Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sapphire R9 380 Nitro Physical review










Buildzoid's GPU reviews explained

Specs
1792 stream processors clocked at 985mhz
4GB of VRAM clocked at 1450mhz on a 256bit bus
2 6pin power connectors officially supporting up to 225W
Core clock throttling temperature 85C°
1 DVI-I port
1 DVI-D port
1 HDMI port
1 DisplayPort

Cooling: 7/10

 



  














I currently don't have the equipment necessary to do proper noise testing but just ot give you an idea of the fan noise I'll tell you this. With the GPU at 0RPM my sound meter reads about 51.2dB sitting 8cm from the GPU. With the fans at 50% it reads 53 dB. At 65% it reads 59 dB. At 75% it reads 63dB and at 100% it reads 72dB. I'd recommend running the card around 55-65% fan speed since that's when the noise temperature trade off is quite reasonable.

VRM: 8/10
Core
- 5 true phases provided by an OnSemi NCP81022???
- 2 low side OnSemi 4C10N MOSFETs in parrallel providing a total of 68A per phase at 80C case temperature
- 1 high side OnSemi 4C10N MOSFET providing 34A per phase at 80C case temperature
- Unknow switching frequency
VRAM
- 1 phase
- 2 low side OnSemi 4C10N MOSFETs in parrallel providing a total of 68A per phase at 80C case temperature
- 2 high side OnSemi 4C10N MOSFETs in parrallel providing a total of 68A per phase at 80C case temperature
VAUX
- 1 phase
These VRMs kicks ass. They might not look like much but it can push up to 340A to the core at 80C operating temperature. That's enough current for the card not to burn up even above 1.5V core voltage. The memory VRM can also easily handle 68A which explains why Sapphire didn't even bother with a heatsink for it. Finally the VAUX VRM is another 68A single phase. There isn't much to improve with this VRM. Sure it could be an 8 phase on the core and a 2 phase on the other voltages but other than that the VRM setup of the R9 380 Nitro from Sapphire is good enough even for LN2 overclocking. After all at stock an R9 380 only needs about 150A for the core but this card is built for twice that.

Extras:
+1 Dual BIOS
+1 0RPM fans in idle 
+1 VRAM cooling

Overclocking
The highest I've managed to push this card to was 1110/1650mhz. The VRAM is made by Hynix and has  a stock voltage of 1.6V the core on the other hand has a stock voltage of 1.2V. The only downsides with overclocking this GPU is that there is no software voltage control support and the 20% power limit seems to be causing crashes because it's too low. The last issue is that you need to restart your system if the drivers crash because after one crash many previously stable settings will be unstable. Luckily this card uses an NCP81022 so it's quite easy to get rid of theses problems with a few simple mods and hopefully there will be software support for voltage control some time soon.

Conclusion: 18/20
I like this card. The VRM is plenty powerful even for extreme overclocking and the cooler is capable enough for gaming but also benchmarking runs with raised Vcore when run at 100%. Overall I'd say this is a very well balanced card especially considering that it's the cheapest R9 380 I could find.

Thank you to CoolerMaster for providing the V1000 PSU that was used for this review.

3 comments:

  1. I found this review, and I found it very curious.

    I own a Sapphire 380X, that is quite annoying regarding throttling (it has the same TDP as the 380 it seems).

    Your phrase: Luckily this card uses an NCP81022 so it's quite easy to get rid of theses problems with a few simple mods.

    What does this mean? What problems, and what mods?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The NCP80122 is easy to volt and power mod. Remove a couple resistors and the power limit is gone. For voltage you just need a 20K ohm potentiometer going from the FB pin to GND.

      Delete
  2. I run mine at 1125/1600

    ReplyDelete