Retail AMD Fury X Sound Testing - Pump Whine Investigation

Manufacturer: AMD

Retail cards still suffer from the issue

In our review of AMD's latest flagship graphics card, the Radeon R9 Fury X, I noticed and commented on the unique sound that the card was producing during our testing. A high pitched whine, emanating from the pump of the self-contained water cooler designed by Cooler Master, was obvious from the moment our test system was powered on and remained constant during use. I talked with a couple of other reviewers about the issue before the launch of the card and it seemed that I wasn't alone. Looking around other reviews of the Fury X, most make mention of this squeal specifically.

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Noise from graphics cards come in many forms. There is the most obvious and common noise from on-board fans and the air it moves. Less frequently, but distinctly, the sound of inductor coil whine comes up. Fan noise spikes when the GPU gets hot, causing the fans to need to spin faster and move more air across the heatsink, which keeps everything running cool. Coil whine changes pitch based on the frame rate (and the frequency of power delivery on the card) and can be alleviated by using higher quality components on the board itself.

But the sound of our Fury X was unique: it was caused by the pump itself and it was constant. The noise it produced did not change as the load on the GPU varied. It was also 'pitchy' - a whine that seemed to pierce through other sounds in the office. A close analog might be the sound of an older, CRT TV or monitor that is left powered on without input.

In our review process, AMD told us the solution was fixed. In an email sent to the media just prior to the Fury X launch, an AMD rep stated:

In regards to the “pump whine”, AMD received feedback that during open bench testing some cards emit a mild “whining” noise.  This is normal for most high speed liquid cooling pumps; Usually the end user cannot hear the noise as the pumps are installed in the chassis, and the radiator fan is louder than the pump.  Since the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X radiator fan is near silent, this pump noise is more noticeable.  
The issue is limited to a very small batch of initial production samples and we have worked with the manufacturer to improve the acoustic profile of the pump.  This problem has been resolved and a fix added to production parts and is not an issue.

I would disagree that this is "normal" but even so, taking AMD at its word, I wrote that we heard the noise but also that AMD had claimed to have addressed it. Other reviewers noted the same comment from AMD, saying the result was fixed. But very quickly after launch some users were posting videos on YouTube and on forums with the same (or worse) sounds and noise. We had already started bringing in a pair of additional Fury X retail cards from Newegg in order to do some performance testing, so it seemed like a logical next step for us to test these retail cards in terms of pump noise as well.

First, let's get the bad news out of the way: both of the retail AMD Radeon R9 Fury X cards that arrived in our offices exhibit 'worse' noise, in the form of both whining and buzzing, compared to our review sample. In this write up, I'll attempt to showcase the noise profile of the three Fury X cards in our possession, as well as how they compare to the Radeon R9 295X2 (another water cooled card) and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti reference design - added for comparison.

Continue reading our look into the pump noise of the AMD Fury X Graphics Card!

Sound Testing Setup

First and foremost, none of us claim to be experts on sound or sound monitoring. (Allyn might be, but he isn't writing this.) As such, what you'll see here in today's story is our quick thoughts on the sound levels emitted by a handful of graphics cards, how those sounds look empirically and then how we react to them viscerally.

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In an attempt to try to reproduce the sounds for our readers to experience them along with us, and also to later import sound files into Audacity for a little evaluation, we recorded each of the graphics cards using our Zoom H6 recorder - a high quality device that is able to pick up more precise and wide ranging audio than a phone or basic sound level meter.  We set the microphone on a stand and left it 8-inches from the side of the graphics card while running.

While I realize that this recording is not exactly how the sound will emanate from inside your chassis of choice, the truth is that any number of cases will change the sound in any number of ways. Cases with fan openings on the side panel might echo the sound around and make it louder; those with sound dampening material might lessen the deep sounds of air movement while doing nothing for the high pitched frequencies of the Fury X pump. To eliminate all of these "ifs", we decided to go right to source, then present the data and let the users evaluate it for themselves.

Also, what you use to playback the WAV files will affect your response as well. Are you trying to hear it on cheap notebook speakers or a high quality 7.1 channel setup? Do you have the bass turned up or the treble? Do you have studio monitors with a perfectly flat frequency response? All of this will alter how YOU hear the sounds that WE recorded and may differ from how I hear them directly while sitting next to the GPU test bed. In short, what we want you to do is listen to the files and videos in this story but also to trust what we are telling you from an editorial perspective.

Sound Results

Our results will be presented both visually and in the form of a downloadable WAV file.

Let's just dive into this; below is a WAV file that includes six different video cards cut together in a specific order.

Download WAV File
Download WAV File with +12 db gain

The audio you hear goes:

  1. AMD Fury X (review sample)
  2. AMD Fury X (retail card 1)
  3. AMD Fury X (retail card 2)
  4. AMD R9 295X2
  5. GTX 980 Ti Reference (idle)
  6. GTX 980 Ti Reference (load)

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Waveform of the downloadable file

For all intents and purposes, both the AMD Fury X graphics cards and the R9 295X2 run at the same sound levels and sound profiles in idle as they do under a full gaming load. So while those cards are only heard one time, the GTX 980 Ti with its reference cooler is much louder under load and is thus presented both ways in this evaluation.

While I already mentioned that everyone's experience with a WAV file is going to differ based on the playback device, the results in our office are very distinct.

First, the AMD Fury X sample that we received from AMD for review is the quietest of the three Fury X cards we tested - by a lot. I don't think we can claim that AMD did that on purpose (attempting to give the media "golden samples" when it comes to sound quality) but it's clear that what I heard and commented on in the review was not as bad as it gets. You might have to turn up your speakers a bit to hear it, but if you are in a quiet location, you'll definitely make out the high pitched sound I was referring to.

The second Fury X card (retail card 1) has a much louder sound too, which includes both a high pitched whine as well as a consistent buzz to it. The buzz did not seem to change in relation to game frame rate like a coil whine would, but the sound is somewhat similar. The third Fury X (retail card 2) has a lower tone to it, but it still has the tell-tale high pitched sound of the pump behind it.

The 295X2 does not appear to have any kind of high pitched pump noise. Unlike the Fury X, it does have a fan located on the center of the card that is spinning fast enough to generate air noise and a softer buzzing sound.

For the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, at idle the card has an excellent sound profile. There is no high pitch and there is very little air movement to generate noise. Under load, that definitely changes. The GTX 980 Ti and its blower fan design moves a lot of air! The sound is definitely louder than the AMD Fury X cards, although the tone is radically different.

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This level comparison from Audacity shows us the typical sound levels from all six portions of the sound file above. Pay attention to the blue lines more so than the green colored-in bars as those indicate the peaks of the sound's loudness. You can definitely tell that our review sample of the Fury X is the lowest sound level of the three Fiji cards we have in-house and, even though the retail Fury X (card 1) had a more "annoying" sound than the other two, its loudness falls in the middle. The 295X2 is louder than all three Fury X cards even though it doesn't have anything resembling the high pitched noise of the new flagships.

The GTX 980 Ti is incredibly quiet at idle but has the "loudest" sound level under a full gaming load.

Let's see if the sound profiles tell us anything else.

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AMD Fury X (review sample) Frequency Breakdown

The AMD Fury X sound profile looks like this. There are spikes all over the place here including one at around 1900 Hz, where a sample generated tone appears to match the whine of the Fury X cooler's pump.

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AMD Fury X (retail card ) Frequency Breakdown

The first retail AMD Fury X has a similar sound profile to the sample before (note that the scale on the left hand side of loudness changes from graph to graph - sorry!). At right around 1900 Hz, we have another spike that reaches -37 db.

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GeForce  GTX 980 Ti Reference Cooler (Load) Frequency Breakdown

We can go ahead and assume that at idle we'll see only good things on the 980 Ti reference card but what about under load? The first thing you'll see is that the frequency breakdown is a lot smoother and more evenly distributed, without the spikes that permeate through the Fury X results. Those spikes are what allow some particular frequency to stand out over the others and is why the GTX 980 Ti sounds so different, although perhaps louder, than the Fury X cards.

Closing Thoughts

There are few things to take away from this testing. First, the currently selling and shipping AMD Radeon R9 Fury X cards do not include any kind of fix for the pump whine or sound levels of the cooler. Though AMD tells me that we just had a miscommunication or misinterpretation of the comments they shared with us prior to our NDA, I think it is at the very least fair to say that AMD was hoping to deflect the issue on launch day. Now that retail cards are out and end users (not just us) are getting their hands on them, I think its obvious that the sound issues are more of a problem than AMD would like to admit.

Second, the sound of the Fury X cards is very different than the sounds you are used to seeing associated with current flagship graphics cards. Even though the NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti reference cooler is louder than the Fury X under a gaming load, the high frequency of the sounds we are hearing on the Fury X make it more annoying and grating. Everyone's tolerance for this kind of thing is going to be slightly different, but all three people in our office agreed that we would rather hear the more "white-noise-like" sounds of air movement at a constant rate than the high pitched squeal that AMD is dealing with.

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Also, it is worth noting that the high frequency sound from the Fury X cards is constant, even when idle and in Windows. Gamers with headphones or speakers blaring while playing some Witcher 3 or Project Cars will likely not hear any of the sounds of the louder flagship cards we are looking at today. But when browsing reddit, or PC Perspective of course, the Fury X pump will still whine at you when the GTX 980 Ti cooler would output much less sound.

I continue to stand by my assertion that the AMD Fury X cooler has a frustrating high pitched whine that is likely avoidable with some more control over the production quality. It seems clear now as well that if AMD has in fact issued a fix for this issue with its partner Cooler Master, the first waves of Fury X cards do not include it, so buyer beware if you are sensitive to this kind of complaint. Does it change my overall opinion of the Fury X as a gaming card? Maybe slightly, but not by much. Hopefully AMD will be able to supply us with a true fix soon and we can start to see gamers getting those updated cards in their hands as well.

UPDATE 1 (7/2/15): It looks like pumps with a different sticker on them might have actually have a changed sound profile!

Video News

July 1, 2015 | 12:53 PM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

the 980 Ti under load sounds like a demon trying to escape from the deepest bowels of hell

July 1, 2015 | 01:58 PM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

The problem I see is that 980ti noise goes through the in game audio the most.
Thankfully there are already semi-passive 980ti designs and I expect the same to be true for Fury soon so there is hope.

July 1, 2015 | 02:10 PM - Posted by JohnGR

This article is just to make Fury X look bad. We don't care about 980Ti.

July 1, 2015 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You do know the Fury X IS bad, right? If this article praised the Fury X in any way, they'd be lying and giving an AMD biased review. It's a turd, it happens, no company is perfect. Get over yourself.

July 1, 2015 | 04:18 PM - Posted by Terry Suave (not verified)

That depends on perspective. Looking at it from an AMD-only approach would show that it is anything but a turd, because it provides a 30-50% increase in performance over 290/390x.

July 1, 2015 | 04:49 PM - Posted by JohnGR

If it was that bad, you wouldn't feel the need to post and Nvidia wouldn't be considering price cuts for the hi end models.

July 1, 2015 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Nvidia is considering price cuts to what models exactly?

July 1, 2015 | 06:13 PM - Posted by Ophelos

970/980 and 980Ti, since the prices are to high in Europe, compared to the prices of AMD's 300 and fury X cards.

July 1, 2015 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

More FUD from this clown, classic!

July 1, 2015 | 10:08 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Yeah lol, if anything Nvidia might consider raising the price of the 980Ti given it beats Fury X in just about every metric and Fury X is as soft a launch as one can remember, I would dare say, the first ever flaccid launch. :)

July 1, 2015 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Why don't we care about 980TI?  It is the product that FuryX is set up against.  Some people have had luck not hearing the whine once it is installed in a case, but if people have setups that are close to them and have plenty of cooling mesh/holes... then this will likely bother them when just browsing the internet or watching a movie with quiet scenes.  It doesn't destroy the product's value, but it certainly does not help the overall impression of it.

July 1, 2015 | 04:25 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

This article is to let people hear what we heard, and also to point out that AMD was incorrect in their statement that the sound issue would be fixed in the retail product. We are informing (the rest of) our readers - even if you don't like the result.

July 1, 2015 | 04:34 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

He's obligated to sweep any AMD problems under the rug, deflect, and act like it didn't happen, like any good AMD fanboy would.

July 1, 2015 | 04:58 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Said the Green troll. You post in how many 10-20-50 sites? I haven't seen one where people don't laugh at you.

July 1, 2015 | 06:52 PM - Posted by annoyingmoose (not verified)

he sure is quite excessive on posting facts and shaming AMD fanboys.

however, you are no less of a troll around here.
unfortunately there are indeed many people such as yourself who laugh at him for putting you in your places.

July 1, 2015 | 07:47 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Hello chizow

July 1, 2015 | 09:37 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Hi? I have no need to post anonymously or on multiple accounts, as you've seen I'm quite capable of doing it on a single one to get my point across. ;)

July 2, 2015 | 12:13 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sock puppets abound when chizow's in town! How's that rusting doublewide doing, not getting any repairs and giving all the fixit cash over to the green goblin! what's that!, bubble gum will fix the leaks in the roof and walls! That TI would be even more sky high without some competition, and this noise problem occurs across brands. It's not the public library, and the games themselves' have sounds, but the mono-brows and knuckle-draggers come out in full force when any new card is introduced.

July 2, 2015 | 01:32 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Who's sockpuppet are you? Of course you would post such stupidity anonymously, this must be an excerpt from your personal collection, Neckbeard Tech Poetry.

July 2, 2015 | 04:21 AM - Posted by Joakim L (not verified)

FACT: Both of you REEK of fanboyism. You comments are as childish as they are lame. If you two want to be able to remove the fanboy beacon, you have to stop and think before you post in the future.

July 2, 2015 | 10:36 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Yawn, I have no problems stating I'm a fan of the best, and I'll let you know exactly why certain products fulfill that criteria.

AMD fanboys? Lol nope, its all deflect, downplay, personal insults etc.

See the difference? Oh well not that I care anyways.

July 2, 2015 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Joakim L (not verified)

Thanks for proving my point!

July 2, 2015 | 09:38 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Yep, my point that I'm a fan of the best, why settle for 2nd rate?

July 2, 2015 | 08:53 AM - Posted by allons (not verified)

Well, it's becuase the rest of us aren't being gauged by comments across sites.

July 1, 2015 | 07:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That the best you can do, personal attacks? What about the whine problem and the lying that AMD just did explain and proven in this article.

Still doesn't know how beyond a moron you are after the whole Fury X beat down and still. F*cking pathetic! Really!

July 1, 2015 | 09:40 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

All he does is fanboy, shill, deflect for AMD while completely ignoring a potentially deal-breaking problem that could negatively impact him.

But he's one of the worst AMD fanboys, he doesn't even buy or use the products he fanboys over, he just wants to keep AMD propped up like Weekend at Bernie's so he can get some cheap Sempron for $49.99 sometime in the future.

July 1, 2015 | 09:36 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Lmao, 4, maybe 5? People are laughing at you JohnGR, because as usual you are fanboying for AMD on the wrong side of the issue, just like FreeSync and every other failed AMD product I am sure.

And for what? So AMD can keep selling this shoddy product to some poor sap who doesn't know any better to serve your selfish desire to keep them on life support so you can have more cheap, shoddy products from AMD in the future?

Sorry, the sooner AMD and their cadre of tech bottomfeeding fanboys like you die off, the better for all of us.

July 2, 2015 | 04:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If not for AMD your Nv gpu would cost twice as much, you stupid fuck. Instead of wishing AMD dead you should be rooting for them to do better. Of course a stupid punk kid like yourself wouldn't understand grownup concepts now, so we can't really hold it against a fool child like yourself.

July 2, 2015 | 06:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would rather ADM die off and their GPU division bought up by Microsoft or Samsung.

Or other competitors making very good progress in the SoC GPU space like PowerVR, Adreno and Mali. Mind you they have very capable GPU's running 1080p and 1440p smartphones and tablets at over 30fps.

I much prefer one or all of those taking AMD's pathetic place to produce some nice low power high performance dGPU's for the PC crowd.

July 2, 2015 | 10:39 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Fully agree, AMD needs to get out from under the burden of that crushing debt, their reduced R&D budget is really starting to cripple their ability to remain competitive. Just look at R9 300 Rebrandeon stack. 1 new ASIC to compete against Nvidia's 4 Maxwell chips. Just not good enough. Maybe if they are acquired an influx of capital and talent will change the company's fortunes but as it is now, they're just on life support.

July 3, 2015 | 04:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They've been bought out before, and also got a LOT of money from Intel and STILL they're hurting... I'm a little worried for the future if there's no duopoly.

July 2, 2015 | 10:35 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

And it is this type of stupidity that embodies AMD tech bottomfeeder and tech martyr mentality.

What is the most you have ever paid for a GPU? For a CPU? What would ever force you to pay MORE than that for equal or less performance, barring total component failure?

How many CPUs and GPUs have you ever had fail on you?

What kind of performance increase at the same price do you typical require before you upgrade? Your current GPU will tell you a lot here.

Now, if Nvidia was the only GPU maker and they tried to sell you a GPU for 2x as much, what options would you have?

Its a good thing you posted anonymously, I don't have a retarded AMD fanboy handle to assign this nonsense to.

July 2, 2015 | 05:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


July 2, 2015 | 01:05 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

When do people ever fanboy for the right side of an issue? I thought the action of fanboying would be to stick to your product even if it's obviously wrong in some aspects.

July 2, 2015 | 09:40 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Meh, I'm not going to dismiss or apologize for problems or mistakes of products I use and prefer, that does no one any good, least of all myself as a user of that product.

July 2, 2015 | 02:28 AM - Posted by Mandrake

Have to agree with you there. At the very least it is blatantly obvious that AMD was gravely mistaken about the retail units being fixed.

July 1, 2015 | 04:56 PM - Posted by JohnGR

If it was Nvidia's card I am pretty sure that miscommunication between engineering team and marketing team would have been enough reason to dismiss any idea that Nvidia was incorrect about anything. In fact you would point at the higher noise produced by the air cooled model, then explain how performance is the key point in a hi end card and conclude that there is nothing here that someone sould consider as negative. Move along people.

Been here, seen this. Multiple times.

July 1, 2015 | 05:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Nvidia has explained to us (immediately) when such miscommunication existed.

AMD has not. We have not received any reason other than that we must have misinterpreted their initial statement (quoted in this article), and now we have what appears to be users figuring out if their card has a sticker or not and take it upon themselves to RMA defective units (i.e. the entire first batch).

Further, a miscommunication between the teams (Nvidia) was believable in that circumstance as it was a complex detail to understand and explain, however 'it is fixed in retail samples' was not. We got and tested two retail cards, and AMD was wrong. Easy day.

July 1, 2015 | 06:43 PM - Posted by trenter (not verified)

Here's were your fanboy bias bubbles to the surface for everyone to see. The fury x has only been on sale for a week or so, if there were some sort of miscommunication within amd you haven't even given them enough time to explain. Not every card will have a noticeable noise problem, they haven't even been in users hands long enough for amd to get any useful feedback from users. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember any scientific exposes when nvidia users were complaining about 970/980 coil whine. A problem nvidia had to rectify on their titan x by designing it specifically to avoid the problem. The 970 had also been on the market for several months when it was discovered that nvidia had lied to their customers yet their explanation actually satisfied you while.

July 1, 2015 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Are you referring to this investigation?

July 2, 2015 | 02:11 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Well, that certainly sent him packing in a hurry, not hard with Trenter though.

July 1, 2015 | 07:52 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Thank you for proving that this site is biased.

July 1, 2015 | 08:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yay 2 AMD fanboys agreeing on their own made up FUD! So factual! XD

July 1, 2015 | 08:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You two are beyond sad & pathetic, Fury X really?

For the same money I got the superior GTX980 Ti reference modded with the NZXT Kraken G10 (yes it fits perfect on this card) I had bought last year for my other card and its a beast @1525Mhz core and 8100Mhz memory overclock and never goes over 50c for same price with all the extra features.

July 2, 2015 | 12:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's too bad that another user would have buy a NZXT Kraken G10 to go with their AMD Fury X to compete with the price of that combo.

July 2, 2015 | 11:56 AM - Posted by thr (not verified)

Great and informative articles here at PCPer, even though "bias correction filter" is required at times, sadly more often these days than before. Ryan and Allyn sure try to present themselves as objective, but Allyn needs more practice :)

July 5, 2015 | 10:49 PM - Posted by Ty (not verified)

At least he's honest about preferring nvidia (although it's kind of obvious when a podcast topic involving amd comes up he looks like he's straining not to make stank faces). I am that way too with amd. When news of how awful bulldozer was came out I held off and waited until a better version came out with the 8350, and I later bought a 290 in 2013. Because those were the best possible performance cards? No, because I am partial to amd and want them to do well. People pretend too often that their preferences and choices are purely a function of a sterile meritocracy. Bullsh*t. How many people spend more money on some stranger kid in the neighborhood who is seen as being a more decent and noble human being than their own children? Look at Conrad Hilton. People are moved by more than objective concerns.

AMD could have double the performance of the closest nvidia card, with a tenth the power consumption and a tenth the noise, better drivers, better freesync, better vr, and better add on visuals that make gameworks look like etchasketch works. You think that would sway chizow towards the red team? Please, that dude would take a bullet for the love of his life, Nvidia.

July 5, 2015 | 10:42 PM - Posted by Ty (not verified)

I actually don't believe the argument that no one in nvidia knew about the miscommunication about the 970 having 3.5 + .5 GB of memory is believable. You believe it, and Ryan believes it, because nvidia told it to you and why would they ever damp the truth about a screw up?

I find the notion that the engineers in the know with intimate knowledge of the memory design of the card, or the driver engineers with intimate knowledge needed in order to optimize the cards to better work with the memory configuration - the notion that THOSE people, to a man, did not look at or comprehend the misinformation in any of the scores of reviews of the cards to be incredibly unlikely.

The chip designers probably work on these cards for years, the driver teams probably come in later to get the finer details, but the idea that all that work and effort would not lead them to want to go out and read about how the product they slaved over is received by reviewers is ridiculous. Of course they wanted to see how the cards were received. NONE of them picked up on the wrong ROP counts? NONE of them figured that the particular details of how their "4gb" card arranged and accessed the memory would be perceived differently if people knew how different it behaved compared to a 980?

Of COURSE they knew the last, but they chose to let it slide because technically, it did come with 4GB, the lie of omission there was a betrayal on a scale that is unmatched in recent times which is why people were a hell of a lot more irritated over the 970 memory issue than the pump sound issue. People can still return their furys, or swap it out for another, people with 970s had the clouds pulled over their eyes for months before the truth came to light and were assed out.

The fact that you and Ryan were so quick to believe what nvidia spun is fine, I think it's because you have a warm/fuzzy close relationship with the nvidia team, you trust and respect them a hell of a lot more than you do the AMD team. Don't pretend you don't, which again, is fine. But that is why that was a bigger blind spot for you and Ryan. And the same goes for Ryans attitudes towards the gameworks issue. Of course nvidia designing code and paying devs (not in dollars, but something equally if not more valuable, free labor and engineers and ARTISTS sent in to help the dev add in the effects, a different form of payment but with the same effect) to add it in that advantages their own specific mix of hardware resources is OK if you only use nvidia cards for your own person use like you and Ryan. Ryan is NOT gaming at home on a furyx, and so if it won't affect him what's the issue !

The issue is for all the people using amd cards who have a pall cast over the potential performance, and while you and Ryan might think privately to yourselves, well sucker, just buy nvidia like we would if we did not get them for free! Because, some of us actually prefer amd and root for them and that is not an option we want to deal with.

July 14, 2015 | 12:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a non sticker version and have no whine

July 2, 2015 | 01:53 AM - Posted by PCPerversion

PCPerspective Shows it's true colours! And there's more than a hint of GREEN!

If there was ever any doubt about PCPerspective being seriously biased in favour of Nvidia, this artice has finally laid it to rest. Is there no limit to the lengths you people will go to to undermine AMD?

I guess you fear to bite the hand that feeds.

As far as I'm concerned any shred of credibility you had has now evaporated and ALL PCPer articles that report on AMD products can be consigned to the Junk pile of Nvidia sponsored rubbish.

You boys just lost a lot of credibility.

July 2, 2015 | 05:04 AM - Posted by Martin Trautvetter

PCPer in this very article showed everybody just how terrible a cooler Nvidia's reference design is. Not that anyone in their right mind would buy a blower anyway.

July 2, 2015 | 10:43 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

The blower is louder for sure but it doesn't have the same obnoxious howling sound we've seen in previous reference blowers (290/X and 480) and it also isn't as mind-numbing as that high pitched Fury X sound.

Sound profiles do make a difference, and people do actually pay for devices that make similar noise:

The Reference blower sounds very much like that, white noise like a gush of air.

In any case, 250W is pretty much the limit of the NVTTM cooler, it will certainly need to be revised in future flagships. On PCPers last interview with Tom Petersen, he pretty much confirmed they are looking at different cooling methods going forward, expect 3-slot and AIO variants on the highest end cards going forward.

July 1, 2015 | 02:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That is 100% false, do you even own one?

July 1, 2015 | 02:41 PM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

i meant from that audio recording

July 2, 2015 | 07:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yup, still no correction or addition about new pumps from newer batches of Fury X cards.

Just like AMD said they did.

What a joke.

July 1, 2015 | 12:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Really a shame with this card. Despite trading blows with the 980ti I was considering this card more favorably because of the great cooling, small form factor, and what was supposed to be a quiet card because of my silent build. Why AMD chose CoolerMaster for such a nice card is beyond me.

July 1, 2015 | 01:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There was no way that AMD could of had a fix ready for Fury X. I'm guessing 1 maybe 2 weeks between testing and release. I'm an AMD graphics user, but I smelled something fishy when you posted your original review.
Come on AMD.

July 1, 2015 | 04:33 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Yep I was skeptical as well reading the reviews given how little turnaround time and the fact reviewers were reporting they received samples late. It seemed awful disingenous of AMD to make the claim it was fixed when this launch was so haphazard and sadly, worst-case scenario happened, they really did just blow sunshine up everyone's arse.

July 2, 2015 | 01:09 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

While you're being realistic with the time frame of a company's ability to change anything with their products, first impression matters.
AMD dropped the ball on the first impression part.
Kudos to AMD's first HBM release, but the first impression salt is too much.

July 1, 2015 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hate to say it because i like to be vendor agnostic, (Android phone & Apple tablet, Windows desktop, raspberry pi's hooked up to all my tvs).... This is why i don't buy AMD/ATI. They burned me in the past with windows drivers back in the ATI All in wonder days, crappy linux drivers in the past, Rude customer support. I told their support that i would never forget it.

So this is just a nice friendly Hello, i still won't buy your products. This lackadaisical pump whine PR reaffirms it.

If it wasn't for Oculus and that battlefield star wars alpha this thursday, i'd probably just abandon PC gaming altogether.

July 1, 2015 | 01:10 PM - Posted by blakemcblake (not verified)

Someone buy them out already. Kthx

July 1, 2015 | 01:32 PM - Posted by collie

THIS is troubling, AMD needs this one to be a slam dunk particularly because it's not exactly on top. I hope this gets fixed fast and early adopters are taken care off, otherwise this is gona get bitched out. ALOT.

July 1, 2015 | 01:39 PM - Posted by StephanS

The water cooling was unnecessary as its using about the exact same power under load as a 980 ti. And those cards do fine with traditional cooling. (even when overclocked)

I think someone at AMD thought it would be a plus to do this, and maybe got a sweat deal from coolmaster ?

Funny thing is, if AMD was on top of their game (marketing/sale department) they would have made a traditional air cooled version for $599.

All the reviews would have been different...

Its clear that AMD, even with the best R&D wont make it because the rest of the company is managed by amateur.

I would love for samsung or microsoft to take over this company so the R&D department is allowed to shine.

Having said that, it seem that some card dont have the problem.

Oh, and the absolute worse card I ever hard with high pitch whine was a 8800gts ... funny how this never was a problem with full on investigation , until now.

July 1, 2015 | 01:51 PM - Posted by kenjo

The water cooling was unnecessary as its using about the exact same power under load as a 980 ti. And those cards do fine with traditional cooling. (even when overclocked)

That is a strange thing to say. maybe the amd chip can't handle the higher temp and to get the temp down enough without water cooling you would have to run the fan very fast.

July 1, 2015 | 01:57 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

AMD also has the card's memory bundled on the same package as the GPU, adding to the heat generation and cooling needs.

July 1, 2015 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

You may be onto something there given the limited overclocking headroom seen so far. Running at the higher temps of an air cooler may venture into temps where the current parts would be unstable at the base clock speed.

July 1, 2015 | 03:02 PM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

Could you please test (should be easy to up the liquid temperature by restricting airflow a bit) and report results?

July 1, 2015 | 03:38 PM - Posted by pelo (not verified)

But then that would be reflected within the TDP, and that's not the case. (Hell, that's the exact definition of TDP!)

The watercooler is more likely there to decrease the overall size of the card given they've already slapped everything on to the interposer. Had the Fury X been a traditional air-cooled card -- and the TDP and power measurements imply that it can be -- it would have had a longer PCB than necessary just for the heatsink to have something to hold on to.

I reckon the poor overclocking capability is due to process or architectural limitations. HBM we already know isn't overclockable; and nor should it be, according to AMD's own statements. Tonga wasn't exactly a great overclocker either. It could be that AMD has ramped the voltage and clocks to as far as they can possibly go at stock, leaving very little room left for OCing.

Further, 3rd party coolers (non-reference) versions of the 290X show that air-cooled GPUs with even higher TDPs aren't just possible, but can be pretty damn good. Whatever AMD's issue with overclocking is, and their use of a liquid cooler, it doesn't point to power draw//heat output.

That said, I'm interested to see (or hear, more aptly) AMD's excuse for the absolutely awful overclocking on the Fury X cards. I seem to recall the words "great overclocker" being tossed about quite proudly and frequently during their paper launch.

July 1, 2015 | 04:01 PM - Posted by kenjo

TDP say nothing about what the highest operational temperature of the chip is or have any relation to it in any way.

July 1, 2015 | 05:34 PM - Posted by pelo (not verified)

...Wat? That is what TDP is.

As far as 'highest operational temperature': have a gander at the Tom's review and you'll see that it's not obscene. In fact, it seems to be pretty well moderated. Furthermore, an increase in power draw doesn't reflect into an immediate temperature increase. A GPU can, and will, fluctuate in power draw drastically but the heat doesn't follow the same rule. That's not how physics works. The GPU won't shift between 30C and 90C with the same curve and timing as the power draw.

And the argument makes zero sense anyway. We have GPUs with higher power draws (and thus more heat being generated) that are cooled with air-cooling. This isn't a hypothetical. These products exist and are on the market. You can buy them. In fact, they've been around for a while now.

One counterargument is that it's the heat density that's the issue, given that the HBM is now on the interposer right beside the die. This argument still doesn't make much sense given the power draw and temperature readings pointing to that not being the case. (And remember that the power draw from HBM stacks is substantially lower than GDDR5)

From my perspective, it's an architectural issue. Previous GPUs based on this architecture sucked at overclocking as well, and increasing the transistor count that substantially while opting for density and decreasing die size (it's more dense than GM200) has resulted in AMD having to scale clocks back. Hawaii and Tonga both sucked at overclocking.

July 1, 2015 | 05:59 PM - Posted by kenjo

you are seriously confusing two different things.

the TDP is how much heat energy the chip is producing.

maximum operating temperature is how hot the chip can get before it stops working.

This max temperature is often mentions as the junction temperature and is usually for mainstream CMOS about 100C but can be as hi as 120 and also lower. It could be that this particular chip is sensitive and has a low max junction temperature.

the thing is that it is two different things.

when you select the cooling system you have to make sure that both values is taken care of. If you could just ignore the max temp then everything could be passively cold as a simple heat sink without a fan could cool away hundreds of watt in heat if the chip could be allowed to reach 1000 degrees.

July 1, 2015 | 06:12 PM - Posted by pelo (not verified)

All of the above I understand very well and agree with.

Now please provide us with the link showing Fury X hitting 90-100C under load.

Until you do, neither the temperature nor the power draw have anything to do with its overclocking capability nor its choice of cooling. In fact, the reviews seem to show the exact opposite.

Just like any uArch, it has a ceiling that isn't power nor heat. A GM200 core at -30C being cooled by liquid nitrogen won't chew voltage and churn out clock speeds indefinitely, regardless of what it's temperature is.

My hunch is that the limited overclocking may have to do with HBM. It could be that HBM, more specifically the controller on-die, isn't suited to higher voltages just like it isn't suited to clock speed alterations. In essence, the Fury X is already clocked nearly as high as it can go right out of the box.

July 1, 2015 | 06:22 PM - Posted by pelo (not verified)

Can't edit...

Some folks think that the watercooler drops the power draw dramatically via decreasing leakage current. That's just not the case. From 30C to 100C, you might see the increase in heat account for ~30-40W max. And that's max. That's not anywhere near enough to overcome a decent air-cooler, especially not the ones currently on the market that are tasked to stave off something like an overclocked 290x.

Temperature will have an affect on power draw, but it's a linear increase by degrees C(in reality it's probably slightly lower). The voltage will scale exponentially and has a *much* greater impact.

Whatever power draw they've saved by utilizing the liquid cooler and decreasing leakage is probably chewed up by the pump and fan. It's that small.

July 1, 2015 | 06:55 PM - Posted by kenjo

Now please provide us with the link showing Fury X hitting 90-100C under load.

that is exactly the point. the theory was that maybe they selected the water cooling since the chip do not work when it gets that hot. And its easier to keep it cold when using a large radiator located at a place where the fan can easily provide a hi airflow instead of a very small heat sink in a very constrained space.

and temperature does in fact have an impact on electron mobility so a higher temp decrease the max usable frequency. There is a reason people break speed records using sub zero cooling.

July 1, 2015 | 07:16 PM - Posted by pelo (not verified)

The TJmax isn't 60C. If you think it is, you're an idiot. The TJmax is the same as their other GPUs based on the same uArch and made of silicon: 90-100C. Sometimes it goes a wee bit higher, 105C.

With respect to leakage, try reading my post.

July 1, 2015 | 07:58 PM - Posted by kenjo

Well there is a temperature where the transistor itself stops to work but going down they could just set it to anything they want to hit the frequency they need if they are really desperate.

I have not seen any data sheets but something strange is up as nobody is allowed to change the card or the cooling from the reference. That is rather unusual but I think titan x is the same so maybe this is the new way to do things.

July 1, 2015 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Fishbait

Interesting point, sounds similar to the issues Intel has with 3D transistors (on a more macro scale) I hope you guys bring it up during the podcast :D

Overall this was a great article giving us the information to make good buying decisions (buy now, hold off)

Thanks, I always like how you guys make good testing decisions and never give large blanket statements or "definitive" answers on side notes without testing. Keep it up.

July 2, 2015 | 05:13 AM - Posted by Carlo (not verified)

Hi Allyn,

I think that the liquid cooling and low temperature is needed to avoid thermal expansion at the interposer level;
the interposer is the new component in this complex chip and I remember well the problems Nvidia got with Bumpgate!
At the interposer layer you have a stricter alignment requirement than at the chip motherboard layer.

July 1, 2015 | 02:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As I recall, the reason for watercooling was two parts both related to temperature:

Lower temperature increases longevity and potential overclockability in the long run

Lower temperature means less power leakage, which effectively helped to reduce the power consumption of the card.

July 1, 2015 | 03:06 PM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

I think AMD wanted to address users with compact form factor needs. 980ti is simply to big for some builds.

July 1, 2015 | 02:27 PM - Posted by FuriousX owner (not verified)

Going with AIO water cooling was not the bad decision. It was going with Coolermaster. I would bet dollars to donuts that the pump in the FuryX is the same pump that CM put in their original Seidon 120V. The whine is identical in pitch and annoyance. I know because I bought a couple on sale back in the day, and promptly ripped them back out of the computers after testing pump speed with Fan Xpert, and discovering I couldn't keep them quiet above 55% voltage (1150-1200RPM iirc).

If the pumps are the same as the original Seidon 120V, AMD got hoodwinked into using discontinued pumps that CM had stockpiled.

I currently own 4 Corsair H-series AIO's (Asetek) and the pumps are dead quiet. AMD need to hire more knowledgeable PR, consumers aren't idiots that believe non-sense about all AIO's making pump whine; its only true if talking about CM pumps.

July 1, 2015 | 04:30 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Certainly plausible, I've never owned a CM AIO so I can't say if this is normal or not but it sounds like you're very familiar with it. CM is massively popular OEM for graphics coolers though, so its surprising they would produce such shoddy product to a customer as big as AMD.

Didn't a news release last year say Asetek won some big AIO contract with a graphics card maker, coulda swore it would be with AMD's next chip but I guess those plans changed.

July 1, 2015 | 07:38 PM - Posted by ChrisMag (not verified)

I have had 2 CM AIO CPU coolers.

The first was a Nepton 280L. The pump whine was audible outside my Antec P280 case, and in an adjacent room, approximately 50 feet away. I returned it, and Coolermaster gave me a Glacier 240L as a replacement because they were out of stock on the 280L. The Glacier used a pump which was a different design and was reasonably quiet, but the pump failed after a few months.

My roommate has a Corsair H100i which I puchased for his birthday present. It is effectively silent and has been running nearly 24/7 since last November.

July 1, 2015 | 09:43 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Hah, I guess that's why those CM Seidon and Nepton AIOs are always tons cheaper on Newegg with big rebates. Thanks for the heads-up, I'll have to stay away from them. I have a Corsair H105 and 2 EVGA AIOs (all 3 are Asetek) as well as my first CLC in my wife's rig (Antec Kuhler 620) which I believe is also Asetek, and no such pump whine.

July 1, 2015 | 02:48 PM - Posted by schulmaster

It is disconcerting to see a company behave this way. Releasing a pump with unfavorable acoustics is one thing. A company, however, has to stick behind what they release. In releasing the NDA comment to pcper, AMD not only acknowledged a pump whine, they said it was corrected for retail. After a statement like this, AMD can no longer reference a value angle, saying they employed the most cost effective AIO they could. Secondly, this statement was either incomplete, and should have been more like 'We noticed this issue and all future contributions to retail channels should have reduced pump noise; but since we wanted a smooth launch, there are many retail samples already in distribution, that have consequently not been repaired'; OR the alternative interpretation is that AMD flat out lied. The fact of the matter is that at least two retail models exist, with not only the issue uncorrected, but even worse.
And then, if there weren't already an inexorable amount of foot in mouth, AMD then says pcper 'just had a miscommunication or misinterpretation of the comments' shared about retail sample improvement. Maybe that would offer some consolation, if Ryan had not quoted said statement, free of any reasonable ambiguity.
This behavior is troublesome. AMD says they prioritize gamers, they still haven't fixed Tahiti DX9 frame pacing. AMD says this gpu ushers in a new generation of gaming, but it barely contends with the current gen of gaming. AMD says they have utmost confidence in what they produced, but it seems they are being disingenuous about their creation at every turn.

July 1, 2015 | 04:25 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Yep, its like they are banking or preying on the fact the end-user will never see another sample on their own to compare against and just hoping for high tolerance levels to avoid the hassle of recalling and fixing this problem.

Pretty shady indeed, especially after they made it a point to tell reviewers who noticed this (at least 4-5 mentioned it) that the pump noise was fixed in shipping samples.

July 2, 2015 | 04:56 AM - Posted by BrightCandle (not verified)

Once again AMD is caught lying. Its really that simple, they have a history of doing this and especially in the last few years especially via Richard Huddy who seems to do it almost continuously.

This is not OK, its false advertising.

July 2, 2015 | 01:12 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

Very good points.

July 1, 2015 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What's next, people complain about fan timbre?

July 1, 2015 | 02:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Since the high pitch is bothering everyone at the pcper offices I'll gladly take it off your hands :P

On a more serious note, yeah I would probably return the card if it did that noise... :(

July 1, 2015 | 02:59 PM - Posted by gerard (not verified)

There's a guy on youtube and he had his card replaced, he noted that the coolermaster logo on the replacement is etched into the plastic of the pump instead of being just a sticker like the previous one.

Possibly a way to see what revision you got?

pic of the new pump

July 1, 2015 | 03:13 PM - Posted by Anon (not verified)

Perhaps only the first batches came with the noisey pump. Can you guys look into that as well? Looking forward to crossfire benchmarks.

July 1, 2015 | 04:18 PM - Posted by JH (not verified)

That is exactly that happened. Everyone with the pump that has a sticker is a pre-production model regardless if it came in retail packaging. The etched/molded pump is the final, fixed version.

July 1, 2015 | 04:19 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

So why isn't AMD out in front of this and issuing a recall, or letting everyone know this is the case?

July 1, 2015 | 04:23 PM - Posted by JH (not verified)

Did you even read the article? Their statement has been out there for a week or two. AMD isn't responsible for cards sold by AIBs. Retailers or the AIBs handle the RMAs which at this point are all being approved.

July 1, 2015 | 04:27 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Hahah yes, I love this one:

AMD is not responsible for blah blah blah..

So who is? :)

July 1, 2015 | 05:09 PM - Posted by JH (not verified)

Do you even know how to read? I told you. The retailers and/or AIBs.

July 1, 2015 | 09:27 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Haha yes typical AMD and their fanboys/apologists, pass the buck, kick the can, make it someone else's problem.

And you wonder why it never gets fixed and they keep coming up with these half-baked solutions? There's no accountability from AMD, no demands for accountability from their end-users!

Same thing happened with FreeSync! Its not AMD's fault, its up to monitor makers and scaler makers. Hell they only designed the spec, designed the implementation, and qualified the final product with their logo program, but no, not AMD's fault at all! lol

You get what you pay for, and as is typical with AMD, you get 2nd rate products.

July 2, 2015 | 01:14 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

I think he may be using the word "responsible" as "response-able." It's like AMD literally weren't able to respond to the pump whine with the parts already made and shipped out to retailers.

July 2, 2015 | 08:27 AM - Posted by Martin Trautvetter

AMD had these cards build. They are responsible for every single Fury X out there.

July 1, 2015 | 04:35 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Our two retail units tested do in fact have stickers.

July 1, 2015 | 03:05 PM - Posted by svnowviwvn


First, let's get the bad news out of the way: both of the retail AMD Radeon R9 Fury X cards that arrived in our offices exhibit 'worse' noise, in the form of both whining and buzzing, compared to our review sample.

In our review process, AMD told us the solution was fixed. In an email sent to the media just prior to the Fury X launch


It really looks like AMD knew the reviews were going to be bad on the sound(s) that the cards made and tried to do a preemptive strike including sending out Golden Samples to reviewers.

The sound levels on the two retail cards are much louder than the Golden Sample AMD supplied that was reviewed.

July 1, 2015 | 03:16 PM - Posted by Thoth420 (not verified)

Did you test it in a chassis or just as pictured in this article?
I ask because the manual for the Fury X states that the tubes for the rad should be on the bottom and the rad has to be mounted above the GPU.

IE in a conventional case with the rad mounted to the rear 120mm exhaust.

July 1, 2015 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

As pictured, and as explained in the article, tested this way as cases vary. Some make it better, while others make it worse. It was a rabbit hole that would quickly turn this into an article that would never be ready to publish as it would be perpetually incomplete.

July 2, 2015 | 01:20 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

No matter what, there's always bias in a review. That's the definition of a review, a human examining and assessing it according to his or her judgement.
However, including the pump whine test in a case help the reader know more about the pump whine as you're essentially broadening the number of situations that the audience can relate to. If nothing else, at least, it's tested "inside a case."
The "inside a case" phrase can go farther than it should really be going with readers.

July 1, 2015 | 03:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nvidia cards have coil whine. Where is the breaking damning news? That's right this is a shill site.

July 1, 2015 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

We test a lot of cards from both sides, and nearly all (yes, AMD too) have coil whine during some specific loading scenes.

*edit* - also, are you referring to this investigation that we did?

July 1, 2015 | 08:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What do you gain by spreading such shit? Me and all my colleagues (15) always come on here for years and enjoy the articles and podcasts. Their friends and family as well and anybody else we know.

So keep typing that stuff here because it gives us something to laugh over once in awhile too!

July 1, 2015 | 09:48 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

The breaking news is coil whine is a symptom of any higher-end graphics card that goes back nearly a decade, with the 4870 being the first card this was widely an issue.

This should really be no surprise as all of these cards are made in the same factories using commodity parts, with differences in electrical current and harmonic resonance being the uncontrollable wildcard in the equation.

You do understand, both vendors suffer from coil whine, right?

And while this pump whine is certainly not AMD's fault directly, they did pick the part and they certainly didn't qualify and fix it in time to prevent it from going to market this way. That blame falls squarely on AMD.

July 1, 2015 | 03:42 PM - Posted by serpico (not verified)

if possible it would be helpful to overlay the 980ti dB graph on top of the Fury X dB graph.

July 1, 2015 | 04:04 PM - Posted by fkr

i am sure that anybody who bought one will be able to exchange it for one with a new pump.

the same thing happened with the gtx 970 and coil whine. those all got replaced also.

this is a non issue for now. I will judge this product more so after it has been out for more than a week or two

July 1, 2015 | 04:18 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Nice job as usual Allyn and Ryan, once again doing the dirty work so your readership understands the issue. It really is concerning AMD would make a point of telling the press this issue was corrected on shipping/retail parts but we are still seeing as many if not more reports of the issue occurring out in the wild.

Some other examples of end-users seeing similar loud pump noise on their retail samples:

To AMD Fanboys who are more upset at PCPer than AMD for allowing this to slip through the cracks, your attitude is exactly what is wrong with AMD and the products they produce.

To AMD users who bought or were interested in buying Fury X. Now you know what to look for so if you saw this with your own part, you don't have to worry or have any doubt whether your unit is defective, PCPer did the work so you can know for sure..

And of course no post would be complete without a troll in good fun, so here it goes.....

Philosophical question:

If a Fury X pump whines, and no AMD fanboy admits to hearing it, does it make a sound? :D

July 1, 2015 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Thoth420 (not verified)

Not when they don't follow the specifications for the hardware. Coil whine is probably a crap PSU. Those ribbon cables smell like Corsair RM which is a piece of junk. Pump noise could be solved by affixing the rad properly.

It could be a defect or it could be far I see complaints with the rad configured properly and this review did nothing to clear that up.

I have spoken with an owner of an XFX model and he says his makes no noise in his chassis installed correctly even with the chassis door open.

July 1, 2015 | 04:37 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

So all those links, all those reviewers, all those different end-users across the internet are just doing it wrong huh? lol.

I really do hope you buy one of these cards and get a sample that buzzes like this so you can try to rationalize away that sound that you just can't escape, like a drill bit or squeaky wheel that you just can't find. :)

July 1, 2015 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Coil whine is proportional to frame rate when it happens - this is not related to the PSU. In fact, a weaker PSU would be less able to supply the rapid current changes being requested by the GPU, which would actually *reduce* coil whine (coil vibrations are a function of the rate of change of current).

The pump noise on these two retail units occurs regardless of rad position (tested specifically). These GPUs were 'primed' with the rad above the pump when initially started up. The sound does not change if the rad is later placed on the table next to the GPU. Further, some users will need to mount the GPU rad at the bottom front location of a case if a CPU cooler rad is mounted at the rear upper location.

July 1, 2015 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Thoth420 (not verified)

While coil whine is indeed proportional to framerate I have personally solved it 100% on GPUs using better quality PSU's and and/or and AVR. That statement is ridiculous that a PSU has no bearing on the matter.

Also affixing the radiator out of the specs (read the manual) IE below the card because of "needs" (CPU rad to front and GPU rads to top and rear exhaust of a chassis would solve that) because some users "need it" is still out of spec.

I am building a brand new rig this week with all new hardware with an XFX Fury X and will let you guys know how it goes with mine. I ordered mine and it was shipped out on release day US so it is most certainly the first consumer batch.

If you end up being correct then awesome and I will RMA for one without the issue however based on the initial post and images it did not seem like there was a clear answer.

Either way thanks for the response and the review. :D

July 1, 2015 | 08:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Even after all the reviews showing for the same price 980 Ti being better at everything you still blindly go and buy this inferior card (same price mind you) and gamble to have a pump whine just to RMA it wait again and hope you get one that doesn't have the whine???

Is this how the enthusiast PC Gaming community has sank to in the last few year? OMG unfucking believable :O

July 1, 2015 | 09:30 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Not the entire PC Gaming community, just the last few die hard AMD fanboys. I think most who claimed any semblance of neutrality have seen enough with Fury X's lackluster launch, AMD failing to deliver on just about every promise they made during the run-up, and gone with a 980Ti or chosen to wait. This promise of cool and quiet operation was really the last thing they could hang their hat and as we can see, they managed to botch that as well.

July 2, 2015 | 12:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why not? I get a watercooler along with this card.

July 5, 2015 | 03:56 PM - Posted by Sonic4Spuds

The fact that replacing the PSU removed the coil whine in your case suggests that it was an issue with the PSU making the whine, instead of the graphics card. I have had issues with some low end PSUs whining under high frequency or stress situations.

July 1, 2015 | 06:29 PM - Posted by wiak (not verified)

ooh well lets hope those users with GTX 590 dont burn up their cards, or the GTX 970 users got less speedy ram months after the fact

ooh well. every company will mess up eventually. case in point samsung :P

July 2, 2015 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

The fanboys are the only thing drowning out that pump whine.

July 1, 2015 | 04:25 PM - Posted by Thoth420 (not verified)

I meant all I see are complaints with the rad configure improperly

July 1, 2015 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is how the German hardware website PCGH reduced the pump noise by approximetly 20%.

This is a piece of soft foam taken from the packaging of some tech product (estimated cost: 2 Cents). It has to be sandwiched between the pump and the outer plate. By adding further pressure (pressing the hand ontop of the pump), even more noise reduction is possible.

July 2, 2015 | 12:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

not ideal for a high end product but love the engenuity.

July 2, 2015 | 09:27 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

Fanboy logic. tear down the card, stuff in foam, still have 80% of the problem. "it's fixed!"

July 2, 2015 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

VRM's not being cooled in there morons, this will definitely catch fire and burned down your house. The stupidity this generation of enthusiasts is mind boogling

July 2, 2015 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Rroc (not verified)

Why not? You bought the card that tended to be marketed to people who at this price point would mod the case like crazy. Tinkering isn't that far off of what they are usually doing.
It's great that they are being resourceful.

It doesn't excuse the very annoying pump whine, but being resourceful is a virtue.

July 3, 2015 | 05:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is not the intention of my post. I was merely showing how easy it is to "fix" the "problem" (despite the card being a bit louder than expected actually not being a problem for many people).

July 1, 2015 | 05:22 PM - Posted by wiak (not verified)

i wonder if someone tried to run the fan at higher speed?
and if possible modded the vbios to feed the pump with a little less power (80%) to see if it also helps

and i do think amd can run the pump/fan at different speed via their drivers

July 1, 2015 | 06:17 PM - Posted by Searching4Sasquatch (not verified)

Great job trying to show what actual gamers will be dealing with.

Although some rabid AMD fanboys will complain if you do anything but repost benchmarks from AMD's slides or RG, people actually about to spend their money on a card (I guess we'd call them "gaming fanboys") surely appreciate this.

BTW - Sempron? Out of all the CPU's AMD has made over the years, you pick the Sempron? What a moron. Even AMD employees would admit that Sempron sucked. You're likely one of the guys who chipped the corner on their Athlon XP. Herp Derp.

July 1, 2015 | 06:33 PM - Posted by wiak (not verified)

Sempron is much like the current Pentium brand lol
the cheapest and slowest of them all ;)

July 1, 2015 | 08:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

LOL good one ++1

July 1, 2015 | 09:50 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

lol yep, using Sempron as avatar just screams SUPER SPECIAL AMD FANBOY :)

July 2, 2015 | 12:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Damned if old chizow does not have sock puppets on his hands and feet and is going quad puppet on his posts! All for his favorite brand, and pronounced inferiority complex! Old chizow's so dumbstruck with his favorite brand of cash drain, and what of the rent on the Johnny on the spot outhouse that has not been pumped of its brown ooze! OMG he lit his Bugler on the throne and the fumes ignited, it's another shooting/stinking star, arching in a trajectory over the waning crescent again. The townsfolk know the smell and the spectacle of old chizow's hardware monkey, and he's got to let the whole world know, with his show and smell.

July 2, 2015 | 01:33 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

lol more neckbeard tech poetry, you must be a hoot irl, lay off the bath salts and glue.

July 2, 2015 | 07:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All these armchair engineers and experts, fucking pathetic.
I stay anon because want to. Don't even care for specific people with handles because I go to more than 15 tech sites to read and comment and don't feel like making dozens of accounts all over the damn fucking INTERNET!

For you all thinking all anons are Chizow think again.

Ik ben geen iemand die liever anon blijft en geef neppe account maakt om een bepaalde bedrijf aan te bieden!

July 2, 2015 | 10:46 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

+1, its amazing that AMD fanboys think I'm the only one of the same mindset that AMD is 2nd-rate, when nearly 75% of the market prefers Nvidia for similar reasons.

July 1, 2015 | 08:33 PM - Posted by John H (not verified)

Ryan - Do you plan any testing in a closed air case situation? Would the higher pitch be more muffled in a case situation than a lower pitched sound?

I applaud the thorough testing but am a bit nervous about all of the results being based on an open air platform sitting very close to the instrument checking for noise...

July 2, 2015 | 06:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


July 2, 2015 | 12:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Closed air case situation testing would actually be a good idea. I am curious on whether a closed case can lessen the annoying whine enough.

July 1, 2015 | 08:44 PM - Posted by Heavy (not verified)

man this look bad for AMD bad it looks even worse for Cooler master water coolers.hope they fix this in the newer cards

July 2, 2015 | 06:37 PM - Posted by AnonymousE (not verified)

Not just limited to Coolermaster, I've had to RMA 3 corsair AIO'S over the past 2 years, a h60 and 2 h100's due to pump whine, and about to go for my 4th with defective LEDs on a h100i. I think the OEM needs a kick in the backside. I' m with the green team ATM but I feel for AMD when they don't make the pumps themselves.

July 1, 2015 | 09:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Damn you AMD fanatics who blame PCPER and all the other sites for exposing Fiji Fury's flaws, you fool tools should blame AMD for releasing a unfinished product to the gaming public. AMD knows Gamers are paying big bucks for a flawed Fury and are getting ripped off but they lie and mislead, AMD's Cred is DEAD.

AMD’s Joe Macri talked big time about Fury's overclock potential but again AMD could walk their hype pumping talk.
AMD Overclocking potential of Fury is very disappointing, and memory overclocking has been disabled completely. What's more troubling is the limited GPU overclocking potential. The GM200 GPU on GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Titan X overclocks much better, which means that with both cards overclocked to the max, GTX 980 Ti will have a large performance lead over an overclocked Fury X.

July 1, 2015 | 09:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Damn you AMD fanatics who blame PCPER and all the other sites for exposing Fiji Fury's flaws, you fool tools should blame AMD for releasing a unfinished product to the gaming public. AMD knows Gamers are paying big bucks for a flawed Fury and are getting ripped off but they lie and mislead, AMD's Cred is DEAD.

AMD’s Joe Macri talked big time about Fury's overclock potential but again AMD could walk their hype pumping talk.
AMD Overclocking potential of Fury is very disappointing, and memory overclocking has been disabled completely. What's more troubling is the limited GPU overclocking potential. The GM200 GPU on GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Titan X overclocks much better, which means that with both cards overclocked to the max, GTX 980 Ti will have a large performance lead over an overclocked Fury X.

July 1, 2015 | 09:23 PM - Posted by Boggins (not verified)

3 AMD Furys in one place? That's probably almost the entire supply in the timezone.

July 1, 2015 | 09:32 PM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

lol +1

Although there is some supply, AMD marketing is just working overtime and forcing you to buy a random bag-o-crap to get a Fury X :)

July 1, 2015 | 09:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Put your headphones on and game like a big boy. Noise... duh, I can't even hear shit outside my headphones when gaming. Think I care 1 bit about a little pump or coil making noise? Look at the pro gamers when they are gaming on stage... are they worried about the buzz from the crowd? Y'all library nerds need to just get over the noise and whiners... game for real.

July 2, 2015 | 01:39 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

If you read the story and some of the comments, PCPer says the problem is not as big of a deal during gaming, but more of an annoyance at idle. I personally don't wear my headphones when I don't have to because they get hot, so obviously people aren't going to wear them when doing work, reading, browsing etc etc where this buzzing will be most annoying.

I know that any kinds of high pitched noise or non-uniform oscillation is very distracting to me to the point I've tracked down individual fans going bad and rattling because it was so annoying.

July 2, 2015 | 12:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

can this be resolved by software/firmware or is this a hardware problem? also a close case test would be appreciated.

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