Sapphire Nitro Radeon R9 Fury Review

Keith May
Posted Jan 12, 2016
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AMD’s Fiji Pro and Sapphire’s Nitro

About six months ago the cut down variant of the Fiji based GPU known as Fiji Pro was unleashed to the world.  Known as Fiji Pro and packing 3584 stream processors along with 4gb of HBM on a 512bit bus we saw limited launch with only two graphics cards, one of which we previously reviewed here.

WCCFTechAMD Radeon R9 Fury X2AMD Radeon R9 Fury XAMD Radeon R9 NanoAMD Radeon R9 FuryAMD Radeon R9 290X
GPU Fiji XT x 2 Fiji XT Fiji XT Fiji ProHawaii XT
Stream Processors8192 4096 409635842816
GCN Compute Units128 64 64 5644
Render Output Units12864646464
Texture Mapping Units512256256224176
GPU FrequencyTBAUp to 1050MhzUp to 1000 MHzUp to 1000 MHz1000Mhz
Memory8GB HBM (4 GB Per Chip) 4GB HBM 4GB HBM 4GB HBM4GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 4096-bit x 2 4096bit 4096bit 4096bit512bit
Memory Frequency500Mhz500Mhz500 MHz500Mhz1250Mhz
Effective Memory Speed 1Gbps 1Gbps1Gbps 1Gbps5Gbps
Memory Bandwidth1024 GB/s512GB/s512GB/s512GB/s320GB/s
CoolingLiquidLiquid, 120mm RadiatorAir, Single Fan. Custom AIB Solutions LaterAir, Custom AIB SolutionsAir, Single Blower Fan
Performance (SPFP)17.2 TFLOPS8.6 TFLOPS8.19 TFLOPS 7.2 TFLOPS 5.6 TFLOPS
TDPTBA275W175W275W250W
Power ConnectorsDual 8-PinDual 8-Pin8-PinDual 8-Pin6+8 Pin
GFLOPS/WattTBA31.347.126.219.3
New PricesTBA$649$499$549$299 (Retail)
Launch DateEarly 201624th June 20157th September 201510th July 201524th October 2013

But why a re-launch six months later? For us to really understand why we need to compare the previous Tri-X model and the new updated Nitro model.  That all starts with the PCB, while the original featured the same reference pcb layout that the fury x employed, while that made for easy waterblock compatibility it also limited what Sapphire was able to do with the card itself and forced them to build around a foundation.  With the Nitro card Sapphire was able to build it from the ground up to their demands with an enhanced 6-phase circuit and an 8 layer pcb that helps lower vrm temperatures (unable to validate due to sensors not reading in GPUZ).  They were also able to incorporate a dual bios switch that can regulate power draw; the default BIOS limits the TDP to 260w and a target temperature of 75C, the second BIOS option allows for 300w and a target temperature of 80C.  Sapphire also changed the chokes to Black Diamond in order to combat the known coil whine exhibited by gpu’s in the Fury lineup I am happy to report that outside of loading screens in FarCry 4 and Hitman Absolution I experienced no noticeable coil whine.

This version of the Tri-X cooling solution has been beefed up as well and unfortunately extends down into an extra slot essentially making this a 2 ½ slot cooling solution.  The results however are more than worth this sacrifice.  Sapphire is touting this to be their “most efficient cooling solution ever built by the company”.  Featuring an array of heatpipes including a 10mm one connected via a solid copper plate and cooled by three 90mm fans that sit idle until the gpu hits a certain temperature.  They use a die cast bracket to connect the heatsink to the card to aid in supporting the 12” monster.  And on the backside feature a love it or hate it designed aluminum backplate.

Coming in at core clock of 1050mhz makes this the fastest factory clocked Fury card on the market at an MSRP of $549, it does come in a standard version as well for an MSRP of $539 for those who want to save a few dollars and overclock on their own.

Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury Nitro Specifications:

Contents:
Next: Test Setup and Nitro Fury Up Close
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