The Radeon R9 390 is quite a peculiar card. There has been many speculations and confusion regarding it’s DNA and where it sits in the current line up. Due to the fact that it shares most, if not all the specifications from the R9 290 from last generation. We have been given the chance to take a look at the Radeon R9 390 Strix Edition from Asus and to find out whether it’s just a rebadged and repackaged R9 290.
Base Clock 1050Mhz(Gaming Mode)
Boost Clock 1070Mhz(OC Mode)
Memory Clock 6000Mhz with a memory size of 8GB GDDR5 and a 512-bit memory interface. It uses the same 28nm Hawaii XT chip as the R9 290, the same 2560 Shader Cores and a 300Watt TDP. For it’s interface, it uses a PCI-E 16X Gen 3 slot. For I/O, it has 1 DVI-D port, 1 HDMI port, and 3 DisplayPort Ports
It’s using Asus’ own Direct CUIII cooler which is comprised of 5 copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU and spread to various parts of the heatsink. 3 of them are the standard 8mm size while the other 2 are 10mm in size. Asus is apparently the first to use 10mm copper heat pipes. Compared to the reference design, they advertised it’s capable of removing 40% more heat. This design in return, makes the card significantly larger as the cooler spans the entire length of the card.
This card is hawt. So, to cool it off they have came with a triple fan design that Asus calls the ‘triple wing-blade 0db design’. The fan blades have been designed to deliver a higher static air pressure to dissipate heat from the heat sink, while operating 3x quieter than a standard reference card. During less intensive tasks and games like LoL and StarCraft the fans go completely silent when the
temperatures are below a certain threshold. Which is 65 degrees celcius. When the temperature rises above that, the fans will spin up to remove the heat and will stop when the temperature drops below that threshold. Now, for the operating temperatures, we’re residing in Malaysia and are currently going through a heat wave where temperatures outside can reach 35 degrees celcius. On idle, it hovers around a chilly 40 degrees and during intense gameplay is goes up to a toasty 85 degrees.
Now, the card comes in a very gamer-ish black and red colour scheme. Even the PCB is black and it’s mounted on a black back plate. The back plate has the Strix owl logo painted on top and it really helps to protect the components on the back as well as giving support to the card to prevent sagging as this is one heavy card. On the top of the card, there is a Red LED illuminated Strix logo that pulses which adds some aesthetics to your overall system. Lastly, to power the card it uses a 6pin and an 8pin connector that is located on the top corner of the card.
Generally, the R9 390 is a repackaged and rebranded R9 290 with more VRAM. Everything else is more or less the same. It gets much more toasty under load than I’d liked especially here in Malaysia where the ambient temperatures can get quite uncomfortably warm. In my opinion, unless you personally taken a liking to the R9 390 Strix Edition, I would recommend to just get the previous generation R9 290 or 290X as the performance differences isn’t much, and it would save you a couple bucks. For Benchmarks do check out the review video.