MSI R9 380 Gaming 2G Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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MSI R9 380 Gaming 2G Introduction:
Today, AMD officially launches the 300 series video cards, featuring cards that are not what we were looking for on the initial launch. I refer specifically to the Fury cards that are garnering all the real interest, thanks mainly in part to the all-new architecture and use of 3D Stacked High Bandwidth Memory that promises a giant leap in performance. However, that is at the top of the product stack and the R9 380 Gaming 2G is targeted at that ~$200 price point that is commonly regarded as the sweet spot for gamers, since it offers a good performance for not a lot of cash out of pocket to get that gaming experience you are after.
MSI's R9 380 Gaming 2G is the 2GB variant of the R9 380 series cards. A 4GB variant is available, much like we saw when MSI launched the GTX 960 Gaming 2G. Features that make the cut this time around include MSI's Twin Frozr V cooling package, Military Class 4 component selection, Zero Frozr technology, MSI's own Gaming App, and a custom build that is sure to meet the needs of the enthusiast and gamer.
Priced at $209, the R9 380 Gaming 2G is put in a promising spot to garner some needed attention at the point of purchase for AMD. The key is how well will it perform against the competition when push comes to shove? Let's dig a bit deeper into what makes this card from MSI tick. Knowing what MSI brings to the table with its Gaming series builds, it should be interesting.
MSI R9 380 Gaming 2G Closer Look:
MSI's Gaming series packaging has not changed much over the past couple years, and continues to bring a brightly colored illustrated cover to store shelves worldwide. The front panel features a tribal dragon on the left, the name of the card to the right, and at the bottom left are some basic specifications that show the card is equipped with only 2GB of GDDR5 memory, is PCIe 3.0 compliant, and that this is a factory overclocked edition R9 380. The back side of the package drills down to some of the more unique features of the R9 380 Gaming 2G including the Super SU cooling solution, Torx fans, and MSI Gaming App.
Internally there is a slim box that holds the accessory bundle with the R9 380 Gaming 2G packed tightly in an open cell foam frame to protect the card from shipping damage. The accessory bundle included in this offering is on the slim side, featuring the driver and application disc, a quick user's guide, product catalog, and a DVI to VGA adapter. Most users buying into this class of card should have a power supply that can handle the rated power consumption and be equipped with a pair of PCIe power connections.
The box and packaging are rarely as interesting as the card, so let's dig into what MSI has sent us.