Will AMD reclaim the performance crown with the R9 380X?

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Mugabe! Hnggggh! Say it again! MUGABE!

AMD’s had a troubling year – at least as far as its desktop cards have gone. They’ve essentially had nothing to compete with Nvidia’s enthusiast powerhouse – the Maxwell-based GTX 900 series – so that’s where all the PC gamers with cash to burn have gone. It makes sense. For once, Nvidia’s cards aren’t the most expensive, and actually offer better price to performance. As the fastest cards in their segment, it’s naturally that people would opt for Nvidia.

It’s become so bad, that, according to Digitimes, AIB vendors have lowered their purchases of AMD GPU’s to prevent a stock build-up. Those same, vendors, they say “are also concerned that the market could gradually lean towards Nvidia, causing them to lose bargaining chips with GPU makers.”

AMD needs something big to shake up the market. And they could have that in their impending R9 380X. Alleged – and thus, to be taken with great big grains of salt – benchmarks of the card as it stands now show that the card is behemoth, knocking the GTX 980 from its lofty perch. If they’re to be believed, AMD could soon claim the performance crown – and with its penchant for a better price-to-performance ratio over Team Green, it could provide the impetus AMD needs to get back in the game.

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Chinese language site Chiphell posted the following benchmarks.

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The R9 380X is said to sport 4096 stream processors and 4GB of next-generation, stacked high-bandwidth memory (HBM) giving the card up to 640GB/s of bandwidth. According to the benchmarks, the card is up to 58 percent faster than AMD’s current top-end, the R290X and Nvidia’s 970 – which if true, would make this one heck of rendering champion.

It does, however, seem that the card is as power-hungry and hot as it is powerful; continuing AMD’s strain on power grids across the globe, this beast could end up consuming a lot of power – around 295W – which may add a little credence to previous rumours of the card using a hybridised water cooling solution.

Unfortunately, we have no idea when the card is set for public availability – with suggestions of a Q2 2015 release. The wait may be too long for AMD fans with itchy trigger fingers.

Last Updated: February 5, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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