The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X was one of the most hyped up desktop graphics cards as it is the first consumer graphics card to ship with High-Bandwidth Memory on it. AMD was the first company to ship products using GDDR5 memory back in 2007 with the introduction of the Radeon HD 4870 graphics card, so this is the first major memory technology change to happen in nearly a decade. By going with HBM Gen 1 technology on the Radeon R9 Fury X video card it limited AMD to just 4GB of memory, but it gave the gobs of memory bandwidth and the card is certainly not memory bandwidth limited! We’ve only had the Radeon R9 Fury X for a few days, but we didn’t see any major issues with 4GB of memory while gaming on a 4K monitor.
HBM is costly right now since it’s so new, so don’t expect to see HBM come out on sub $300 video cards anytime soon. NVIDIA will be using HBM memory as well when they release the Pascal GPU sometime in 2016. NVIDIA might be late to the HBM game, but they made the decision to wait until HBM Gen 2 memory to come out as there are a number of improvements and it allows for up to 32GB of HBM2 to be used. AMD and NVIDIA will both be moving to HBM2 memory when it becomes available. The only bad news about that is Fiji was only designed to work with HBM1 memory, so we’ll have to wait until AMD’s next GPU offering in 2016 to see that come to market for the red team.
When it comes to performance of the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X we were expecting for a clean sweep since AMD showed us that they were able to defeat the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti in 12 different game titles at 4K Ultra HD settings. We didn’t test nearly as many titles since we don’t have automated testing like NVIDIA and AMD, but our manual testing testing showed that the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X was slightly slower than the GeForce GTX 980 Ti in most of the benchmarks despite performing significantly faster than the Radeon R9 390X 8GB video card in all the benchmarks. The AMD Radeon R9 390X wasn’t able to keep up with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but luckily the Radeon R9 Fury X can keep it competitive. AMD needed a really fast flagship offering and while they weren’t able to knock the GeForce GTX 980 Ti out, they certainly got NVIDIA’s attention with this product launch.
When it comes to overclocking, the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X was able to overclock up to 1130MHz before we started having issues. This is an overclock of 7.6%, but we only saw about a 4-5.5% increase in the game titles. We didn’t expect to see 1:1 performance scaling from the overclock, but this was a little lower than expected. It makes us wonder if keeping the ROP count at 64 on the Fury X GPU is actually a performance bottleneck now. AMD has kept the ROP count at 64 since releasing the Hawaii GPU in 2013. AMD will likely be able to get more performance out of this new GPU with driver enhancements though, so they might be able to get some more performance there.
The water cooler used on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X did a great job keeping the card cool as it never got over 54C on our open air test bench. As long as you don’t die and need to restart the game, the GPU will be clocked at 1050MHz while playing games sine the GPU is kept cool and throttling to prevent overheating isn’t needed on this card!
The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X runs $649, the same price as the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.
If you have been waiting on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card for months the wait is finally over and we hope the card lived up to the hype. The AMD Fiji GPU used on this card will be used on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury and Radeon R9 Nano air cooled cards that are coming out later this year. There will also be a pair of them on a Dual-GPU Fiji card that is also slated to be released this year on another water cooled card.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card is the fastest single-GPU card from AMD and is able to battle the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti at 4K Ultra HD gaming resolutions!