Hot on the heels of the reveal of AMD's Radeon 300 series comes ASUS with four brand-new models that fall into its STRIX series. First seen on the AMD side with the R9 285, STRIX is touted as being ASUS' most effective cooling solution to date, and as someone who's used a STRIX model before, I can attest that the cooler is quite good.
Speaking of "hot", there might be a hint to the fact that the 390 and 390X could run quite warm, as these become the first STRIX models to feature three fans - the GTX 980 STRIX has just two. One thing's for certain though; these cards look great.
You might have noticed that each of these cards tout 0dB gaming, and yes, that's just as it sounds. If a game doesn't require that much GPU horsepower, the GPU will of course not get that warm. If that's the case, then ASUS can turn the GPU's fans off automatically to make for dead-silent operation. As soon as a certain temperature threshold is breached, the fans turn on until things cool down again.
AMD's latest cards have a feature that ties right into this, called Frame Rate Targeting Control. This is especially useful if you're a MOBA player with a high-end GPU, because up to this point, no MOBA that I've ever heard about has the graphical detail needed to take proper advantage of our high-end GPUs. So, you can either choose to run a game at 400 FPS, or keep it at 120 or 60 FPS and dramatically reduce power draw and noise.
Press releases can sometimes be boring, but the one for ASUS' latest STRIX series drops an interesting note:
"The Strix R9 390X, R9 390, R9 380 and R7 370 benefit from ASUS-exclusive Auto-Extreme technology, the industry’s first 100%-automated manufacturing process that removes human fallibility from the production line for consistent perfection."
I am not sure what makes this an "exclusive technology", but it seems like these GPUs will be produced in such a way that it will almost be like having them built in a clean room. Dust will be minimized, as will be oxidization. ASUS also notes that its new processes are safe for the environment, and cut down on power consumption by an impressive 50%.
Overall, ASUS' latest STRIX cards look great (better than the reference design, in my opinion), and should cool even better. If you want one, good luck: these puppies are selling out fast.