Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury Graphics Card Review

Introduction


The initial unveiling of AMD’s Fury X was eagerly anticipated due to the advent of high bandwidth memory, and potential to revolutionize the size to performance ratio of modern graphics cards. This new form of stackable video RAM provided a glimpse into the future and departure from the current GDDR5 standard. Although, this isn’t going to happen overnight as production costs and sourcing HBM on a mass scale has to be taken into consideration. On another note, JEDEC recently announced GDD5X with memory speeds up to 14 Gbps which helps to enhance non-HBM GPUs while catering to the lower-mid range market. The Fury X and Fury utilizes the first iteration of high bandwidth memory which features a maximum capacity of 4GB.

There’s some discussion regarding the effect of this limitation at high resolutions but I personally haven’t seen it cause a noticeable bottleneck. If anything, the Fury range is capable of outperforming the 980 Ti during 4K benchmarks while it tends to linger behind at lower resolutions. AMD’s flagship opts for a closed-loop liquid cooler to reduce temperatures and minimize operating noise. In theory, you can argue this level of cooling prowess was required to tame the GPU’s core. However, there are some air-cooled variants which allow us to directly compare between each form of heat dissipation.

Clearly, the Fury X’s water cooling apparatus adds a premium and isn’t suitable for certain chassis configurations. To be fair, most modern case layouts can accommodate a CLC graphics card without any problems, but there’s also concerns regarding reliability and the possibility of leaks. That’s why air-cooled alternatives which drop the X branding offer great performance at a more enticing price point. For example, the Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury is around £60 cheaper than the XFX R9 Fury X. This particular card has a factory overclocked core of 1050MHz, and astounding cooling solution. The question is, how does it compare to the Fury X and GTX 980 Ti? Let’s find out!

Specifications:

Packing and Accessories

The Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury comes in a visually appealing box which outlines the Tri-X cooling system, factory overclocked core, and extremely fast memory. I’m really fond of the striking robot front cover and small cut out which provides a sneak peek at the GPU’s colour scheme.

On the opposite side, there’s a detailed description of the R9 Fury range and award-winning Tri-X cooling. Furthermore, the packaging outlines information regarding LiquidVR, FreeSync, and other essential AMD features. This is displayed in an easy-to-read manner and helps inform the buyer about the graphics card’s functionality.

In terms of accessories, Sapphire includes a user’s guide, driver disk, Select Club registration code, and relatively thick HDMI cable.

Leaks Point to November 19th Launch for AMD Radeon R9 380X

With more leaks than the Fury launch received, we’re finally getting word on the launch for AMD’s R9 380X. According to various sources, the R9 380X will launch tomorrow on November 19th. This jives with information obtained earlier which pointed to a November 20th launch in Japan. Given the time zone differences, this all fits in for an early  launch in North America for the 19th.

As expected, the 380X features a full Tonga/Antigua die with 2048 Shader Cores, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs. Surprisingly, the core clocks are pretty low given how mature 28nm is, at only 970 base, with boost determined by the AIB partner. Memory bandwidth comes in as expected with a slight bump to 5700Mhz for 182GB/s for 4GB of GDDR5. Compared to the 280X it is replacing, the newer card manages to shave off 60W for 190W TDP. 

Overall, this should make the 380X a pretty card for AMD. With pricing at $229-249 USD, the card slots right into the gap between the 960 and the 970. Efficiency should be improved enough to bring it inline with at least Kepler levels which is good for those concerned with that. Performance should be decent as well though that depends on the final clock speeds. With a 10% architectural improvement, the 380X might not be a worthy successor to the 280X just yet, but it will be enough to get those on the 660/760/960 and 265/270X to upgrade.

AMD R9 380X Exact Specifications Leaked

With just over a month until the expected launch, more information on AMD’s Radeon R9 380X have surfaced. Last time around, we got a glimpse of the XFX Double Dissipation model and today we’re treated to the full specifications

Unlike the R9 285/380, the 380X will feature the full Tonda die. Tonga was originally launched last year cut down to 1792 shader units, 112 TMUs and 32 ROPs over a 256bit GGDR5. Keeping the same 256bit bus, the 380X will feature 2048 shader units, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs, a hardware parity with the aged 280X. Given the architectural improvements GCN 1.2 introduced starting with Tonga, the 380X should place at least 10% faster than its predecessor. Clock speeds also get a boost up to between 1000~1100Mhz while GDDR5 speeds will stay about the at around 5500Mhz~6000Mhz.

With better performance and DX12 support, among other advantages compared to the GTX 770, AMD has a good chance to dominate the $150 gap between Nvidia’s GTX 960 and 970. The 380X may also come standard with 4GB of VRAM as 2GB is probably a bit too low for this tier of performance. If the 380X does well in the market, it will be interesting to see if Nvidia will respond with an even more cut down GM204 in the form of a GTX 960Ti, cut prices on the 970 or simply just wait it out till Pascal.

Thank you HWBattle for providing us with this information

AMD Radeon R9 380X May Land In Late October

Ever since AMD debuted Tonga Pro in the R9 285, everyone had been waiting for the full Tonga XT die. Earlier this week, we got our first hint with the glimpse of the XFX Double Dissipation R9 390X. Today, we’re getting word that the R9 380X will finally arrive in late October, a little over a month from now. This will fill the relatively large gap between the R9 380  and 390.

With GCN 1.2, the R9 380X will bring the efficiency gains first demonstrated in the R9 285. The card will feature 2048 Stream Processors, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs connected to 4GB of GDDR5 across a 256bit bus. With GCN 1.2’s improved architecture, the 380X should perform about 10% faster than the 280X at the same clocks. Despite a drop in raw bandwidth compared to the 280X, the introduction of delta color compression should alleviate any issues. The card should also feature good DX12 support with asynchronous compute as well as FreeSync.

Unlike the earlier R9 370X which was limited to China, the 380X will be available worldwide. With full Tonga on tap, AMD should be able to strike at the hole Nvidia has left between the 960 an 970. This should hopefully help AMD make some more revenue, gain some market share and be more competitive overall. The only spoiler would be if Nvidia somehow introduced a GTX 960 Ti.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

AMD Makes Surprising Move with R7 370

With the reveal of AMD’s Rx 300 lineup at E3 today, more details about the specifications have been revealed. One of the most surprising moves was the chip AMD chose to power the R7 370. Among all the cards AMD has launched so far, the R7 370 will be the sole member still running GCN 1.0., and has now been twice rebranded. Rebranding is fine but 3 years later, it’s pushing it.

While most of the attention has been focused on Fury, the rest of the Rx 300 series have been rebrands. The most important clue to the 370’s origin is the features or lack thereof the card supports. As expected the up and coming APIs of DirectX® 12, OpenGL® 4.58, Vulkan, Mantle and OpenCL 2.0 are all supported. However, VCE (Video Codec Engine), TrueAudio and the much vaunted FreeSync are all missing. These features are tied to GCN 1.1/1.2, meaning the 370 is GCN 1.0. This point is hammered home by the presence of a Crossfire finger, a requirement that GCN 1.1/1.2 forgoes.

Another point is the branding for the card. With 1024 SPUs (Stream Processing Units) across 16 CUs (Compute Units), the R7 370 is the successor to the 2012 HD 7850 and the R7 265 with a speed bump to 975Mhz core and memory bandwidth improved to 172.2 GB/s. Even with the speed increase, the 370 will likely still be slower than the R9 270 it sounds similar to. Buyers may very well be more fixated on the 370 part of the name rather than the more critical R7/R9. Those thinking the 370 is the successor to the 270 are going to be disappointed.

AMD now has a sizable gap between the R7 370 and the R9 380 in their product line. While an R9 370 to fill in the gap might make sense under AMD’s logic, that will only serve to confuse buyers. With a lack of features the rest of the lineup boasts as well, AMD has made a surprising choice with the R7 370. One good move though is cutting down Bonaire for the 360 which helps diffreniate the cards as the cap between the R7 260X and 265 was sometimes too narrow. Despite all this, these handicaps won’t be too important as long as the price is right.

More AMD Radeon R9 390X Specifications Leaked

Following on from earlier rumoured leak of the R9 300 series cooling and card length, it seems the specification of the highly anticipated R9 390x has slipped as well.

From earlier, we know that the R9 390x is rumoured to ship with two options of cooling, the first a typical air cooling design similar to what AMD currently produce; however, the second appears to be no longer than the NVIDIA GTX 970 reference design PCB and will include a similar cooling feature to the current R9 295×2. The new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) has been integrated onto the GPU core, which is how AMD has managed to squeeze all of the features onto such a small PCB design.

Now onto the specification:

“The Fiji XT-enabled R9 390X is said to feature 8GB video memory, GCN 1.2 architecture, 4,096 stream processors, 256 TMUs, 128 ROPs, and a 4096-bit wide interface resulting in a total bandwidth of 640GB/s.”

If these specifications are true, it will be based on a very similar architecture to the R9 285 and aims to be more powerful than the R9 295×2; very impressive for a single GPU, short PCB card.

Are you looking forward to the launch in approximately a month time? I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the R9 390x, especially if the specs and water cooling is as rumoured. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to VRworld for providing us with this information.