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Sapphire R9 380 ITX Compact 4GB

It’s crazy that it was all the way back in 2014 when Sapphire first introduced their R9 285 ITX Compact. That that time we were excited because Ed from Sapphire had been taking a lot of notes at our LANs on builds like our LunchBox 3 and we finally saw why. The 285 ITX Compact blew me away by standing above all of the other ITX cards on the market both in gaming performance but also in cooling performance. In fact, I know a few of the LanOC staff swapped to the card in their LAN rigs. Well I still have it in the LunchBox 3 but I’ve been itching to build a new LAN rig and the first thing I need is a compact ITX card to put in it. As luck would have it Sapphire just refreshed their R9 380 ITX Compact with 4 gigs of ram so today I’m going to put it through the ringer and find out how it performs.

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Asus R9 380X Strix OC

When it comes to picking out a video card for your PC, I think we would all go with the top end cards if it was possible. But the truth is when we are picking out our components it is all a balance. We have to make sure that no one component gets the biggest portion of the budget, the card has to fit the budget, and it also has to fit with your other components. In other words, you wouldn’t go with a Fury if you could only afford a power supply that would power an R7 370. Because of that it is nice to have options and for the most part AMD has done a good job filling in the gaps. The one glaring omission though has been the lack of a 380X to match the 370X and 390X’s in their product line. Well today they have filled that gap. So today I’m going to dig into the Asus R9 380X Strix and find out what sets the 380X apart from the competition as well as the 380 and 390 that it sits between.

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MSI R9 390 Gaming 8G

Early this month it seemed like we had nothing but video card content, at one point out entire front page was filled with it. Because of that I did take a bit of a break from them but I did have one last card here in the office I wanted to take a look at. This time around I wanted to take a look at an MSI R9 390 Gaming 8G that AMD had sent over. We have seen a few R9 390’s but nothing from MSI so it will be great to see how the 390 compares to some of the SLI and Crossfire testing we recently did and to also see how the MSI card compares to the other competition on the market.

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GTX 950 SLI Testing

So yeah I know, it’s starting to look a little like all we cover around here are GTX 950’s and R7 370’s. Don’t worry today is the last time. Today I’m going to follow up the R7 370 Crossfire article and see how good our two GTX 950’s perform when paired up in SLI. As with all of our Crossfire and SLI articles, this is not a review as I have already tested and reviewed both cards individually. Today is just a quick look at their performance and to find out if the 950’s in SLI are a better value than any of the more expensive cards individually. Have a great weekend everyone!

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AMD R7 370 Crossfire Testing

So over the last two weeks I have taken a look at two different R7 370’s and two GTX 950’s so this week I’m going to pair them up and see just how good they perform in dual card configurations. Today I will start off the testing by testing and looking at how the two R7 370’s perform when in Crossfire. As with all of our Crossfire and SLI articles, this is not a review as I have already tested and reviewed both cards individually. So all I’m doing today is taking a quick look at what you can expect from two 370’s in Crossfire. Enjoy!

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MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G

Last week Nvidia launched their GTX 950, a budget focused Maxwell card. At the launch I took a look at the Asus Strix 950. Well right after the Strix came in we had the MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G come in as well. So today I’m going to see what sets the MSI apart and find out how it performs compared to the Asus as well as the two different R7 370’s that I have recently tested. This is a great chance to see how the Twin Frozr cooler on the MSI compares to the DirectCU II cooler on the Strix and to see what is the better option if you are on the market for a GTX 950.

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Asus R7 370 Strix 4GB

So last week was basically all about budget gaming with our first R7 370 review as well as the launch of the GTX 950. Well this week isn’t going to be any different. Today I’m going to take a look at another R7 370, this time the Asus Strix 4GB model. This gives us a chance to compare the Sapphire that I previously took a look and find out how the cards compare. It also is a good chance to see where the R7 370 sits now that the GTX 950 is out. To sit back and I’m going to see what the Asus R7 370 Strix 4GB has going on and then how it performs.

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Asus GTX 950 Strix

So yesterday I had the chance to check out the R7 370, AMD’s current budget video card. Well today Nvidia is officially announcing and releasing the GTX 950. The GTX 950 falls in between the GTX 960 and the GTX 750 Ti. This fills in a gap in the Nvidia lineup and should compete directly with the R7 370. Like I mentioned yesterday, this isn’t a price point that enthusiasts who are building high end PCs would be looking at but it does fall right into the sweet spot for budget gaming builds around the $600 price point. So with that in mind today we are going to see what the GTX 950 is all about, find out how it fits in between the 960 and 750 Ti in both performance and specifications, then find out if it is the right option for people looking at building their new $600 gaming PCs.

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Sapphire Nitro R7 370

While it is fun to get excited about the $1000 CPUs and video cards, PCI Express SSD’s, and all of the other cutting edge tech that we see coming through the office from time to time. The reality of life is that when you are building your new gaming PC you will move likely set a realistic budget and you have to work around that. A lot of people ask for feedback on their builds for helping putting together a parts list and a lot of those people are looking at a budget of around $600 for their new PCs. So at that price point typically an ideal video card is the main purchase as everything else is as cheap as you can get but the card budget comes in around $175 to $200. So today I wanted to take a look at what AMD and more specifically Sapphire has to offer at that price point. That is their new Nitro series R7 370.

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XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Core Edition

Last week I had the chance to check out our first R9 390 with the Sapphire Nitro. Well today we get to take a look at what XFX has to offer. This gives us a great chance to compare the cards against each other along with all of the cards previous tested. This helps put more perspective on their individual performance to find out what card is best for your specific build. So today I’m going to run the XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Core Edition through all of our in-game, compute,  and synthetic performance tests as well as the more specific per card tests like noise and cooling performance. In the past the XFX cards have performed well, but it might have its hand full with the triple fan cooler on the Sapphire.

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Sapphire Nitro R9 390

While the move from the 200 series to the 300 series was mostly just a bump in clock speed and memory capacities, Sapphire made even bigger changes in their product line. Even though their 200 Series cards were very popular they still redesigned their cooling design and even introduced a new line that they call Nitro. Today I’m going to take a look at the Sapphire Nitro R9 390 and see what has changed in the product line as well as get a look at the performance of the R9 390 to see how it compares to the R9 290 that it replaced.

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PowerColor PCS+ R9 380

So last week we had our first peak at the kind of new R9 380. Well it just so happens that card was only a 2GB model. Lucky for us PowerColor sent over their PCS+ R9 380 and it has a 4GB frame buffer. So today I’m going to check out the card from PowerColor and see what they have going on and along with that we can see if having the additional frame buffer is worth it in our benchmark suite. With these cards not exactly being focused towards higher resolution gameplay I’m not sure if we will see too much at 1080p but given the 1440p numbers we saw before I bet we see some improvement there!

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MSI R9 380 Gaming 2G

At this year’s E3 AMD announced its long awaited next generation of cards. While most of the eyes are on the Fury cards they also introduced the 300 Series. For the most part the 200 Series cards were rebranded but most of the cards did see some tweaks to clock speeds, memory capacity, and memory bus. To start off our coverage of the new cards today I am going to take a look at the R9 380 Gaming 2G from MSI. The R9 380 is a Tonga GPU card, the same GPU that was used in the R9 285 launched last fall. The R9 380 did see a boost clock speed increase over the R9 285 and the MSI I am testing today has a slight overclock over the stock R9 380 clock as well.

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Nvidia GTX 980 Ti

You might be wondering what I’m doing posting on a Sunday night but with Computex starting in Taiwan there are a ton of things getting announced or about to get announced. You see a lot of people think that CES is the big event each year for PC hardware but CES is really for consumer electronics where Computex has more of a focus on PC hardware. So with that Nvidia has stepped up and is introducing their GTX 980 Ti. While the launch is exciting, it is a little surprising to see them launch now, before AMD launches their 300 Series cards. Typically companies leave an ace in the hole so Nvidia must be really confident that AMD doesn’t have what it takes to outperform the GTX 980 Ti. While we won’t know that until AMD launches their cards, what we can do today is run the GTX 980 Ti through our benchmark suite and see just how it compares to what is available today.

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GTX 980 SLI Testing

After taking a look at the Titan X last week it really got me thinking. Currently you can pick up two GTX 980s for the price of one Titan X. That leaves me wondering how well two GTX 980s would perform in SLI compared to the Titan X. Well it just so happens I had two GTX 980’s in use in the office so I put them to the test. Today I’m going to take a quick look at their performance and see if they are a better buy than a single Titan X.

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Nvidia Titan X

Sometimes you can’t explain it but you need the biggest and best. When it comes to video cards from Nvidia the GTX 980 is a beast, hell I have GTX 980’s in both my main PC and my LAN rig, but with 4 giga of ram I don’t think you can really consider it to be the end all be all video card. This is where Nvidia comes in with their Titan cards. In the past they have had the original Titan as well as the Titan Z with its dual GPUs and the Titan Black. Well the latest Titan is the Titan X. Nvidia launched it this past March and we were a little slow to get one in but today I finally have one to run through our benchmark suite. Let’s find out if it really is godlike like the name implies.

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Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Omega

Of all of the 900 series cards we have covered recently. Oddly enough, we haven’t really gotten any 970’s in. The same can be said for of coverage of Zotac cards, we haven’t heard much from them for a while now. Lucky for us they sent over a GTX 970 so not only do we get the chance to see how well the 970 performs, but I also can see what Zotac has been doing with their cards. This should be especially interesting because the GTX 970 they sent over to review is their AMP! Omega model with its HUGE cooler and a few overclocking specific features that I am excited to check out.

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Gigabyte GTX 960

We all have our own style preferences and this is no different when it comes to video cards. So when Gigabyte wanted to send out their GTX 960 I wasn’t about to turn it down enough though we have already covered a few other GTX 960’s. I wanted to see how Gigabytes offering compares to the competition, both with its performance and also with its styling. If we didn’t have variety we would all be running the exact same PC configuration and that wouldn’t be any fun. So today I’m going to put the Gigabyte GTX 960 through our standard benchmark suite as well as take a closer look at what makes it tick to find out if this is the best GTX 960 to pick up for your new budget build.

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MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G

With the launch of the 900 series of cards MSI also launched their new Twin Frozr V cooling. Sadly up until now we haven’t had the chance to actually check out one. With the GTX 960 launch setting down MSI sent over their GTX 960 Gaming 2G for us to check out. This gives us a great chance to see what their new cooling is capable of and to be able to compare it to some of the competition. My expectations are high because MSI has done a great job on the cooling front for a long time now. So let’s put the GTX 960 Gaming 2G to the test and see how it performs.

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Asus R9 290X Matrix Platinum

While Nvidia now has their latest GPU out, AMD is still relying on their 290X to lead the pack. Asus sent over their R9 290X Matrix Platinum so that we could finally put it through our benchmark suite and find out if AMDs flagship card with a healthy overclock can keep up with the latest and greatest from Nvidia. I’m especially curious to see how it performs compared to the competition in some of our higher resolution testing. With all of the fuss about memory issues on the GTX 970 it will be great to see how AMDs current flagship card is holding up.

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