[section_title title=Introduction & Closer Look]
Introduction & Closer Look
It’s no secret that ASUS are one of the most beloved motherboard manufacturers on the planet, but their graphics cards also demand respect across the globe. With the Republic of Gamers or ROG as it’s more widely known being such a success with enthusiasts and consumers, ASUS released their STRIX range of graphics cards. This particular range focuses on pure performance and features for gamers, enthusiasts and end users alike. Today we are going to be taking a look at their latest design based on AMD’s latest range of graphics cards; the ASUS R9 390 STRIX OC to be exact.
Now like the ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX OC we reviewed previously, the R9 390 STRIX comes equipped with the latest Direct CUIII cooler with its triple fan design and sleek look which gives off a premium aura; something we would expect from ASUS!
Jumping straight in to taking a look at the ASUS R9 390 STRIX OC graphics card itself, we can see it has a very nice red and black aesthetic, with nice platinum accents at the front end of the card. This is the latest Direct CUIII (DCU3) cooler with a new heat sink design which has triple Wing-Blade fans offering up to a 30% performance increase over stock cooling solutions and of course 3 times quieter; it’s a semi-passive design so when you are in non-intensive games and general use, the fans themselves won’t spin for maximum efficiency!
The connectivity on this particular model has 1 x DVI-I port, 1 x HDMI 1.4a port and 3 x full size DisplayPort 1.2 connections; perfect for all those multi-monitor solutions people are using nowadays; I personally use 2 monitors on my desk and having DVI and HDMI with 3 ports free offers huge benefit for video creation, photo editing and of course heavy multi-tasking.
One of the most notable features of the card itself is the super-sized heat pipes which offer direct contact cooling to the GPU’s die meaning a much more effective and cooling solution; we also love how this looks as it looks beefy, meaty and oh so powerful! OVER 9000!!!!
All premium cards like this also feature PCI-e Gen3 connectivity but of course, this relies heavily on your motherboard providing support slots for increased bandwidth.
For those who love back plates, the ASUS R9 390 STRIX OC comes with one of the nicest looking back plates on the market with the STRIX Owl eyes featuring prominently on the right hand side towards the tail end of the card. Not sure about the placement of the gold screw, but overall it looks tasty.
The STRIX logo on the side edge of the card features a white LED which adds a lovely aesthetic touch when the card is powered up and raring to go; it’s a pretty powerful card too with great out of the box overclocks of up to 1070MHz on the core via the ASUS GPU Tweak 2 software; you need to select OC mode to initiate this otherwise it comes with a stock clocks of 1050MHz on the core with a 1500MHz clock on the GDDR5 memory.
To power the R9 390 STRIX OC graphics card, you are going to need a power supply of at least 550w (in our opinion) and 1 x PCI-e 8pin with a second 1 x PCI-e 6pin connector designed to offer plenty of PSU juice; it’s going to need it as AMD cards generally suffer from higher TDP from NVIDIA counterparts etc.
So we have seen the card itself and highlighted the finer points of the specifications, but the full specifications can be found on the next page…