The most affordable card has been revealed from AMD’s new graphics range is the “Radeon R9 380.” That is cheap for a card that was designed for ultra gaming, and AMD has not held back with its ambitions the firm reckons this chip can handle top titles at 1440p. This means it has made from last year’s silicon, with functionality amendments delivered by architectural tweaks and clock boosts.
At 1080p the AMD card scored 7,620, which is almost 700 points beyond the GTX 960, and was around 400 points ahead at 1440p. The gap closed when we started to run real-world games tests. In Battlefield 4, the AMD card was one frame back at 1080p and one frame faster than the GTX 960 at 1440p. The AMD card was comfortably ahead in Metro Last Light, too; its 70fps 1080p average was eight frames behind the Nvidia, and it was six frames faster at 1440p.
The AMD card’s thermal functionality was inconsistent. We had no issues with its heat or noise output, but our test rig’s peak power consumption of 310-W is not too impressive. It is 23-W less than the R9 285 need, sure, but it is more than the 196-W required by our test rig with a GTX 960 on-board.
AMD has also upgraded the speed the R9 285’s 918-MHz core has been raised to 970-MHz. The R9 380 is built around the Antigua core. This is a level down from the Tonga Pro GPU in the R9 285, the last card to be released from last year’s AMD range that debuted an updated version of the Graphics Core Next architecture.
The R9 380 is now available with 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and it’s clocked to 5,700-MHz, which is a little faster than the older card’s 2GB of RAM. The R9 380’s memory bandwidth of 182GB/sec is a little better than the R9 285’s 176GB/sec figure. Our tests were conducted with the 4GB model of the card.
The R9 380 represents an attack on the more conservative and efficient approach of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 960, and on the whole, the AMD card does its job well.