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MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G Review

Posted June 26, 2015 by Jake in Video Cards


Price at time of Review: $240


Sleek styling; Low temperatures and noise; Good performance; Great gaming value


Evolutionary not revolutionary
Strong combination of aesthetics and function for mid-range gaming performance.
by Jake
Full Article


Today we’re looking at the first of AMD’s 300-series cards. We were looking for something with a bit more of a splash with R9 300 cards, and while AMD has moved in that direction with the Fury cards, the others occupy somewhat more familiar territory. The reason for this, surprise, is that most of the 300 series cards feature tweaks and updates to what we saw with the last of the 200 series lineup.

That said, we know that many gamers, if not most, simply cannot afford to keep the latest high-end hardware in their system. 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.

More specifically, we’re looking at the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G, a card that boasts a custom heatsink, improved power design, and a factory overclock, all for a modest premium of only an extra $25. Sounds pretty good so far. Factor in that AMD is bringing a few new features to the market with the R9 300 series launch, and we’re cautiously optimistic for strong gaming value.

Essentially 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 we see with MSI cards; they do love the speed as much as we do.

So, that’s the quick background to set the stage. Now it’s time to delve deeper into the details and a closer look at the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G to find out how it measures up.



    Dan L.

    I’m sorry but this review is sorely lacking any comparison to the GTX 960. Isn’t that the competition from Nvidia at the moment? Without the context of its direct competitor, the 4GB version of the 960, I don’t see the point of this review.


      Unfortunately we didn’t receive this card until after the launch deadline, and didn’t have a GTX 960 on hand to test for comparison purposes with the little remaining time.

      Our next R9 380 review, however, will include the GTX 960 for comparison.


        That’s a poor excuse for a site conducting professional reviews. If you want viewership to grow you’ll need to step up your game.


          Unfortunately we don’t get to dictate when companies send samples, establish launch deadlines, and other such things outside our control. It’s not an excuse, just a simple fact that remains unchangeable no matter what anyone (us included) thinks; we put out the best review we can under what is sometimes very less-than-ideal circumstances. Most of our reviews are far more thorough, but launch reviews are very streamlined, particularly when our samples arrive after launch day.

          If you look at some of the “big” review sites out there, some had one-page reviews, and in one instance of a well known site, they published performance charts with no comparisons to any other cards at all. So when we can do a better job than many of the big sites, I think it speaks well to the quality of our reviews.

          But thanks for your comments, we’ll take it under advisement.

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