XFX R9 390X Black Edition Review
With the Fury X already on the market and the performance gaps between the 290X, 390X and Fury X (AMD sure do like an X don't they) relatively slight given how long ago the R9 first broke cover, chances are that you already know whether this card interests you before you begun reading.
There is a time when something is fresh and we're mainly reviewing the hardware to see how beneficial the new architecture is. The R9 390X ended up being overshadowed by the quickly released Fury X. After all, it's difficult to find yourself enthusiastic over a product you know is merely a stop gap. It would be akin to getting excited over post-season friendlies or clip shows. In the end these become less about the hardware and more about whether you're better off buying this particular variant.
Now the dust has settled it's easier to look at the R9 390X objectively, and the XFX Black Edition makes the very most of that underlying GPU. Throughout our testing it was neck and neck with the MSI Gaming 390X, to the point that although we might say the MSI just had the edge, there is no shame in preferring the XFX. Certainly the XFX cooler is outstanding. Leaving aside the looks of the fan shroud for a moment, there is lots to like. Clean line, beautifully crafted heatpipes and fins, and plenty of room for the air to exhaust clear of the card. That is backed up in our temperature testing where the XFX has put paid to the old jokes about AMD cards being suitable as a makeshift cooking implement.
With a beefy overclock out of the box, excellent cooling capabilities and low noise in use, the XFX R9 390X Black Edition is the ideal choice if you're looking for a cost effective graphics card, or one that is better suited to 1440P gaming. The looks are a little more divisive but frankly when the performance is this good and the card spends all it's life upside down, who cares?! Because of the excellent performance without causing a wince on your bank statement the XFX R9 390X Black Edition wins our OC3D Gamers Choice.