Skip to main content

Rumor: AMD's Single-GPU R9 390X Will Be Liquid Cooled

When the R9 290 and R9 290X came along, one of the biggest complaints about the cards was their cooler. The reference cooler was, simply, not good. It didn't allow the GPUs to run at their full potential, and it was very, very loud. On top of that, it let the GPUs run at 95 C, which a lot of users simply weren't comfortable with.

AMD addressed these issues when it built the R9 295X2, as it was cooled with both air and water. The result? A superb cooler, for which almost no vendors built aftermarket solutions. That last bit may have had something to do with vendor restrictions, but there simply wasn't a need – it kept both of the fully-enabled Hawaii GPUs running at their stock speeds, and it wasn't noisy while doing so.

(Image credit: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3290317929?pn=1)

There is now a rumor on the web, based off an image and an announcement from Asetek, that AMD is building its next Radeon R9 390X graphics card with a similar cooler. Yep, that's right; we might be looking at the first single-GPU reference design that's liquid cooled.

The image of the cooler shroud that was leaked on the Baidu forums is clear, although what isn't clear is the announcement from Asetek: the company announced on August 14 that it had secured the biggest design with 'an undisclosed OEM.' This win would result in $2 - $4 million dollars of revenue for this undisclosed OEM, and the undisclosed product in question would start shipping during the first half of 2015. The announcement did indicate that it would help Asetek's success in the graphics liquid cooling market. So take these two details, put them together, and we can say that there's a good chance that the R9 390X reference design will be partially liquid cooled. (One plus one equals, two, you know.) Of course, this is still a rumor, so do be sure to take it with a pinch of salt.

So, what do you think? Would you like to see this happen, or do you think it's going a little far for a single-GPU solution?

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • 4ktv
    Sounds like it will be a cool GPU to own. (No pun intended)
    Reply
  • Because0789
    It is great that the heat issues have been worked out, but doesn't change the fact that this card most likely needs liquid cooling. That heat is still generated and still has to go somewhere, I guess it is fine if you can get most of it out of the case and not increase ambient temps.
    Reply
  • heero yuy
    sounds like NVidia will really have to pull out all the stops on their 980 if the 390X is some insane liquid cooled thing
    Reply
  • Because0789
    14163432 said:
    sounds like NVidia will really have to pull out all the stops on their 980 if the 390X is some batshit insane liquid cooled thing

    It could be just overclocked/volted Hawaii, hence the need for liquid cooling.
    Reply
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    Why can't AMD make GPUs that take low power and run cool on air like they used to do?

    Nvidia has found a way with their Maxwell GPUs so what happened at AMD to have them forget how to do the same?
    Reply
  • 4ktv
    Nope it's the Fiji with a lot more cores. This thing will decimate the GTX 980 if the rumors are true. It will how ever suck a lot of power.

    NVidia will likely need a fire sale. The only NVidia card I have owned is the GTX 580 and it will very likely be getting replaced by the R9 290 or R9 390 line depending on pricing.

    The best card I ever had for the money was the HD 4870 that I got in mid 2009 for $150 new.
    Reply
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    sounds like NVidia will really have to pull out all the stops on their 980 if the 390X is some insane liquid cooled thing

    Not at all. AMD is the one doing the "insane liquid cooled thing" because they no longer can compete with Nvidia on air and have to resort to extreme measures to keep their GPUs from melting.
    Reply
  • thor220
    I'm sick of these impractical beast cards. I just want the next generation to come out already.
    Reply
  • Because0789
    14163497 said:
    Nope it's the Fiji with a lot more cores. This thing will decimate the GTX 980 if the rumors are true. It will how ever suck a lot of power.

    NVidia will likely need a fire sale. The only NVidia card I have owned is the GTX 580 and it will very likely be getting replaced by the R9 290 or R9 390 line depending on pricing.

    The best card I ever had for the money was the HD 4870 that I got in mid 2009 for $150 new.

    We'll see I guess. AMD is not as forthcoming as to the delineations between new chips and new architecture. Or at least not as forthcoming as Nvidia, Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell for example. Those all had different chips GK110, etc. but you knew what architecture they were. So I don't know if they are coming out with a new architecture a year after whatever is in Hawaii
    Reply
  • 4ktv
    Are you calling the R9 390 and/or the $3000 Nvidia GPU an impractical "beast" card?

    Reply