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PowerColor PCS+ R9 380X Myst Edition Review

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PowerColor PCS+ R9 380X Myst Conclusion:

PowerColor usually puts its spin on each of the custom products it produces. The PCS+ R9 380X Myst is no different in that regard. You get a custom build that ensures you get a card that performs, as well as one that should last for quite a while. You get PowerColor's Gold Power Kit, an all-digital power management system that runs cooler and can handle a higher current capacity through the 4+1+1+1 phase VRM. By using this design you get improved overclocking margins and improved stability at the limits. Add in the PCS+ (Professional Cooling System) that uses a large fin array and a trio of 8mm copper heat pipes, a copper base, and 90mm dual ball bearing fans, and you have a card that can cool down the core when you push it to the edge. In my testing these two key elements allowed the card to reach an 1126MHz core clock speed on the Tonga/Antigua GCN core and 1601MHz on the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Not bad when you look at it, as these two speeds were rock stable.

PowerColor's PCS+ cooling system has proven its merits over the past few years and the Myst Edition takes full advantage of the capabilities, delivering excellent thermal results without assaulting your eardrums. At stock speeds it is dead silent locked up inside the chassis, thanks to the 90mm ball bearing equipped fans. Even when the fan speed is cranked all the way up it is no worse than a spooled up DVD drive hidden in the chassis. The only real noise issue I had was a rattle from the shroud as it hit a screw on the top of the PCB that held on the backplate. Simply bending the metal shroud back into place eliminated that concern. About as easy a fix as you can get.

Comparing gaming performance to the GTX 960 and GTX 970 shows that, for the most part, the PowerColor PCS+ R9 380X Myst has even a factory overclocked GTX 960 covered as far as FPS performance goes. There are several games where the green team is stronger (Metro: Last Light, Project CARS, and Battlefield 4), but at this point when shopping a price point it's best to pick a card that is the best performer in the games you play. That being said, the PCS+ R9 380X does deliver on its goal of filling the performance/price gap between the GTX 960 and GTX 970.

Priced at $229, PowerColor gives you a custom card that delivers performance at up to 1440p and the ability to use the AMD specific feature set, including Virtual Super Resolution and FreeSync to get the most out of your gaming system experience.

 

Pros:

  • Performance
  • Overclocking
  • PCS+ cooling
  • Low noise
  • AMD feature set

Cons:

  • None
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