This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the article, and get a quick recap and points on using four HBM-powered Radeon R9 Fury X cards in CrossFire at the insane triple-4K resolution of 11,520 x 2160.
11,520 x 2160 is Just Too Much for the Fury X, Even Four of Them
Right now, there's absolutely no reason you would buy four R9 Fury X cards, even for single-monitor gaming setups. There are a few reasons why you shouldn't, which we're going to get into soon. But four of them in CrossFire mixed with 11,520 x 2160 is a disaster in virtually every game on the market.
The problem is that AMD was only able to slap 4GB of HBM1 onto the Fury X, which is a serious hindrance at 11,520 x 2160. For resolutions under 4K, you'll be fine. 4GB of VRAM is enough, but for anything at 4K with Ultra details and above, it's not enough. At 11,520 x 2160, it's not enough by a long shot.
Most of our games were flooding the 4GB mark, which introduced serious stutter and performance issues because it's hitting the maximum amount of HBM1 on the card. What we're interested in seeing, is the GTX 980 Ti and Titan X cards in SLI at 11,520 x 2160, to see if the 6GB and 12GB of GDDR5, respectively, can topple the Fury X with its 4GB of HBM1.
The problem remains, however; AMD's use of HBM1 is both a blessing and a curse. The Fiji architecture mixed with HBM1 does an incredibly good job of keeping performance up at 4K against GDDR5-based cards from NVIDIA, but once you step up from 4K into multi-monitor setups, the performance tanks completely.
AMD cannot escape this problem until their next cards, which will have HBM2. The problem is, is that if you were to use 4 x R9 390X 8GB cards, you'd probably see better performance in some of these VRAM starved games than you would with the HBM-powered Fury X cards.
Where to From Here?
Our next tests will be looking at a few of the GTX 980 Ti and Titan X cards in SLI to see what the performance is like against the Fury X cards at 11,520 x 2160. This is going to be an interesting showdown; that's for sure.
As for the future, the Fury X will be forgotten in the future - especially once we get to the point of requiring more and more VRAM. VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are going to continue to push the boundaries of resolutions and refresh rates, and we're going to move very quickly past 1440p into 4K.
Once we hit 4K on our VR headsets, 4GB of VRAM is simply not enough. You won't buy a Fury X, or multiple Fury X cards for VR gaming in the future. Especially considering that you're going to need 90FPS minimum to enjoy the experience.
As for Eyefinity setups, I don't recommend anything above a 2-way Fury X setup, as the third and fourth GPUs are completely wasted in most games. If you really want to buy a triple-4K setup, we would suggest grabbing yourself R9 390X 8GB cards if you're an AMD fan, but ultimately just grab yourself a few of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards, as the 6GB of framebuffer is going to be needed at 11,520 x 2160.
We will have our 2-way GTX 980 Ti, and 3-way Titan X results up soon, as we're trying to secure more cards from NVIDIA to have a full-on 4-way GPU battle showdown.
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