AMD has released a rather big software update called Catalyst Omega. This is supposed to allow developers to optimize their games better for AMD devices. Both graphics cards and APUs are supposed to see massive gains in certain games. In day to day tasks it runs the same as compared to 14.9 with no real difference outside of specific games. I have run 2 3D benchmarks on 14.9 and 14.12 to see if there were any general improvements to unoptimized games/benchmarks, but the results were almost the same before and after the update.
The Gigabyte R9 270 OC worked well for a few weeks, but it did run a bit hot compared to other r9 270s. I connected it to a 42 inch wall mounted Samsung TV without knowing if the supplied cable was safe to use or not. I guess it wasn’t safe as the pc crashed and didn’t boot past the POST for a day until somehow I finally got it to boot. Then shortly after it crashed again and now my motherboard beeps twice which means that there is no GPU installed. Without any integrated graphics on my motherboard/CPU, I am stuck with a dead pc and I am unsure if the only problem is the GPU or not. I never liked Gigabyte and I guess that will never change. I have ordered a relatively cheap ASUS r5 230 just for the meantime to get my pc up and running for my work and I will review that as soon as it comes in. In the meantime, I will probably keep an eye out for a good deal on another r9 270 but from a more reliable brand name this time.
I noticed temperatures were reaching near 90 degrees Celsius while running furmark for 20 minutes. So I decided to open it, clean it, and put some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. This dropped the temperatures to 80 while running furmark and while gaming, it is usually in the 60-70 degree range. See the pictures below for how it looks inside. All I had to do was remove the 4 screws on the bottom and the whole heatsink came off easily. I then used isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips to clean it.
This video card, even though it is priced well, is a beast. Installation was easy, uninstall the previous card drivers, remove the old card, put in the new card, and install the drivers. Immediately things were running well and much better than they used to. I was previously running a Radeon 5750 and the difference in performance is massive. Even though I have an Intel Core i5-750 CPU, the new card wasn’t bottle necked at all. Performance gains were huge in every benchmark.
Furmark 720 test: Before (1500) After (4000)
Passmark GPU: Before (1500) After (4300)
Windows: Before (7.2) After (7.9)
Homefront: Before (30 fps) After (110 fps)
Bad Company 2 Online Multiplayer: Before (30 fps) After (85-100 fps)