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PowerColor Devil R9 390X Review

Closed-loop liquid cooling isn’t just for the Fury X. PowerColor uses a similar setup for its Devil R9 390X 8GB, but how does the fancier thermal solution affect performance, cooling and noise?

AMD’s Fiji GPU might be at the top of the company’s portfolio, but it’s not the only graphics processor able to benefit from a hybrid cooling solution. PowerColor’s Radeon Devil R9 390X boasts twice as much memory and a similar cooler, but can its aggressive overclock keep up with AMD’s entry-level HBM-equipped Fury?

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In the beginning of June, AMD launched its 300-series Radeon graphics cards, rebranding the line-up with versions of past GPUs. The R9 390X is chief among the new series, and is based on the R9 290X’s Hawaii XT.

Not much changed in the processor  itself, but AMD renamed it Grenada XT anyway and paired it with twice as much memory. Not surprisingly, Grenada shares most specifications with its predecessor, including 2816 shader cores, 176 texture units and 64 ROPs.

The R9 390X comes equipped with 8GB of GDDR5 on an aggregate 512-bit memory bus running at 1525MHz. The result is a theoretical 390.4 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is 70 GB/s more than the R9 290X. That extra throughput could be what makes the extra memory relevant at 4K, particularly if Hawaii’s ALUs were going underutilized.

The Radeon R9 390X is built on AMD’s GCN 1.1 architecture. Like the 290X, it enables DirectX 12 feature level 12_0, LiquidVR for direct-to-display VR HMD support and TrueAudio. FreeSync is supported as well, and the R9 390X can drive up to four displays at once.

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