ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB Video CardToday we have the pleasure of looking at another AMD Radeon R9 390X 8GB video card that is sold under the part number STRIX-R9390X-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING. This is the flagship Radeon R9 390X by ASUS as they also offer another model with lower clock speeds along with a different PCB design and GPU cooler. You can better see the differences between the two cards in the table below.
|ASUS 390X Cards||STRIX-R9390X-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING||R9390X-DC2-8GD5|
|GPU||AMD Hawaii||AMD Hawaii|
|GPU Clock||1070 MHz (1090 in OC Mode)||1050 MHz|
|Pixel Fillrate||68.5 GPixel/s||67.2 GPixel/s|
|Texture Fillrate||188.3 GTexel/s||184.4 GTexel/s|
|Memory Amount||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clock||1500 MHz||1500 MHz|
|Memory Bandwidth||384.0 GB/s||384.0 GB/s|
|GPU Cooler||DirectCU III||DirectCU II|
|Street Price||$439.99 shipped||$419.99 Shipped|
Test SystemBefore we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago. Video Cards & Drivers used for testing:
- AMD CATALYST 15.8 Beta
- NVIDIA GeForce 355.82
Intel X79/LGA2011 PlatformThe Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1704 that came out on 05/08/2015. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-12-12-30 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room. Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:
|The Intel X79 Test Platform|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4960X|
ASUS P9X79-E WS
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
|Solid-State Drive||OCZ Vertex 460 240GB|
|Cooling||Intel TS13X (Asetek)|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX860i|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit|
|Monitor||Sharp PN-K321 32" 4K|
Battlefield 4Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States. This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark with these settings on the Shanghai level. All tests were done with the DirectX 11 API unless noted in the chart. Battlefield 4 is more CPU intensive than any other game that we benchmark with as 25% of the CPU is used up during gameplay. You can see that six threads are being used and that the processor is running in Turbo mode at 3.96GHz more times than not. Benchmark Results: At 4K Ultra HD settings found that the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX was just a tad slower than the AMD Radeon R9 Nano, but not by too much. The ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX was able to play BF4 and averaged just shy of 35 FPS on our benchmark run. When we played the game for about an hour we saw the frame rate dip down to 20 FPS in a couple really tough spots in the game, but had an enjoyable gaming experience. Benchmark Results: Here is a look at the performance over time you can really see how close the AMD Radeon R9 390X and AMD Radeon R9 Nano are!
Grand Theft Auto VGrand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015. Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos. It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. In Grand Theft Auto V we set the game to run with no MSAA with 16x AF and high image quality settings as we didn't want the GPU to bottleneck the system too bad, but wanted a setup that your average gamer would actually play on. Benchmark Results: In GTA V we ran the games built-in benchmark three times, averaged the numbers and got some pretty interesting results. The ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Mini-ITX video card took the lead here and the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX came in the slowest of the three with these game settings that use about 3.6GB of frame buffer.
Metro Last Light
Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013. Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with very high image quality settings with the SSAA set to off and 4x AF. These settings are tough for entry level discrete graphics cards, but are more than playable on high-end gaming graphics cards. We benchmarked this game title on the Theater level.
We again found around 20% CPU usage on Metro: Last Light.Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX was slightly faster than the GeForce GTX 970 and slower than the AMD Radeon R9 Nano. In fact, it split the performance difference between those two cards rather nicely. Benchmark Results: Here is a look at our manual FRAPS benchmark over its entirety!
ThiefThief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy/steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix on February 25, 2014. We ran Thief with the image quality settings set at normal with VSYNC disabled. Thief appears to be running on the six physical cores of the Intel Core i7-4960X processor and averages around 17-24% CPU usage from what we were able to tell from the CPU utilization meter that is built into the Windows 8.1 task manager. Benchmark Results: The ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB video card averaged 48.8 FPS and the AMD Radeon R9 Nano averaged 53.1 FPS. This puts the AMD Radeon R9 Nano up by 8.8%! Benchmark Results: Looking at performance over time we see nothing out of the ordinary.
Ashes of the Singularity DX12 BenchmarkToday we’ll be looking at one of the very first DirectX 12 game benchmarks by using Stardock’s real-time strategy game, Ashes of the Singularity. Ashes of the Singularity was developed with Oxide’s Nitrous game engine and tells the story of an existential war waged on an unprecedented scale across the galaxy. The Ashes of the Singularity Benchmark was never designed as a synthetic stress test, but a real world test that was used internally to measure overall system performance. That internal developer tool was recently released to the public as a DX12 benchmark! We ran the benchmark at 3840x2160 with MSAA disabled and found that ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX did better than the AMD Radeon R9 Nano on the DirectX 11 test, but was just a tenth of a frame per second slower when the DirectX 12 API was used. ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX DX12 Results: ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Mini-ITX DX12 Results: AMD Radeon R9 Nano DX12 Results:
3DMark 20133Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.
Fire Strike Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: The 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark had the AMD Radeon R9 Nano video card coming in with an overall score of 12,127 versus a score of 11,398 on the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX video card.Fire Strike Extreme Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: In 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme we again show the AMD Radeon R9 Nano in the lead with the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX about 500 points behind.
Temperature & Noise TestingTemperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on the the ASUS version of the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB video card. ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB Video Card Temps: The ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB graphics card had a fan that didn't run at idle. This caused the card to slowly heat up and eventually peak at 59C on the GPU and 50/55C on the two VRM temperature sensors. While gaming for an hour on the card we topped out at 87C on the GPU with the VRM 1 temerature hitting 96C and VRM 2 temperature hitting 77C. This is pretty toasty, considering the large cooler that is being used on this card and the fact that all three fans are running. GPU-Z showed the fans running at ~2000 RPM while gaming. It should be noted that we tested on an open test bench in a room that was 22C.
We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.When it comes to noise level, the ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX doesn't make any noise at an idle since the fans aren't spinning, but once the GPU goes over 65C the fans kick on and you'll certainly hear them. We were a bit shocked by how loud and hot this card got with the DirectCU III GPU cooler as we just assumed it would be quiet and cool running due to the size and weight of the cooler. The ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX 8GB video card is a hefty card that screams of quality, so hitting 87C while gaming and nearly 54 dB was a shock. The only other AMD Radeon R9 390X video card that we've reviewed was the PowerColor Radeon R9 39oX and when we tested it we were running Windows 8.1. This is the same test system with a clean install of Windows 10, so we didn't combine the numbers as the benchmarks results might be slightly off due to very minor OS or driver differences. On that card we topped out at just 67C, but the fans were screaming at 63 dB to keep the temps that low. You can use the ASUS GPU Tweak II utility to go in and customize your own fan curve/profile if you like and we highly suggest doing that. The ASUS Radeon R9 390X STRIX8GB video card will never be a quiet card at full load, but you should be able to bring the temperatures down a bit at idle/load by doing some manual fan adjustments. Running close to 60C at idle and 90C at load might not be ideal to enthuasists, but if you kick the fans on earlier and spin them up higher as the temperatures go up, you'll be able to take the Hawaii XT GPU used on the Radeon R9 390X!