Sapphire Nitro R9 390 8G D5 Review

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youcanDUit

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great review. i have a question about AMD and project vulkan. do AMD cards benefit from vulkan, like they do (did) from project mantle with the GCN1.1+? also it was said that implementing different multi card setup on DX 12 is harder than anticipated, is project vulkan capable of such feat?
 

uglyduckling81

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It's good to see competition so close. It does beg the question as to why hardware several years old is still leading the charge.
Both companies seem to be in a bit of a pit. Hopefully the new manufacturing node size will gets things going again.
I am pretty happy with my GTX970 though. It's a nice card.
 

Taintedskittles

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I m so torn between getting a 390 or gtx970. (1st world problems)

If amd gvr were as good as shadowplay it wouldn't be a contest. But shadowplay is only a 1-2 fps hit compared amd gvr 10-20fps loss. The gtx 970 uses about 100w less than the 390 under load. But the 390 has better specs on paper & seems more future proof. Plus I m worried I'd be stretching my 650w psu with the 390.
sigh.....
note: using hd7870, Ive tried out gvr & its horrible, currently using dxtory & obs.
 

VaporX

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Tainted, GVR options abound that great features. I have used OBS with some really neat overlay options and Raptr has a solid set of features as well.

As for the PSU, you should be just fine. I run a Nitro 390 on my demo rig and do so with a 450 watt PSU and no issues. In fact at gaming load I have not yet seen the computer push over 400 watts total power load.

Under typical gaming loads the 390 pulls about 80 watts more power. Our cooling solution means this is not a heat issue as we easily handle any heat generated by the card. 80 watts equates to nothing in power usage over typical gaming sessions. Assuming 8 hours per day, every day it would mean a difference at the end of the year of about $25 in extra electric charges.
 

Daniel Ladishew

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Why is the 980 missing from so many of these charts? There should be a 3rd party OC 980 (not the reference) in every chart if your really wanting to compare price/performance across these options. Is this on purpose to make the 390 look better or a lack of comprehensive testing?
 

MrVic87

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I've been holding out a while to upgrade my GTX 760. Truthfully, I've been patiently waiting to see what Nvidia is going to come up with to counter the AMD 300 cards. Each article I've read, each video benchmark I've watched, just shows the same result, the 390/390x cards outperforms the 970/980! Not by much but it's noteworthy. I guess my money is truly going for the red brand this time around.
 

kiniku

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I've been holding out a while to upgrade my GTX 760. Truthfully, I've been patiently waiting to see what Nvidia is going to come up with to counter the AMD 300 cards. Each article I've read, each video benchmark I've watched, just shows the same result, the 390/390x cards outperforms the 970/980! Not by much but it's noteworthy. I guess my money is truly going for the red brand this time around.
"Not by much but noteworthy." LOL How does that work? But sure if you'd like your rig having to draw and dispense 100+ watts of internal heat for 3-5 more noteworthy FPS then knock yourself out.
 

plasmastorm

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Got myself an MSI 390 to replace my evga 660ti 3gb. Holy poo what an upgrade !

Was running stupidly hot at 84c for a week but then noticed that was due to the game, Mech warrior online using dx 11 which has known issues on a lot of cards, not just AMD.

More than happy with it and happily clocks to 1720 core with an 83% asic
 

MrVic87

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Don't forget an extra 4GB (8GB total) of VRAM friend, not 3.5GB + .5GB. And DX 12 capable :\
 

Taintedskittles

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Don't forget an extra 4GB (8GB total) of VRAM friend, not 3.5GB + .5GB. And DX 12 capable :\
lol I feel you, my hd7870 gets high settings now with maybe 1-2 settings at ultra in newer games. GTA5 eats my vram up. MSI afterburner/ hwinfo64 reports in OSD I m using 1988MB vram in game.
 

bloc97

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"Not by much but noteworthy." LOL How does that work? But sure if you'd like your rig having to draw and dispense 100+ watts of internal heat for 3-5 more noteworthy FPS then knock yourself out.
Well, Fail.... The stupid power argument used by nVidia fanboys again... The R9 390 supports Vulkan, which ALL consoles use, if you hate console games and throw away the chance of good compatibility with future console ports, be my guest. Don't forget 8GB of VRAM, not the scam of 3.5+0.5VRAM that can't be disabled and dips your framerates like an satellite deorbiting. In all points, the R9 380 is better, and 100W more means nothing, except if you're in third world countries where you have 900W per household.
Is paying 50$ more per year REALLY significant compared to 20 000$ in taxes?
 

jkhoward

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I just purchased a 390 for light 4K gaming and it is unbelievable! When I say light, I am playing World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2. I get a constant 60 FPS with almost Ultra settings in WoW and 60 FPS all the time in SC2 on Ultra. I also to overclock my card to 1090/1640 without a voltage increase. I couldn't be happier with my 390.
 

g-unit1111

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Those big beefy coolers look so cool. :) I'm glad their still being made that big.
I'm all about SFF builds right now - those coolers would work fine in a case that's made for them like the Fractal Node 304 or Phanteks Enthoo Evolv, but would suck in something like a Silverstone RVZ01.
 

politecho

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I bought this card immediately upon release and I haven't been disappointed. I'm running a 1080p setup at 144 hz refresh. Shadow of Mordor looks amazing. I'm debating switching it out for a QHD and happy to see others running that resolution comfortably.
 

Jeffs0418

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Those big beefy coolers look so cool. :) I'm glad their still being made that big.
"Not by much but noteworthy." LOL How does that work? But sure if you'd like your rig having to draw and dispense 100+ watts of internal heat for 3-5 more noteworthy FPS then knock yourself out.
Well, Fail.... The stupid power argument used by nVidia fanboys again... The R9 390 supports Vulkan, which ALL consoles use, if you hate console games and throw away the chance of good compatibility with future console ports, be my guest. Don't forget 8GB of VRAM, not the scam of 3.5+0.5VRAM that can't be disabled and dips your framerates like an satellite deorbiting. In all points, the R9 380 is better, and 100W more means nothing, except if you're in third world countries where you have 900W per household.
Is paying 50$ more per year REALLY significant compared to 20 000$ in taxes?
Yeah. And if you pair it with one of those 220 watt processors your PC can serve as a space heater in the winter months.
 

CptBarbossa

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I think this would be a great time for Tomshardware to update the hierarchy chart and put the 390/390x on par with the gtx 980/780ti/titanblack. I have been saying this for a while, but it needs to happen. A lot of people refer to that chart and it seams to be getting less and less accurate.
 

Domaldel

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Hum, what's the best silent option of the two cards?
I mean if you're willing to sacrifice a few FPS and turn down the settings and max fps (in other words stick to 60 Hz or 75 Hz monitors) how much noise does each of these make while gaming in 1080p and 1440p?
How much does that change by allowing the card to run hotter?
The fury has more heat pipes, how much of an impact does that have to the noise?
What is the highest inaudible setting of different games for the different cards in this article?
At what point does the fans start spinning?
Would it be possible to get graphs with the noise level on the y axis and time on the x axis in different games?

Just a few questions that pops up in my head while reading this article. ;-)

Also, what is the highest performance pr dB AMD card that you've tested so far in current generation of games?
 

Math Geek

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very nice. pretty close to 980 performance at 970 price. that's pretty much a win in my book. would love to see an updated gpu article as it seems the red team should be making a comeback to the recommendations. with these numbers there is no way the 970 should be suggested over it for the same price. similar 1080p numbers and takes off at higher res for the same money. ....



correction needed:
i did notice that the last three games seemed mixed up in the article. the first bit talks about 1440p and is followed with the 1080p graph. then a bit about 1080p followed by the 1440p graph. this is a bit of a mix-up and makes it hard to follow. the first 2 games are done correctly which lets me know the other pieces are a mistake. (i normally don't bother suggesting such corrections but this one really made me look twice to be sure i was not going crazy)
 

BulkZerker

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Hum, what's the best silent option of the two cards?
I mean if you're willing to sacrifice a few FPS and turn down the settings and max fps (in other words stick to 60 Hz or 75 Hz monitors) how much noise does each of these make while gaming in 1080p and 1440p?
How much does that change by allowing the card to run hotter?
The fury has more heat pipes, how much of an impact does that have to the noise?
What is the highest inaudible setting of different games for the different cards in this article?
At what point does the fans start spinning?
Would it be possible to get graphs with the noise level on the y axis and time on the x axis in different games?

Just a few questions that pops up in my head while reading this article. ;-)

Also, what is the highest performance pr dB AMD card that you've tested so far in current generation of games?
The quietest I know of so far is the Asus Strix 390x. But this does undercut it in price a lot.
 
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