XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation 4GB Video Card Review

Today we look at the newly released AMD Radeon R9 380 GPU. We have XFX's new R9 380 Double Dissipation custom video card featuring new cooling and a factory overclock. We will also compare the XFX R9 380 to a GTX 960 4GB, in addition we will test the AMD R9 285 clock-for-clock with the XFX R9 380 to see if there are any differences.

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Power Consumption

We tested the power utilization at the wall of the entire system without a video card, and with each video card at idle and full load. For full load power and temperature testing we used real gaming, in this case every game we tested. The power supply used in testing is an ANTEC 1200W High Current Pro. Our system is very lean with only one optical drive and one SSD being powered. Total system wattage at idle without video card is 95W.

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While idling both the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 had relatively low and similar power draws at 112W and 110W respectively. After increasing the system to full load we saw this similarity dissipate. The XFX R9 380 DD 4GB drew 311W under load, an increase of about 200W. The GeForce GTX 960 on the other hand increased to 233W, only 123W more than while idling. We are using a custom retail MSI GTX 960 for testing, so these are custom card power numbers, not reference.

Performance did tend to lean in the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB’s direction in most of our games, so this additional power consumption can be somewhat justified. It is fairly similar to that recorded by the Radeon R9 285 as well.


Temperature Measurement

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The XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation 4GB did a good job controlling the temperature. Generally we see the temperature rising noticeably past the NVIDIA counterpart, however in this case the Double Dissipation and Ghost Thermal 3.0 technology were able to successfully match temperatures. The temperature under full load was 63c with fans increasing to 52%. When we overclocked the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB, the fans were manually set to 70%. The GPU temperature increased to 66c under these circumstances.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 is a custom retail MSI video card with its own custom cooling technology that is downclocked to reference speeds for this evaluation.


Fan Noise

The fans on the XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation 4GB were quieter than what we have noticed on other XFX brand video cards. The Ghost Thermal 3.0 technology helped to bring the temperatures down, so that the fans did not have to work overtime to exhaust unnecessary heat. Fan noise was nearly non-existent during normal gameplay when they increased to 52%. When we manually adjusted the fans to 70% during overclocking the fan noise did rise to the point we could hear it. Regardless, it was relatively quiet compared to other XFX video cards we have reviewed in the past at similar speeds.