XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition review

AMD’s Radeon R9 390X is a higher-performance take on the Radeon R9 390 designed to go up against Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980. XFX’s Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition embellishes the reference design with furnishes the GPU with the twin fan heatpipe cooler which gives the card its name.

See also: What's the best graphics card?

With the Radeon R9 390X, AMD aims to cater to the needs of high resolution gaming above 1080p resolutions. This means smooth playback should be achievable at 2560x1440 and above.

Unlike many graphics cards featuring sophisticated third party coolers, the XFX card runs at the stock core clock speed of 1,050MHz making it the only card in our group test which hasn’t been factory overclocked. This should be kept in mind when viewing the performance figures as we haven’t attempted to overclock the card manually. This is a slightly faster clock speed than a standard Radeon R9 390 and the performance is further increased by increasing the number of stream processors from 2,560 to 2,816 although the memory performance remains unchanged.

XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition review: performance

Therefore, this R9 390X-based XFX card does outperform the R9 390 royalQueen from Club 3D, but only by a very small amount. In our tests, the gap is often only a couple of frames per second. For example, we see the R9 390 product achieving an average of 113.4 fps from Grand Theft Auto 5 at 1080p high quality, while the R9 390X of the XFX card improves this to only 116.5.

Despite it’s close performance results to the cheaper card, we were pleased to see frame rates of around 80 frames per second from Bioshock Infinite at 2560x1440 pixels Ultra quality. Also, the XFX model runs considerably quieter and, at the time of writing, can be found for only £21 more making it a pretty good deal in our books. The XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition is undoubtedly the better card and in the end it’s not just about raw frame rates.

On the other hand, stepping up to the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G would gain you only a little more speed, but cost you an additional £100. If the XFX R9 390X card had been pitted against a standard GeForce GTX 980 it would have been a closer fight, with the AMD card occasionally coming out on top, but the overclocked cores MSI board help it to hold onto its lead.

The Radeon R9 390X comes as standard with a huge 8GB of RAM as compared to 4GB on the Nvidia GeForce GTX980. There aren’t many games which can take advantage of this currently, but there’s still potential for the AMD card to make some gains with future titles. The XFX card lacks the finesse and application support of some of the competition but we feel it mounts a successful challenge to the GTX 980.

XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition: Specs

  • AMD Radeon R9 390X Codename: Grenada XT Process: 28nm Core clock: 1050MHz Memory clock: 6000MHz Memory bus width: 512-bit Processor cores: 2816 Texture units: 176 ROPs: 64 APIs: DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, Vulkan, Mantle Memory type and capacity: GDDR5 8GB Cooling system: Twin fans + heat pipes Power connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin PCIe Ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 2x DVI Simultaneous outputs: 4 (up to 6 via MST hub) Card width: 2 slots Dimensions: 295 x 143 x 42mm Cosmetic enhancements: None Software: None Accessories: 2x power cables Warranty: 2 years
  • AMD Radeon R9 390X Codename: Grenada XT Process: 28nm Core clock: 1050MHz Memory clock: 6000MHz Memory bus width: 512-bit Processor cores: 2816 Texture units: 176 ROPs: 64 APIs: DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, Vulkan, Mantle Memory type and capacity: GDDR5 8GB Cooling system: Twin fans + heat pipes Power connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin PCIe Ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 2x DVI Simultaneous outputs: 4 (up to 6 via MST hub) Card width: 2 slots Dimensions: 295 x 143 x 42mm Cosmetic enhancements: None Software: None Accessories: 2x power cables Warranty: 2 years

OUR VERDICT

The Radeon R9 390X isn’t always a good value for money option when compared to a standard R9 390, but find this card at the right price and it’s one of the better examples thanks to its Double Dissipation cooler. But, it’s still noisier and slower than the more expensive GPUs. Stay below 4K resolution and this card will serve you well.