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Powercolor PCS+ Radeon R9 380X Myst Edition 4GB

Rating: 8.0.

Today we analyse the third £200 R9 380X to hit our labs since launch – the Powercolor Radeon R9 380X ‘Myst Edition’. With so many driver updates in recent weeks, we went back to the drawing board and tested ALL the hardware today with the latest AMD and Nvidia drivers. We also finally managed to make the time to supplement our 1440p and 4K tests with results at 1080p. How does the Powercolor card fare against the competition?

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As we said at launch – in today’s market there are surprisingly few current generation GPU options available at the £200 mark. Nvidia have had the GTX970 available for some time, but the prices for these cards are firmly in the £250 sector (HERE). Their less powerful GTX 960 is £100 less, available around £150 (HERE). AMD released their R9 380 earlier this year, and prices are competitive against the GTX960 (HERE). The R9 390 is AMD’s solution directly priced to compete against the GTX970 (HERE).

GPU R9 390X R9 290X R9 390 R9 290 R9 380X R9 380 R9 285 Fury X Fury
Launch June 2015 Oct 2013 June 2015 Nov 2013 Nov 2015 June 2015 Sep 2014 June 2015 June 2015
DX Support 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
Process (nm) 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28
Processors 2816 2816 2560 2560 2048 1792 1792 4096 3584
Texture Units 176 176 160 160 128 112 112 256 224
ROP’s 64 64 64 64 32 32 32 64 64
Boost CPU Clock 1050 1000 1000 947 970 970 918 1050 1000
Memory Clock 6000 5000 6000 5000 5700 5700 5500 500 500
Memory Bus (bits) 512 512 512 512 256 256 256 4096 4096
Max Bandwidth (GB/s) 384 320 384 320 182.4 182.4 176 512 512
Memory Size (MB) 8192 4096 8192 4096 4096 4096 2048 4096 4096
Transistors (mn) 6200 6200 6200 6200 5000 5000 5000 8900 8900
TDP (watts) 275 290 275 275 190 190 190 275 275

The R9 380X is quite similar in specification with the R9 380 – incorporating 32 ROPs, a 256 bit memory interface with core clocks and memory clocks both set to reference speeds of 970 mhz and 1425 mhz (5.7Gbps effective) respectively. There are however 128 texture units on the R9 380X, compared with the R9 380’s 112. The Stream Processor count has also been increased from 1792 to 2048.

The Powercolor Radeon R9 380X ‘Myst Edition’ has enhanced clock speeds, and we will look at this in more detail on the next page of the review.

Maintaining our performance graphs has been a full time job in Q4 – Nvidia and AMD have been hard at work updating their drivers in recent weeks. In this review we test with AMD’s Crimson 15.11.1 driver and the Nvidia 359.06 WHQL driver.

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