R9 380 or R9 280x? Future proof upgrade

Going to invest in a new graphics card.
looking at 1080P gaming and possibly a multi monitor setup at the same resolution with 3 screens.
My budget is £180
Currently have a corsair cx 500 power supply running an ssd hdd FM2 motherboard with 2 ram sticks and an Athlon x4 760K at stock.
The reason I'm indecisive is;
The R9 280x has a raw power advantage and will be great for gaming and streaming with some basic 3D design.
its older though and from what I can gather it doesn't support DX 12 fully.
R9 380 Slightly less brute force, hopefully should be good enough for what I want and supports the newest features, also uses less power meaning I might (?) Not have to change my power supply.
any help on the decision.
Also not interested in Nvidia to much, dislike there business methods.

The practical performance difference, in gaming, isn't too much - the 280X may have the brute force, but the 380 makes up for it with better tessellation and shading. Gaming aside, the 380 has some other tertiary things, like True Audio and updated decoders.

I think the 380 will support more features from Directx12, but don't quote me on that.

1 Like

well yeah this is a bit of a head scratcher indeed.

I think you should checkout some benchmarks to see how big the diffrence between the tonga and Tahiti chip is. 380 VS 280X.
I know that the 280X is faster, but it depends a bit on how much its faster.

1 Like

Appreciate the reply, watched the video and I'm even more split haha
They are both pretty close, however I'm aiming for the 4GB version so the 380. As of now they are very similarly priced.

i think eitherway it wont be a bad decission realy.
Both cards are pretty close, ofc the 280X pulls ahead but not mindblowing.
It comes down to pricing i think.

1 Like

Sadly, I have to run to work in a touch, but I would try to research which chip will be more compatible with Directx12 features. All current generation chips will be able to handle Directx12, but how many will handle the full feature-set is a different question. There is some way of telling how, but I don't currently know. I'll have to look into it after work.

That should help

the 280x supports 11_1, same as most 700 nvidia cards
the 380 supports 12_0, same as most 900 cards

1 Like

Iirc, the 380 has better performance per watt (which isn't a huge deal, but it is something), has more vram (if you get the 4gb version, but 1gb difference isn't massive, but again, it is something), DX12 support, a little less performance, a little harder to find water blocks (as the 79xx has been around for a while), better tessellation performance, buying used would be easier with the 280x as it is older, the 380 costs more, and the 380 has freesync support (iirc, the 280x does not support freesync, but I could be wrong). To me, the clear choice is the 380. That said, the 390 would be a much more future proof card what with its massive vram and better performance. Though spending more isn't always possible, so get whatever you can. I would say the cards to buy per price range would be the 380, 390, Fury (non X), and then the Fury X. The rest, I wouldn't really consider too much.

i think i would go with the 380 aswell.
It still beats the GTX960 is some games, so yeah.

1 Like

I have yet to see a game where the 380 does NOT beat the 960. Now, it doesn't trash it or anything, but it does present the better performance option for sure.


To keep the conversation short. the 380 is much more feature rich than the 280x. in terms of longevity, it's a head-scratcher. like @MisteryAngel Mentioned. because the 380 has support for all the features, the 280x doesn't. BUT the 280x does outperform the 380. so it's like huh? wut? i don't even dot dot dot..

If i were you i'd sort of push for the 380 4GiB model, and hope you can pull a massive overclock. cause performance wise the 285 or (the R9-380) is in between the 280 and the 280x. but i think with a good moderate overclock you can get fairly close to the 280x. plus it's good that you have support for all the features. you're going to love and need it later down the road.

1 Like

also not to mention, that a 280X is a bit of a hard sell atm.
Cause if you want an overclocked version with decent cooling, the pricing is going to be realy close to a R9-290,
which again makes the 280X a hard sell.

then again you could argue the same thing with the 380 4GiB Model. it's roughly $220 to $240ish or so dollars. 20 bucks more and you can grab a Sapphire R9-290 Tri-X

okay i had the same problem deciding b/w a 280x or a 380 finally i went with 380 heres why:

  • 1.2 GCN architecture and all the goodness it comes with
  • AMD's best performance per watt card
  • Full DX12 support
  • comes 4gb of gddr5*
  • very cool and quite
  • pretty small form factor
  • Decent overclocker when coming from AMD
  • im an AMD Fanboi :P

oh and finally price to performance is pretty obvious, since it is an amd card.

1 Like