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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI
Cyberpunk 2077 14% 31%
Watch Dogs Legion 11% 33%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 5% 36%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 2% 38%
Genshin Impact 15% 30%
FIFA 21 42% 65%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2% 38%
eFootball PES 2021 42% 65%
Ghostrunner 2% 38%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 9% 34%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI are significantly better than the AMD Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition.

The GTX 980 has a 116 MHz higher core clock speed and 96 more Texture Mapping Units than the R9 390. This results in the GTX 980 providing 126.7 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The GTX 980 has a 116 MHz higher core clock speed and 64 more Render Output Units than the R9 390. This results in the GTX 980 providing 79.5 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The R9 390 was released less than a year after the GTX 980, and so they are likely to have similar driver support for optimizing performance when running the latest games.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition and the GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI have the same amount of video memory, but are likely to provide slightly different experiences when displaying game textures at high resolutions.

The GTX 980 has 64.8 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the R9 390, which means that the memory performance of the GTX 980 is much better than the R9 390.

The Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition has 2560 Shader Processing Units and the GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI has 4096. However, the actual shader performance of the R9 390 is 2198 and the actual shader performance of the GTX 980 is 6724. The GTX 980 having 4526 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the GTX 980 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the R9 390.

The Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition requires 375 Watts to run and the GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI requires 350 Watts. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the R9 390 and a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the GTX 980. The R9 390 requires 25 Watts more than the GTX 980 to run. The difference is not significant enough for the R9 390 to have a noticeably larger impact on your yearly electricity bills than the GTX 980.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed1010 MHzvs1126 MHz
Boost Clock-vs1216 MHz
ArchitectureGCN 1.1 Grenada PROMaxwell GM204-400-A1 (x2)
OC Potential Poor vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs Great
Release Date18 Jun 2015vs19 Sep 2014
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

green tick vs -
green tick vs green tick
vs green tick
vs green tick
vs green tick

GPU Memory

Memory8192 MBvs8192 MB
Memory Speed1500 MHzvs1753 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs512 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth384GB/secvs448.8GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB vs green tick 4096 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs yes
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2560vs4096
Actual Shader Performance100%vs100%
Texture Mapping Units160vs256
Texture Rate161.6 GTexel/svs288.3 GTexel/s
Render Output Units64vs128
Pixel Rate64.6 GPixel/svs144.1 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections1vs1
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections-vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power375 Wattsvs350 Watts
Recommended PSU750 Watts & 50 Ampsvs750 Watts & 42 Amps

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.5
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-4790K 4-Core 4.0GHzvsIntel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs16 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution2560x1440vs5760x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewOverview
Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro 8GB Edition is a Special Edition of AMD's High-End Radeon R9 390, created by Sapphire.

Overclock: Central Unit
The Central Unit is now of 1010MHz, instead of 1000MHz.

Overclock: Memory Clock

Frame Buffer

Cooling Solution
Two-ball bearing: Dual ball bearings on the fan spindles ensure smooth running and long life and are designed to keep out dust. A quiet cooling solution, Two ball-bearing fan features a high-efficiency blade design.

Benchmarks Indicate no Performance Boost over the Reference Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI is a solution of two GeForce GTX 980 4GB put together using NVIDIA's SLI technology.

The Second variant of the Maxwell Architecture, despite being also manufactured with a 28nm technology, has an extremely large L2 Cache and features a Third Generation Delta Color Compression which allows NVIDIA to produce Graphics Cards with relatively small memory data transfer rates, without causing too much impact on the overall performance. Furthermore, the Shaders have been redesigned and are both more powerful and energy efficient.

It consists of 2 GPUs codenamed GM204-400-A1 which, together, offer 4096 Shader Processing Units, 256 TMUs and 128 ROPs, on a 512-bit memory interface of fast GDDR5. The central unit runs at 1126MHz and goes up to 1216MHz, in Turbo Mode, while the memory clock operates at 1753MHz.

Power Consumption
Power Consumption lies between 300W and 400W.

Gaming benchmarks prove that at 4K (3840x2160) GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI is over 7% faster than AMD's Radeon R9 295X2.

System Suggestions
We recommend a very strong processor (Intel Core i7 Six Core/AMD FX Eight Core) and 16GB of RAM for a system with GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants