When AMD launched their latest R9 300 series cards, they did come under a little bit of flack as they were/are essentially R9 200 series rebrands; not that NVIDIA haven’t done the same with a lot of their cards, but still, people aren’t stupid and they did take to social media to express their feelings. From our point of view, though, it actually brought some much-needed improvements overall to the AMD brand and for us, the R9 300 series was actually a resounding success. That being said, what does the XFX R9 380x DD 4GB give you that the R9 380 version doesn’t?
Focusing primarily on the performance, it yielded an increase of 4% in 3DMark Fire strike normal, which isn’t a MASSIVE improvement, but it still shows that the extra shaders do give it a little bit more grunt. In real world applications such as actual games, BioShock Infinite’s benchmark also gained around 4-5% which shows that the extra shader cores do actually do something. However, from the R9 380 and R9 380x, there is an increase of 14% across the shader count and although any improvement is a welcomed one, it shows that AMD’s shader count efficiency isn’t exactly there, but it’s certainly getting there.
In the design department, we actually love the look of the newer style Double Dissipation coolers; although a black back plate would really set these cards apart from the rest of the pack. The removable fans make them easier to clean, but the fan shroud clips are quite fragile, so remember to take extra care when cleaning the fans, or even testing the mechanism out. The all black design (Black edition) looks very sleek and subtle, with the cooler being in proportion to the PCB; some MSI/ASUS coolers overhang the PCB’s which looks a little “cheap” to me. Not the case with XFX though, which is a very good thing in our opinion.
Pricing tends to vary depending on your retailer of choice; Scan does have it for £190 at the time of this review, but they do charge £11.50 for delivery which does bump it up past the £200 mark. Amazon UK has it for around £220, but the US store represents better value for money with a modest price of $230. Compared to the R9 380 version, they can be picked up for around £156 from Amazon (Click here) and in my opinion, it does make the R9 380x look a bit of an “unnecessary” purchase in comparison. That’s not to deter you from purchasing, but applying a little overclock onto the R9 380 which isn’t exactly hard will give you the stock performance of the R9 380x without any issues.
Aside from the obvious similarities to the R9 380 you do get a little more performance, but I would find it hard to recommend the XFX R9 380x Double Dissipation 4GB over the R9 380 version simply due to the current pricing structure. Could this change in the future? Of course, it could and we would hope it would come into line with the performance difference as an extra £40 is a little silly for such a marginal jump in performance. That being said, the Double Dissipation cooler does offer fantastic performance and the R9 300 series still has it going on!
Thanks to AMD and XFX for sending the R9 380x DD 4GB graphics card in for review.
– Good value graphics card overall
– 4GB VRAM comes in handy in intensive games
– A perfect affordable solution for 1080p gaming
– Great cooling performance
– Poor value for money compared to little sister (XFX R9 380 DD 4GB)
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