Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

It has been the announcement of a new graphics card AMD – Radeon RX 480. But the new model has not yet had time to saturate the market, and the attention of buyers is only available version of the reference design.

But what about the last-generation solutions with comparable performance, which are still relevant? In this segment, and the choice is richer, and the prices in some cases, may be lower. On one of these will be discussed.

Today we will look at the graphics card Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming, equipped with a cooling system Windforce 2X. Gigabyte Developers do not forget about the series G1 Gaming and timely replenish it with new versions of popular accelerators.

Here and in this case, they released a model based on the graphic processor Grenada (aka modified Hawaii), which in some nuances radically different from opponents.

Review Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming

Full name: Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 390 Gaming [GV-R939G1 Gaming-8GD], manufacturer code: GV-R939G1 Gaming-8GD.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Packaging and delivery

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming comes in a huge box with original black-and-blue graphic arts industry. Informative front side is minimal, there is only the model name, the graphics card specifications and references to factory overclocking.

On the reverse side of all the exact opposite: the developers have talked about all the features of the product in great detail, with illustrations and captions.

Enough said about the cooling system – fans with a new design of the blades, lights, “bekpleyt” mode «0dB Fan». For the rest of the components stated use quality components, as well as support tools Guru II OC.

For the safety of Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming meets soft material, which occupies half of the box. Such care company incentive, but affects the dimensions of the package, which is less transportable.

You can play hide and seek and try to find where the developers hid the package. Prompt, it is placed in the lower section for a video card, it includes a user manual and CD with drivers.

Modestly, but in today’s realities is difficult to expect more.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Appearance and size

When we first met with Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming difficult to imagine that in front of you is one of the hottest and most demanding graphics cards Hawaii GPU that requires an overall cooling system.

It is more like a Radeon 380 (X), and it is easier to believe. However, the developers have managed to combine the GPU Hawaii and compact CO in a single tandem.

By the way, the circuit board is not more than 246 mm, which is less than the reference embodiment with its 267 mm Width – 118 mm, a body model overlaps two expansion slots. Miracles, and only, but the surprises will await us at every turn.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming is based on the concept of Ultra Durable VGA and is equipped with original cooling system WindForce 2X. Decorative plastic casing covers the whole board as a whole, it was an interesting edging and multiple notches on the perimeter. For the active part corresponds to two 90 mm fans with a company logo.

Note on the video card installed “bekpleyt”, which are more and more adapted to the dissipation of heat from the PCB due to thermal spacers.

Surprising rear panel, which resembles similar to that of Nvidia graphics solutions. Total is involved five video outputs:

  • One DVI-D;
  • One HDMI;
  • Three DisplayPort.

It supports the following resolutions:

  • Digital – to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog – up to 2048 x 1536.

Extra power is built according to the classical formula of “8 + 6”, which provides power graphics cards up to 300 watts. Of course, the calculation is carried out with a certain reserve. For convenience, the latches are deployed and managed with cables is very convenient.

Proprietary features a series of Gigabyte G1 Gaming is adjustable backlight. On the side there is an inscription «Windforce», highlighted a pleasant blue color. Here it is worth remembering about the possibility of stopping the fan in idle mode. By reducing the load turntables are turned off on the panel light up the word «Silent» and «Stop».

Unfortunately, BIOS switch in this case is absent. A pity, though gains were from him.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Cooling system

Developers Gigabyte unique approach to the cooler mount: Used four spring-loaded screw on the perimeter of the GPU and three in the VRM area. Many thermal interface, cooling system removed reluctantly.

First look at the GPU and contact base. The factory thermal paste has dried slightly, fingerprint can be seen that the GPU chip is not in contact with all the heat pipes.

They are recruited on not the most common scheme of “8 + 6 + 8 + 6” mm. High-level processing, no comment except for the lack of mirror polished.

Dense refrigerant represented as single-section radiator. In a complex web of aluminum plate and heat pipes bear a huge burden of responsibility cooling Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming.

The casing is removed along with the fans simply. Note that many are not looked at the plastic cover, it feels like a metallized.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

Two turntables presented models PLA09215S12H known company Power Logic. Characteristics of 12 V and 0.55 A production date of January 5, 2016. Looking ahead, we say about the speed of rotation of the impeller, which is in the range 0-3600 rev / min.

From the usual low-profile heatsink developers abandoned in favor of the elongated ribs of the main cooler with soldered plate. Grey thermal pads on the Gigabyte models we have noted more than once, an imprint of a great power transistors.

Will run again in appearance Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming and see what we missed. “Bekpleyt”!

Yes, the base plate – element on the modern video card coveted and irreplaceable. It not only plays a role of stiffeners, but prevents the circuit board from being damaged, and with proper approach and still function to remove heat from the PCB handles (e.g., as here).

The VRM zone and thickening of the strip provided thermal pads. In “bekpleyt” tests very hot, but its function is performed – lowers the temperature of the power subsystem.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Printed circuit board

Video card Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming is based on the original circuit board in black, analogues of which I have not seen. Engineers redesigned the PCB, leaving unchanged only the concept of the location of all the key elements. We will study it in detail and note the interesting features.

All former dignity preserved: the element base is built on proprietary Ultra Durable VGA concept, which involves the use of solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes, and field-effect transistors with low-resistance.

Developers redesigned power system and implemented it using the formula “6 + 1 + 1”, where six phases assigned to the graphics processor, one – on the memory chip, and the last – on the PLL. The two phases are left idle.

NCP81022 PWM controller located on the opposite side of the PCB.

At the heart of the review of the hero became a GPU Grenada (Hawaii), produced on 28 nm process technology in January 2016. It includes 2560 shaders, 64 blocks rasterization and 160 texture units.

The card is equipped with eight gigabytes of graphics memory, which recruited sixteen chips H5GC4H24AJR SKhynix production. Their clock frequency is 1500 MHz (effective frequency – 6000 MHz).

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Testbed

Testing the video card Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming held as part of the following configuration:

Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5 (BIOS v 1.11);

Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K 4000 MHz (100 x 40 1.156 B) or 800 MHz during measurement of the noise level;

CPU Cooling System: Thermalright Archon (fan Thermalright TY-140, 140 mm, 500 rev / min);

Thermal interface: Gelid GC-Extreme;

RAM: Kingston PC3-17000 (DDR3-2133, 10-11-11-27, 2 x 4 GB, dual-channel mode);

Drive SSD: SanDisk X110 256GB;

Power supply: ETG Premium 1200W, 1200 W;

Housing: Cooler Master HAF 922;

Monitor: BenQ GW2460HM, 1920 x 1080 resolution (calibrated).


Operating System: Windows 7 x64 SP1 Ultimate;

graphics card driver: AMD Catalyst 16.5.3;

Auxiliary tool:

GPU-Z v. 0.8.8;

Heaven Benchmark 4.0;

MSI Afterburner v4.2.0;

MSI Kombustor

Instrumentation and test method

For overclocking and temperature monitoring and fan speed used proprietary utility MSI Afterburner v4.2.0.

Check the stability of operation of accelerators in the process of overclocking utility made MSI Kombustor 3.5 (GPU Burn-in mode, 1920 x 1080). These frequencies were tested further test runs Heaven Benchmark v 4.0 c extreme tessellation levels and graphics tests of the 3DMark 2013, 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Vantage.

To check the temperature of video cards in an environment close to everyday, unused Heaven BenchMark v4.0 (quality: ultra, tessellation: extreme, AA8x, 1920 x 1080).

The noise level was measured using a digital sound level meter TM-102 with an accuracy of measurements is not more than 0.5 dB. Measurements were taken from a distance of 0.3 m of the background noise level in the room -. Not more than 28 dB. All the system fans, including installed in the power supply disconnected. The graphs border conditional quietness for the system is determined at the level of 30.5 dB, the border conditional Comfort – 37 dB. The room temperature was 26 degrees Celsius.

Additionally, it takes readings of power consumption by using a power meter Robiton PM-2 and the PCB temperature IR thermometer Fluke 59 MAX.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing

The standard frequency and overclocking

Video card Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming is equipped with factory overclocked. The core frequency increased from 1000 MHz to 1025 MHz memory speed corresponds to the standard version and is equal to 1500 MHz.

Compact by the standards of the top accelerators cooling system behaves differently than on the model Sapphire Radeon R9 390 the Nitro, which is one and a half times heavier and longer. However, not all so sad. In idle mode the frequency is reduced to 300/150 MHz, and the fans are stopped. Gigabyte engineers had to raise the limits on temperature, because cooler Windforce 2X can not take as much heat as a competitor, and to keep the temperature within 40 ° C. For this reason, in normal operation it is held in the region of 50-55 ° C.

Watching movies and videos on YouTube ends up raising the temperature threshold of 62 ° C, after which the fans are switched on, cooled graphics card off and so on to infinity.

Such sinusoidal behavior typical of other video cards, for example, MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming, but in their case the launch of turntables usually occurs during the games.

Surprises presents GPU-Z utility, in the tab “Sensors” which we can see other settings. First of all, we note that they became less and instead of «Temperature VRM1» and «Temperature VRM2» emerged temperature sensors around the socket of the GPU space and PCB circuit board.

Let us study the detailed BIOS. Many sewn values correspond to the model Radeon R9 290X, even video memory controller voltage of 1000 mV 1050 mV against the reference. Fans “silent” to 63 & dgC, continue to spin smoothly to 100%.

The values for the BIOS cell voltages with codes “65282-65288” we are not interested, take a look at these readings. EVVD reports about 1.275 V, which is too high a value, AIA64 raises even higher – up to 1.30 V. Too much. There is a suspicion that the cooling system will have to deal with extra watts of heat.

After several tests, we can not heat up the GPU above 79 ° C, which is a good result considering the modest size of the graphics card.

However, the fan speed increases to 2700 rev / min, and the noise level becomes higher than the reference many versions. In fairness, we note that Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming is quieter reference model.

Miracles occur in MSI Kombustor stress test: the video cards not only resets the frequency, but also in terms of the temperature leaves a good margin.

A surprising number. This model and asks her to do the fine tuning that appeal to many enthusiasts. It was decided to reduce the stress on the GPU to acceptable values: at 1150 mV system immediately hung, at 1200 mV – small artifacts. As a result, at 1212 mV managed to achieve full stability.

Now all in their places. Here is the testimony EVVD and AIDA64 programs.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming has become quieter and cooler 75 ° C versus 79 ° C and 2400 rev / min against 2700 rev / min. If you adjust and even fans, the card can be made quieter. What about overclocking?

Our sample was not very successful, even in the base voltage of 1.275 was able to raise the frequency of the graphics core in all up to 1080 MHz memory – up to 1600 MHz.

Another surprise is the fact that the Power Limit + 50% in many Radeon R9 290 (X) / 390 (X) does not begin to increase a child’s appetite. Here the video card consumes as much as it needs, which is reflected not only on the temperature (it is almost not increased), but also on the schedule of electricity consumed.

Cooling capacity

The following is a graph of the temperature of the GPU / system power and noise of the cooling fans. This card is devoid of sensors in the supply voltage, so the results were part of the power obtained by the pyrometer.

So, noisy and hot. Developers have tried to find the best, and they almost managed to do this in view of the compact cooling system relative to competing solutions. All anything, but I do not understand the step of engineers with such a high value of staff, which is reflected in the results. When 1.212-1.22 The card becomes flexible.

The level of electricity consumption

Schedule of all electricity consumed in the stand depending on the video card GPU working frequency and voltage.

Power consumption in 2D was measured at idle system (on the desktop). Testing in Heaven BenchMark 4.0 was carried out at the following settings – quality: ultra, tessellation: extreme, AA8x, 1920 x 1080.


At first glance, Gigabyte version is a revelation, and not like the other cards in this series. Engineers, apparently inspired by the idea of developing a new product, rather than creating a copy on the basis of the reference version. Modification undergone all: the cooler, sensors, firmware, and even the printed circuit board, which has become shorter than the original 21 mm. But is it all benefited?

Thanks to our tests can objectively assess the Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming. Due to the smaller dimensions of the model has become hotter and noisier. Last – merit rather Zadran voltage than most of the cooling system, and, if desired, these comments can be easily removed by editing BIOS.

What’s in the balance? Gigabyte video card like the enthusiasts who know how to quickly and easily from anywhere, “stove” to make “candy”, the good and the materials on this topic have been published. She left a mixed impression, but good things still more.

Gigabyte Radeon R9 390 G1 Gaming: Review and Testing was last modified: July 15th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby