SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8GBIf you were starting to wonder what AMD had been up to since late 2013, the Radeon R9 300 Series is here to answer that burning question. Our first look at the slightly tweaked Hawaii Pro GPU, now code-named “Grenada,” comes courtesy of SAPPHIRE.

Before we dig into what makes this card special, let’s touch on the GPU under the hood. This 6.2-billion-transistor chip is manufactured using the same TSMC 28nm process that AMD has been relying on for the past several years and it’s based on an architecture that has also not changed much. Despite its new codename, this is still a GCN 1.1 card, and its performance will look awfully familiar. The GPU features 40 compute units for a total of 2,560 stream processors, 160 texture units, and 64 ROPs, which mirrors that of the Radeon R9 290. The memory subsystem maintains the same 512-bitwide bus, but here there’s 8GB of GDDR5 installed and the memory clocks are also a good bit higher than they were last generation. SAPPHIRE gives the NITRO R9 390 the factory OC treatment by boosting the core clock to 1,010MHz. The memory clock is set to a speedy 1,500MHz.As we’ve come to expect from SAPPHIRE, the heatsink and PCB of this card are a cut above. The NITRO’s black plastic heatsink shroud has brushed, matte, and glossy highlights as well as a couple embedded metal plates. This is the latest version of SAPPHIRE’s Tri-X cooler, but this time around, the three 90mm fans are dual-ball bearing fans that offer a long lifespan. The fans also stop spinning when the card’s idle or running under light load, a feature SAPPHIRE is calling IFC-II, or enhanced Intelligent Fan Control. The heatsink features five copper heatpipes, up to 10mm in diameter. Although there’s no backplate, the card’s heatsink fins are bolted to a die-cast frame that aids heat dissipation and makes this one of the most rigid cards we’ve ever tested. On the PCB, SAPPHIRE uses longlife capacitors and Black Diamond chokes for consistent performance you can count on.Other highlights include full support for DirectX 12, TrueAudio, AMD FreeSync, and gaming at higher resolutions, up to and beyond 1440p. The card measures 12 inches long, and the back bracket features one DVI, one HDMI, and three DP outputs. To feed this beast, you’ll need two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and AMD recommends a 750-watt or greater power supply.This card scored playable frame rates in all of our benchmarks. At 2,560 x 1,600, the NITRO R9 390 scored 48.67fps and 51.7fps in Metro: Last Light and Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, respectively, and these are arguably two of the most demanding games currently on the market. If you skipped AMD’s 200-series cards and are looking for something that can handle higher resolutions without costing a small fortune, then the NITRO R9 390 8GB from SAPPHIRE is a solid buy. BY ANDREW LEIBMANGPU: 28nm Grenada Pro (Hawaii Pro)Clocks: 1,010MHz core, 1,500MHz memoryPorts: dual-link DVI, mini HDMI, three DisplayPort

7Review earns Amazon affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases. You can support the site directly via Paypal donations ☕. Thank you!
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.