AMD Launches R9 380X, Added to Superb Tier

Our impressions in one phrase: Ho-Hum.

Our impressions in one phrase: Ho-Hum.

AMD has just released the R9 380X, a mid-tier graphics card priced at $229.

The short story is as follows: We have read the reviews (linked below), and the 380X is identical in price and in performance to last generation’s R9 280X.

The long story is a bit more interesting. The R9 280X was released in October 2013. The R9 280X was a rebadge of the 7970GE, which was released in June… 2012. Yes, there are people who bought a graphics card in June 2012 who are seeing an identically performing card launched in November 2015.

Now, the 380X is not the exact same card. It has different silicon powering it, and the power consumption, heat, and associated noise have all improved significantly. The performance and price may be the same, but it is a better card in other aspects. Unfortunately, when it comes to mid-tier graphics cards, the performance and the price are the most important criteria, and they have not changed at all!

Why can AMD release a card that does absolutely nothing in terms of performance or price? Because NVIDIA has a huge hole in their lineup. The GTX 960 is ~$180, and the 970 is ~$320. The 380X, like the 280X before it, has no competition, and $140 worth of room in which to play. AMD can price it however they please, and so they decided to simply swap the R9 280X with the R9 380X.

NVIDIA may fire back with a 960 Ti, if they want. Or, now that we’re at the tail end of 2015, with 16/14nm cards releasing next, NVIDIA may opt to just let AMD have that price segment.

What does that mean for us at Logical Increments? Because the 280X can still be had at the Superb tier for (very) slightly cheaper, we will simply add the R9 380X to the Superb tier, and note that it is pretty much identical to the 280X in performance. The 280X was a fine card, and the new 380X is a fine card too, despite the ho-hum price.

Here is hoping for a more exciting 2016!