AMD launched five GPU based on its newer 28nm Fiji core. Starting with discrete desktop graphic cards- Radeon Fury X, Radeon R9 Fury and Radeon R9 Nano, what was initially assumed to be named as Radeon 300 series by certain news sites based on leaks from China. But what came out true is that Fury X is a water-cooled GPU while the standard Fury variant will be using an air cooling unit. Both uses 4GB HBM. But what’s very interesting is that the Fury X will be having LED indicators called ‘GPU Tachometer’ which will indicate the GPU load while using the system.
All these cards use the new memory technology called High-Bandwidth memory to replace GDDR5. As pointed out previously, HBM provides 5x more bandwidth compared to the currently used GDDR5 VRAM since its a stack of memory dies, which also contributes to lesser power consumption. The memory stacks are kept much closer to the core compared to traditional placement and the space required for the video memory is significantly smaller. HBM isn’t made just for gaming, but AMD made it clear that it will beneficial for making servers and supercomputers. AMD had to work with many companies for HBM, including SK Hynix.
As a result, these cards are touted to provide 1.5x performance-per-watt compared to Radeon R9 290X. How does all translate into performance compared to currently dominated Nvidia GeForce GTX 9xx series remains to be seen.
Like Nvidia’s DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution), AMD will be providing VSR (Virtual Super Resolution). This function will make the GPU render the gameplay at 4K resolution and then downsampling it to your monitor’s native resolution to give crisp detail. While AMD acknowledges 4K gaming is ‘the thing’, it also acknowledges most people are still stuck with 1080p. Even in a country like India, neither of the GPU makers have shown real-world benefits of 4K gaming, and its G-Sync/FreeSync partners haven’t really been pushed to show real world benefits, other than the usual press release.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano GPU was also showcased, which is said to offer 2x performance-per-watt compared to R9 290X with an SFF-centric PCB length and a single fan cooling shroud design. The price of this card and the release of all cards not yet revealed. This is very interesting nevertheless considering the small form factor will aid in helping to build a small smaller yet powerful enough gaming system for many types of users.
Speaking of 4K Gaming, AMD also unveiled an unknown model GPU based on dual Fiji cores, with 8GB HBM. AMD brags that it will provide up to 50% improvements in performance-per-watt compared to its previous generation ‘Hawaii’ core.
What’s surprising to see is a Small-Form factor pre-designed gaming PC system nicknamed ‘Project Quantum’. What’s known is that this gaming PC is made to be 4K and 5K ready and uses CrossfireX with two Fiji cores. It is also being revealed that the CPU, chipset and the GPU cores will be cooled with a pre-installed liquid cooled setup. There are two layers. The top layer will have a very large radiator (I am speculating its a 200mm based) with a pump while the lower layer will have the core system. A single copper-made cold plate will be used to cool down both GPUs and the CPU. It was also added that the bottom area of the top section will have a black casing with red LED lights while the top area of the bottom section will have a reflection surface to compliment a different aesthetic design. The prebuilt SFF gaming system prototype was shown off, but it looks very impressive so far.
The performance, just like other Fiji based GPUs, remains to be seen. Considering a lot of leaked information didn’t match AMD’s presentation, one will look forward to actual performance now.