AMD has recently updated its lineup of graphics cards, offering solutions for any taste and budget. Its Radeon R9 380 adapter is an appropriate balance of quality and price. Hence, there is small wonder that all company’s partners rushed into introducing their own versions of the card. The Strix R9 380 OC from Asus is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding interpretations. Let’s see what privileges it boasts.
Asus Strix R9 380 OC is based on Antigua Pro GPU (28 nm) that entails 1792 CUDA cores, 32 ROPs and 11 TMUs. In contrast to the etalon model running at 970 MHz frequency, this card features 990 MHz nominal clock frequency. The codename – Strix-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-Gaming implies that this item comes equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, operating at 5500 MHz efficient frequency. However, it is assumed that Asus will introduce the version with 4 GB memory to satisfy the needs of a wider audience.
All hardware base components are housed on an original two-slot printed circuit board. To be precise, the layout resembles too much the one used in R9 285 Strix model. The only differentiation is the employment of a single 8-pin power connector instead of two 6-pin connectors. The PCB was designed according to Auto-Extreme technology that stipulates 100% factory automation.
The GPU voltage regulation module is designed according to 6-phase scheme that is monitored by Digi+ ASP1300 controller. All power elements are covered by an additional aluminum heatspreader. Memory subsystem draws power from two other phases which ensure utmost stability on loading. Upon the whole, this circuit takes Super Alloy Power components with improved specifications.
Memory chips, codenamed Elpida W2032BBBG-6A-F, have L-shaped localization beside the GPU. The reverse side of the PCB features an aluminum coating with decorative notches and a hole in GPU area. It is called to provide for design integrity rather than for additional cooling effect.
To continue, this videocard is furnished with additional power supply indication system. The integrated red indicator turns on when the power cable is disconnected, while white indicator comes on the connection to the external +12V bus. In this light, Asus recommends using PSU of not less than 500 W power to ensure a stable 24A current on the line.
The interface panel offers a standard set of video connectors: DVI-I, DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI. All sockets are surrounded by a ventilation grid.
Asus Strix R9 380 OC comes equipped with DirectCU II cooling system. It consists of an aluminum heatsink and three copper heatpipes (1x – 10 mm, 2x – 8 mm). The triple comes in touch with the GPU, securing the maximal heat dissipation effect. The heatsink section is accompanied by two 100 mm fans with large blades. Being a representative of Strix family, the fans rotate only on high temperature and high loading on the GPU; in all other cases they remain motionless. The cooler is covered by a plastic coating.
The implementation of 0dB Fan Tech cannot but gladden the customer. Indeed, if there is possibility to use passive cooling, why torment your ears with fan noise? On high loading (up to 76 degrees GPU temperature) fans rotational speed achieves 1350 RMP. When the temperature runs low, the speed decelerates automatically, resulting in a complete halt at 60 degrees checkmark.
As far as overclocking is concerned, Strix R9 380 OC might be dynamically overclocked up to 1070 MHz (+11%). Memory can be overclocked up to 6110 MHz (+11%).
With all that said, it is fair to say that this graphics card is an ideal solution for mid-tier PC systems. Asus claims that the new-comer is able to cope with 1440p video; nonetheless, technical specs imply that its facilities would be sufficient only for Full HD image production.