Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

A brand that needs no introduction, famous for its Tri-X and Vapor-X cooling system, Sapphire has now the NITRO models that are used on their AMD R9 300 series GPU and performs just as well.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

I love the Vapor-X models of Sapphire GPU but the NITRO model here is pretty cool too, I can’t say which one cools better because the Vapor-X models aren’t available for the R9 300 series and my last Vapor X model (yes, I did own a few. I had the Vapor-X HD 7970 and R9 280X) but what I can tell you is that the NITRO is impressinve in cooling.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

From the top you see 2x 6-pin PCI-E connector and a heatsink shroud that covers the top ever so neatly, it sort of reminds me of the Dual-X model (And yes, I did own a few of them too!) but with better build quality and bigger fan. My Sapphire Dual-X R9 280X cards were quite horrible, the fans were flimsy and the fans on the NITRO model here fortunately doesn’t look like that one those models. Come to think of it even my Vapor-X fans did fail me after a while………… ok I’m digressing. Point is, I’m happy to see that the overall build looks improved.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

At the back the NITRO R9 380X comes with a beautiful looking backplate with futuristic markings on it.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

Here are the output ports, and as you can see the heatpipe does show-up from the bottom view.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

Full specs of the card is as below, taken from the official product page

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

Attached is the GPU-Z of the card.

Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card Review

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i7-5960X
RAM HyperX Savage 2x 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz
Motherboard ASRock X99 OC Formula
Power Supply Cooler Master V850
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.

**BIGGER NOTE : The card managed to go through Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark but was never able to complete it, at the end of the benchmark it turns dark. It’s not a driver nor computer issue as I had no problem with my PowerColor R9 390 8GB and ASUS STRIX R9 Fury.

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
Sapphire R9 380X 61
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER 90
PowerColor R9 390 8GB 78

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card 1080p (avg)
Sapphire R9 380X 69
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER 110
PowerColor R9 390 8GB 111

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync off.

Card 1080p (avg)
Sapphire R9 380X 69
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER 80
PowerColor R9 390 8GB 92

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available.

Card 1080p (avg)
Sapphire R9 380X 26
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER 41
PowerColor R9 390 8GB 39

The Division

The Division
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync OFF.

Card 1080p (avg)
Sapphire R9 380X 49
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER 64
PowerColor R9 390 8GB 60

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
Sapphire R9 380X 39 72
Sapphire R9 380X (Full RPM) 31 59

The fan hovers at around 53% of the RPM when on load, maintaining a somewhat silent operation.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an Cooler Master V850 with around 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 80w.

Card Sapphire R9 380X
Furmark Burn-in 303
Estimated Actual System Draw 273
Estimated Card Power Draw 207

The Verdict

The Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X retails at around RM 1,200 but some retails are known to be selling it for under RM 1,100 which I think is a very sweet price point, a much less costly option when compared to R9 390 and GTX 970 cards from AiB partners that typically retail at RM 1,700 or so.

The card provides excellent price to performance ratio and it comes with the awesome NITRO cooler. The only down side is the slightly higher power draw for a card of such performance level.

goldfries recommended