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XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review

XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review

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XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review – Packaging and Bundle

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XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review – The Card

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XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review – Performance

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XFX Radeon R9-390X Black Edition Review – Conclusion

NOTE: As stated in previous content, the 390X is a new revision of the 290X.

Unless it was just our sample, it was interesting to see that XFX have stopped bundling a bunch of useless items with their cards. No door hanger, no case badge etc. Just the essentials. If this is their new approach, great. Looking at the card itself a nice chunky backplate is always appreciated, seven heatpipes is great to see as is memory and power circuitry cooling. We would have liked XFX to go with a metal shroud rather than plastic though, to match the competition. Also worthy of note is that XFX take an “older” approach to the outputs, going with dual DVI, HDMI and a single DisplayPort, rather than single DVI, HDMI and 3x DisplayPort which other manufacturers are using. For those with existing screens that don’t have DisplayPort this could be an advantage for XFX.

As far as value is concerned the card is competitively priced and has a 2-year warranty. A game bundle, free hdmi cable or similar would help the card stand out a little however overall, no complaints. As far as software goes, XFX do not currently have an application to manually overclock the card or monitor it, though one is in development, but we can use well known tools from 3rd parties.

Looking to performance there is one aspect which stood out to us initially. The card shipped with a BIOS which runs the fans at idle. Most cards in this class (and some above it) run with fans disabled nowadays, only kicking in at load, or above certain temperatures. We would like to see XFX adopt this and have requested a BIOS configured for that aspect.  We’ll update the review accordingly if it is provided (or isn’t). As things stand, the card is quiet at idle and decent noise wise at load, though we have tested a quieter 390X. Framerate comparisons with that alternate brand show the two cards to be within 1fps or so of each other and when we look at the 290X comparison we see XFX’s 390X Black Edition is faster in each test than an 8GB OC model of the older branded card. Comparisons with the GTX 970 OC are also good with the Radeon winning some, the GeForce others. Key to the gaming tests though, the 390X is an ideal card for 2560×1440 gaming with high levels of detail.

Summary: A good version of the 390X, impressive factory overclock and some nice build quality/design tweaks.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.