It is pretty apparent that the AMD R9 390x is a bit of a beast and with 8GB of VRAM, it has proven throughout this review that it can hang with the big boys to a degree; but how close to the GTX 980Ti/Titan X does MSI’s stalwart Gaming 8G come when overclocked? No water blocks are currently available for this model and EKWB have even stated that they have no plans in the future, is that a bad sign? Not at all, in fact it’s mainly due to MSI’s unparalleled ability to pick and choose the best components needed; MSI have also opted for Hynix GDDR5 memory chips which are one of the most popular brands currently on the market.
So getting into the overclocking, the MSI R9 390x Gaming 8G comes with a pretty great stock overclock compared to the older R9 290x Hawaii XT chip. With an 1100MHz clock speed on the core and a 1525MHz on the memory. By comparison, some R9 290x’s of old barely hit these stock clocks so it does show that the manufacturing process has been stepped up a notch, but is there much room available to play with?
Well using MSI’s MSI Afterburner (which we do for most GPU reviews), I managed to attain respectable clock speeds of 1210MHz on the core, with a straight 1600MHz on the Hynix GDDR5 memory; very good indeed. A solid 10% overclock on the core and a slightly less exhilarating 4.9% on the memory isn’t exactly “ground breaking”, but bearing in mind that the pre overclocked clocks are decent, it is to be expected.
The performance increase in synthetic and gaming performance is very nice indeed; it is nice to see an overclock which scales quite well throughout testing. Sometimes numbers look good, but they don’t quite equate too much, but the case here is very good, very good indeed!