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.



XFX does not offer its own overclocking utility for use with its hardware. Fortunately we can use Catalyst Control Center, but this does not allow us any control over the voltage. In order to increase the voltage and achieve the highest possible overclock we must utilize some third party software. We elected to use MSI Afterburner version 4.1.1. This is a powerful overclocking utility that allows full control of the video card to maximize overclocking capacity.

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These are the default values after installing the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB. As you can see Catalyst Control Center does not have anywhere to adjust the core voltage. The first option in MSI Afterburner on the other hand is for exactly that. The default clock speed for the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB is 990MHz and the memory clock is 1425MHz, which equates to 5.7GHz.

Compared to a reference Radeon R9 380 this video card possesses a small overclock to the core, increasing it from 970MHz up to 990MHz. The memory matches the new default speed of the R9 380.

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To overclock the XFX R9 380 DD 4GB we first increased the core clock without voltage, then we increased voltage in small increments until we found the best balance for performance and voltage without thermal throttling. To our surprise and delight this video card handled the maximum voltage possible without any throttling or power limits. We were able to use the highest voltage to increase the clock speed quite a bit. We were able to increase the core voltage to the highest amount of +100mV, allowing us to push the video card to its limit. Power Limit can be increased to +20%, so we set this value as well. The final preliminary setting adjusted before adjust the clock speed is to manually set the fans to exhaust ample heat. We found 70% was appropriate to dissipate heat without generating excessive fan noise.

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We managed to increase the core clock speed from 990MHz up to 1152MHz without performance diminishing or throttling. This is a gain of 162MHz compared to the stock operating speed, and 182MHz faster than a reference R9 380 video card. The memory’s stock value is 1425MHz or 5.7GHz GDDR5. It also overclocked fairly well up to 1610MHz or 6.44GHz, a most welcome boost.

We find these overclocking results to be better than AMD Radeon R9 285 video card overclocks we have achieved previously. The MSI R9 285 GAMING 2G and the XFX R9 285 Black Edition each managed to overclock to 1125MHz core/6GHz memory. That means our XFX R9 380 DD 4GB overclocked higher on both core and memory clock speeds! It looks like the improved efficiency is a real thing that has provided a benefit over the R9 285.

Please remember that every video card is different and the overclock we achieve here is not necessarily what you will be able to achieve. Below is a screenshot of GPU-Z after achieving our highest stable overclock on the XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation 4GB.

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