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Sapphire Nitro R9 380 4GB Graphics Card Review



/ 1 year ago

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Introduction


card

Graphics card giant, Sapphire, are no strangers to being at the forefront of technology when it comes to AMD graphics cards. Producing some of the best graphics cards in the world, Sapphire push the envelope with cooling designs like the Vapour-X and Tri-X. They have recently signed a worldwide exclusive deal for the AMD FirePro graphics card range which deals with professional users, with this; they can bring the ever-increasing technology to the consumer market to provide us with the best gaming experience possible.

Today the highly anticipated AMD R9 300 series released to the public. We have here the Sapphire Nitro R9 380 4GB. The R9 380 is advertised to perform at the 1440p resolution, so the 4GB should aid in smoother gameplay at the higher quality settings. The R9 380 is essentially a rebadged R9 285 based on the Tonga GPU. The specifications are near identical apart from the clock speeds, AMD tends to be the masters of the rebadging. Could this be a sign of a degrading company or possibly a hint towards putting more effort into new technologies such as HBM. Let’s put our assumptions aside and see if AMD has increased performance, or if Sapphire has improved production to squeeze every last bit of performance out of this card.

specs

The outer box on this is slightly different from previous designs. A robust box with a small window, allowing you to peek in at a single fan with the ‘Nitro’ logo.

box

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The Nitro cooling shroud is very sleek, a more subtle design compared to previous designs from Sapphire.

card

Here we can see how small the PCB compared to the larger R9 290x cards. Sadly no backplate again.

back

This card draws its power from twin 6-pin PCI power cables.

powerport

The card features the typical AMD mid-range ports. 1x DVI, 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort.

ports


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  • Jeff Morse

    The R9 285 is finally a worthy option now that it has 4GB of VRAM as the R9 380.

    • AS118

      I agree. The fact that it’s the best 300 card that can actually fit in my case has me considering it. I’m not about to spend. $500+ on a Fury when the most I do is 1440p.

      • Jeff Morse

        IThe R9 285 was fine from a GPU performance standpoint – it just need more VRAM for today’s games textures. Same with the GTX 960. Both finally got the 4GB they should have had from the outset. Of the two I’d be hard pressed to decide which to buy now.

        • Wander Milder

          What do you think on r9 280x vs r9 380 (4gb)? as they are the same price now here

          • Alessandra Vikander

            As the 285 is better than the 280x and the 380 is a refreshed 285, it’s safe to say the 380 is better.

  • Important question: I have already ordered on amazon an asus r9 290 for 249€, but I’m just having a look to this new r9 380 4GB for 239€, I see the 290 has better performance generally but I will play 1080 most of the time, and it supports 1.4a and directx 12, what do you think?

    Thanks

    • thartist

      The 290 for sure. This has no business against it.

  • arttronics

    For this article, Sapphire Nitro R9 380 should have GPU name of “Antigua PRO” and not “Tonga”.

    Also, the listed GCN 1.1 is incorrect. Both Tonga and Antigua have GCN 1.2 version.

    Reference 1: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/2734/radeon-r9-380.html
    Reference 2: http://www.techpowerup.com/213587/amd-also-announces-radeon-r9-380-performance-segment-graphics.html

    I will delete this comment after corrections are made. Have a nice day. 😀

    • anderledani

      No, Antigua is just a rebrand of Tonga so… And AMD deserves to call their old GPUs on their old name.

  • Alessandra Vikander

    With this rebranding, does it mean that 3 new fury cards are aimed at the 980/ti/titan x?
    If so, amd has a massive amount of low – mid end cards that aren’t directly competing with anything from Nvidia, and seem sort of redundant.

  • Tylaris

    Guys, I’m planning to buy a new Gpu…until now I’ve made up my mind about getting sapphire r9 280 3gb.
    But the price of Sapphire Radeon R9 380 Nitro 4GB is only about 30$ higher, here in Croatia, and only a bit more expensive than GTX 960…is it worth it with i3 4160 I’m also buying(probably upgrading to a better cpu at some point)? I don’t go higher than 1080 resolution. Gtx 970 is a lot more expensive, so pretty much out of my budget, unless some rich cousin inheritance kicks in:P.
    I also have XFX 550w core edition psu…would I need stronger power supply for this card? Considering overclocking, as well?
    How is the driver support from AMD for this card?
    I also have LC power gaming 975B air wing Midi and Asus H81 M-R motherboard. Will I have any trouble “fitting” and installing it inside the case?
    Thank you for any help.

    • Revenco Andrei

      You can go for 380 Nitro 4GB. It is better than gtx 960 – the PSU should also be enough unless you are not running 4 HDD and don’t have other consuming parts.

    • Forceps

      There are some folks having a driver problem regarding their R9 300 series cards, since Windows recognizes them as R9 200 cards. This basicly causes a black screen, without any display whatsoever. You should look into that problem and its solution if you’re planning on getting this card. The card and its specs are pretty good of course, but my opinion is that a card is only as good as its drivers. Without proper optimized drivers you cant run anything. I’m currently updating to a gtx970 from a gtx470 (which still runs pretty smooth after 5 years).

  • uncore

    @BoboTheMighty:disqus there are a lot of tests showing that the nvidia-drivers are a lot less demanding on the CPU, so i whould go for a GTX960 or if available a GTX770
    a am in just the same problem right now. but i hate temporal-aliasing so i need Supersampling or TXAA or Downsampling and that drives me nearer to buying a GTX970 330 Euro. ;-(

    • Tylaris

      Temporal Aliasing? Is that one of those Star Trek anomalies? Sorry, lost me there.
      Basically I’m asking whether these +2 extra GB will be useful and is the card powerful enough to use it, unlike GTX 960 4gb, as I understand it.

  • LiviuTL

    In the first table it is stated that R9 280 has 4GB of memory and 512 Bit memory bus. So I didn’t bother to read the rest of the article, because I think the author is actually a surgeon who has nothing in common with videocards.

    • agree this is a paid review or made by some newbie

  • BDK

    R9 280 specs are completely wrong.

  • Oneil

    I had my R9 380 4G with a back plate. I’m really surprised seeing the box with a sticker that has a writing “backplate included”. I now this model does not have a backplate as what I have seen from a lot of reviews. But well I think I got a newer batch with back plate included. Now, that a plus! But wait there’s more! A free Dirt Rally Game! Never expected these plus bonuses. Great job Sapphire!

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12208225/20151029_212041.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12208225/20151029_211102.jpg

  • PoonDragoon

    So the only con is that something I will never see doesn’t have a “premium finish?”
    You drive a hard bargain, sapphire.

  • Ganja River

    I have a Sapphire R9 380 overclocked at 1095 MHz Core and 1575 MHz Memory with Radeon settings overdrive I played for almost 100 hours at this setting and it runs fine but I got a small artifact for the first time the other day it was only once for about 1/4 second, took up less than 2-3% of the monitor but it was a block like line that flashed across the middle of the monitor with mixed blues and reds. Like I mentioned it was there and gone almost instantaneously but I still stopped the game checked my GPU temp which was fine at 74 C. I think it was an anomaly but I’m going to play at stock settings for a few weeks then try to turn up the clocks. I also wonder if using the virtual super resolution feature may have a significant impact on this minor artifact.