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Sapphire R9 380 Nitro 4GB Graphics Card Review

Sapphire has long been known as one of AMD’s best GPU partners, making some very incredible cards in the past like the Toxic 290X, which was one of the best cards available.saphire-380-nitro-3

Today we have Sapphire’s R9 380 Nitro 4GB card, a value oriented card using a value oriented GPU, seems like a nice match lets see how well it stacks up!

PACKAGING, PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS

Sapphire R9 380 Box

Taking a look at the front of the packaging, we can see this card features 4GB of GDDR5 video memory. It also features Saphires Dual-X cooling solution, as well as a factory overclock of 985 MHz on the Core Clock and 1450MHz on the Memory, this is up from the reference speeds of 970MHz and 1375MHz.  It also supports AMD’s FreeSync technology, and is marketed toward 1440p gaming, both of which we’ll go over a bit later. You will also notice that the packaging has damage, unfortunately from being shipped.

Sapphire R9 380 Box Open

Opening the box up we see the card backed in a thick foam insert keeping the card safe during shipping and this type of packaging seems better than the plastic or cardboard used by most other vendors.

The card is currently retailing at Amazon for $237 although its MSRP should be at $220, this is probably due to low stock at this time.

DESIGN AND COOLING

Sapphire created a new branding called Nitro for their cards and one of the big differences with it from other products in their lineup is there will only be a single Nitro card for each GPU series (i.e., only one Nitro 380 and only one Nitro 390 etc), which is a refreshing change of pace from other brands and. Let’s take a look at some of the other features here!

saphire-380-nitro-6

Sapphire went with dual 100mm fans on their Dual-X cooler and went with a black and grey theme on the shroud, this is far different from what they used before in the Toxic cards and is a welcome change of pace.

saphire-380-nitro-9

Looking to the bottom of the card, we see 4 thick copper heat pipes that extend the length of the PCB. It’s clear that Sapphire did not cut any corners.

saphire-380-nitro-10

Taking a closer look at the card we can see the capacitors. Sapphire went with capacitors rated for 16K hours and went with black diamond chokes, which the manufacturer claims will run 10% cooler and use 25% less power than standard chokes.

Sapphire has long been known as one of AMD's best GPU partners, making some very incredible cards in the past like the Toxic 290X, which was one of the best cards available. Today we have Sapphire's R9 380 Nitro 4GB card, a value oriented card using a value oriented GPU, seems like a nice match lets see how well it stacks up! PACKAGING, PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS Taking a look at the front of the packaging, we can see this card features 4GB of GDDR5 video memory. It also features Saphires Dual-X cooling solution, as well as a factory overclock of…

Review Overview

Build
Design
Performance
Price
Warranty

Packs a Punch!

We were very impressed with the Sapphire R9 380 Nitro's performance and it should compete very well with Nvidia's GTX 960, if not beat it, while remaining in price parity!

User Rating: 3.04 ( 82 votes)
  • Great work Alex 🙂

  • Stewy44

    great card. My Son’s 290 started artifacting, and we ordered a 980ti hybrid, but was on backorder. so we grabbed a G1 gaming R9 380 4GB. we overclocked it to 1,000mhz core (990 stock) and the memory to 1500 (1425 stock) and it played GTA V at 1440P high everything, but no AA or post effects, at playable 40-60 FPS range.
    in fact it played so well. we grabbed another and crossfired them. we got Air cooled Fury speeds also beats 980 vanilla and it cost us $660 AU vs $999 AU for the Fury card! sick value. and they have the same chip minus the HBM. R9 380 has the same GCN 1.2 as the fury does. remember the 390 is GCN 1.1

    • Alex Stevens

      It is very playable in GTA at 1440P with AA off, To be honest AA kills the frame rate a bit too much for us.

  • Maki Miranda Crosfirex

    Minha 270x com 1450mhz nas memoria,1280mhz no clock com e 50% de powertunner consigo mesmo avg dessa vga em stock

  • I’m looking to upgrade my GPU from the ancient 6870. I still play 1080p and don’t need higher resolution. Is this card good enough to play MGS V at high settings?

    • Alex Stevens

      Hi Bram, it should, although I don’t have the card on hand now I would say as long as the CPU can keep up with it it should handle it without issue 🙂

  • Oneil

    Hello! I have just received my r9 380 4g. Didn’t expect thechanges from the review product… The version I have received now have 1010 Mhz default core clock. And an unexpected backplate. Yes a backplate that looks similar to the r9 390 version. Plus a free Dirt 3 game. Although I was wondering, r9 380 is under Gold Reward group which was listed as to receive 3 games but I only got 1. (Is this only for reference cards? see AMD Never Settle Promo).

    Anyway Photos of the backplate could be seen at the link below.

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

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

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