When the recent AMD R9 300 series cards were announced, it became apparent that AMD went more for a modest splash than a big plunge. The reason for this is quite simple: the 300 series cards are more evolutionary than revolutionary. In fact, the new cards have quite a bit in common with the previous-gen 200 series products. It does make sense from a business perspective; many gamers, if not most, simply cannot afford to keep the latest high-end hardware in their system.
What we essentially get for the R9 380 is a rebranded R9 285. AMD took the Tonga core, spun an update and tweak, and renamed it to Antigua. The specs are still largely the same, with a 28nm process, and coming with 1792 stream processors, 32 ROPs, and 112 texture units.There’s support for DX12, both Mantle and Vulkan API, Freesync, and Virtual Super Resolution. The core speed is juiced faster than the R9 285, however, as is often the case when we see tweaks and respun cores.
So for most of the marketplace, finding a sweet spot of a gaming card that comes in around the $200 – $250 range is the key, as it should provide suitable performance for most needs without breaking the bank. And that is indeed where the R9 380 comes into play.
To that end, today we’re looking at the HIS R9 380 IceQ X2, a card that boasts a custom heatsink and a factory overclock, for a modest premium of only an extra $20. Hitting a solid price point of $220 sounds pretty good so far. Let’s take a closer look.