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XFX R9 390X Review

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XFX R9 390X Testing:

Finding out the amount of FPS performance delivered by XFX's R9 390X will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:

 

 

Overclocking:

  • XFX R9 390X : Core 1170MHz, Memory 1650MHz

 

Getting the most out of any video card is going to include overclocking it. Fortunately video card manufacturers get this and leave us some head room, and even get in on the act with factory Boost clock speeds on top of the base core speed. XFX's R9 390X is delivered with a baseline clock frequency on the core of 1050MHz and a memory clock speed of 1500MHz. Both of these are the stock frequencies that AMD uses on the reference design. Because of this we should see an overall higher clock speed margin on this Core edition card. I was able to coax a 120MHz boost in clock speed from the core by adjusting the power limit to +39% and increasing the core voltage by +50mv. The key here is to minimize how quickly and how often the core clock throttles to maximize performance by tweaking the power limit and core voltage increases.

I found the settings I used were forgiving enough that when I ran my Heaven 4.0 stability test the core was still at 1170MHz after 20 minutes. The memory speed scaled upwards and was stable with a speed of 1650MHz or 150MHz over the baseline 1500MHz as delivered clock speed on the 8GB of GDDR5. Both increases were on the order of +10%. This is a performance gap that, with some tuning time, you can reach. Not every card will get there and some may go higher, but this is a solid clock speed that will be used for my overclocking tests.

 

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 
  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. BioShock Infinite
  3. Crysis 3
  4. Far Cry 4
  5. Battlefield 4
  6. Assassin's Creed Unity
  7. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  8. 3DMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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