Sapphire ITX Compact R9 380 Review

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Cryio

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"[Being an AMD card] I was really expecting a loud card that ran hot. I was pleasantly surprised to find that just isn’t the case."

The very definition of everyone's perception on the Internet of AMD's GPUs, unfortunately.

Don't know why the author expected this, when we found out the from the beggining that the 380 is both faster and more efficient than the 960.
 
Great article guys. Thanks for giving a little more light to this little card.

I'm only missing one piece of information (unless I missed it somehow): the speed graph for the card. I have an intuition that the big dips you see in the FPS charts are attributed to the card throttling back due to increased GPU usage. I'd like to confirm that.

In any case, it seems like a pretty capable card.

Cheers!
 

Haravikk

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Looks like a great option for my upcoming (much delayed) Mini-ITX build. Though I really wish on cards this size they'd ditch the other interfaces and just switch to mini-displayport; DVI connectors are a big space waster, and with the card's size I can't help but think that more room for the exhaust grille would be more valuable than an interface that I could easily just buy an adapter for.

With the card supporting FreeSync it also makes a lot of sense to get a monitor that supports it anyway to get the full benefit from the card, in which case you can get one with mini display port of at least mini HDMI (not sure if FreeSync works on mini display port?)

But yeah, it's time to start getting rid of DVI connectors that take up half a slot.
 

wtfxxxgp

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"[Being an AMD card] I was really expecting a loud card that ran hot. I was pleasantly surprised to find that just isn’t the case."

The very definition of everyone's perception on the Internet of AMD's GPUs, unfortunately.

Don't know why the author expected this, when we found out the from the beggining that the 380 is both faster and more efficient than the 960.
Your quote is misrepresentative of what the author said in every way. He referred directly to the small footprint as being the reason for his initial expectation.

That said, I don't know how anyone can say that it is more efficient than the 960. That's simply not true - it draws TWICE the power but is not even twice as fast, so efficiency being BETTER than 960? I want what you're smoking. Please.
 

kcarbotte

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The Nano was only announced last week.
Some reviewers may have cards right now, but the card is not actually out until the 11th, and reviews won't be up anywhere until that date.
 

dorsai

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I just can't see buying any 2gig card in today's gaming environment even at 1080...it's not a matter of IF but When you'll want to play a game and end up disappointed in the performance a 2gig card delivers. It's just makes some much more sense to spend another 25-50 bucks and get a card with 4gig...even an older 280x with 3gig makes a lot more sense to me.
 

InvalidError

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"the biggest factor holding back performance is 2GB GDDR5"

Not quite. When comparing a 380 vs a 390, you also are also pitting a 256bits product against a 512bits one.

According to results here:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-radeon-r9-380-2gb-4gb-review
There is very little difference between a R9-380 with 2GB vs 4GB: most results are within 3% with the biggest gains being just shy of 10%.

A fairly similar conclusion gets reached here with the GTX960:
http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1888-evga-supersc-4gb-960-benchmark-vs-2gb/Page-2
4GB only benefits some games but the GPU lacks the processing power required to deliver playable frame rates in the cases where the extra memory does significantly improve performance, so the extra RAM is mostly pointless.
 

timetravelingtrevor

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Thank you for the review. I've been contemplating a very low power mini-itx build that was centered around using this card. This is good information for my research.
 

Mousemonkey

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Who is this "we" you refer to? I own both a GTX960 and an R9 380 and the 380 is not "faster" than the 960 as they produce about the same numbers in benchmarks and it sure as heck is not more efficient as it uses 70w more power to produce those very similar results. You really need to come up with some evidence to back up your claims.
 
"[Being an AMD card] I was really expecting a loud card that ran hot. I was pleasantly surprised to find that just isn’t the case."

The very definition of everyone's perception on the Internet of AMD's GPUs, unfortunately.

Don't know why the author expected this, when we found out the from the beggining that the 380 is both faster and more efficient than the 960.
Who is we? Me, myself & I? I think when you see a small card like this you are concerned about the amount of cooling it can get so yes there is concern about the heat, and since it is a smaller card with less area for a cooling solution you'd expect the fans to run at a higher RPMs creating more noise. In this case Sapphire was able to handle both well thereby the surprising results. It had nothing to do with the internet.
 

kcarbotte

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I never said that, nor did I imply that.

Don't go around intentionally misrepresenting what people say/write.
 

wh3resmycar

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ahh the bullcrap about an r9 380 vs a gtx 960... gtx960 wins. being faster in AVG FPS means crap when your screen tears up here and there.

boosting to 1400mhz+ on a gtx960 will make you forget about that r9 380.
 

Sensei Gamer

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Love this card! Small, Compact, quiet, perfect for small builds. I wish the power consumption could be lowered more and that it has a 0db fan technology like other brands to maintain silent operations. Good Job Sapphire for coming up with this Mini ITX solution! AMD too! :)
 

InvalidError

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Wait for the 16nm 960/380 equivalents and TDP for the same performance level might drop by more than half. It would be nice to see single-slot mid-range GPUs make a comeback.
 

Joshv8

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Only problem with the 380 is the price. here in NZ a GTX 980 will set you back $900 NZD and the 380 at the moment is $450 NZD. Bummer.
 
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