Card Layout and Photos
At this point most of you have seen an MSI card with a Twin Frozr IV cooler on it. They have been using them for a while on most of their cards with a few variations like red trim for the Gaming line and yellow for Lightning cards. The R9 270X Gaming 4G isn’t any different then the rest of the cards on its exterior. Its only when you dig down under everything you will find the additional memory that makes this card a little more unique. That doesn’t make this any less of a good looking card. I really like the styling of the Tin Frozr cards because of the two extremely large fans they go with. They couldn’t fit the two fans on a normal cooler so they just add more to the height of the card to support the fans. Around the fans you have a black and red fan shroud that is made of metal. There is something about a metal fan shroud that screams quality when you put it next to a plastic fan shroud. You might not REALLY need metal, but with a video card purchase it’s nice to get something that feels solid. MSI included their MSI Gaming badge right in between the two fans as well to add a little more styling as well.
Twin Frozr cooling is a little more than two large fans, although the big fans do play a big part. As you can see in the photos below, MSI uses heatpipes to pull the heat out away from the GPU and out to the heatsink that spans the length of the card. You have three heatpipes on the bottom and a fourth on the top. As usual a design like this puts out more air than can be pushed out the back of the card. Because of that the fan shroud doesn’t go all the way to the PCB on any of the sides. This gives the air someplace to go, but will also add a little heat into your case as well. Also noticeable in the pictures below is the MSI logo on the top edge of the card. It’s simple, but I really think that a logo or preferably the model name is great to have visible. This way you can show off what you have without having to tell someone what you have each time at a LAN.
Along the top edge MSI did include a small switch that allows you to switch between the cards two BIOS. This should protect you a little when BIOS overclocking.
The R9 270X Gaming 4G comes with two DVI connections on its rear I/O panel. Additionally MSI included full sized HDMI and DisplayPort plugs. The rest of the back has ventilation, although as mentioned most of the cards air won’t be pushed that direction. Here you can also get a good view of the cards height. MSI went a little taller with the cooler, taking up space that is typically available in most cases to make room for additional cooling. Please keep this in mind if your case isn’t very wide though, it does have the potential to create clearance issues.
For Crossfire connections, MSI stuck with the single Crossfire bridge just like on other R9 270X’s. That means if you pick up a second R9 270X Gaming 4G you will be able to run them in crossfire. I have a feeling that if you wait too long it will be hard to come across a 4 gig model once they are out of production. So if this is your plan, keep an eye out and be ready to pick one up before it is too late.
For power, went with the same double 6-pin connections like you would find on a reference card. With the two adapters MSI included, just about anyone should be able to hook this card up to their PSU. That is assuming it can handle the power, we will test that shortly.
On the back side of the 270X Gaming 4G MSI really stepped up to the plate with a backplate. Typically I only see backplates on high end cards so this was a welcome addition. The backplate does have the MSI logo on it and they flipped the logo around in a way that it will be most visible when installed in a standard PC. This is one of those touches that you don’t really think about until your PC is built and you are admiring the details. What is unusual with the backplate is its length. It doesn’t cover the entire back of the card, missing an inch or more on each end. I can’t be completely upset, because MSI included a backplate on a card that we normally wouldn’t see one on. But at the same time I really wish they would have cut it to the full length.