AMD Radeon R9 Nano CrossFire Performance Revealed – Up to 90% Scaling at 4K in AMD Optimized Titles

Hassan Mujtaba

The first proper Crossfire review for the Radeon R9 Nano has been published by TechPowerUp. The Radeon R9 Nano is based on the Fiji graphics core and we should expect around the same performance scaling as the Fury based cards but so far none of the major sites had done proper CrossFire testing of the card probably because AMD had sent a single review sample to each tech site.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Crossfire Review Published by TPU - CrossFire Results With R9 Fury X Also Shown

TechPowerUp was one of the sites that didn't receive a review sample at launch following the "Fair Reviews" drama brought up by AMD's Roy Taylor that might have been the reason his account got deleted on Twitter a few days ago. With the dust settled and the Nano launch passed, AMD seems to have started sending samples to the sites who were unable to receive them. Some of these sites include the much respected and well-known TechReport, TechPowerUp itself and also, HardOCP. So far, TechPowerUp has published their review just nine days after the first reviews appeared on the web. TPU not only managed to get a review sample but bought themselves a retail Nano too to test the Crossfire performance of AMD's latest and most powerful SFF (Small Form Factor) card.

The performance results show that the Radeon R9 Nano scales really well at 4K (3840x2160) resolution with up to 90% scaling in AMD optimized titles but also does that are NVIDIA optimized that include GTA V and Witcher 3. CryEngine powered titles that take advantage of GCN core architecture also get 80%+ scaling. Majority of the titles show great performance from the XDMA architecture that is found on the latest GCN graphics cards and while there are some instances where the games show no performance improvement over a single Radeon R9 Nano card, that is mostly due to the fact that the games don't have Multi-GPU functionality integrated within them. TPU noted that Far Cry 4 was the only example from several titles where all graphics card performed well in terms of CrossFire scaling except the Fiji based parts that include the Radeon R9 Nano and that is because AMD is still refining the drivers for their Fiji based cards that include the Radeon R9 Nano, Radeon R9 Fury X, Radeon R9 Fury and the upcoming, Radeon R9 Fury X2.


Image Credits: TechPowerUp

The site also goes on to show Crossfire performance of a Radeon R9 Nano coupled with a Radeon R9 Fury X. It was reported before the Nano launch that both the R9 Fury X and Radeon R9 Nano will feature CrossFire XDMA compatibility and that is the case but when running together, the difference is quite small when compared to a CrossFire Nano configuration even though the Radeon R9 Fury X is around 15% faster than the Radeon R9 Nano due to faster clock speeds. It seems to be that the drivers are making both the Radeon R9 Fury X and Radeon R9 Nano to operate at Nano clock speeds rather than Fury X clock speeds. This clock-speed parity between two cards affect performance so there's no point in adding a Fury X to a CrossFire configuration with Nano as you'll be getting the same performance as you do with a second Nano. Nevertheless, its an interesting configuration and signals towards the Fury X2 which might either use a full blown Fiji XT GPU configuration or go ahead with a Nano based Fiji XT variant that conserves clock speeds. So this review actually does a good job providing an early sneak peak at the Fury X2.

It's mentioned at the site that while the performance improvement is good enough for 4K gaming, a CrossFire setup takes away the idea of Mini-ITX setups which is what the Nano is aimed at. A Fury X still seems as a better choice for the AMD crowd if they want to go Multi-GPU inside their rigs as the latter offers faster performance. Do go ahead and review TPUs review for a detailed performance overview of Radeon R9 Nano in Crossfire.

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