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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


The simple fact right up front here is that the AMD R9 380 is an evolution of what saw with Tonga. Mind-blowing performance isn’t what AMD is about these days, and this card is proof of that. Rather, it’s more about extending the shelf life and relevance of Tonga in the newly refreshed package of Antigua that offers strong gaming value for consumers. You also get updated support for DX12, Mantle and Vulkan APIs, and a few other tidbits that help push the value prospect. That is not a bad thing, regardless of how you look at it.

In terms of performance, the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G comes with a healthy factory overclock out the box, as this new card essentially cannibalizes AMD’s lineup, effectively rendering the R9 285 as end-of-life. We suspect the 285 supply will dry up and likely see some clearance sales, so keep your eyes open for some deals, particularly if you already own one and want to go with CrossFire. That said, for anyone looking to jump up for an upgrade, the R9 380 is a strong option.

MSI has the R9 380 Gaming 4G retailing for $240, which is about $20 more than most other models for this card. We think that’s a reasonable value considering the high caliber components, low temperatures and noise levels, and factory overclock (not to mention potentially more OC headroom available). So against the AMD competition, MSI’s card is very well positioned. Good luck finding them in stock, however, as they’re not widely available quite yet. That will soon change, but if you want one now, they can be found, whereas competitor cards are tougher to find, making this a good value choice.

The MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G is a great mid-range performance option, showcasing a good combination of sleek styling, low temperatures and noise, strong features, and great performance for the price.

MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G



    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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