AMD Radeon R9 380X Officially Launched at $229 US – Antigua XT GPU Tackles The 4 GB GTX 960 With 2048 Cores, Custom Models Cost $239+

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Nov 19, 2015
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AMD has officially launched their latest GCN 1.2 based Radeon R9 380X graphics card that features the Antigua XT GPU. The latest addition to the Radeon 300 series family brings improved performance for mainstream user, as it provides great gaming performance at resolutions up to 1440P while maxing out the visual details on 1080 (HD) resolution panels. The graphics card launch will be followed by the availability of the Crimson edition suite from AMD which marks a new era in their driver software portfolio, the drivers will be available to public on 24 th of November.

AMD Radeon R9 380X “Antigua XT” Officially Launched – Goes Against The 4 GB GTX 960 At $229 US Price

The day has finally arrived, AMD has launched the Radeon R9 380X. The much awaited card has been rumored to launch since Q3 2014 and it has finally arrived in the market in Q4 2015, a year later. Now we might have no official reason to why AMD delayed the full Tonga GPU on the desktop side for so long but one reason could be the fact that AMD didn’t had the time to manufacturer enough chips to meet demand on both mobile and desk top platforms. The Tonga XT chip was first arrived on the Radeon R9 M295X discrete graphics card for the iMac (Retina 5K). A year later, this chip was rebadged with the codenamed, Radeon R9 M395X which meant that the GPU was still under some demand. As the demand gradually fell, AMD re purposed the chips to be configured within desktop grade, discrete graphics cards, now available in the form of the Radeon R9 380X.

AMD Radeon R9 380X Review Roundup:

AMD Antigua XT Block Diagram Analysis:

The block diagram for the Antigua XT core is a beefier version of the Antigua Pro (Tonga Pro) GPU that we have already seen. The Antigua XT GPU is comprised of four shader engines, each containing 8 compute units. These make up a total of 32 CUs, each containing 64 stream processors. The total number rounds off to 2048 SPs that are 256 shaders more than the Antigua Pro GPU. Each shader engine has 8 raster units and 32 texture mapping units (each CU contains 4 TMUs). The overall GPU has a larger L2 cache compared to Tonga Pro and comes with 8 ACE (Asynchronus Compute Engines). The GPU has four 64-bit memory controllers which provides a 256-bit bus that is still not equal to the full 384-bit bus available on Antigua.

AMD Radeon R9 380X “Antigua XT” Specifications:

Specifications for the Radeon R9 380X include the latest GCN 1.2 core which has only been featured on the new Fiji and Tonga cards. The Radeon R9 380X packs 32 compute units with 64 stream processors on each CU. Total number of stream processors on the card are 2048 SPs, 128 texture mapping units and 32 raster operation unit that are featured on the Antigua XT die. Antigua is a new name for Tonga which was featured on the Radeon R9 285 graphics card and the mobility chips that include Radeon R9 M295X and Radeon R9 M395X. Antigua is only currently featured on the Radeon R9 380 graphics card but the full version will be available to consumers in the form of the Radeon R9 380X graphics card. The Radeon R9 380X comes with clock speeds of 970 MHz standard clock and up to 1000 MHz boost clock. The card is configured with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory that operates along a 256-bit bus interface and clocked at a frequency of 5.7 GHz that pumps out 182.4 GB/s bandwidth. Factory overclocked cards are expected to breach the 1 GHz core clock and further boost the memory clock up to 6.00 GHz with bandwidth of 192.00 GB/s. The Antigua XT has a peak compute performance of 4.00 TFLOPs in single precision and 0.25 TFLOPs in double precision work loads.

The card being based on the latest GCN 1.2 iteration which is the same GCN (Graphics Core Next) revision as the Fiji graphics core is fully compliant with features like Color Compression, Vulkan API support and DirectX 12 API support. The card packs 8 ACE units (Asynchronous Compute Engines) which allows tasks to be submitted and processed by shader units inside GPUs simultaneous and asynchronously in a multi-threaded fashion. Furthermore, the card comes with the latest XDMA CrossFire technology that allows multi-GPU functionality between one or more cards of the same kind effectively. The card will feature a TDP of 190W and power will be provided to several variants through a dual 6-Pin power input but some cards will require a 8+6 Pin power connector scheme for the beefier overclocking boards.

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AMD Radeon R9 380X Priced at $229 US – Custom Models Starting From $239 US

The AMD Radeon R9 380X is hitting the sweet spot of $229 US and will be directly competing against NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 960 (4 GB) cards. This confirms what we have been saying for months that the card will actually be placed in the sweet spot tier for mainstream gamers which has remain untouched by NVIDIA and AMD so far with a proper graphics solution. AMD currently has two cards near this price range, the Radeon R9 380 ($199 US) and the Radeon R9 390 ($329 US). On the NVIDIA front, we are looking at the GeForce GTX 960 ($199 US) and the GeForce GTX 970 ($299 US). Now all of these cards compete against each other well but there’s a big gap left between them. For instance, the R9 390 is much faster than a R9 380 and the same could be said when comparing a GTX 970 to the GTX 960 graphics card. The GeForce GTX 960 did get higher priced, 4 GB models but they are essentially the same card so performance remains pretty much what we see on a regular GeForce GTX 960 (2 GB).

This market is being filled up by the Radeon R9 380X at both $229 US for reference and $239+ for the custom variants which will be available at launch. This introduction might force NVIDIA to launch a GM204 based GTX card to tackle the Radeon R9 380X but for now, it seems like they have nothing to offer in this performance and price category.

AMD Wants GeForce GTX 660 and GTX 760 Owners To Upgrade To Radeon R9 380X

It seems like AMD is directly competing against NVIDIA as they want NVIDIA’s old Kepler GPU owners to upgrade to their new R9 380X graphics card since NVIDIA didn’t brought anything interesting in this price market. In all the official benchmarks posted by AMD, it can be seen that the card is directly compared to GeForce GTX 760 and GTX 660 aside from the new GTX 960 graphics card. The GeForce GTX 660 and 760 launched back in 2012/2013 and were great cards for their performance.

Both of these cards entered the US$ 250 market but NVIDIA didn’t introduce a new part in this market with their Maxwell lineup. The 4 GB GTX 960 offers little improvement over the 2 GB variants hence NVIDIA might launch a faster GM204 Maxwell part in this market or they would have to loose the market share to AMD till their next-generation Pascal GPU arrives, in 2016.

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AMD Radeon R9 380X Performance Numbers:

The Radeon R9 380X is an interesting card as it bests every card beneath it or close to it. The card is not going to compete against the $299+ graphics card and neither the sub-$200 market. It has a market of its own and the only graphics card NVIDIA has in this price range are the 4 GB models of their GeForce GTX 960 which are quite a bit slower than the Radeon R9 380X as the official AMD benchmarks put it. But from a non-official view, we can expect similar results as the Radeon R9 380X is a really beefed up graphics card with tons of graphics power available on it. The Radeon R9 380X uses the same memory compression techniques used on Maxwell architecture to conserve bandwidth but still has loads of bandwidth available for the GPU and a bigger bus interface of 256-bit compared to 128-bit bus interface. This means that the card will be able to keep up in AAA titles on higher resolution and boast better performance with added textures. AMD themselves advertise the Radeon R9 380X as a 1440P graphics card. It can run games on that resolution but most users will have to keep some settings toned down to get decent frame rates but 1080P gaming would be smooth as butter.

Some performance benchmarks straight from AMD show that the card can keep up 50+ FPS on several current generation titles at 1440P while maintaining a 60+ FPS rate on 1080P resolution. A table below shows off the di section of the performance numbers in better detail. Similarly in Firestrike, the R9 380X has a higher lead when compared to the R9 380 and GTX 960 but slower than the Radeon R9 290 / 390 graphics card. The card scores around 4100 Marks, in comparison, the R9 290 / 390 have a score of 4700+ 3DMarks while both the GTX 960 and R9 380 have scores of around 3500 marks.

AMD Radeon R9 380X DirectX 12 and 3DMark Charts:

AMD Radeon R9 380X Gaming Performance Charts:

AMD Radeon R9 380X Gaming Performance:

1080P Benchmarks (Max Details w/AAF)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960AMD Radeon R9 380X
Alien Isolation72 FPS84 FPS90 FPS
Batman Arkham Origins68 FPS60 FPS73 FPS
Battlefield Hardline76 FPS90 FPS98 FPS
Bioshock Infinite70 FPS76 FPS96 FPS
Civilization Beyond Earth62 FPS86 FPS95 FPS
Dragon Age Inqusition65 FPS80 FPS85 FPS
Far Cry 456 FPS70 FPS72 FPS
GTA V55 FPS69 FPS73 FPS
Metro Last Light56 FPS70 FPS73 FPS
Shadow Of Mordor58 FPS65 FPS78 FPS
Sleeping Dogs50 FPS58 FPS70 FPS
Thief45 FPS70 FPS78 FPS
Tomb Raider60 FPS73 FPS80 FPS
Witcher 347 FPS66 FPS68 FPS

AMD Radeon R9 380X Firestrike Performance:

 AMD Radeon HD 7850NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760AMD Radeon R9 270XAMD Radeon R9 380NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960AMD Radeon R9 380X
3DMark Firestrike (1080P)4500 Marks4700 Marks5850 Marks5970 Marks7300 Marks7500 Marks8180 Marks
3DMark Firestrike (1440P)2100 Marks2200 Marks2870 Marks2900 Marks3500 Marks3550 Marks4100 Marks

AMD Radeon R9 380X Custom Models:

AMD Radeon R9 380X “Antigua XT” Specifications:

 AMD Radeon R9 380AMD Radeon R9 380XAMD Radeon R9 390AMD Radeon R9 390X
GPU NameAntigua ProAntigua XTHawaii ProHawaii XT
Die Size359mm²359mm²438mm²438mm²
Compute Units28326064
Stream Processors1792204825602816
ROPs32324044
TMUs112128160176
Clock Speed970 MHz1000 MHz1000 MHz1050 MHz
Texture Fill Rate108.64 GT/s124.26 GT/s160.0 GT/s184.8 GT/s
Peak Compute (FP32)3.48 TFLOPs3.97 TFLOPs5.1 TFLOPs5.9 TFLOPs
VRAM2 - 4 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR5
Memory Clock5.5 - 5.7 GHz5.7 GHz6.0 GHz6.0 GHz
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit512-bit512-bit
Bandwidth176.2 / 182.4 GB/s182.4 GB/s384 GB/s384 GB/s
TDP190W190W275W275W
Launch Price$199 US$229 US$329$429

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