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Intro

This time, we tested two mainstream video cards: the Radeon R9 380 and the GeForce GTX 960, both with 4 GiB. Which one is the faster? Let’s find out!

Recently, we published a comparison between two entry-level video cards: the Radeon R7 360 and the GeForce GTX 750 Ti. We have also compared video cards from the high-end segment, like the Radeon Fury X and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Now, we have tested two intermediate video cards with GPUs that are direct competitors: the Radeon R9 380 from AMD and the GeForce GTX 960 from NVIDIA.

The cards we tested are the HIS IceQ X2 OC 4 GB Radeon R9 380 and the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960, also with 4 GiB. Keep in mind that both video cards are also available in 2 GiB versions, which can show a little different performances, compared to the models we used.

The Radeon R9 380 chip brings 1,792 processing cores, working at 970 MHz on the reference model, but the HIS Radeon R9 380 we tested comes 2% overclocked, running at 990 MHz. The analyzed card comes with 4 GiB of GDDR5 VRAM, with 5.7 GHz clock (3.6% overclock when compared to the 5.5 GHz of the AMD reference card), resulting in a 182.4 GiB/s bandwidth, with 256 bit bus.

On the other hand, the GeForce GTX 960 reference model has 1,024 processing cores running at 1,178 maximum clock, but the Gigabyte model we used in this test has a 10.7% overclocking (on the “Gaming” mode, there is also an “OC” mode that raises the clocks rates a little more) and runs at 1,304 MHz maximum clock. The memory uses the same nominal clock of the standard model, 7 GHz, reaching a 112.2 GiB/s bandwidth with 128 bit bus.

Please keep in mind that the obtained results are valid for the tested cards only, and other cards based on the same chips but with different clock rates can perform differently.

Just for curiosity, we also included in our comparison a GeForce GTX 950 from Gigabyte, a Radeon R7 360, and a GeForce GTX 750 Ti, so you can have an idea how fast the mainstream video cards are compared to entry-level ones. Remember, however, that the direct competitors we are comparing are the Radeon R9 380 and the GeForce GTX 960.

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video cards we included in this review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com for this article.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

Radeon R9 380

990 MHz


5.7 GHz

256 bits

182.4 GB/s

4 GiB GDDR5

1,792

190 W

12

USD 190

GeForce GTX 960

1,241 MHz

1,304 MHz

7.01 GHz

128 bits

112.2 GB/s

4 GiB GDDR5

1,024

120 W

12.1

USD 178

GeForce GTX 950

1,102 MHz

1,279 MHz

6.6 GHz

128 bit

105.6 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

768

90 W

12.1

USD 135

GeForce GTX 750 Ti

1,020 MHz

1,085 MHz

5.4 GHz

128 bit

86.4 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

60 W

11.2

USD 95

Radeon R7 360

1,070 MHz

1,070 MHz

6.5 GHz

128 bit

104.0 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

768

100 W

12

USD 95

Now let’s take a closer look to the tested video cards.