PowerColor's Devil R9 390X leaves me conflicted. After the experience I had testing my first R9 390, I expected to be just as impressed with its bigger brother. The 8GB of GDDR5 paired with AMD's Grenada GPU sounded like a treat. Throw in a closed-loop water cooler to keep temperatures in check, and how could you go wrong?
Unfortunately, that's not what ended up happening. The problems we encountered with this overclocked card can't be overlooked. It's not that my first sample wouldn't work; that happens all of the time with pre-production units. I'm more bothered by the compatibility issues with Samsung's bundled DisplayPort cable. Most folks don't have spare cables laying around, and my cable works fine with other graphics cards. Perhaps a cable is something that PowerColor could consider bundling. That'd certainly be more helpful than a mouse pad (as nice as it is). This card is designed for QHD and 4K after all, both of which employ DisplayPort.
Once the card was running the way it was supposed to, it performed admirably. Gaming performance was good, and the cooling is exceptional. High marks in those metrics came at the expense of acoustics, which could be too big of a trade-off for some enthusiasts. In fact, PowerColor's Devil R9 390X is one of the loudest cards I've tested, and that's saying a lot.
As of right now, the Devil R9 390X sells for $450 on Newegg. That's $60 higher than the least-expensive 8GB Radeon R9 390X. I really expected that I'd be giving this card a glowing review, but I just can't recommend it. It's performance is great, but there are better options available, even in the range of boards sporting the same GPU.