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PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Review

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PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Conclusion:

PowerColor brings a strong package to the race with its PCS+ R9 390 8GB card. As with the R9 380 I just looked at, the R9 390 is offered with a tweaked and tuned Hawaii-based core that allows it to offer up a nice level of performance. In many cases it exceeds the level of performance delivered by the R9 290X in the games I have tested. Not by a lot, but a noticeable amount that in-game may not provide that experience change that everyone was hoping for. That comes with the release of the Fury lineup later on.

As a performance piece, the PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 offers a lot under the hood for its $329 price tag. To start, we get a core that is factory clocked to 1010MHz and 8GB of GDDR5 memory that is again pumped up to 1500MHz right out of the box. This gives it the tools to compete with the R9 290X and make a run at the GTX 970. In most of the tests, however, it just fell short of the mark when trying to match the performance of the GTX 970. In some games it did out perform the GTX 970, but as a whole the bump in clock speed and doubling of the memory is just not enough to get there. The moral of the story is to find out which card is the faster card in the games you play.

If the stock level of performance is not enough, PowerColor does leave some meat on the bone for the overclockers and gamers looking for that last FPS. Thanks to the Gold Power Kit power solution and Trio Fan Professional Cooling System, the thermals don't get out of hand, allowing the end user to use all of the tools at their disposal to tune the card. I was able to pull another 106MHz out of the GPU core and 120MHz out of the GDDR5 memory to improve performance in each game I tested. There is some OC margin, but much like the R9 290 series, the clock speeds are almost maxed out from the factory. PowerColor's PCS+ cooling solution is, when automatically controlled, a reasonably quiet running solution that offers great thermal performance with the right noise signature.

Overall, the PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 delivers expected performance levels in a specific envelope to capture the market segment occupied by the R9 290X. In that respect, it is price competitive or less expensive than the R9 290X at $329. If you are looking to purchase now, the PCS+ R9 390 8GB card is not a bad option to go for with the large cooling system and factory overclocked performance.



  • PCS+ cooling
  • Low noise levels
  • Decent overclocking
  • R9 290X+ performance
  • Good looks 



  • Rebrand 


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