If there's something I'm a fan of, it's multi-GPU setups. From the very first time I could run video cards in tandem with 3DFX and its SLI technology, I've always strived for what Agent Smith in The Matrix Reloaded said when he was fighting Neo; "more... more, more more".
It was only a week or so ago that AMD released its new Radeon R9 Fury X video card that features the super-fast High Bandwidth Memory. While we were fairly impressed with the card, the huge cooler and lack of performance that I thought HBM would deliver, the card fell short of greatness. But it looks like the Fury X is a much better card when thrown into a multi-GPU situation than it is on its own.
Installation of a second Fury X onto my test bed was a hassle, because I needed to find a place to just lay the radiator down. Thankfully, I do have a test bed and not a desktop PC sitting in a chassis, as I would have to make room inside for the second radiator to be mounted. This is a problem I have with Fury X being a great multi-GPU solution, is that you literally need the physical space to be able to mount its required water cooling unit.
So while the card itself may be shorter thanks to AMD using High Bandwidth Memory, saving precious space on the PCB, that space saving goes to waste - and in the other direction, requiring a big spot for the second radiator. But for some, the big boost in performance from the two Fury X cards in CrossFire could be worth the space used by the two radiators.
Test System Configuration
We only recently built our new X99-powered system, something you can read about here. As for the detailed specifications, this is what we're running:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K processor w/Corsair H110 cooler
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi
- RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4
- Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB Intel 730 Series SSDs
- Chassis: Lian Li T60 Pit Stop
- PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
- Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
We're running the system at stock CPU speeds, which will provide more of a 'real-world' feel to our benchmarks. Sure, this isn't an i7-5960X at 5GHz, but what person is going to team up an incredibly expensive CPU with a mid-range GPU? Not many.
Our GPU tests are changing, shifting toward more of a real-world feel. But don't worry, we will be doing some crazy balls-to-the-wall tests that will see serious overclocks, Extreme Edition processors, and much more in the coming months. For the most part, we will be doing more real-world testing by teaming up the right processor with the right GPU in its price category.
I've played Battlefield 4 on a 64-player server to provide some real-world performance numbers. I've found this is one of the best ways to provide the most realistic performance numbers, as it involves actual gameplay in a large server that really strains most setups.
For now, I'm going to be using the same suite of benchmarks I've been using on my Tweakipedia articles, which uses a mix of synthetic benchmarks with Futuremark's 3DMark and Unigine Heaven. After that, we have a bunch of titles with built-in benchmarks (which does not represent actual in-game performance) but they are repeatable for you at home to gauge the performance of your PC or GPU.
Over time, I will be adding in new benchmarks and a new section that will concentrate solely on real-time gaming benchmarks. This will take more time per review, as I'll have to invest time into actually physically playing the games, but it'll be worth it in the long run. For now, let's get right into the synthetic benchmarks and see how this AMD Radeon R9 Fury X performs.
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