• SPECIFICATIONS
  • GPU: AMD R9 390 Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Ports: HDMI x1, DVI x1, DisplayPort x3
  • Slot Size: Double
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Cons:
  • Power consumption
  • Benchmark Results
  • GPU: AMD R9 390
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Ports: HDMI x1, DVI x1, DisplayPort x3
  • Slot Size: Double

A Challenger Has Arrived

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year, AMD announced its array of brand new R9 300 series GPUs and the much-awaited R9 Fury and Fury X flagship graphics cards. While we are still waiting for the Fury cards to arrive to local shores, AMD has wasted no time in getting the other R9 300 cards out in the market, and ASUS was kind enough to quickly send us the ASUS STRIX R9 390 graphics card.

Powered by the same Hawaii graphics processor that was inside the R9 290 graphics card, the R9 390’s core clock is factory overclocked to 1,050MHz on Game Mode, and can go up to 1,070MHz in OC mode. The key differences between this card and it predecessors? The fact that it comes with a whopping 8GB of GDDR5 memory, and a brand new cooler.

The ASUS STRIX R9 390 requires one 8-pin and 6-pin PCIE plug to power up

The ASUS STRIX R9 390 requires one 8-pin and 6-pin PCIE plug to power up

The brand new cooler we’re speaking of is of course ASUS’ brand new Direct CU3 cooler, which now features three fans and dual 10mm heatpipes to keep the R9 390 as cool as possible. Much like the previous iteration of STRIX graphics cards, the STRIX R9 390 also features ASUS’ patented 0dB fan design, which doesn’t spin until the graphics core hits a certain temperature, which usually happens when the card is benchmarking or playing a game.

As far as connectivity goes, the STRIX R9 390 has one DVI port, one HDMI port and three DisplayPort ports, allowing users to connect up to three monitors simultaneously to one card. As for powering up the card, you will need to hook up one 8-pin and one 6-pin power port to boot it up.

The card is also not short on connectivity options as it features three DisplayPorts, one HDMI and one DVI port for video-out

The card is also not short on connectivity options as it features three DisplayPorts, one HDMI and one DVI port for video-out

We tested the card with a variety of high end current generation games such as The Witcher 3, Crysis 3, and Tomb Raider, and found that the card performs extremely well on the highest settings at both 1080p and 1440p. Coupled with the ASUS FreeSync monitor that we’re also reviewing, the in-game graphics look amazingly detailed and vibrant, with nary a lagging pixel in sight.

That being said, the card’s DCUIII fans started kicking in a while after we started gaming, and the heat generated by the GPU can certainly be felt, especially on our test bed. The cooling prowess of ASUS’ DCUIII can be seen here as the fans and heatpipes do its best to dissipate as much heat as possible from the card.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The ASUS STRIX R9 390 is a great solution if you’re looking for an AMD-based high-end gaming card. With FreeSync monitors finally making themselves available in the market, it’s definitely a good time to go AMD.

(previously published in issue August 2015)

ASUS STRIX R9 390