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XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition Review

Today we review a custom overclocked AMD Radeon R9 390 video card in the form of the XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition 8GB video card. We will compare it to an ASUS GTX 970 STRIX DCII OC video card, including both video cards maximum overclocks to determine the best performance and value.


XFX is a well known company among PC gamers and hardware enthusiasts. It is a division of PINE Technology Holdings Limited. The XFX manufacturing branch specializes in high-performance PC hardware with a focus on gaming products including AMD and NVIDIA graphics processing units and motherboards.

On our test bench today is the XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition 8GB video card (R9-390P-8DB6).

The XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition is the third video card based on the AMD Radeon R9 390 GPU. We have also evaluated the ASUS R9 390 STRIX DirectCU III video card and the XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation 8GB. The previously evaluated XFX R9 390 was not the Black Edition, and it has a lower factory overclock.

The XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition in this evaluation can be yours for $339.99. The pricing on AMD R9 390 GPU based video cards is between $279 and $339, placing the XFX R9 390 DD Black Edition at the higher end of the spectrum, featuring a factory overclock and custom cooling system.

With this price range in mind the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 comes to mind ranging between $289 and $369. The ASUS GTX 970 STRIX DCII OC video card comes to mind with a base price of $339, but available for as low as $309.

The R9 390 GPU is a re-brand of the Radeon R9 290 video card. Since its had a long lifespan, it does have improvements to the board including 8GB of memory by default as opposed to only 4GB on the R9 290. The memory also operates at a higher default frequency of 6GHz, compared to 5GHz on the R9 290. The most notable feature is the GPU's operating frequency. On the R9 390 it will run at 1GHz by default, compared to 947MHz as the default operating speed on the R9 290.

XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition Video Card

The XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition video card is an 8GB video card. The most notable feature that distinguishes this model from other models produced by XFX is the factory overclock. This Black Edition video card has the highest factory overclock on a R9 390 produced by XFX. The R9 390 GPU operates at 1GHz by default, but this particular model has been factory overclocked to 1050MHz. This is 35MHz faster than the non-Black version that we evaluated previously. The memory does operate at the reference 6GHz.

Another key feature of the XFX R9 390 DD Black Edition is the cooling system. XFX has built this video card using the Ghost Thermal 3.0 technology, a major part of XFX's Double Dissipation cooling system. The Ghost Thermal 3.0 technology has a new generation of VRM and specially designed heatsink to keep the parts cooler during normal and intense operation.

The other half of the XFX R9 390 DD Black Edition's Double Dissipation cooling system are the 7, 6mm copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU and evenly flow to different areas on the finned heatsink. Half of the heatsink directly contacts the GPU, while the other side is connected by the copper heat pipes and hovers over the components at the far edge of the board. This design allows for greater airflow and heat exhaustion.

The final pieces of the cooling system and board design include the two 90mm IP-5X fans, which are designed for improved airflow with a gloss that repels dust and reduces wind resistance for quieter operation, even during extreme operating conditions. The back of the board is also fully covered by an aluminum back plate, which shields rear mounted components and can help to spread some heat.

The XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition can be yours for $339.99. XFX also offers a 2-year limited parts and 2-year limited labor warranty. You can read more about the XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition here.

XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition Pictures

The XFX R9 390 DD Black Edition ships in XFX's normal box, which is well packaged and secured in an anti-static bag. The accessory package includes a quick installation guide, driver CD, warranty card, and a 4-pin to 6-pin PCIe power adaptor, as well as a 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power adapter.

The video card is designed on a black PCB, and with the title including "Black Edition" indicates the visual theme of the video card. The back plate is black with grey trim, and the fan housing faceplate is a combination of matte and glossy black. The fans are also glossy black. One minor design flaw is the power supply adapters. When you clip the PCIe power adapters into the video card, the clip to release them faces the sharp finned aluminum heatsink. For someone without extremely small hands, grasping the clip to remove the power cord is especially difficult and may hurt your fingers.

XFX recommends you have a 750W or grader power supply in order to properly power the XFX R9 390 DD Black Edition. It requires a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connector, located along top at the back edge of the video card. The rear I/O panel houses a DisplayPort, an HDMI port and two dual-link DVI-D connectors. The video card measures 11 inches in length, 5 inches in height and 1 and 5/8th inches wide.