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
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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  • godrilla - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Newegg has the PowerColor r9 390 for $265.99 preblackfriday deal, for a bit more you get 20% more performance and double the vram!
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    Good to see my 7970 is still holding up very well even after almost four years!
  • Enterprise24 - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    7970 from 2011 can still compete with 380X in 2015.
  • CiccioB - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    Even the GTX480 can compete with GTX750Ti... something to be proud of, isn't it?
  • evilspoons - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    Ah, I'm still undecided what to do with respect to replacing my SLI GTX 680s. I'm in Canada so we're getting murdered by the exchange rate (GTX 970 is $380-$450, R9 390 is $450, the first R9 380X cards are $330...).

    Guess I'll just hold on to my 680s a while longer.
  • Mugur - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - link

    I don't think that 380x is a bad card, by any means. It just needs to replace 380 4GB in that price slot and/or the OEMs to bin 380 with only 2 GB of RAM and let the 4G only for 380x. Currently, although understandable for the "novelty" factor, I saw in my country the Asus 380x Strix OC with the same price that some (discounted or not) GTX 970 or R9 390 cards (including an Asus Strix 970 OC :-) ) which is hilarious. Also with like 50% more than a Sapphire Nitro 380 4GB that I bought on Black Friday. Or AMD could simply replace 380 with 380x if the yields are good enough...
  • SolMiester - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - link

    LOL, bit late to the party isnt it, anyone buying mid range has probably already purchased this generation...
  • aria - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    I'm not sure I agree. I'm still rocking an HD 7750 (perhaps "wheeling," as in "wheelchair" might be more appropriate at this point). It was mid-tier when I got it, but now it's not really sufficient. I'd like to play games at 1920x1080, but i don't really care; 1360x768 is good enough for me. But my current card can't even deliver that at 60 fps any longer (I actually think the card has deteriorated, because I played Dragon Age Inquisition last year on decent settings, and now I can't run it at 15 fps on Low and 1024x768). Anyway, most people using mid-tier I imagine are more like me. We don't purchase an upgrade as soon as one is available--we want to get the highest mid-tier we can, which involves waiting. If I'd replaced my 7750 two months ago, today I would have an inferior mid-tier card, which certainly will become important a year from now when I'm trying to get just a bit more performance out of it. 10% doesn't matter today, but 18 months from now that 10% will mean the difference between playable and unplayable. The rules of high end gaming aren't applicable at the mid-tier range, because we don't buy an upgrade simply because it's an upgrade.
  • HollyDOL - Thursday, November 26, 2015 - link

    Another proof graphics industry badly needs new manufacturing process. Possibilities of what can be achieved at 28nm (GPU wise) seem to be exhausted. It will get interesting with new process + HBM2, until then it's going to be a stall water.
  • lazymangaka - Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - link

    Unless someone was able to snag the 380X at a significant discount, I would have trouble justifying not spending the extra money to jump to the 390. That really looks like it would be $60 well spent.

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