Last year, MSI introduced a mini GeForce GTX 760 graphics card meant for Mini-ITX systems. Today, it added an alternative from the Radeon camp. Like its GeForce sibling, the Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX has a 6.7" circuit board that exactly matches the length of the Mini-ITX form factor. That board is still strapped to a double-wide cooler, of course, but the whole thing remains relatively compact. It should fit inside small-form-factor systems much more easily than larger graphics cards.
The cooler is apparently good enough enough to keep the R9 270X comfortable at higher-than-stock frequencies. Users can switch between three speeds via MSI software: silent mode sticks to the default 1050MHz boost clock, gaming mode kicks the GPU peak up to 1070MHz, and OC mode pushes it to 1080MHz. Those aren't big differences in the grand scheme of things, especially since the base frequency is 1030MHz.
Although MSI offers higher GPU clocks, it sticks to the default memory speed The mini 270X comes with 2GB of RAM capable of pushing data at 5.6 GT/s.
A single fan cools the card, but it's really two fans in one. The "RADAX" spinner includes both radial and axial elements, making it more of a fan/blower hybrid. MSI claims this design improves cooling performance while also lowering noise levels. It should also help to evacuate warm air out the back of the card.
MSI rejiggered the 270X's default port configuration to make more room for ventilation at the rear. The card is limited to a single DVI out, though it still has one HDMI port and dual Mini DisplayPort ports. Power is provided by a single eight-pin PCIe connector.
The R9 270X Gaming 2G ITX isn't selling online just yet, and there's no mention of pricing on the product page or in the official press release. I wouldn't expect much of a price premium versus standard 270X cards, though. MSI's mini GeForce GTX 760 sells for $259.99, which is only $10 more than its full-sized peers.
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|10. Ryu Connor - $350|
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