Asus, Sapphire, Gigabyte, XFX, and PowerColor unveil R9 380X cards

In case you've been hiding under a rock, AMD unveiled its Radeon R9 380X today. We've already looked in-depth at models from Asus and Sapphire in our review. Those two models are hardly the only options out there, though. For those who see an R9 380X in their future, here's a look at the fish in the sea so far.

All of the models we're looking at here have the same single DisplayPort output accompanied by a full-sized HDMI connector and a pair of DVI ports. Almost all of them use a pair of six-pin PCIe connectors, too. Each manufacturer has a different spin clock speeds and their own coolers, though.

Asus has a duo of R9 380X cards under the Strix banner: the R9 380X OC4G Gaming and the R9 380X 4G Gaming. The OC4G card is the one we tested in our review. That card's GPU is hot-clocked at 1,030 MHz, and a setting in Asus' included software can take that speed even further, to 1,050 MHz. The Strix 4G Gaming model runs at AMD's reference clock of 970 MHz. Asus' Strix cooler has a semi-passive mode for silent running at light loads.

Both cards have their memory clocked at the standard 5.7 GT/s and use a pair of six-pin PCIe power connectors. The burly Strix cooler kept the card running cool without producing a lot of noise in our testing. The Strix OC4G Gaming carries a $260 suggested price, while the 4G Gaming card will go for $240.

Sapphire's Nitro R9 380X also boasts hotter-than-reference clocks with its 1,040 MHz core speed and a 6 GT/s memory transfer rate. In our testing, we found that the Nitro used just a hair more power than the Strix. Its cooler was just a tiny bit louder, too, but we don't think most will be able to hear the difference. Like the Strix above, this card can stop its fans at idle for silent operation under light loads. Sapphire tells us this Nitro card will sell for about $240, while its reference-clocked 380X is expected to sell for about $10 less.

Gigabyte enters the R9 380X field with its catchily-named GV-R938XG1 Gaming-4GD. This card runs its GPU at a 10-MHz-above-reference 980 MHz. The memory speeds are reference-clocked at 5.7 GT/s, too. Gigabyte's WindForce coolers have proven to be quiet and effective in our experience, and this card's fans stop running at idle for extra politeness. Builders who like some bling in their cases may appreciate the cooler's light-up WindForce logo. This card needs a single eight-pin PCIe power connector. It's also the shortest of the R9 380X contenders, at just 8.7" long.

XFX lists a whopping seven 380X models on its website, but those appear to be variations on two basic models: the R9 380X DD XXX OC and the R9 380X DD Black Edition. The DD XXX OC runs its Tonga GPU at a 990 MHz peak boost speed, and its memory is clocked at at 5.7 GT/s. Meanwhile, the Black Edition bumps the core clock up to 1,030 MHz and the memory to 5.8 GT/s. Both cards use XFX's Double Dissipation cooler, and they both measure in at 9.2" long.

PowerColor's R9 380X Myst Edition boasts some aggressive speeds, too. The GPU is hot-clocked up to 1,020 MHz boost speeds, and the memory speed of 5.9GT/s is nearly as fast as that of Sapphire's Nitro card. The company says its PCS cooler is built to provide some additional thermal capacity for overclocking, and the 10.5" overall length of this baby seems to bear that out.

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