Sapphire is no stranger in the GPU market.They have been manufacturing AMD GPUs for years now and have earned alot of praise for their cards and pricing. Today we have their Nitro R9 390 which seems neck and neck with PowerColor’s R9 390, in terms of pricing. More accurately at the time of this review, this graphics card is priced at US $340 on Newegg USA, while on Malaysia it costs RM1525 on Lelong.com.my.
So how does Sapphire’s R9 390 stack up against its competition?
02| The Design and Build
The design of this card is just okay. After using PowerColor’s R9 390, which I reviewed earlier, I wan’t expecting much of a difference between the two cards. The Sapphire Nitro R9 390 doesn’t show off any aesthetics in their R9 390 model. They are sticking to a Grey/Silver and Black build with the R9 300 series of cards and the same continues here as well.
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For the display output options you have 3 x Display Ports, a single HDMI and DVI port, which is just okay for today’s standards.
Coming towards the back of the card is where I am highly disappointed of! Come on Sapphire how much did you save by doing this? Okay I must admit yes, its not that ugly but what rages me is why not on a high end card? I know they have a rev. 2.0 of this card which has a backplate and seems to be only available in the States, but why not included it in the first place. I’d really give PowerColor’s R9 390 a cookie for adding a backplate, despite it being the most inexpensive R9 390 in Malaysia. Enough Rant!
Having a look towards the right of the graphics card is just plain, nothing much
Here’s a GPU Z of the card
How about roll in the benchmarks, shall we?
UNIGINE Heaven 4.0
BATMAN Arkham Knight
[infogram id=”bak_r9_390_powercolor_axon” prefix=”3aA”]
[infogram id=”bf4_benchmark-051″ prefix=”UDx”]
Here are the idle and 100% load temperatures. I must compliment the fans. Yes they fully shut off under low loads. When a game is run it ramps up the fans which is pretty common in most graphics cards found today. Even though, its good to have it there. One thing I did notice that after exiting heavy loads such s games or Furmark, the fans ramped down from around 75 degrees to around 60% in almost 2 seconds which is fast, at least for me.
Enough talk, here’s the cards idle and 100% full load temps.
[infogram id=”powercolor_r9_390_temps” prefix=”MdI”]
Pricing & Conclusion
The pricing of this card is competitive. If you are that person who has a lower budget but are stretching towards this budget forcefully, pretty much like me, I would recommend you to get the Powercolor R9 390. The card outperforms the GTX 970 in alot of cases. However, not everything is positive here, as usual expect high power consumption, and I must point out that the noise not that good as well. there’s no doubt that this card deserves its place in the market as well. Its just that there are better options that cover up Sapphire’s Nitro R9 390.
Among the most inexpensive R9 390’s
Triple Fan cooling
Solid Build Quality
8GB of VRAM
High power consumption