AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Video Card Review

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AMD Unleashes The Radeon R9 Fury X Video Card

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Video Card

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X features the brand new AMD Fiji GPU and is the first graphics card to hit the market with High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) technology. We’ve been talking about this card so much in recent weeks it really feels weird to be writing the launch article as there really isn’t anything new to tell you besides our own internal benchmark results that were done independently by us. We’ve already given you an in-depth look at High-Bandwidth Memory, given you an overview of the Fury X, completely torn down the Fury X, and even shown you the benchmarks that AMD did internally and published.  AMD had so many leaks on this card that last week they allowed all the information in the reviewers guide to be published last week!

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Specifications

 

Since there is a chance that you don’t know what the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X is, we’ll do a quick recap. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card features the brand new AMD Fiji GPU that features 4096 stream processor and has 8.9 billion transistors.  This is the first GPU that utilizes HBM Gen 1 technology from SKHynix and the card has four 1GB memory stacks located around the GPU die on an interposer. The total number of transistors on the interposer is over 10 billion! The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X is clocked at 1050MHz on the core and 500MHz on the HBM, which is good for 8.6 TFLOPS of power. The 4GB of HBM1 operates on a very wide 4096-bit memory interface and the 500MHz clock speed allows for up to 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Interestingly, AMD increased the number of texture units on the card to 256, but kept the number of ROPs at 64. This puts the texture fill rate at 268.8 GT/s and the pixel fill-rate at 67.2 GP/s.

When it comes to pricing we have been told that the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X will be priced at $649, which just happens to be the same price as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. The nine new cards announced by AMD in June 2015 with announced suggested retail prices can be found below.

  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury X2 (What we are calling the Dual-GPU Fiji card)
  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury X – $649
  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury – $549
  • AMD Radeon R9 Nano
  • AMD Radeon R9 390X – $429
  • AMD Radeon R9 390 – $329
  • AMD Radeon R9 380 – $219
  • AMD Radeon R7 370 – $149
  • AMD Radeon R7 360 – $129

 

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X measures 194mm in length or 7.64-inches in length and utilizes a closed loop water cooler that features a 120mm radiator and fan. The water cooler was designed by Cooler Master specifically for this video card. The cooler features anti-kink plastic water tubing that is 400mm in length and has been individually sleeved, so you’ll have three 400mm long connectors going between the card itself and the radiator. AMD went with a Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm Fan for the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X reference design. The exact model number is D1225C12B7AP-29 and it tops out at 3,000 RPM. This 120mm fan has a stabilizing ring on the fan blades to help keep noise down and to handle high resistance when used on radiators in applications such as this.

fury X cooler master

 

AMD improved the build quality of the Radeon R9 Fury X video card and moved to a multi-piece aluminum die-case construction with soft-touch side plates that are removable. The exposed metal is all black nickel aluminum that has been polished. AMD is thinking about releasing all the data needed to 3D print your own side covers and we hope they do as that would be need to make your own side panels for the card. AMD sleeved the fan separately from the cooling tubes to allow enthusiasts to change out the fan if they desire to do so at a later time. You can better see this with the side cover removed. The radiator uses the standard 120mm mounting configuration and should fit in most any case sold on the market in recent years.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Back

One other new feature on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X that has never been used on a GPU before is the addition of the GPU Tach. AMD soldered down nine LEDs on the back of the card just below the power connectors that allow you to see the GPU load level. There are two DIP switches on the backplate that allow you to enable or disable the GPU Tach and allows you to change the color of the LEDs between red and blue to go with your case theme better. Eight of the LEDs are for the GPU load level and can be red or blue. The ninth LED light is green and when it is lit up it visually lets you know that the GPU is in AMD’s ZeroCore power mode.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X HDMI 1.4

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X features three DisplayPort 1.2a connectors and one HDMI 1.4 connector when it comes to display options. For some reason AMD did not add support for HDMI 2.0 on this graphics card, which means you won’t be able to run a 4K Ultra HD panel at 60Hz over HDMI. It is for this reason that AMD recommends using DisplayPort for 4k60 content.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Power Connectors

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X is a 275W card that has two 8-pin PCIe power connectors on it. The Radeon R9 Fury X has a 6-phase power design that is capable of delivering up to 400 Amps of power to the Fiji GPU. The water cooler is rated at up to 500W, so it should be large enough to allow for some decent overclocks. Overclocking should not be limited by the power to the GPU or the reference GPU cooler!

980ti furyx

Let’s move along and take a look at the Radeon R9 Fury X does against other cards like the GeForce GTX 980 Ti!

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  • Freedom Miner

    Maybe its the particular setup used to test, or maybe something else. These benchmarks conflict with others. The bencchmarks at Tom’s Hardware, for example, shows the Fury X at parity with the Titan X. Consider, too, that AMD’s budget is far lower than nVidia’s. Give AMD time to work on drivers, and allow some time for some non-reference Fury x’s to be released, and the potential to beat the Tiatan x and 980ti with substantial numbers will reveal itself. Allow for DX 12 to enter the picture, (not 12.1, which nVidia seems to be hoping will be chosen as the main DX version used in the future, probably by paying to make it so regardless the cost) and all DX 12 AMD compatible products will likely show a far better picture that we’ve seen with their cards using DX11.

    AMD needs is to gain enough market share to give them a chance to further innovate via drivers and future design, and at long last we’ll have a healthier gpu market with competition which will benefit the consumer. If nVidia becomes a monopoly, we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame. IF we find ourselves with a one brand gpu market in the near future, it’ll be because of those among us who were uncompromising and bought yet another green team card based mostly on marginal gains due to the larger company’s hype and underhanded strategies and tactics which its known for. I rather doubt any enthusiast will be happy if that time ever comes.

  • Ed Starkey

    Why are there no OpenCL or compute test performed in this review? Every single site that has reviewed this card has omitted OpenCL and compute test. Is it because the compute performance is as bland as the gaming performance, or perhaps it’s even worse!

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Ed, what OpenCL or compute test would you like to see? If it’s free or something we already have, we can most certainly run it for you and post up the results here in the comment section or add it to the review.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Ed, what OpenCL or compute test would you like to see? If it’s free or something we already have, we can most certainly run it for you and post up the results here in the comment section or add it to the review.

      • Nwgat

        perhaps LuxMark?

  • Rene Stanneveld

    Damn funny, there is no way a 120 rad can dissipate 500 wats.
    Thats what a 3×120 from a good brand does.

    • Nwgat

      fury is 275W, 500W is the rated cooling power of the water unit

  • Hooligan1976

    This clearly shows the 980Ti as a massive winner. We have to take into account that most 980Ti cards come factory overclocked with warranty. Some cards easily at 1250Mhz out of the box. We see that an 980Ti OC spanks the Fury X OC’ed card by a vast margin, on air cooling.

    HBM seems to make zero difference. Furthermore the 980Ti is even better in 1440p.
    Reality check neither 980Ti/Titan X or Fury X are true 4K cards, in many games they barely push 30fps. These cards are 1440p cards, that is a fact. In that category 980Ti run circles around the Fury X which oddly perform even WORSE.

  • linuxnutcase

    first off thanks for the legit review, nicely done, in my view you guys do the best in reviews, be great if you could get into youtube.
    I’m hoping that 120 rad will give us in the future tons of overclocking room, to bring the fps up.
    Either way amd did do a very good job on looks this time around.

  • Beelzy

    Your going to hafta wait for AMDs driver updates to get good performance out of any game that isnt already optimized for the 4GB of HBM or see your performance bottlenecked badly ohhh and 8gbs on the 390x/390 an only 4 gb here is just plain goofy especially with plenty of benchmarks showing games hittin almost 8gb usage its hardly gunna be futureproof. i would hafta find room for that quite large watercooler??i have a big enuff case now LOL no ty itd be apain too install and would force significant tradeoffs in my cases layout for airflow/fans setup.Been a huge AMD fan for years and it is nice to them get very competitive again…but titan/980ti killer this sure as hell isnt it……imagine nvidias next card in 6mnths with a die shrink and hbm2…….lolz

  • Etienne Boutet boucher

    Really deceiving, i was expecting alot more with all this hype around fury…

  • agentbb007

    Well definitely not the 980ti killer rumored but at least AMD is in the ball park now.

    • nem

      i disagree, still Fury can perform with better drivers meanwhile the TI is full performing with already good drivers , and too here let you this..¬¬

      http://i.imgur.com/vmvUAfX.png

      http://i.imgur.com/kKLCcAr.png

      • nobodyspecial

        1. Devs support the largest userbase period. They will support DX features of NV before AMD as the share is 75% to 25%.

        2. NV can wring more out of their card too as Extremetech says Metro LL up to 25% faster with 353.30 vs. 352.90:
        http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/208874-amds-radeon-fury-x-previewing-performance-power-consumption-and-4k-scaling/3
        They will keep doing it as Maxwell 2 is a new gen too. TitanX and 980ti just came out…LOL. Keep living the fantasy.

        3. DX12 features are coughed up by Microsoft NOT Nvidia or AMD and these are MISSING from AMD:
        Feature Level 12_1 has Raster Order Views, Conservative Raster and Volume Tiled Raster enabled on the API. They won’t just NOT matter because 25% market share wishes it to be so.

        4. Driver overhead means almost nothing in reality and you left out the fact that there are ZERO Dx12 games and won’t be for a while so you’ll be dealing with DX11 driver overhead which shows the EXACT opposite:
        http://www.hardwareluxx.com/index.php/reviews/hardware/vgacards/35798-reviewed-amd-r9-fury-x-4gb.html?start=21
        LOL – in singlethread and multithreaded. Even if Win10 massively takes over (doubtful with many happy win7/8 users and even more missing dx12 support on their current cards anyway), games won’t massively go there until the hardware numbers are there. You don’t write games for people who don’t massively exist yet.

        http://www.anandtech.com/show/9223/gfxbench-3-metal-ios
        WOW, driver overhead 3-4x faster on METAL on apple devices vs. OpenGL ES. So games will magically be 3-4x faster now…But in reality…It generates 10% in Manhattan/TrexHD…ROFL. How much does 33% end up being when apples is 300-400% faster on the same devices and only ends up 10% at the end of the day in a game situation? It’s kind of like saying WOW, HBM1 is bandwidth is massive and AMD now kicks butt in all things. But then bandwidth really isn’t the issue today so NV still wins everywhere…ROFL.

        No review site says buy FuryX over 980ti especially for 95% of us which run 1440p or less and no matter what when considering OCing (even 4k stupid then for FuryX). Futuremark even says don’t use their tool as a benchmark for this. Driver overhead is the WORST case scenario that COULD happen if a dev decided to throw as many draw calls as possible at the screen in a game, and ZERO games do it, and even star swarm is NOT a game and never will be. Draw calls/driver overhead is a small part of a game. As the metal tests show, even a 400% improvement nets 10% today. AMD’s cards won’t magically speed up massively in gaming when win10 hits. Heck they still have to put out a WHQL driver (not one since Dec8 2014!) while NV already has one for win10.

        See pcper, techreport, maximumpc, hardocp, hothardware, hexus, hardwarecanucks, techpowerup, etc etc. The best you get is not a bad buy if you’re an AMD 290 owner 😉 Not that it’s a bad card, just that it isn’t as good as 980ti. Checking those also gets you a larger bunch of games to judge and see how often 4K even goes NV (more often then not and many times by >20%). You need to be beating the competition not your old gen.

    • Nwgat

      its more like a ninja “small, cool, quiet and sneaks up on you”
      meybe fury had a mad mood? tomorrow it will be 1% faster than 980ti?
      3% is within of the margin of error

      Fury is around 3% slower yet its water cooled, almost half the size of 980ti…

  • tacoslave

    I was actually expecting it to be slower than 3% average compared to the 980ti not bad,plus its already watercooled, shame about the over clocking though.