Review Index:
Feedback

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review

Author:
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged: video, radeon, R9, Nano, hbm, Fiji, amd

Specs and Hardware

The AMD Radeon Nano graphics card is unlike any product we have ever tested at PC Perspective. As I wrote and described to the best of my ability (without hardware in my hands) late last month, AMD is targeting a totally unique and different classification of hardware with this release. As a result, there is quite a bit of confusion, criticism, and concern about the Nano, and, to be upfront, not all of it is unwarranted.

View Full Size

After spending the past week with an R9 Nano here in the office, I am prepared to say this immediately: for users matching specific criteria, there is no other option that comes close to what AMD is putting on the table today. That specific demographic though is going to be pretty narrow, a fact that won’t necessarily hurt AMD simply due to the obvious production limitations of the Fiji and HBM architectures.

At $650, the R9 Nano comes with a flagship cost but it does so knowing full well that it will not compete in terms of raw performance against the likes of the GTX 980 Ti or AMD’s own Radeon R9 Fury X. However, much like Intel has done with the Ultrabook and ULV platforms, AMD is attempting to carve out a new market that is looking for dense, modest power GPUs in small form factors. Whether or not they have succeeded is what I am looking to determine today. Ride along with me as we journey on the roller coaster of a release that is the AMD Radeon R9 Nano.

Continue reading our review of the AMD Radeon R9 Nano!!

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Specifications

I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on this part of the review if only because we had another story posted just a couple of weeks ago where AMD released most of the technical information about the product. A quick recount of the information is provided here but for the full marketing detail about the card, check out my previous piece.

  R9 Nano R9 Fury R9 Fury X GTX 980 Ti TITAN X GTX 980 R9 290X
GPU Fiji XT Fiji Pro Fiji XT GM200 GM200 GM204 Hawaii XT
GPU Cores 4096 3584 4096 2816 3072 2048 2816
Rated Clock up to 1000 MHz 1000 MHz 1050 MHz 1000 MHz 1000 MHz 1126 MHz 1000 MHz
Texture Units 256 224 256 176 192 128 176
ROP Units 64 64 64 96 96 64 64
Memory 4GB 4GB 4GB 6GB 12GB 4GB 4GB
Memory Clock 500 MHz 500 MHz 500 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 5000 MHz
Memory Interface 4096-bit (HBM) 4096-bit (HBM) 4096-bit (HBM) 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 512-bit
Memory Bandwidth 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 336 GB/s 336 GB/s 224 GB/s 320 GB/s
TDP 175 watts 275 watts 275 watts 250 watts 250 watts 165 watts 290 watts
Peak Compute 8.19 TFLOPS 7.20 TFLOPS 8.60 TFLOPS 5.63 TFLOPS 6.14 TFLOPS 4.61 TFLOPS 5.63 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 8.9B 8.9B 8.9B 8.0B 8.0B 5.2B 6.2B
Process Tech 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
MSRP (current) $649 $549 $649 $649 $999 $499 $329

AMD wasn’t fooling around, the Radeon R9 Nano graphics card does indeed include a full implementation of the Fiji GPU and HBM, including 4096 stream processors, 256 texture units and 64 ROPs. The GPU core clock is rated “up to” 1.0 GHz, nearly the same as the Fury X (1050 MHz), and the only difference that I can see in the specifications on paper is that the Nano is rated at 8.19 TFLOPS of theoretical compute performance while the Fury X is rated at 8.60 TFLOPS.

The memory system is also identical between the R9 Nano and the Fury X: 4096-bit wide high bandwidth memory bus, 4GB of capacity, 500 MHz memory clock rate and up to 512 GB/s of available memory bandwidth. Again, very impressive!

There is one very big difference that we have to point out though: The R9 Nano is rated with a 175 watt TDP, the Fury X at 275 watts. That is a difference in power consumption that we just haven’t seen in any other card to card variance when based on the same GPU.

That difference in power consumption is possible due to AMD “underclocking” the Fiji GPU: bringing the clock speed lower to meet a specific TDP target. And as we’ll see in an upcoming page of this story, the clock speed variance from game to game and even between resolutions is fairly substantial; I saw clocks as high as 1000 MHz and as low as 825 MHz.

It's important to note that even though AMD says the GPU is not thermally constrained, all aspects of the ASIC performance come into play during use. Efficiency is defined as the ability to run at a certain performance level and clock speed within a set TDP (which AMD has already defined at 175 watts). So if a particular game plays with a heavy GPU workload and attempts to draw more power than the 175 watts allowed, AMD's Fiji implementation will downclock until it arrives a voltage that hits ~175 watts draw. That will be different for all different kinds of software so its something we will pay particular attention to in our review.

For users that want to tweak things you will be able to adjust the power limit in the AMD Catalyst Control Center, thus decreasing efficiency, but pushing you closer to that 1.0 GHz frequency regardless of the GPU workload. This obviously takes AMD's new R9 Nano outside the range that it wanted to be able to claim for this product, and what it could guarantee in tight quarters that might be more thermally constrained, but gamers will have that flexibility if they wish, gaining as much as 10% in graphics performance based on AMD's quotes. Once you hit that 1000 MHz mark, however, you revert to the more standard overclocking models that we have already seen which aren't spectacular with Fiji GPUs.

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano - A Sexy Beast

From a design standpoint there is very little that was unknown about the R9 Nano hardware. This is a 6-in PCB design with a vapor chamber cooler that helps keep that sizeable Fiji GPU and HBM memory in the 75-85C range during gaming. Once again, our previous story has all the details on AMD’s position of the R9 Nano and its size, claiming that it can be used in cases that would otherwise not have access to cards in this performance class. Still, this is dead-sexy hardware so let’s take a look around our sample.

View Full Size

It’s hard to really even quantify with a single image, but the R9 Nano is incredibly tiny, measuring just 6-inches long. The fit and finish on the design is top notch, nearly matching the build quality of the Fury X in terms of the finish and rubber-coated plastic body. To be clear – the Nano is entirely plastic, none of that nickel plated gunmetal color to be found here. The single fan in the middle is responsible for moving around the necessary air to keep the Fiji GPU cool – this card is quiet but far from silent.

View Full Size

You won’t find any fancy LED lights on the card, which is a bit of a letdown considering how apt AMD is pushing this card for custom mods and windowed chassis. The Nano does support CrossFire but it’s using XDMA so no CrossFire connectors are needed.

View Full Size

There is no back plate on the R9 Nano which I am sure will aggravate some users immediately. I assume that this is not a cost saving measure and instead is to ensure that the card will fit onto some motherboards with very limited spacing between the primary PCIe slot and the CPU socket.

View Full Size

For power delivery the R9 Nano only requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connection, facing out the back of the card. This should help the Nano fit in more tightly-spaced cases than with the power connection up top, but I am sure there are cases where the opposite is true as well.

View Full Size

Display connectivity on the R9 Nano consists of a set of three DisplayPort connections and a single HDMI port. There are no DVI connections – kind of a bummer. Also, the HDMI port here is still HDMI 1.4a, not HDMI 2.0, which is one of the biggest drawbacks to Fiji over NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. This is to an even greater degree in the case of the R9 Nano as it fits perfectly into the stereotype of an HTPC card, with previously unseen graphics performance, though it won’t be able to output to 4K 60 Hz TVs without  an active adapter. An adapter, mind you, that I have yet to touch or see or price or validate.


September 10, 2015 | 08:18 AM - Posted by mAxius

You amd shill! im kidding! Ryan this was a great review i see a nano in my mitx build thank you.

September 10, 2015 | 08:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous31276 (not verified)

With so many ITX cases designed around the ability to hold full sized cards, this is like a niche within a niche, for true SFF cases.

September 10, 2015 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This so much, generally if your case has 2 pci slots then you can fit a decent sized card in. Take for example the Silverstone sugo 13 at 11.8L can fit a reference 980ti inside, how many smaller cases cases can even hold the nano?

September 11, 2015 | 10:33 PM - Posted by booniedog96

LIAN LI PC-TU200B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

September 19, 2015 | 09:08 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

OMG this is so disappoint.

I'll just get the asus gtx970 mini for $335, and OVERCLOCK IT, it will be just about the exact same thing using much less power.
Plus we'll have all the in game recording and instant replay and all those other driver settings goodies from nvidia.

amd just can't win, I can't do it i'm so frustrated

September 10, 2015 | 08:39 AM - Posted by Eddie (not verified)

Seems like a bit of a waste to using a full chip, would it not have been a better idea to use a cut down chip to achieved the lower heat and power targets. Not only would a cut down chip be cheaper in theory but the yeilds would probably be better. Might cut into chip allocation of the R9 fury though.

September 10, 2015 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

it is a waste of a full chip from a performance standpoint, but charging the same as a card with an elaborate cooling solution is good for the bottom line. At least AMD trying to make a profit this time rather than giving away stuff for free(sync).

September 10, 2015 | 09:05 AM - Posted by Edmond (not verified)

+1

September 10, 2015 | 10:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Generally, it's more power efficient to run more shaders at a lower clockspeed (notice how the drop in performance for the Nano vs the Fury X is smaller than the drop in power consumption, and also consider discrete laptop GPUs that run at 30% lower clock speeds but half the power consumption of their desktop counterparts).

I think the yield issues are more to do with HBM and the interposer than the GPU itself, which, while large, is built on a very mature process.

September 19, 2015 | 08:48 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

I think it's a power/ASIC issue, so they for instance they weren't getting a bunch of great chips that clock high and stable, but all the internals worked, so they decided to not cut shaders and rop's down but clock it down and cover their backsides on their recent extreme power usage failures.

Yep.

September 10, 2015 | 08:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like to see some clock speed numbers at different power targets. +10% +20% etc. would be interesting know how much extra it would take to average around 950mhz and so forth. I'm guessing the sweet spot isn't +50%

September 10, 2015 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I'm sure the sweet spot is 0%, as that is where AMD put it. Remember that as voltage increases, power increases by a factor squared. I can try to run a set of test on that today if I get time though!

September 10, 2015 | 10:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

would be nice to have manual control of the voltage too :)

I do suspect that you'll be able to get a decent percentage of the extra performance without ramping things up to 11.

Just a guess, but I think there will be little trade off to setting the powerlimit somewhere between 10% and 20%.

Keeping consumption <= 200w should not require a huge bump in voltage.

just as an aside, do you know if AMD is going to let partners produce Nanos (Nani?) with custom coolers? Or is it reference only?

September 10, 2015 | 12:42 PM - Posted by Heavy (not verified)

rumors are theirs a chance the partners would be able to produce this.

September 10, 2015 | 08:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Gotta love the name, Nanosaurus. Kinda badass adorable.

Other than that, I like that you guys actually tested the card in a fitting case.

September 10, 2015 | 08:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Good god, the first and second graph. The accountant in me is crying, way to much noise to actually see what is going on.

September 10, 2015 | 08:56 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I know...couldn't find a better way to display it, hence the average MHz graph following it.

But in reality, the mess of a graph demonstrates how "all over" the frequency behaves during gaming.

September 10, 2015 | 09:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Agreed and thank you for the review.

September 10, 2015 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Everyone talks form factor. Who the F cares. Most smaller builds can fit a bigger GPU. This card makes no sense.

Better to get a bigger GPU for less money and less noise.

September 10, 2015 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Most but not all cases. We had the CM Elite 110, the Lian Lin Q33 has even tighter requirements. Just because many or most cases can fit larger cards doesn't mean we can't look to other options.

September 10, 2015 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan:

Yet, you reviewed in a case that could fit a Fury X... so why?

Not long ago you questioned the Nano's existence on a podcast and now all of a sudden you think it has a place at $650, when you still admit that most cases don't require such a small GPU.

You say because most cases can fit a larger card it doesn't mean you can't look at other options, but again why? Is it power savings? No. Is it cost? No. So what is it?

September 11, 2015 | 05:26 PM - Posted by Rickard Eneqvist (not verified)

Think Ryan was very clear in the review, if your case accommodates a bigger card then the Nano is not the right choice.

Within the niche it fits in (pun intended) its good choice (extreme SFF and custom setups for instance).

September 10, 2015 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wouldn't have sucked for them to lower the price to $600. It would've been a major difference in the psychological and marketing departments, and brought in some goodwill rather than hostile incredulity.

September 10, 2015 | 08:58 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Maybe. But again, I don't think they will have issues selling through all they can make.

September 10, 2015 | 09:01 AM - Posted by mAxius

no kidding resale fury's are 200 over retail atm

September 10, 2015 | 08:58 AM - Posted by Justin150 (not verified)

My view on this card is very similar to its slightly bigger brother.

I like what AMD are trying to achieve, I will wait for HBM v2 as jumping onto new memory tech first is rarely a good idea. I watercool my PCs in a custom loop so I want a full cover waterblock versions (but without the silly AIO system of its bigger brother).

September 10, 2015 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Pixy Misa (not verified)

With this performance on 28nm and HBM1 and at just 175W, the next-gen card should be spectacular.

September 10, 2015 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Nefarioustutter (not verified)

It would be interesting to see an Ashes of the Singularity comparison between the Nano, Fury and FuryX. Please Make it so Ryan.

September 10, 2015 | 09:33 AM - Posted by Hairy Tomato (not verified)

It takes some guts to go with a gold recommendation just on the performance of this card when AMD chose not to send this card to other reviewers. I applaud your courage. I expect you'll incur suspicion for it, but it isn't deserved.

September 10, 2015 | 09:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano will have to be tested again once the gaming software/engines and graphics APIs like Vulkan/DX12 begin to become more utilized. There also needs to be a benchmark specifically designed to test the hardware's asynchronous compute ability. The AMD GCN ACE units will come into their own with the newer graphics APIs, so not only is it just a matter of retesting AMD's driver updates, but testing again with the newer graphics API's and games that will take advantage of asynchronous compute. The entire gaming ecosystem software stack from gaming engines to to graphics APIs are turning over completely with the newest going completely into using the GPU hardware's asynchronous compute ability, especially for VR gaming. This year testing will have to be redone more often as the new graphics APIs start to come online, especially with the Steam OS based systems and Vulkan adding coming into the gaming market.

September 10, 2015 | 09:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Edit: adding coming
To : coming

September 10, 2015 | 11:42 AM - Posted by Nefarioustutter (not verified)

Its definitely going to be a weird transition going from DX11 to DX12 benchmarks. At first this worried me, but then I realized that the first year or so of DX12 games will likely give the option to switch between dx11 and dx12 (and possibly vulkan too), which should really make benchmarks look interesting as the old and new API's are compared. Even though we probably won't see any more relevant GPU releases this year besides the dual Fiji, reviewers are going to be all over every dx12 release anyway, doing benchmarks and comparisons. Luckily there will only be one or two DX12 titles (Cars and ARK) with any gameworks, so the comparisons should be good. I think I even heard a rumor about DX12 project cars getting insane performance on both sides with DX12.

Interesting times ahead.

September 10, 2015 | 11:43 AM - Posted by Nefarioustutter (not verified)

I should mention that I meant DX12 "Patches" for Cars and ARK, not launch API support.

September 10, 2015 | 10:05 AM - Posted by funandjam

I'm looking forward to seeing what customized SFF cases that people will cram these cards into. SFF cases are one thing and nice to see, but what I really want to see is cases that you wouldn't expect to see a PC in it, much less a top-tier GPU in it too. A gutted and then fully modded game console that has a Nano in it? or how about a case in the same style that Sebastien reviewed last year in the link below?
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Cases-and-Cooling/Perfect-Home-Theater-Ultr...

(disclaimer - the nano is probably too thick to fit in this particular case, but it's this style of case i think would be cool to see a full PC with Nano in it)

Great review!

September 10, 2015 | 10:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Coil whine, high price for what it is, no HDMI 2.0, no overclocking headroom, no fun. But it gets a Gold award anyway. Okay then.

September 10, 2015 | 11:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You seem to have missed the part where this is a SFF product

You could make most of those and similar complaints about a gaming laptop (vs a gaming desktop), but that would be utterly missing the point, as you have done here.

September 10, 2015 | 11:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So its form factor means we should disregard all of these failings?

Sorry, don't agree.

September 10, 2015 | 11:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Admittedly, HDMI 1.4 is a problem, but only a tiny one. There are very few TVs worth using as a monitor (OLED and Panasonic plasmas), and none of those are 4k under $5000. I'm more bothered by the lack of VGA/DVI-I then the lack of HDMI 2.0 here. Coil whine is the only real issue with this card, and it's not enough of an issue on its own to withhold an award.

Overclocking is only ever relevant on the largest form factors, which this is not. If you really want to overclock it, you still can, if you can tolerate the noise. Performance per dollar is also not comparable across different form factors- if it was, there would be no such thing as a laptop or smartphone.

September 10, 2015 | 11:57 AM - Posted by SaltyMcSalt (not verified)

Salty much.

September 14, 2015 | 03:18 PM - Posted by slapdashbr (not verified)

The coil whine is a concern but there are ways to mitigate it, if retail samples still have that problem.

The only real flaw is having hdmi 1.4 instead of 2.0. I don't know why AMD wouldn't support hdmi 2.0 for this card. If I were hooking this up to a 4k TV I would prefer to use hdmi. However, I do prefer DP for hooking up to a 4k monitor- and that is what I will actually use (maybe, I'm on the fence about whether this is the time to upgrade my SFF gaming computer, but this is the first time I have been convinced that it is feasible without getting terrible performance).

September 10, 2015 | 11:22 AM - Posted by Anknown (not verified)

Coil whine-
Not sure if everyone cares about that,lot of gtx 970s had it yet the buyers kept it.

No hdmi 2.0- Im sure you can get a converter

-Not true,Check out guru3d's review they overclocked it so much with considerable gains.

-It gets the gold award for being an execeptional product unmatched it's category.Esecially given the fact that 'Real ITX' cases requires an ITX card and cant have full sized ones.

I'll give you the price not being appealing however they are only going to make so much of it that they'll sell it all in the niche.

It's not for everyone

September 10, 2015 | 12:19 PM - Posted by zaniix

I agree 100% this is not a Gold award product.

Very disappointed in this site. I give Ryan credit for being honest and writing a good review, but how can a review have so many negatives and yet still come out with Gold award.

Yeah its great that they packed so much power into a tiny device, who cares.

September 10, 2015 | 01:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Exactly, and remember the Fury X got a Silver.

PCPer's reviews make no sense just like the Nano.

September 10, 2015 | 02:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Yeah its great that they packed so much power into a tiny device, who cares."
A few people care, and for them, this is a gold-worthy product. For everyone else, it's mostly irrelivant, but Ryan wrote earlier that if you can fit a larger card, don't bother with this one.

A product doesn't need to be great for everyone in order to be a good product, it only needs to be good for it's target audience. This card's audience may be small, but it does exist, and for those users, it's nearly perfect.

September 10, 2015 | 09:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If Ryan didn't write a nice 'fair' review, he would of been AMD blacklisted.....
What a have!....This nonsense needs to stop! gift card for a favourable review..LMAO!

September 10, 2015 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Anknown (not verified)

Nice&informative review Ryan,Thank you!

September 10, 2015 | 11:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Finally, Thanks AMD.)

Just bought one, and it coming tommorow.) So in this weekend, I will try to crossfire my Fury X with the Nano, just to see, if is worth to buy an X more.)

Thanks PCPER, "Ryan" for a good review.!

Nice day to all.)

September 10, 2015 | 12:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm not sure this makes much sense, even for a make-it-as-small-as-possible ITX case.

The Dan A4-SFX (http://www.dan-cases.com/) is the smallest self-contained (i.e. no external power bricks to lug around) ITX case I've seen at 7.25L, and that's with a full length GPU. But switching to a shorter GPU would save barely any space, due to the combined length of the motherboard and SFX PSU. And any case using external bricks and an internal DC-DC PSU would end up having to use two power bricks at a minimum, and those things aren't tiny at high wattages.

I guess if you have a super-custom one-of-a-kind case that only takes short GPUs, then this is the only game in town. But you could buy a larger, better performing card AND a new case if you just wanted something small.

September 18, 2015 | 03:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Except you can do this with a Fury Nano.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/7c/ec/40/7cec406cfa52d80f...

September 10, 2015 | 12:49 PM - Posted by StephanS

The GTX 980 would have helped in this review.

Another aspect would have been case thermal...

Its a nice little card. But at $650 its appeal is so, so limited, I can only guess to match its supply.

And its hard to find even micro atx cases that cant fit a GTX 980.... On paper that deliver better thermal, about equal performance, lower power? And its $170 cheaper.

September 10, 2015 | 02:22 PM - Posted by funandjam

The 980 wasn't included because it is irrelevant since it is not a mini-itx card.

He included information about the thermals, go to the page marked as:
Noise Testing, SFF System Build, Temperatures
and at the bottom Ryans states that on the open test bench the card was at about 75c and in the Cooler Master Elite 110 chassis the card got to about 83. No graphs included.

The supply of fiji chips is only part of it. I am inclined to believe Ryan's assessment that much like Intel charging a premium for their chips that go in the ultra-books(good performance with low power usage), AMD is doing the same thing here, charging a premium because you get very good performance in such a small form factor.

Again, comparing it to the 980 is irrelevant. This is about the SFF that it will fit in and how much performance it has in that SFF. It's not about putting it in a case that any other card can fit in.
Cases like the one that Ryan used in this article that will not fit a regular sized gfx card. Things like the idea of gutting a console and putting a PC inside of it including a high-end GPU. Imagine turning on an xbox one and it could actually run games at 4k and not just 720 or 900p. Keep in mind, and Ryan talks about it too, that the trend lately is to go smaller and smaller.

TL;DR - People, you are paying a premium to get very good performance in a very small form factor so the card can be in places that no other card could be in.

September 28, 2015 | 08:44 PM - Posted by StephanS

The size difference is actually very minimal, its just 4".
This is why the large majority of SSF case can accept 10" cards.

Also the GTX 980 is not dumping large amount of heat inside the case, the nano is. And this will affect your CPU cooling (more fan noise)

September 10, 2015 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Most mini-itx cases that fit full size cards are joke. They are only a few inches shorter than micro-atx cases that support SLI

To me all those cases are the ones that don't really make any sense. Why pay premium for only a couple inches and less upgradeablity?

If you are going ITX, you have to go all the way small with small form factor psu.

September 10, 2015 | 03:28 PM - Posted by Cyclops

Ryan, you didn't mention how much hotter the card got after you gave it +50% power target.

September 11, 2015 | 01:48 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Ah, true! It didn't get much hotter (75C up to 83-84C) but it did get louder! I'll update tomorrow!

September 11, 2015 | 02:18 AM - Posted by Cyclops

84C on the test bench? That should hit close to 90C in the CM case, or the fan would bleed your ear off.

September 10, 2015 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Seriously...Good luck AMD with this card, as I think its a fail at $650, when I can buy 970 mini at half the price and OC to 1400mhz! As it is the Nano only just pips 970 at 1080, 1440 okay, but once to clock the NV card, <10% diff if that....4k, hell even the 980Ti struggles....

September 10, 2015 | 09:33 PM - Posted by BlindSarcasm (not verified)

Wow! I know it shouldn't surprise me at this point, but there's nothing like a new product to really bring the idiots out of the woodwork. That said, great job on thee review Ryan. It was well written and informative as usual. Ignore the haters and basement-dwellers that wouldn't know HBM from one of their BMs. You guys do a great job here, keep it up! :D

September 11, 2015 | 12:49 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks!

September 11, 2015 | 12:16 AM - Posted by gtxer (not verified)

Grammar check, last page, last line:
"The AMD Fury, Fury X, GTX 980 or GTX 980 Ti are going to provided more performance with less tradeoffs (cost, noise, etc.)."
Cheers.

September 11, 2015 | 12:26 AM - Posted by ajoy39

Great review, seems like a really great albeit rather niche card.

Out of curiosity, since coil whine was at its worst in in-game menus and other situations where the frame rate would have been much higher than normal did you try turning on the frame rate limit in Catalyst Control Center at all to see if that kept it quieter? More wondering for my own purposes, considering a SFF build with this and just want to know if I can limit that coil whine.

September 11, 2015 | 01:49 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yah, it would definitely make things quieter if you enable that. But honestly, users shouldn't HAVE to do that.

September 11, 2015 | 02:08 AM - Posted by ajoy39

No I understand they shouldn't have to, was just wondering if it would help is all

September 11, 2015 | 04:15 AM - Posted by collie

I've got a buddy, the only friend from highschool who has "All the money" and he wasnts me to build him a system with 2 of these in the next 5-6 months. I like his idea, he wants a stark, empty eATX system, electric blue, no cables showing, baren, simple, stark pale blue LEDs, no shine, big window.

At this point I'm not sure if I can pull it off EXACTLY the way he wants, but I love the concept, and the challenge. And..... YEA, FUCK YEA!!!!!

October 8, 2015 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Your friend is an idiot, sir.

September 11, 2015 | 09:29 AM - Posted by Silver Sparrow

I'd argue that this card would be a good choice in a Phanteks Enthoo Evolve mATX, crossfire & watercooled . If I hadn't gone got myself a 980ti after fury x reviews I'd have most likely gone with that set up. Good luck trying the same with two 980ti's!

My view on the card looking at the power limit increases and corresponding clocks suggest a well binned fury x chip in a small package. Well worth the price tag imo if you can get the clocks up to the fury x and fancy watercooling it.

Personally wish they had released this sooner :(

September 11, 2015 | 09:46 AM - Posted by MAXXHEW

Excellent. The little midget comes out making much noise and kicking much ass. If the runt is this powerful... just think of all the rekt ass that will be handed out by the bigger members of the Radeon family soon enough. Really exiting and game changing products are coming... I can't wait.

September 11, 2015 | 12:48 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Cool idea, but the price point...eh.. not so much.
That SFF GTX 970 is half the price and still competitive on performance, while being a year old.

September 11, 2015 | 11:06 PM - Posted by booniedog96

Been getting the upgrade itch for quite some time now, my 8350 and 680 are still chugging along just fine at 25x14. I'm holding off till Zen and Arctic Islands hit the scene to make the jump but this card makes me want to do a build with a LIAN LI PC-TU200B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower for a 21:9 1440p FreeSync display with four actual GB of memory.

September 12, 2015 | 11:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

the Geforce 970 also has coil whine...
http://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/GeForce-GTX-970-Coil-Whine-Conc...

September 12, 2015 | 10:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

After reading all this & working w/ my Fury X card I have come to the view that AMD is doing some risky but very smart PR IF all works out for them as these Fiji XT projects were IMHO meant to be halo products, especially the Fury X, to demonstrate the future direction of the industry, AMD's capacity to engineer\produce these new hardware concepts & make it all work, to get there w/ all this in front of Nvidia to get attention w/ the wait on MS to come thru w/ Win 10 OS & Directx 12 API which has been shown to favor large shader arrays w/ wide bandwidth. I believe that the R9 Nano was the main AMD cross-platform product that they wanted to go with due to still being stuck on 28nm die as this product would set the stage for AMD in 2016 to really hit back hard w/ the FinFet 16nm parts w/ Zen on the CPU side & the Artic Islands GPU's on HBM2 on the other. I don't think that AMD needs to sell a ton of product to recover development costs to build these cards......just cause it took them 7 years to do this doesn't mean that incompetency is rampant at AMD per se......whether we wanted to admit it or not AMD is STILL selling plenty of Radeon R7\R9 line of vid cards today on rebranded & refreshed parts, just Nvidia hit them hard w/ their remake of Maxwell on 28nm & maximized it on the rest of the already old & outdated GDDR5 platform....here is where IMHO AMD got caught flat-footed & is trying to catch back up..... I don't believe that AMD needed to beat Nvidia w/ this new tech outright at this time....just get close enough to Nvidia's flagship line on the front end in performance then have MS & Win 10 w/ Dx 12 API & the game developers catapult AMD out in front due to the asynchronous shader advantage that they currently hold over Nvidia before Nvidia can respond.......... It's a BIG gamble & in time we'll see if it pays off.

September 12, 2015 | 10:41 PM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

Ryan-Could those coils be encapsulated in resin and still do
their job?
You'd think with the reduced phases they could use high quality
inductors-even custom if they had to-not like there's going to
be millions of these made-and plenty wiggle room on cost.......

September 13, 2015 | 12:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Look at this in this way.......w/ the R9 Nano's debut & the few real review results that are out AMD just laid down a big challenge to Nvidia to put forth a product that can put out near 980-like performance on 175W TDP in a FF size as small as this Nano is RIGHT NOW............. Don't lose sight of this fact........ Remember the review facts that showed Fiji XT GPU's (Fury X's)in CrossfireX scale out at near 100%.........now here's 2 R9 Nano's turn to further drive this home again also in CrossfireX.........
Remember also the AMD 2-Fiji XT GPUs part built on HBM w/ both GPU's & HBM mounted on the same interposer which changes the game concerning the mem limitations of GDDR5 in multi-GPU config (both GPU's can use all the mem available....all 8 Gb of it due to HBM design)is due to debut later this month, 1st of next........ I believe this part is going to cut into Nvidia even harder as it should knock the Titan X off in both performance but also relative TDP(the R9 Nano demonstrates this potential)& cost will not be a factor by then.......if AMD gets this part right it will be VERY hard for Nvidia to top w/ current GDDR5 tech until they can respond w/ Pascal on HBM2 next year & by then the results should demonstrate their new focus in engineering prowess at AMD to innovate just as they could back in the ATI days......which is exactly what AMD CEO Lisa Su has been saying & banking on all this time was their story line....thus the resurrected Fury naming for this tech........

Pricing is simply reflecting the result of having a cutting edge product readily available that the competition has no counter part to compete w/ it.....no different w/ Nvidia & Maxwell...... The real test for AMD is if this part will sell at enough volume to vindicate their game plan as the Nano is the showcase part that demonstrates the validity of this new tech & was the target of all the Fiji XT GPUs & HBM talk in the 1st place.........

This is what I believe was AMD's whole plan from a marketing approach.....the stuff that this Roy spewed out actually did something that could be a positive in a negative light......it's got y'all's attention to focus on this part & consequently start drawing more attention to this from others & start up conversation around the Nano..........

Touche'

September 19, 2015 | 08:49 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

I can't believe the frikkin thing is priced so high - what a scalping disappointment.

October 27, 2015 | 05:38 PM - Posted by BBlair (not verified)

Why is this card still priced so damn high? AMD's heads have swollen and for absolutely no reason!I love AMD, But I love AMD because they always had great prices, This year their prices suck! ANd this is also why their stocks are still going down! Because apparently they never learn!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.