AMD Radeon R9 380 review feat. VisionTek: The best $200 graphics card you can buy

A little bit of extra oomph in the clock speeds help make it the most enticing option for mainstream gamers today.

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gtx 960 bioshock

Bioshock Infinite is both our obligatory Unreal Engine 3 title, as well as a popular game that both Nvidia and AMD have had plenty of time to optimize their drivers for. Again, the R9 380 beats the GTX 960 SSC, by almost 5fps.

gtx 950 sleeping dogs

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition’s anti-aliasing options manhandle graphics cards at the Extreme preset. Both $200 graphics cards crack 60fps on High and perform roughly similarly, with the AMD card again holding a slight edge over Nvidia’s.

gtx 950 metro

Metro: Last Light Redux is a gorgeous HD remaster of an impressive, densely atmospheric game. The song remains the same here: The VisionTek R9 380 holds a slight lead over the EVGA GTX 960 SSC, though both perform well on Ultra settings.

nvidia gtx 950 3dmark fire strike

The VisionTek Radeon R9 380’s the clear winner in 3DMark’s synthetic, but widely respected Fire Strike benchmark, as well.

gtx 950 power use

Power use is where AMD’s card stumbles a bit, as usual. AMD’s Radeon GPUs simply aren’t as efficient as Nvidia’s power-sipping Maxwell architecture. Power is measured by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, then running a stress test with Furmark—which both AMD and Nvidia dub a “power virus”—for 15 minutes.

nvidia gtx 950 temp load

VisionTek’s cooler handles the extra heat with aplomb, however. Temperatures for the Radeon R9 380 and the EVGA GTX 960 SSC are roughly equal, and both are pretty chilly.

Final page: Conclusion

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