HBMs Benefits Begin to Shine
The biggest benefits of High Bandwidth Memory, at least in its first iteration under HBM1, are the massive physical space you save on the PCB.
The Radeon R9 290X is a long card, but it's not as long as the behemoth that was the R9 Fury. The R9 Fury had air cooling on it, as the R9 Fury X required an AIO water cooler. The R9 Nano, on the other hand, features more horsepower than the R9 290X, but uses much less power.
While HBM1 doesn't really provide any performance benefits, the size of the card should be a big benefit to some gamers. It allows AMD to get its technology into PCs that it would normally not be inside of, and to provide gamers with a card that can handle 4K 60FPS gaming without a problem, in a case that is radically smaller than the traditional gaming PC chassis.
A New Class of Gaming PCs is on the way
Thanks to the R9 Nano being so small, we're going to see all sorts of new gaming PCs in the wild. Gone are the days of requiring some gigantic chassis for your gaming PC, as the AMD Radeon R9 Nano is going to provide gamers with a very important option of building a super-small, but ultra-powerful gaming PC.
Those days are over, as the R9 Nano is the start of HBM-powered video cards that will see gaming PCs shrinking down to console size. This is a big reason for me writing this 'preview' article on the R9 Nano, as I believe that the physical size of the card is the biggest point of it. Sure, we need performance that's up to scratch, but providing R9 290X or equivalent performance was always going to be enough.
As you can see, just last year had enthusiasts and high-end gamers buying big towers to fit their multi-GPU setups. Earlier this year (but not early 2015 as AMD describes in the above image), we have gaming PCs powered by smaller cards like the Fury X. But now, we can have gaming PCs that would have never been possible with the R9 Nano.
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