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XFX R9 380X DD XXX OC Review

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XFX R9 380X DD XXX OC Conclusion:

When you look at the XFX DNA of the R9 380X DD XXX OC, it's clear that XFX puts together an excellent product. You get constant innovation on the cooling solutions that make up the company's Double Dissipation and Ghost 3.0 cooling systems. Splitting the shroud into two removable covers that can be removed without pulling off the heat sink assembly is an interesting development. What's even more interesting is the ability to remove the fans to clean the heat sink is genius. The 90mm fans use a clip-in mounting system that lets the user pull the fans out and clean the dust bunnies in about 30 seconds flat. That allows the cooling to operate at its best with little maintenance. If you don't have to clean the dust out, well, you are truly lucky. This one feature would be welcome thanks to the dander and dust my dog produces.

As far as the noise output from the fans, it is negligible at best until you crank them up to 100% fan speed where, like most cards, you can hear them, but the noise is not offensive. Thankfully during my testing I did not run into the cooling fans stalling at 20% under a gaming load as evidenced by the modest temperatures delivered while gaming.

At stock speeds the performance of the R9 380X DD XXX OC is better than that of the GTX 960 in just about every game, with the margin increasing at 2560 x 1440. This lets it slip into that performance gap between the GTX 960 and GTX 970. The problem is that with the latest driver and games tested that margin over the GTX 960 is not as large as one would hope when deciding on your next video card. The larger 4GB frame buffer does help it out at 1440 resolutions when the texture count goes up, but it's still a reasonably close race in most cases where the R9 380X is better than the GTX 960.

Overclocking the R9 380X DD XXX OC left me wanting a little bit more. An 85MHz overclock on the core and 130MHz on the memory were all I could pull from the card and pass all of the game testing. That's not a huge overclock, but it is a bit meager when you get down to it. However, it does improve FPS results across the board.

Currently selling for $229, the R9 380X DD XXX OC is selling at best only $10 over the GTX 960. That gap can be as high as $70 depending on the GTX 960 you are looking at. The EVGA GTX 960 used in the comparisons currently sells for $209. Comparative performance aside, the XFX R9 380X DD XXX OC lets you take advantage of AMD's feature set that includes FreeSync technology, Frame Rate Target Control, Virtual Super Resolution, PowerTune Technology, and CrossFireX. Overall, the card is not a bad performer and can deliver 1080 and 1440 performance at will.

 

Pros:

  • Cooling
  • Low noise
  • 1080 and 1440 gaming ready
  • Stock performance
  • Cooling innovation

Cons

  • Low OC margin
  • Pricing vs GTX 960
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