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Radeon R9 380X Review: AMD's $230 mid-range contender

By Steve ยท 23 replies
Nov 19, 2015
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  1. Just last month we put together our annual guide to the best graphics cards on offer at every price point. The key battles took place at $100, $150, $200 and $300, with top graphics cards such as the Radeon R9 390X and GeForce GTX 980 Ti taking us to $400 and beyond.

    In the $100 to $200 range it was all AMD as we recommended the R7 360, R7 370 and R9 380. However, the jump from the $200 Radeon R9 380 to the $300 R9 390 left a void that normally we'd expect both AMD and Nvidia to fill with something for around $250.

    Today we put all R9 380X rumors to rest. AMD's latest graphics card starts at $230, sporting a Tonga GPU featuring 2048 SPUs, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs. Although the Radeon R9 380X is based on the latest Graphics Core Next architecture, at its roots you will find a graphics card that is almost four years old now, the venerable Radeon HD 7970.

    Debuting back in 2012, the 7970 ran for a cool $550 and was at the time AMD's flagship part. The R9 380X starts at $230, but does it deliver?

    Read the complete article.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,984   +2,874

    It looks like if you're in the market for a very capable mid range card card from either vendor, you're stuffed. I was so looking forward to the GTX 960 but when it was released I was so traumatised I almost went into shock.
    It seems that if you want a really good gaming experience, even at 1080p you're forced to look higher up the chain.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  3. enemys

    enemys TS Booster Posts: 63   +41

    Too bad they didn't put 6GB 384-bit memory in it. It would have been a bit more interesting option. I'm not sure who are they aiming at with this GPU.
  4. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,136   +624

    How can I be sorry for AMD when they make a card that is slower than the one it should beat while also consuming more power. It's a disaster.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,984   +2,874

    Now what sense would that make? That would put it on the 390X's turf.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,984   +2,874

    Not to mention the fact that it's core dates back to the 1930's
  7. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,044   +316

    Great card that will play all your games if you want to play games instead of reviewing the card
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,453   +1,732

    If we all just played games instead of doing our jobs... what a brilliant comment...
    wastedkill likes this.
  9. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 200   +61

    Perfect upgrade option for 1080p gaming from a 560 Ti 1 GB.

    4 GB card? Nailed it for 1080p.

    Also, lol on AMD for saying this is a 1440p card.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,044   +316

    Missed the point...get back to work
    Apogee777 likes this.
  11. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 281   +97

    So what I take away from this review is that the R9-380X is as pointless as the GTX 950. And that this card is basically an HD7970??? Wow, and AMD wonders why they are failing. Not that I am excusing Nvidia either, but since AMD can't provide competition to Nvidia, they (Nvidia) continue to slide by with not producing good midrange cards. I still have yet to see a reason why I should replace my MSI GTX 660Ti.
  12. NjamiMami

    NjamiMami TS Rookie

  13. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,357   +1,516

  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    Steve likes this.
  15. Matti

    Matti TS Rookie

    what is is 6gb really going to do for a card that does not perform well above 1080P except raise the price?
  16. Matti

    Matti TS Rookie

    Just not for that price.
    EClyde likes this.
  17. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,044   +316

    You are a good capitalist. Not unlike myself
  18. evolucion8

    evolucion8 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    The GTX 660 Ti is an old card, even a GTX 960 should smoke it with no problems. The 380X is just 2012 top performance on a 2015 midrange price. AMD is not failing cause it is not competitive, cause the 390X competes well with the GTX 980, Fury X is almost as fast as the GTX 980 Ti and Titan-X is like 3-4% faster than the 980 Ti stock and the R9 390 is as fast or faster than the GTX 970. AMD is failing cause nVidia buyers are a loyan fanbase like Apple users, will buy from them and will keep buying from them. Plus nVidia has a powerful marketing team along with the astroturfers running like viruses across the forums.
  19. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 328   +98

    If anything, all these later lackluster releases are just getting me more excited for Arctic Islands/Pascal.

    Still at odds on whether 4GB is necessary here since this card will be playing on mix of medium/high and not really use it all, like the 960 4GB.
  20. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 281   +97

    I would respectfully disagree. The consumer votes with their wallet in a free market. Further, I will reinforce that my card can play all my games cranked up all the way at 1080p resolutions just fine. Until my graphics card can no longer play games at 1080p, with everything cranked up, I don't see a reason to upgrade. I also believe that saying people who buy Nvidia are a loyal fanbase is disingenuous. By your logic, that would imply that you are an AMD "fanboy" attacking folks that happen to choose Nvidia over AMD beacuse of "Nvidia's marketing machine". Now, that is not to say there aren't "fanboys" in both camps. Its the same thing with anything else like "oh my RAM truck is better than your Ford truck or Chevy."

    I would also point out that since the release of my graphics card, it has much better performance than it did when it first came out. Why? Because the driver support for it has improved the performance of it. The same could be said of an graphics card quite frankly regardless if it was AMD or Nvidia branded.
  21. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 757   +213

    I agree with you. Both of our systems are running a GTX 670 and GTX 770 respectively, and we're definitely not feeling an urge to upgrade any time too soon. Right now very few games have forced us to lower any settings from ultra, when running on 1080p. I could see the R9 390/390X cards tempting us due to the whole 8GB of VRAM, but besides that route there's just nothing to move up to now.
  22. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    Unless you want to play GTA 5, The Witcher 3, Shadows of Mordor or other modern games where you can easily push 4GB of VRAM, even at lowly 1080p. You *may* be set for 2015, but don't count on any longevity with 4GB cards. I remember when my 570's ran out of VRAM but were still more than enough for 1080p gaming but... it didn't matter, because once you're out of VRAM it's game over.
    Moegames likes this.
  23. stylinred

    stylinred TS Rookie

    I just received the 380X Black edition, as a warranty replacement to my 7970, so I thought to myself "okay these must be comparable...odd, but okay" still I expected the 380X to perform better than my ancient 7970.... not exactly the same AND be more power hungry! wow AMD
  24. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 200   +61

    The 380X is on part with the 7970 GHz/280X. Since you had the standard 7970, this is already a faster card. Also, with this card, you get options for higher VSR resolutions, FreeSync support and newer, better hardware encoders/decoders for video (basically watching 4K videos in the near future will take fewer resources), not to mention better DX12 support.

    The 380X will be faster in some games than the 7970, due to better tessellation engine and other factors. Not to mention 4 GB VRAM instead of 3 GBs so more future proof as well.

    Plus, the 7970 was the flagship GPU 3 years ago. The 380X (with a comparable level of power) is like a mainstream GPU nowadays.
    EClyde likes this.

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