Asus STRIX Radeon R9 390X Review: Hawaii Gets 8GB
Asus Strix Radeon 390x Power Consumption And Temps
One of AMD’s talking points surrounding the 300 Series and the Fury lineup has been improved power efficiency. In both our Fury X and Fury reviews, we proved they weren’t blowing smoke. The benefits aren’t as pronounced with the 300 Series.
Sapphire’s Tri-X Fury consumes 4% less energy than their own 390x, but delivers an average of 22% faster performance. But that’s against Sapphire’s own 390x, which pulls a maximum of 407W at the wall when installed in our test system. How much power does the Asus Strix 390x demand? 447W, and that’s with only a 2% overclock above Sapphire’s 390x.
To put that in perspective, two overclocked GTX 980s in SLI only pull 10W more (457W) from the wall under load, during the exact same benchmark run. You just can’t beat the power efficiency of Maxwell.
With more power comes more heat, and despite the Strix 390x looking and acting like a premium card in other aspects, it just falls down when it comes to operating temperatures. Asus touts the “0dB” gaming feature, and that’s totally valid when you’re playing light, less graphically demanding games. But we’re dealing with a $469 card, and something tells me you won’t be spending much of your time playing DotA 2 or World of Warcraft with a beast like this.
Out of the box (what you see above), the Asus Strix Radeon R9 390X can get pretty toasty. Running the Heaven 4.0 benchmark, I pushed the Strix 390x to 88C after 20 minutes. This is in an open-air test bench. And this is 12C hotter than Sapphire’s Radeon 390x.
Is Asus' card quieter? Yes, it is. The default fan profile maxes fans out at 45% or about 1900RPM. To get the Strix 390x to match Sapphire’s cooler 75C, I had to raise the fans to 65%, or about 2940RPM, which evens things out a bit. We understand Asus' choice to optimize for noise over operating temperatures, but would have liked something a little more aggressive in terms of fans speeds.