Sapphire’s ITX Compact R9 380 is designed to be used in small form factor cases. Many enthusiasts are looking to compact gaming rigs for living room PCs, and portable LAN boxes will only increase in demand as esports grow. Does Sapphire's ITX-oriented card have the performance to meet those needs?
We tend to review a lot of high-end graphics cards. You know, the type that everyone wants, but often can't justify purchasing. AMD’s Radeon R9 380 is a more affordable option for gamers who don’t need a Fury X or Titan X. It's positioned as a solution for smooth frame rates at 1920x1080, and derived from last year’s Radeon R9 285 based on the Tonga GPU. AMD sets the processor to a base clock rate of 970MHz and complements it with either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory interface. Otherwise, the technical details are largely the same as what we covered in our launch article.
The Radeon R9 380 does support technologies like FreeSync, which matches the refresh rate of compatible monitors to the frame rate output of the graphics card within a specified range, and Eyefinity. It also supports TrueAudio technology, Virtual Super Resolution, bridgeless CrossFire and LiquidVR technology, intended to help render the output for virtual reality headsets. As with AMD's other GCN-based GPUs, the R9 380 also supports DirectX 12.
The sample on our bench today is Sapphire’s implementation optimized for mini-ITX enclosures. With its relatively short PCA, single-fan cooling solution and compact dimensions, it will be interesting to see how the card handles elevated thermal loads.