Sapphire R9 380 Nitro 4GB Graphics Card Review



Peaking at the top of the card we see it is powered by dual 6 pin power connectors, which makes crossfire something not reserved to higher end PSUs.


The card comes in at 9.3 inches or 237mm long and looks absolutely striking in an understated way.


One of the nice touches is the Sapphire logo on the top, not too gaudy, not too loud, but just enough to remind you who’s card it is.

sapphire-380-nitro IO

Taking a look at the back of the card we see DVI-D and DVI-I as well as HDMI 1.4 and Displayport connector. The condition of the card is that of a loaner, we could not clean this up unfortunately.


One of the biggest highlights of AMD’s recent driver update 15.7 is the ability to crossfire 200 series cards with 300 series cards, which without going into too much detail means that you will be able to pair a R9 285 with one of the newer R9 380s. Although performance will be held back by the older card as always with using a slower card in a dual GPU scenario.


This feature was previously only allowed for AMD’s GCN 1.1 and GCN 1.2 based graphics. So the R9 390 series, R9 380 series, R9 290 series, R9 285 and R7 260 series. The 15.7 update extends VSR compatibility to most but not all 300 series, 200 series and HD 7000 series Radeon graphics cards. Below we have a table of what is supported:

AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury Series AMD Radeon™ R9 280 Series
​AMD Radeon™ R9 390 Series AMD Radeon™ R9 270 Series
AMD Radeon™ R9 380 Series ​AMD Radeon™ R7 260 Series
AMD Radeon™ R7 370 Series ​AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series
AMD Radeon™ R7 360 Series AMD Radeon™ HD 7800 Series
AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 ​AMD Radeon™ HD 7790 Series
​​​AMD Radeon™ R9 290 Series Desktop A-Series 7400K APUs and above



Also we have FRTC which is short for Frame Rate Target Control. This allows the user to set a predefined a maximum frame rate target that the GPU will not exceed once applied.The benefits are realized by reducing the unnecessary load which is put on the GPU while running non intensive games, such as League of Legends or CS:GO. This in turn means that the GPU will no longer render any extra frames beyond the limit set by the user. As a result the GPU will consume less power and run at lower temperatures.



Not to be forgotten is DX12 Windows 10 driver support. This is the first WHQL signed driver from AMD to introduce DX12 support and it arrived just in time before Microsoft’s upcoming official WIndows 10 release this month.


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


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)


  1. 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

  2. Maki Miranda Crosfirex

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

  3. 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?

    • 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 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. Got mine for $200 AU, such a good deal

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