[UPDATE]AMD AIBs Prepare Cost Effective Radeon R9 390 Models With 4 GB Memory – Sapphire, XFX and PowerColor Ready With Custom Variants

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Dec 15, 2015
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Update: AMD has officially stated that the 4 GB Radeon R9 390 cards will be built and sold exclusively in Chinese markets.

A surprising development from board partners of AMD has came forward where AIBs have started offering 4 GB models of the Radeon R9 390 graphics card. The Radeon R9 390 graphics card is based on the 28nm GCN “Grenada” core which is a revised version of Hawaii, offering better thermal and power management. AMD’s Radeon R9 390 originally launched with 8 GB VRAM at a highly competitive price range but AIBs are going to take the competitiveness of this card further with the new 4 GB models.

AMD AIBs Ready New, Cost Effective 4 GB Radeon R9 390 Models

The AMD Radeon R9 390 is based on the 28nm Grenada Pro core which is a revised version of the Hawaii Pro core. Being similar in technical specifications to the Hawaii core, the Radeon R9 390 packs 2560 stream units, 160 texture mapping units and 64 raster operation units. The card has reference clock speeds of 1000 MHz core, 1500 MHz memory clock (6.0 GHz QDR) and has 384 GB/s bandwidth output. The card has Dual-Link DVI, HDMI and a single Display connector for display ports. Both cards have a 275W TDP and are powered by a 8+6 Pin power configuration. Originally, the card packed a 8 GB, 512-bit memory design but in a bid to offer more cost effective offerings, AIBs have prepped a wide range of 4 GB, 512-bit models which are available for sale (so far in the APAC market). For those who believe that these cards are the same designs as Hawaii should take a look into the official statement from AMD released when the cards launched:

AMD is pleased to bring you the new R9 390 series which has been in development for a little over a year now. To clarify, the new R9 390 comes standard with 8GB of GDDR5 memory and outpaces the 290X. Some of the areas AMD focused on are as follows:

Manufacturing process optimizations allowing AMD to increase the engine clock by 50MHz on both 390 and 390X while maintaining the same power envelope.

New high density memory devices allow the memory interface to be re-tuned for faster performance and more bandwidth:

  • Memory clock increased from 1250MHz to 1500MHz on both 390 and 390X.
  • Memory bandwidth increased from 320GB/s to 384GB/s.
  • 8GB frame buffer is standard on ALL cards, not just the OC versions.

Complete re-write of the GPUs power management micro-architecture:

  • Under “worse case” power virus applications, the 390 and 390X have a similar power envelope to 290X.
  • Under “typical” gaming loads, power is expected to be lower than 290X while performance is increased.

Since their launch, the Radeon R9 390 series has tackled the GM204 based GeForce 900 series cards on both fronts, value and performance, pretty well and that is just about to get better. The Radeon R9 390 launched with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which was aimed to make the card a good 2K/4K offering. Knowing that the card is best for users who demand great 2K gaming performance, AIBs have prepared cost effective models with 4 GB memory which is a great move.

While the 8 GB memory is definitely a plus point when games start demanding more memory, but 4 GB is more in line to the memory requirements in current generation titles while only a few games right now demand such high VRAM requirements. The Radeon R9 390 (8 GB) retailed at price of $329 US while the 4 GB models will retail at prices close to $299 US (even lower) which is in the same range as the GeForce GTX 970 which has seen price going down after the launch of R9 390.

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Sapphire Radeon R9 390 4 GB Dual-X OC:

Item listed at Chinese Retail JD.

XFX Radeon R9 390 4 GB Black Edition OC:

Item listed at Chinese Retail JD.

PowerColor Radeon R9 390 4 GB OC Edition:

Image Credits/Source: Expreview

Some cards from Sapphire, PowerColor and XFX have already been released and from the looks of it, these custom models, while featuring lower VRAM are just as fast as the Radeon R9 390X due to higher clock speeds compared to reference models and boosted profiles saved within the BIOS. The Sapphire Radeon R9 390 Dual-X OC comes with 1010 MHz core clock and 5000 MHz boost clock. The memory clock means that the card will run at 320 GB/s compared to 384 GB/s bandwidth offered on the 8 GB variant but a NITRO Booster profile saved in the BIOS of the card can be switched on through a click of a switch that will put the card next to a R9 390X in terms of performance. The PowerColor Radeon R9 390 4 GB is a high-end model that comes with a triple-fan cooler and is clocked at 1010 MHz core and 6000 MHz memory clock. Finally, we have the XFX Radeon R9 390 Black Edition which comes with clock speeds of 1015 MHz for the core and 6000 MHz for the memory.

AMD Radeon R9 390 4 GB vs Radeon R9 290 4 GB Benchmarks:

Testing done by Expreview reveals that the card is at least 10% faster than the Radeon R9 290 which uses the same core (although the Grenada core is clocked higher) but also runs cooler and has slightly lower power needs. The Radeon R9 390 was already a competitive card against the GeForce GTX 970 but AIBs have made it even more good looking for consumers with the reduce price and maintaining the same performance benefit. Currently, these models are only available in APAC market but expect to see a range of these cards enter the US and EU markets soon.

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Image Credits/Source: Expreview

AMD Radeon 300 Series Specifications:

Graphics CardGPUCU / SPGPU/Memory Clock SpeedMemoryInterfaceMemory BandwidthTDPPricing
R9 390XGrenada XT44 / 28161050/1500 MHz8GB GDDR5 512-bit384 GB/s275W$429 US
R9 390Grenada Pro40 / 25601000/1500 MHz4-8GB GDDR5512-bit384 GB/s275W$299-$329 US
R9 380XAntigua XT32/2048970/1425 MHz4 GB GDDR5256-bit182 GB/s190W$229-$249 US
R9 380Antigua Pro28 / 1792970/1425 MHz4GB GDDR5256-bit182 GB/s190W$199 US
R9 370XTrinidad XT20 / 12801000/1400 MHz4 GB GDDR5256-bit179 GB/s180W$179 US
R7 370Trinidad Pro16 / 1024975/1400MHz4GB GDDR5256-bit179 GB/s110W$149 US
R7 360Tobago Pro12 / 7681050/1625 MHz2 GB GDDR5128-bit104 GB/s100W$109 US
R7 350Cape Verde XTL/Pro10 / 640
8 / 512
1000/1125 MHz2 GB GDDR5128-bit72.0 GB/s60-75W$89 US

AMD AIBs Marketing Slides For 4 GB Radeon R9 390 Cards:

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