereas the reference R9 270X runs at a maximum clock speed of 1.05GHz, the Toxic R9 270X runs at a higher clock speed of 1.1GHz, and will happily boost up to 1.15GHz. At 1.5GHz, the Toxic R9 270X’s memory speed is also higher than the reference card’s 1.4GHz. These higher numbers should mean higher speeds than the stock card. Sadly, we haven’t tested the reference R9 270X, but we can compare the Toxic R9 270X to the reference Radeon R9 270 and see if the Toxic 270X is worth the extra £20 or so that it’ll cost you.

Sapphire Toxic R9 270X

In our opinion, it’s definitely worth spending the extra on the Toxic R9 270X. The Toxic R9 270X produced an average frame rate of 61fps in our Dirt Showdown benchmark compared to the R9 270’s 52.6fps at a resolution of 2,560×1,440 with graphics quality set to Ultra.

In our Crysis 3 benchmark the Toxic R9 270X produced an average frame rate of 19.3fps at a resolution of 2,560×1,440 with graphics quality set to Very High. That isn’t smooth enough to play Crysis 3 comfortably, but it’s worth noting that the reference R9 270 failed the benchmark. We only had to reduce graphics quality to High to produce a fairly smooth average frame rate of 29.3fps at the same resolution.

Sapphire Toxic R9 270X

The Toxic R9 270X also proved itself fairly capable of multi-monitor gaming in Eyefinity mode, with a smooth 40.1fps average frame rate in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 5,760×1,080. Sadly, Crysis 3 proved too challenging for the card at a resolution of 5,760×1,080, producing an average frame rate of 25fps.

Yes, it costs more than a Radeon R9 270, but if you can fit the Toxic R9 270X in your case we think you’ll appreciate the benefit of its higher clock speeds and three, quiet fans. If you’re a serious gamer but don’t want to spend over £200 on a graphics card, you should seriously consider the Sapphire Toxic R9 270X.

Basic Specifications

Price £170
Rating *****
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
Crossfire/SLI CrossFire
Slots taken up 2
Brand AMD
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon R9 270X
Memory 2048MB GDDR5
Memory interface 256-bit
GPU clock speed 1.15GHz
Memory speed 1.50GHz
Card length 308mm


Architecture 1,280 stream processors
Anti aliasing 8x
Anisotropic filtering 16x


DVI outputs 2
VGA outputs 0
S-video output no
S-Video input no
Composite outputs no
Composite inputs no
Component outputs no
HDMI outputs 1
Power leads required 2x 6-pin PCI Express


Accessories 2x Molex to PCI-E power adpators, 1x CrossFire ribbon, 1x HDMI cable, 1x VGAto DVI adaptor
Software included none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £170

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