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Sapphire R9 390X & 390 Nitro Review | Page 3 | Black Hole Tec

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Sapphire R9 390X & 390 Nitro Review - Page 3

Submitted by Robbie Pyckhout on Tue, 06/28/2016 - 09:35




Introduction, features & showcase
Testing Methods
1080P Graphics Performance
4K Graphics Performance
Power Consumption & Overclocking


3DMark 2013-2015: FireStrike

"Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today."

3DMark is arguably the most popular 3D graphics benchmark available. It measures the gaming performance of your GPU in all ways possible. Currently, there are 3 different levels of the Fire Strike Benchmark. Each with a different resolution. One HD, one QHD and a 4K benchmark for the really powerful rigs around here. First up is the 1080p test the raw combined gaming power of our rig with different GPU setups.

Both cards are faster than the R9 290X predecessors and the Sapphire R9 390X Nitro even manages to reach a comparable score to the overclocked GTX 980 from MSI beating the R9 290X with roughly 12-13%. While the R9 390 has less stream processors and an equal clockspeed to the RoyalAce R9 290X from Club3D, it still manages to exceed the card in points. The R9 390 has 4GB more VRAM on a slightly higher memory speed, but we think this might also be a result of the updated drivers in the last few months.

You can find the other 2 tests on the overclocking page in which you'll see the scaling when tuning the clockspeed on all three configurations.


1080P Graphics Performance

We'll comment on the benchmarks at the end of the page. 

Far Cry 3

Here we can see how demanding of a game Far Cry 3 really is. With 8X MSAA enabled, you'll need a pretty heavy card to give you a fluent gameplay.

Battlefield 4


Hitman: Absolution


Sleeping Dogs

This game is quite stressful for the GPU, and it can be used to test the max load temperature of your card.


Saints Row IV

This game is well optimized for current and recent generation GPUs throughout the mid-high price ranges.


Black Ops II

Again in this test we unfortunately didn't manage our full testing hardware range, but the Call of Duty series is again, like Saints Row, quite well built for those that don't live on the bleeding edge of technology.




In general, a R9 390(X) is a little overkill for the ordinary 1080P resolution. You'll be able to play everything maxed out at this resolution for some years from now! Anyway, games are getting heavier and heavier, you can easily go a little lower in price and be good for some more years on this resolution. However, the R9 390 is an awesome choice for the price and will serve you for far longer, even when games get even more requiring. Those framerates seen above are awesome and deliver fluent gameplay on most/all current high end games on this resolution. Both cards perform considerably better in some games than their Nvidia counterparts. The SAPPHIRE R9 390X Nitro can be compared to the MSI GTX 980 Gaming in terms of gaming performance, whereas the R9 390 will probably be closer to a GTX 970 in most games.

How do these cards perform at 4K resolutions? We'll see in the next page.


About the Author

Keeping up with new inventions and technological improvements is kinda my thing. Writing about technology is just a result of my fascination with it. I hope to provide readers with as much news as possible, everyday.
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