Cooling, Noise, and Power
While we did see a slight difference between the different R9 390’s due to the slightly different clock speed. The best way to compare cards with the same GPU is in this section. Here we can see how well the cooler design cools, how quiet it runs, and just how much power the cards pull. To start things off I went into our power testing by running Heaven Benchmark 4.0 and noting the highest peak wattage as well as an idle wattage. While the two 390’s were less than 10 watts apart, it was enough to lower the XFX down below a few other cards leaving the Sapphire 390 as the highest wattage single card tested still.
Next I did noise testing on the XFX at 100% fan speed, 50% speed, and at idle. Here the Sapphire ran quieter even with all three of its fans turned all the way up. The XFX 390 also didn’t turn the fans off during low power usage like nearly every other new card so while it was on the lower end of our idle testing it is still noisier than the Sapphire R9 390.
Lastly I warmed the XFX up by running Heaven Benchmark and noted where the temperatures leveled off. Just like the Sapphire 390 it leveled off at 71 degrees. I consider this to be a little on the warm side for a card with an aftermarket cooler but still better than what you would normally see on a reference card.