Game Benchmarks stub

AMD 390X Hotfix Benchmark for DOOM – Some Improvement

Posted on May 23, 2016

AMD was first-to-market with Doom-ready drivers, but exhibited exceptionally poor performance with a few of its cards. The R9 390X was one of those, being outperformed massively (~40%) by the GTX 970, and nearly matched by the GTX 960 at 1080p. If it's not apparent by the price difference between the two, that's unacceptable; the hardware of the R9 390X should effortlessly outperform the GTX 960, a budget-class card, and it just wasn't happening. Shortly after the game launched and AMD posted its initial driver set (16.5.2), a hotfix ( was released to resolve performance issues on the R9 390 series cards.

We had a moment to re-benchmark DOOM using the latest drivers between our GTX 1080 Hybrid experiment and current travel to Asia. The good news: AMD's R9 390X has improved performance substantially – about 26% in some tests – and seem to be doing better. Other cards were unaffected by this hot fix (though we did test), so don't expect a performance gain out of your 380X, Fury X, or similar non-390-series device.

Note: These charts now include the GTX 1080 and its overclocked performance.

Test Methodology

We tested using our updated 2015 Multi-GPU test bench, detailed in the table below. Our thanks tosupporting hardware vendors for supplying some of the test components.

The latest AMD drivers ( with Doom support) were used for testing. NVidia's unreleased 368.146 drivers were used. Game settings were configured to "Ultra" with anti-aliasing set only to FXAA (no multi-tap). Resolution settings were configured to 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. We performed some additional low-end GPU testing with “Medium” settings at 1080p. Tests were conducted in the Foundry, level 2. The test path is in the video further above (pending upload).

Each scenario was tested for 30 seconds identically, then repeated three times for parity, per setting, per card – that's a maximum of 9 to 12 test passes per device.

FPS fluctuates heavily in the game. We chose one of the more intensive interior settings. Generally, card performance should be slightly higher than what's shown here – we didn't figure out a definitive “worst case,” but found a middle-of-the-road benchmark course in terms of intensiveness.

GN Test Bench 2015NameCourtesy OfCost
Video CardThis is what we're testing!--
MemoryCorsair Dominator 32GB 3200MHzCorsair$210
MotherboardEVGA X99 ClassifiedGamersNexus$365
Power SupplyNZXT 1200W HALE90 V2NZXT$300
SSDHyperX Savage SSDKingston Tech.$130
CaseTop Deck Tech StationGamersNexus$250
CPU CoolerNZXT Kraken X41 CLCNZXT$110

Average FPS, 1% low, and 0.1% low times are measured. We do not measure maximum or minimum FPS results as we consider these numbers to be pure outliers. Instead, we take an average of the lowest 1% of results (1% low) to show real-world, noticeable dips; we then take an average of the lowest 0.1% of results for severe spikes.

Graphics Cards Tested

Compiled DOOM Benchmark – R9 390X w/ Hotfix, 1080p / Ultra


1% frametimes have improved noticeably alongside the AVG FPS jaunt afforded by AMD's hotfix. The AVG FPS gap against the GTX 970 has closed from ~30FPS to ~10FPS, providing a boon to the 390X's performance. We measured no change in 380X or Fury X performance, and thus have not listed them above. 

Compiled DOOM Benchmark – R9 390X w/ Hotfix, 1440p / Ultra


AVG FPS performance jumped from 51.33 to 62FPS at 1440p (+18.8%). The R9 390X now trails the GTX 970 by 4FPS (-6.25%), rather than -25%.

Compiled DOOM Benchmark – R9 390X w/ Hotfix, 4K / Ultra


4K performance gains were measurable, but not significant as a result of the heavy load placed on the system.


AMD's resolved some of its day-one issues, the 390X now outperforming the GTX 960 by much larger margins (as it should do) and reducing the gap vs. the 970 to ~12.6% at 1080p. That gap has thinned to ~6% at 1440p.

This test goes to show just how much the drivers are responsible for. Keep them up-to-date to avoid missing out on “free” performance.

We're posting this from the plane that will bring us closer to Taipei, so check back throughout the week from jet-lagged coverage from Taiwan, China, and elsewhere.

Editorial, Lead: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Test Technician: Andie “Draguelian” Burke