The Test

For the review of the R9 380X we’ve had to make a few accommodations to our GPU testing protocol since our last major video card review, which we'd like to note.

Civilization: Beyond Earth has been deprecated, as the Rising Tide update has removed the built-in “lategameview” benchmark. Meanwhile AMD’s launch drivers for the R9 380X, Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta, are unfortunately not as solid as we’d like to see, as they have a repeatable issue with Far Cry 4 that causes it to crash with various AMD cards, including the R9 380X. As a result we’re unable to benchmark Far Cry 4 on the 380X at this time. Finally, we’re also unable to include compute benchmarks for R9 380X at reference clocks, as AMD’s drivers do not honor underclocking options with OpenCL programs.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4960X @ 4.2GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Samsung SSD 840 EVO (750GB)
Memory: G.Skill RipjawZ DDR3-1866 4 x 8GB (9-10-9-26)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
Monitor: Asus PQ321
Video Cards: AMD Radeon R9 390
AMD Radeon R9 380X
AMD Radeon R9 380
AMD Radeon R7 370
AMD Radeon HD 7970
AMD Radeon HD 7850
ASUS STRIX R9 380X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 (2GB)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Release 358.50 Beta
AMD Catalyst Cat 15.11.1 Beta
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
Meet the ASUS STRIX R9 380X OC Battlefield 4
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  • Asomething - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    The HSA foundation is partially founded by ARM which means they are already working on it (but as you said there isnt much motivation to make HSA enabled apps). AMD is the only high profile and headline grabbing member of it so they tend to get the most press because of clickbait articles. And a lot (if not all) of nvidia's efficiency improvements do come from the lower transistor density (also the main reason they can say their TDP is so low since the chip has a larger surface area with which to dissipate the same amount of heat as the same chip made using AMD's high density libraries would have), improvements to the memory and reductions in DP capabilities. Reply
  • tamalero - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    anyone can explain me why everyone says the new gpus are overpriced?
    their pricepoints seems to be similar to the performance of the nvidia cards.

    the table on the first page shows clearly.
    Even the review shows the 970 and the AMD 390 trading blows and have the same price point.

    so, what did I miss? why suddenly fanboys demand even 15% reduction to "become competitive" ?
    Reply
  • FriendlyUser - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    As everyone has noted, the cards are uncomfortably close to the higher tier (390 and 970). So, the 380X is not overpriced with respect to the competition from nvidia, but with respect to the 390. The jump in performance is so great, that we should either hope the 390 goes at $300 (practically eliminating the 380X) or the 380X completely dominates the sub-200 territory.

    Anyway, overall it's a very good product.
    Reply
  • just4U - Friday, November 27, 2015 - link

    Well.. here in Canada that's not quite the case. A 380/960 /w 4G mem sells for 300ish.. the 380X $330.

    A 970 runs you $450-500 and a 390 $430+ No way their priced similar to the 970/390.
    Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    @Samus: "They need to drop the prices across the entire line about 15% just to become competitive."

    That wouldn't fix the biggest pricing problem shown in this review. The 380X is priced too closely to the 390 given the performance difference. Drop them both by 15% and the 380X is still priced too closely to the 390. I'll leave the rest of you to argue performance vs premium cooler value on the high end and 390/390X vs GTX970/GTX980 performance per dollar, but I submit that a flat 15% drop is too simple an answer to the problem due to competition within their own lineup.
    Reply
  • Azix - Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - link

    but people were fine with the 960 at the same price... Reply
  • zeeBomb - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Ryan smith blessed us with a great graphics card review. Reply
  • maecenas - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    At this point, NVIDIA or AMD, I'm not sure I would get anything other than an ASUS cooling system. I have the STRIX version of the GTX 970 and it really is fantastic. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    It Depends on what you need. The Stock Blower Coolers keep hot air out of the case, so for Small Form Factor Builds, your not going to want Asus's coolers since they dump the hot air back into the case. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - link

    I have a mATX case with water cooling and internal padding all around to keep the noise down, and my ASUS Strix GTX 960 is not making a sound and the temp in the case does not go above 50-52 degrees celsius even after hours of playing. The problem with GPUs sucking air out from the rear and blowing the same air out is, they have to generate all of the airflow themselves, which always gets really noisy compared to using the air passing through a case. Reply

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