PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

Beautiful cards don’t come by often, at least that’s how I feel about the industry, the PowerColor’s R9 390 is probably the best looking one around.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

If this card with tri-fan cooling system looks familiar, you’re right and you’ve probably paid enough attention to my articles. 😀 It’s the same card used in my Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 modification.

The card uses 8pin and 6pin PCI-E connection, this means the possible power draw goes up to some 300W.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

The PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB comes with a backplate, making it a very weighty card while.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

The heatsink shroud design is unique, with the shroud extending far to the front which I think is nice touch as it serves as a support to PCI-E cables.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

As for the I/O port, I’m quite surprised to see it has only 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort with 2 DVI ports.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

Here’s the GPU-Z of the card.

PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM AVEXIR Blitz 2x 4GB 1600Mhz DDR3
Motherboard ASRock Z87 Extreme4
Cooler NZXT Kraken X31
Monitor Dell UP3214Q
Power Supply FSP AURUM S 700W
Casing NZXT S340
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Overclocking

Overclocking was rather limited, I managed to add 100Mhz to the core clock and 150Mhz to the memory, the card did show some performance boost despite the limitation.

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.
*NOTE : AA disabled in 4K test.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K (avg)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 56.3 15.2
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Overclocked 60.4 16.4
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 53.8 13.8
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 33.2 N/A
Reference GTX 980 65 17

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg) 4K (avg)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 77.5 27
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Overclocked 81.5 29
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 80 29
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 55.0 N/A
Reference GTX 980 88 33

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card 1080p (avg) 4K (avg)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 111 37.83
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Overclocked 117.8 40.63
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 112 37
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 75.04 N/A
Reference GTX 980 123 43

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync off.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K (avg)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 91.7 38.71
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Overclocked 98.67 41.99
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 71 30
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 46.62 N/A
Reference GTX 980 92 38

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K (avg)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 39 31
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Overclocked 44 32
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 37 27
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 23.4 N/A
Reference GTX 980 44 32

To summarize – the performance is absolutely beautiful, especially when it’s comparable to the more expensive GTX 970 and in some games like Shadow of Mordor, the 8GB available to the R9 390 widens the performance gap!

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB 35 65
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Full RPM 30 59

The fan hovers at around 56% on AUTO settings where the audio level.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an FSP Aurum S 700W with 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 60w.

Card PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB
Furmark Burn-in 366
Estimated Actual System Draw 306
Estimated Card Power Draw 275

The power draw is HIGH – Sure, Furmark tests draw more power than usual so in normal gaming conditions it’ll hover around 260W range.

The Verdict

The PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card retails at 1499, an awesome choice when it comes great value in price to performance ratio. The only downside is that it draws a lot of power, around 50% more than that of a GTX 970. It’s not a huge issue though, a good 600W PSU would be more than enough to deal with it.

What do I think of this card? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you intend to keep your budget under RM 1,500 and it looks great too with that sleek back plate.

goldfries recommended

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