With the release of the new line of graphics cards, AMD decided to "refresh" virtually all segments of the accelerators. Besides undeniably original Radeon R9 Fury / Fury X, the company is also working on the modernization of a number of devices. For those who choose enough performance graphics cards, but are not ready to spend large amounts of high-end solutions, perhaps Radeon R9 390 will be of interest to them. In another our review we will try to explore the possibilities of unusual model - ASUS STRIX R9 390 OC GAMING. To find out what it can offer new products, improving over who worked well known Taiwanese manufacturer reading below?

AMD Radeon R9 390

What's Radeon R9 390? When you first look at the specifications of the video, you will see the familiar features of the Radeon R9 290. The graphic processor Hawaii was renamed in Grenada and actually produced the same 28-nanometer technology and incorporates an identical number of functional blocks.
In the case of R9 390 it comes to 2560 stream computing, 160 texture units and 64 raster. However, the recommended graphics clock frequency is increased from 947 MHz to 1000 MHz (+ 5.6%). The new adapter has kept its 512-bit memory bus, but the operating frequency of GDDR5 chips is increased - up to 6000 MHz, 5000 MHz instead recommended for Radeon R9 290. Another significant difference from its predecessors - all from the line video cards Radeon R9 390 will be offered complete with 8 GB of memory, while R9 290 is equipped with 4 GB of local memory. Double the memory capacity and increased its throughput by 20% can be viewed as a hint of possibility, Radeon R9 390 to be used for work in 1440p mode. In the brochures, AMD mentioned the possibility of a comfortable game in 4K resolution, but this statement should be taken with a share of skepticism.
In any case, however, increasing the frequency of the GPU / memory promises an improvement in productivity, regardless of the mode. However, a doubling in the volume of local memory can still be considered in the future. However, it is nice to happen today. This reminds us that even in the face of the flagship Radeon R9 Fury X, due to the technical features of HBM, offering "only" 4 GB of memory and more affordable Radeon R9 390, which received 8 GB of in the base kit.
According to the manufacturer, even after the increase of the operating frequency and twice the amount of memory, TDP reference Radeon R9 390 will be able to preserve the value of 275 W. For the submission of additional power are two 6- and 8-pin connector. Of course, this is not a dogma and video card manufacturers are free to modify the configuration of the power subsystem and up the connectors at its discretion.
The suggested retail price for the Radeon R9 380 8GB is $ 329 By indicating that price, the manufacturer deliberately opposes the GeForce GTX 970 4 GB, which is identical to the reference price. It is quite interesting opponent. If earlier GeForce GTX 970 successfully competed with Radeon R9 290X, it "bezhiksovata" version of the Radeon R9 390 with doubled memory capacity in this confrontation seems quite convincing.


After the announcement of the new line of graphics cards with chips from AMD, ASUS offer several adapter based on Radeon R9 390. Top speed version named ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING and as can be seen from the marking device belongs to the series Strix.
The model has a factory overclock. CPU clock frequency was increased from 1000 MHz to 1050 MHz. The card carries an expected 8 GB GDDR5 memory running on 6000 MHz.
512-bit memory bus allows even at a relatively low incidence of local graphics memory to provide a very good bandwidth - 384 GB / s. More highways GPU-CPU have only Radeon R9 Fury / Fury X (512 GB / s).
For video use a new cooling system - DirectCU III. This is the next version of the series air cooling systems manufacturer used more effective elements and structure of the radiator.

In general, the concept of DirectCU is stored. At the base of the cooler stands set of aluminum plates, increasing the area of ​​distraction. To speed up the transfer of heat from the GPU, the structure of the block has five heat pipes, two of which are 10 mm in diameter, the other two - 8 mm and 6 mm heel. As seen in the picture, in direct contact with the GPU are only three heat pipes to dissipate heat in the most remote parts of the radiator block. The two other tubes are also included in the process of heat transfer, albeit at a lower efficiency.
For blowing the radiator are three fan with a diameter of 90 mm. Triventilatornata structure theoretically allows to increase the area of ​​the blowing and to obtain the air flow with considerable power for the generation of which would require two fans, but with increased speed.
Of course, video is used original PCB. The adapter has an enhanced power subsystem based on 8-phase scheme with managing discrete controller. MOSFET has an additional cooling. Used items correspond to the concept Super Alloy Power II.
For the preparation of 8 GB of memory chips 16 are used, which are G-imaging methods are located around the GPU. In this case, the chips are SK Hynix H5GC4H24AJA-T2S.
According to the manufacturer, the adapter is designed in AUTO-EXTREME technology provides 100% automation of the production process for manufacturing the device, eliminating the human factor during the assembly of the video card.
On the back of the card is mounted aluminum plate. Back protection has become common for devices of this level. In this case, the element does not play a role in cooling, but acts as the amplifier element of the structure and complementing the appearance.
In the decorative purposes the graphics card provided another focus. The top panel has a translucent Plexiglas element with the logo of the series, which is underlined by the pulsating at work light.
For submission of additional power at the top of the adapter has a pair of 6- and 8-pin connectors. Last traditionally turned 180 degrees for convenient connection. Together with the connectors were added and signal indicators with red and white colors that reflect the connection of 12V power lines.
Overall, the video looks like a monumental device. The length of the adapter - 300 mm, it is quite desirable in advance to make sure that it has enough space in the cabinet.
The interface panel are outlined five digital video outputs - DVI, DisplayPort and Full frame three HDMI. Approximately one fifth of the panel is occupied by the ventilation grille.
The card comes with a little manual, CD with drivers and adapter with a pair of 6-pin connectors to one 8-pin.

Given the size of the device itself, it arrives in a rather large box, decorated boxes of typical product line Strix.
Performance graphics cards from AMD are quite high actual energy consumption. This is completely true for devices of lines Radeon R9 290 / 290X and remains current for upgraded versions of adapters that appear markings Radeon R9 390 / 390X. In this case, the efficiency of the cooling system plays a special role. The reference design of the previous generation adapters honestly was not with better efficiency and noise level as models with original coolers are often preferred. Will repeat the story this time? For this uniquely we can talk after you meet in commodity versions of Radeon R9 390 / 390X, but judging by the designs of coolers offered to them, the situation is unlikely to be radically different.
Anyway, if the card has a TDP 275W, it is obvious that the cooling system should be pretty effective, but ideally also the most quiet in operation. Let's see how things triventilatorniya DirectCU III.
All video cards belonging to the series Strix, a nice feature - they work quietly at a low load of the graphics adapter. This is true both for economical compact graphics and a very "hungry" adapters to which can be fully deducted and Radeon R9 390. In an open stand in idle mode, the GPU is warmed to 45 degrees. In this state, the chip operates at a clock frequency of 300 MHz, and Krupp radiator block very well cope with the heat dissipation. According to the algorithm for speed control in idle mode, the fan speed decreases to 25%, in this case, the central fan can some time after reducing the load can be rotated with a frequency of about 500 rev / min.
After completion of all of the tests, the peak value of the temperature of the CPU was 85 degrees. Fans placed for example at about 65 degrees. In order to maintain a fixed temperature, fan speed is increased to 1700 rev / min. Of course, the work of the cooling system in this mode can be heard, but the overall noise level is very moderate. The effectiveness of the cooling system is sufficient so that even under high load, the GPU clock speed remained at the given level.
Radeon R9 390 really is the supercharged version of R9 290 in which ASUS has further increased the nominal frequency of the GPU on this card, but special overclocking records it can not be relied upon. Manufacturers of chip and adapter already revealed hardest part of the potential of the GPU.
As it turned out, there are still some reserves, but they are not so great. We managed to increase the GPU frequency up to 1110 MHz. This is roughly the same level that we achieved in the experiments with Radeon R9 290. None of the technological production process can not rely on any particular progress. As we see, in the case of tuning video of ASUS, the chip can not be stepped over 5%.
The memory chips may also be forcing. The operating frequency of the chips without consequences was increased to 6400 MHz. Here, too, it can not rely on the frequency records. However, it is necessary to synchronize the operation of 8 GB.
Productivity Radeon R9 390 is not much bigger, but at the same time it is interesting to see how confidently refuted Radeon R9 290X. However, less computational blocks in the GPU, a high throughput memory brings much better results in the resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels.
Of course, it is interesting confrontation with the GeForce GTX 970. In preferred frequencies again minimal advantage for Radeon R9 390. Surely in a number of games that are not included in the list for the test stages, higher results can display adapter chip of NVIDIA. In general, however, in respect of barzodeystvieto are almost equal rivals. Moreover, Radeon R9 390 is equipped with 8 GB of memory, which gives some prospects stock.

The adapter better respond to increasing the clock frequency of the GPU. The additional 50 MHz, which base model is the model in question received from ASUS, imported certain growth rate in productivity. The private overclocking even gives some speed, but 5-7% - maybe this acceleration for many not very satisfactory, especially for those who love to play games with manual settings.
Energy consumption
Consumption of electricity - is not the strongest part of the video cards with chips from AMD. During active fighting in Metro Last Light overall energy consumption of the system with an installed Radeon R9 390 increase to 380 watts. In such conditions, using GeForce GTX 970, the platform consumes about 260 watts.
The innovation from AMD in the class of productive adapters can be seen as quite successful. Radeon R9 390 as a whole leaves a pleasant impression. The device offers high-performance flagship of the recent - Radeon R9 290X. This is a very worthy competitor to the GeForce GTX 970. With the same suggested retail price, the adapter, AMD offers a similar level of performance, but has 8 GB of memory, offering opportunities for bold experiments with high resolution without worrying about a possible shortage of local video memory.
In relation to the ASUS Strix R9 390 OC Gaming, then this model with factory overclocking allows you to get a few more frames per second in the outcome of the reference adapter. Great cooling system with a complex structure, generates low noise even under heavy load. The starting price of the graphics card is significantly higher than the recommended level, which reduces the attractiveness of the adapter further.