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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  • CaedenV - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Card idle so low now that it does not make much of a difference. Even leaving my 4 year old monster on 24/7 is costing me maybe $10-15/year, and with the improved idle power load on newer cards (I am running a 570), it would probably cut that in half.

    Not to say that you should go crazy and leave things on all of the time because it 'does not matter'... but unless you are running something with a 24/7 load like a render box or a server, then power costs is not a true consideration. Heat generation due to an inefficient card may be a consideration, but not the price of the power used.
  • rviswas - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    i was gonna say difference between gtx 860 and this card is less than 5w at idle is says in the review itself look at power consumption.
  • rviswas - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    gts 960 I mean
  • Chaser - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Use your AMD GPU to help heat your home. Spoken like a true AMD apologist. LOL
  • looncraz - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Except he's running an nVidia card.
  • Dribble - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Too close in price to the 970/390. Anyone spending that much will stretch the extra few $ for the much faster card. Price/performance isn't good enough - needs to be $200.
  • Beany2013 - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    Except when you literally can't afford those extra $ - IE in the UK, the 380X starts around £190, the 970 starts around £250 (using as a reference).

    The cost difference there, if all you're doing is upgrading a GPU, is significant enough where you can't really say 'ooh, it's only a little more' - if we were talking £190 and £220, that'd be different.

    Likewise, if you're configuring a whole system, and aren't an *avid* gamer (IE, as a survey of one, I mostly dick about in Serious Sam 3 and Metro 2033/Last Light - both of which are far better with a chunky GPU if you like your shiny goodness) then the £60 difference is better spent elsewhere, like RAM, storage, or a larger monitor.

    Horses for courses, but if you're trying to eke out as much overall value as possible for a machine without horribly compromising on performance, AMD make a hell of a lot of sense.

    Me? I'm waiting for Fiji to come down below £200. And, you know, to get a new job. Which'd probably help, natch.
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Re: "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."

    Would someone please be so kind as to explain "underclocking options with OpenCL programs" to me please? Why do the cards need to be underclocked when running OpenCL programs?

    Thank you.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The card we received is the STRIX R9 380X OC, which comes with a factory overclock of 1030MHz, versus 970MHz for a reference card. We underclock this to get reference performance, however underclocking doesn't work with OpenCL programs.
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    OK, got it, thanks Ryan.

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