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Sure, the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X gets all of the attention, but I think one of the best video cards to be released this year is going to be the Fiji-based Radeon R9 Nano. I think we're going to see an entire new class of Mini-ITX-based PCs that will pack a serious performance punch, made possible by the R9 Nano.
The Radeon R9 Nano is a tiny little card, as long as the x16 PCIe port it goes into, and consumes just 175W of power from its single 8-pin PCIe power connector.
As you can see, it fits in my hand without a problem - which can't be said for any flagship video card on the market right now. Just imagine a super-powered Steam Machine or 4K-capable PC that can sit next to your PC, virtually silent, thanks to the HBM-powered R9 Nano.
And again from some different angles, and a tease of the single 8-pin PCIe power connector for just 175W of power consumption.
At the AMD event here in Sydney, Australia AMD were powering a 5K monitor running Dragon Age: Inquisition with a single Radeon R9 Fury X card. The heat output from the back of the included radiator was surprisingly cool, and not even warm.
Given that it's rendering a huge 5120x2880, a single Radeon R9 Fury X is a powerhouse of a video card.
It was liquid smooth to my eyes, with the graphics being set to 'Medium' at 5K. It felt like 60FPS+, which was absolutely astounding to see in person... 5120x2880 on Dragon Age: Inquisition from a single video card. Yes, please AMD.
Exclusive: I've just run back to my hotel room after being at the Australian launch of the new Radeon 300 and Fury line of video cards, where AMD teased their new Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 Nano, and the PCB of a dual-GPU based on two Fiji cores using HBM. When I pressed AMD about a release date for the dual-GPU solution, we were exclusively told that it would be "this year".
With only six months of the year left, we should see AMD until what I'm predicting will be the Radeon R9 Fury X2 in November. I also pressed them about the name, but they said they weren't confirming that at this time.
But it was the PCB of the dual-GPU that I wanted to run to first, so while the rest of the Australian media and partners walked to the rear of the room to check out the Fury X-powered PCs and Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype headsets, I rushed the stage to get my hands on the PCB. You can see the PCB packs two Fiji GPUs, both rocking High Bandwidth Memory which you can see quite clearly.
As you can see, there's a PLX chip to handle the communication between the two next generation GPUs.
Adding to the myriad of AMD Radeon Radeon R7 300 and R9 300 releases is that of PowerColor and its PCS+ series announcement, marking a long stint of AMD graphics manufacturing ranging back to 1997.
The PCS+ R9 390X/390 models come complete with 8GB of GDDR5 memory and 2816 stream processors adding to a 1060MHz and 1010MHz core clock respectively. As for cooling, PowerColor claimed in its latest press release that "the anodized back plate is attached to the back of the card to protect the components as well as helping to lower the temperature" in addition to a fan controller which ensures minimal RPM is upheld in low-use environments.
Supporting Virtual Super Resolution, FreeSync, Liquid VR and 4K resolution applications, the whole range of cards is expected to be released soon with no pricing currently listed.
If silent is what you're seeking, ASUS has now shown off its Radeon R9 390 and Radeon R9 390X cards featuring an all-new triple-fan STRIX DirectCU 3 cooling setup - this technology ensures that all the fans are switched off when the card is at idle, quoted by TechPowerUp as "common desktop / light-3D loads."
With this air cooler said to be identical to that seen in the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX, ASUS has developed a giant aluminum fin-stack heat sink, attached to the GPU by four 10mm nickel plated copper pipes and cooled by three 100mm fans.
Complete with a 50MHz core overclock when compared to the 1000 MHz reference, the R9 390 STRIX is slightly edged out by the 390X which sits at 1070 MHz compared to 1050 MHz reference.
Adding to the range of video cards on offer is GIGABYTE with its AMD Radeon R9 300 and R7 300 Series, running off its very own WindForce air cooling technology.
With the whole G1.Gaming range being factory overclocked, its GV-R736OC-2GD brandishes core speeds of 1200 MHz out of the box cooled by a single 90mm fan. This sits alongside the GV-R737WF2OC-2GD/4GD (2GB and 4GB models) which sits at a factory overclocked core speed of 1015 MHz and is cooled by a WindForce 2X setup.
The top of the range is pictured through the R9 390 and 390X, featuring 2-slot designs complete with 2 fan WindForce 2X cooling and running at core speeds of 1025MHz and 1060MHz respectively.
According to a recent release by AMD and as seen on TechPowerUp, the new Radeon R9 Fury X will outperform NVIDIA's GTX 980 Ti when running at a full 4K resolution.
Set for launch next week, the Radeon R9 Fury X reported the biggest performance gap over it's green competitor when playing Sleeping Dogs, seeing an FPS increase of around 10.
It's great to see another battle against these two graphical giants, but with every test ranking under 70 FPS - is it a whole lot to get excited over?
Our friends over at Legit Reviews were at the AMD event where the Radeon R9 Fury X was officially unveiled, taking in the beauty that is a triple 4K setup with a resolution of 11,520x2160.
The 11,520x2160 was powered by a single AMD Radeon R9 Fury X running Dirt Rally, with Legit Reviews adding that it "was pushing 60FPS" with AMD telling the site that two Radeon R9 290X cards, or a single R9 295X2 gets around 45-50FPS with the same resolution.
If you haven't heard about Fury X, it's powered by AMD's new Fiji architecture and uses High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). There's a 4096-bit memory bus with 4GB of HBM1 on it, with 512GB/sec of available bandwidth. We will have our Fury X sample arriving next week, so prepare for some very interesting tests to take place.
But what we really wanted to see was the super enthusiast side of things, so we've tested out two of our 390X cards in CrossFire at 4K to see what the scaling is like on them. Well, we were more than blown away with the performance, with 4K 60FPS and above in every single one of our tests. But it was the power consumption that blew us away the most, with up to 805W of power being consumed by our setup.
Yes, 805W. Comparing this to the single Maxwell-based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti in our test system, with the entire rig using 360W, this is a big difference. We found during our normal testing (Battlefield 4 at 1440p with the Ultra preset minus AA) the AMD Radeon R9 390X cards in CrossFire were consuming 760W, but during some of our testing (Shadow of Mordor) the cards were pushing up to 805W.
In a recently issued press release MSI has shown off its new range of AMD Radeon R9 300 and R7 300 video cards, all complete with the Twin Frozr V cooler and featuring four models in total.
The R9 390X GAMING 8G and R9 390 GAMING 8G models both brandish 8GB of VRAM and are marketed as suitable for a 4K gaming experience. The R9 380 GAMING model will be launched in 4G and 2G editions and feature a solid metal back plate as with all 300 series cards. These products have been mentioned in the press release as supporting smooth gameplay in "the latest games such as GTA V."
Lastly, the R7 370 GAMING 4G and R7 370 GAMING 2G models have been marketed at less taxing games such as League of Legends and Dota 2. These mid-range gaming cards also feature a R7 360 2GD5 OC model for those looking to push a little extra performance.