AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Reviewer’s Guide

Published: 18th Jun 2015, 21:45 GMT

Enjoy ;)

Introduction

A new era of PC gaming is here. The content, the peripherals and the reasons we play PC games have completely evolved and are ushering in the new era of PC gaming. Blockbuster PC games are coming out with larger environments and incredible attention to details and textures. New peripherals such as virtual reality headsets and advanced displays implementing high resolution, high refresh rate and AMD FreeSync™ technology are changing the way we visually experience PC gaming. A new breed of gamers with a completely new mindset when it comes to PC gaming, with the goals of becoming a full time pro gamer, making a living as an entertainer to loyal followers and subscribers, or socializing with other gamers online.

We are proud to introduce the new AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X graphics card ready to drive the current UltraHD 4K displays and next generation of virtual reality head mounted displays.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X angle

GPU Specifications – AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X official specifications

The AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X was crafted inside and out to be a true enthusiast graphics card. In addition having the performance to drive the UltraHD 4K displays of today and virtual reality headset of tomorrow, this graphics cards is includes a variety enthusiast features and details that make it stand above the rest.

HBM Memory

HBM is a new high-performance memory standard with vertically stacked DRAM dies and fast microscopic interconnects called through-silicon vias (TSVs). The three-dimensional die stacking and tiny interconnects allows for superior bandwidth at lesser power consumption than both GDDR5 and DDR4.

HBM Stack

By most every memory metric, HBM is a superior memory technology to GDDR5. HBM offers a GPU more bandwidth with less power usage than GDDR5, and does so in 19x less surface area than GDDR5 requires.

GDDR5 MEMORYHBM
SURFACE AREA672mm235mm2
VOLTAGE1.5V1.2V
BANDWIDTH (PER CHIP)Up to 28GB/s>100GB/s
POWER EFFICIENCYUp to 10.6 GB/s per watt>35GB/s per watt
BUS WIDTH (PER CHIP)32-bit1024-bit
CLOCKSPEED3500MHz500MHz

28nm Process

The 28nm GCN Architecture’s more efficient process technology puts more transistors in less space, enabling a dramatic increase in processing power. This helps provide better processor performance while using less power and better transistor efficiency than previous generation technology

Industrial Design

Professional. Elegant. Simple. Modern. These were concepts behind the design of the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X. The shroud uses multiple pieces of aluminum die cast finished in both black nickel mirror gloss and a soft touch black. This full metal construction makes the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X both feel and look like a true enthusiast graphics card.

The front plate of the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X is removable by the 4 hex screws and safely reveals the components located beneath the shroud. This unique removable plate leaves options for customers to potentially 3D print or CNC an alternative plate to customize the look of the graphics card. We’re curious to see what our customers will dream up with this feature.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X metal construction

GPU Tach

The AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X features a couple LEDs that illuminate during operation. Similar to the award winning AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2, this graphics card will have the red glowing “RADEON” logo across the top of the graphics card when powered on.

In addition the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X features our brand new GPU Tach LEDs, which are 8+1 LEDs located above the PCIe power connectors that indicate the intensity level of the GPU operation. For example during a typical gaming session all 8 LEDs will be lit, and while typically idling on the desktop a single LED will be lit. These 8 LEDs are user configurable to either red and/or blue by the physical dipswitch located on the back side of the graphics card. The 1 green LED located alongside the 8 LEDs indicates when the graphics card is in ZeroCore Power operation.

Switch Position 1Switch Position 2LED Color
OFFOFFGPU Tach Off
OFFONRed
ONOFFBlue
ONONRed + Blue

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X LED ILLUMINATION

Thermal Design

Closed loop liquid cooling has quickly become the norm with enthusiasts on the CPU cooling industry and with the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 we were proud to bring the first closed loop liquid cooling solution to a reference graphics card. The AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X improves on that design by fully liquid cooling all essential components (ASIC, VRM, DRAM) in a single loop to the 120mm radiator. Using a single high quality 120mm Nidec fan on the radiator, in typical gaming scenarios the GPU temperature should remain in the 50°C range, and the noise from the fan at less than 32dBA.

AMD Radeon R9 FURY X Cool & Quiet Operation

 

Overclocking and Power

We understand that enthusiast customers are always eager to squeeze the full potential out of their graphics card by overclocking. Typically electrical and thermal limitations impede the potential overclocks of a graphics card. The AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X has been designed with this in mind to minimize electrical and thermal limitations as barriers to enable those customers who want overclock their graphics card at their own discretion.

During typical operation the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X draws about 275W of total board power, but the graphics card is quipped with two 8-pin PCIe® power connectors for a total electrical support of up to 375W based on PCIe® specifications.

Using the AMD Overdrive tab in AMD Catalyst Control Center (covered in the following section), the user can adjust maximum clock settings, target temperature, fan speed and power limits to adjust their graphics card performance within their discretion. For more information see the Power Tune section of this guide.

AMD Radeon R9 FURY X Engineered for Enthusiasts

The following gains are from a 100mhz overclock (actual data available in Appendix 1):

amd-radeon-fury-overclock-100592120-orig

*Primary Benchmark System used. Please see appendix 2 for system configuration details

Features

AMD PowerTune Technology

AMD PowerTune technology is an exclusive feature that optimizes GPU performance under a variety of conditions by gracefully managing clocks, voltages, and fan speed to deliver the most performance possible within defined thermal and power limits.

The new user interface controls in Catalyst Control Center’s “AMD OverDrive” page offer more flexibility than ever before to customize the behavior of the GPU. Overclock is no longer specified in terms of an absolute clock value (eg. 1000 MHz). Instead, the user has control over multiple parameters to driver overall performance higher. AMD OverDrive includes a control for “GPU clock settings” that raises the average clocks and voltages by the selected percentage, while still maintaining the selected limits for power, temperature and fan speed (There is no memory clock slider for this product). Likewise, users can now expand the power and temperature limits in order to reach new levels of performance and higher average clock speeds.

AMD Radeon R9 FuryX OverDrive

AMD PowerTune technology now includes the capability to optimize acoustic performance by intelligently adjusting fan speeds to cope with power and temperature conditions of the GPU. The user also has some control over this via the new control for maximum fan speed. Keep in mind that lowering the maximum fan speed for lower noise is typically a trade-off for performance, since the GPU may reach its temperature limit sooner with a lower fan speed.

In all cases, AMD PowerTune technology continuously delivers the best performance by boosting clock speeds as high as possible within allowable limits.

Frame Rate Targeting Control

Following along the topic of power draw and efficiency, Frame Rate Targeting Control is a new feature we’re introducing with the Radeon™ Fury X graphics card, enabling users with the control to set a target maximum frame rate when playing an application in full screen mode; the benefit being that FRTC can reduce GPU power consumption (great for games running at frame rates much higher than the display refresh rate) and therefore reduce heat generation and fan speeds/noise on the graphics card. Below is a screenshot of the feature in Catalyst Control Center.

AMD Fury X Catalyst Control Center

 

Frame rate targeting control caps performance not only in 3D rendered in-game scenes, but also in splash screens, loading screens and menus, where framerates often run needlessly into the hundreds of fps.

Users might wish to set a very high cap just to limit wasteful fps like that seen in menus and such, while still taking advantage of the responsiveness given by fps well beyond 60.

FRTC is especially useful when rendering relatively ‘easy’ content on powerful hardware, e.g. when you’ve got a relatively low resolution monitor connected to a higher end graphics board, or when playing an older title, or a game with a relatively lightweight graphics load.

Limiting the framerate not only saves power, but also heat and noise, keeping your GPU cool and quiet.

AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X: Sniper Elite 3 1440p resolution, Ultra preset

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Sniper Elite 3 1440p Ultra

AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X: Bioshock Infinite 1440p resolution, Ultra preset

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Bioshock Infinite 1440p Ultra

*For the data above, the resolution and presets were selected, nothing else was changed from the default values of the game for the test hardware. The Primary benchmarking system was used to test.

Note: Changes to the Framerate Target must be done outside of the game, i.e. exit the game completely, make your changes, and then start the game again. The current implementation of Frame Rate Targeting Control works with DirectX 10 and 11 titles, and offers targets in the range of 55 to 95 fps.

Virtual Super Resolution

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) is one of many method of anti-aliasing to enable smoother textures and less jaggy polygons in games but is not supported by all games and engines. Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) is a feature that is game and engine agnostic to simulate SSAA in games that do not have native SSAA support. VSR can also be used in conjunction with other native in game anti-aliasing for even more in game graphics setting control.

VSR allows games to render at higher resolutions (up to 4K; see appendix 4) and rescale them down to a lower native display resolution. Using this, you can get quality that rivals up to 4K, even on a 1080p display while playing your favorite games.

AMD Fury X VSR

Once the feature is enabled, you can then apply the higher resolution, shown below:

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X VSR2

One of the coolest aspects of this technology is that the performance is no different than if you were running on a normal 4K monitor… Nothing is lost in the scaling of the image. You just end up with 4K-like quality on a 1080p monitor, with the same FPS you would achieve with a regular 4K monitor. See below for performance comparisons:

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X VSR vs Native 4K
*Please see Appendix 1 for actual data, The data above was run on the primary benchmarking system

DX12

DirectX® 12 is a new, “console-like” graphics API from Microsoft® that empowers game developers with more direct and obvious control of PC hardware. This direct or “explicit” control better exposes the hardware resources of AMD FX CPUs, AMD APUs and AMD Radeon™ GPUs to yield higher hardware throughput and, ultimately, more performance for users. To put it simply: much more efficient hardware through smarter software! At the discretion of a game developer, this superior efficiency can be spent on higher framerates, lower latency (VR), lower power consumption, better image quality, or some calculated balance of all four. In any scenario, gamers stand to benefit greatly from choosing AMD hardware to run their favorite DirectX® 12 game.

AMD Radeon™ 300 Series Graphics fully support Microsoft DirectX® 12, with the following enhancements over earlier products

  • Faster Tessellation
  • Tiled Resources – Support for massive virtual textures, enabling dynamic loading of tiles into graphics RAM for expansive game world details

Get intense gaming performance and unrivalled image quality with stunning 3D visual effects, realistic lighting and lifelike imagery.

ASYNC Shaders

Async Shaders are a new feature in DirectX® 12 that allow complex graphics tasks to use all available AMD Radeon™ graphics resources simultaneously. Breaking one big job into many small pieces allows the work to be done more quickly, yielding greater performance. AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture has dedicated hardware, called Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE), which are specifically designed to do this job at very high speed.

Here we see a basic illustration of how this normally occurs prior to this new technology:

ASYNC shaders 1

The main parts of frame time take place consecutively above, however with ASYNC Shaders, the following will occur:

ASYNC shaders 2

This results in overall quicker total frame-time processing, due to the simultaneous nature of the way the work is handled.

Multi-GPU in DX12

Previous versions of DirectX® did not directly support multi-GPU configurations. Developers designed their own support in games and drivers, but there were often limitations: minimal control over the hardware, restricted GPU combinations, and difficulty optimizing graphics workloads for multiple GPUs. DirectX® 12’s explicit multiadapter adds multi-GPU support to DirectX® for the first time, giving game developers a much finer and more direct level of control over PC hardware. This control can enable DirectX® 12 game engines to extract more performance from multiple GPUs, and use multi-GPU configurations that were not possible in DirectX® 11.

Efficiency on multi-core CPUs

Previous versions of DirectX® were not capable of fully utilizing a multi-core CPU like the AMD FX 8-core processor. Much of the graphics API work in a PC game would overload one or two CPU cores, ultimately stifling performance. With DirectX® 12, however, the work of a game’s graphics engine can easily be spread over all eight cores, leading to more work done in a shorter amount of time. This feature is already being used by AMD Gaming Evolved technology partner Oxide Games in Ashes of the Singularity, which offers image fidelity that was considered impossible on DirectX® 11.

DX12 workload DX11 workload
*The 2 graphs above are for informational purposes only and may not match exactly to real world tests. These are for illustration purposes

3DMark® API Overhead feature test

3DMark’s API test is used to measure the efficiency of the API on the given graphics card. With DirectX® 12 (Win 10), AMD has seen a drastic improvement in draw calls per second compared to both our competition, and our own DirectX® 11 (Win 8.1) results:

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X DXAPI overhead

*This test was done on pre-release versions of Windows 10, and on AMD drivers that are not available to the public. You may experience different performance than seen here. Titan X was used in the test as there was no GTX 980ti Windows 10 Driver available at the time of this test. This test used the Secondary Benchmark system, see Appendix 2.

As you can see, in any case where API overhead becomes an issue, DirectX® 12 running on the AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X will take less of a performance hit as a result.

FreeSync

[not included]

Product Positioning

3DMark® Fire Strike Ultra

The Radeon R9 Fury X will be the premiere GPU when it comes to 4K gaming. The following 2 Graphs show off its amazing 4K performance in both Fire Strike and a selection of popular games.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X FS ultra 4k

4K Gaming performance

While Synthetic performance is important, games are what this GPU is built for. Seen below is the Radeon™ R9 Fury X running at 4K across a selection of some of the latest and more popular games currently in the market. The Radeon™ R9 Fury X is the premiere graphics solution for 4K gamers, or gamers/system builders looking to get into 4K gaming.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X vs GTX 980 Ti 4K

 

Appendix 1: Performance Reference

A series of tables have been included below to allow for easy lookups of performance figures that have been measured by AMD. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are having trouble reproducing any of the scores quoted here. For specific benchmark configuration details, please see Appendix 3.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 3DMARK

4K Display Performance Table

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4K Performance

Overclock Performance Table

WhyCry: This chart has an error, the right column is not 980 Ti, but overclocked Fury X. If you don’t believe check benchmark settings, 980 Ti does not support Mantle.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Overclock performance

API Overhead Performance Test Table

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Overclock API Overhead

 VSR Performance data Table (Radeon™ R9 Fury X)

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X VSR

Appendix 2: Benchmark Platform Configurations

All data and testing presented in this guide has been collected using the system configuration listed below. To substantiate that AMD Radeon™ HD Graphics Products deliver The Ultimate Visual Experience™ and stability for Windows 8.1®, the benchmarks included in this document have been run on the Windows 8.1® 64-bit with the latest critical updates as of January 1st, 2015.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Test Platforms

 

Appendix 3: How to Benchmark with FRAPS

[not included]

Appendix 4: Virtual Super Resolution support

Target Display TimingSupported VSR Models
1366 X 768 @ 60Hz1600 X 900
1920 X 1080
1600 X 900 @ 60Hz1920 X 1080
2560 X 1440
1920 X 1080 @ 60Hz3200 X 1800
3840 X 2160 (Radeon™ R9 285, 380 and Fury X only)
2048 X 1536
1920 X 1200 @ 60Hz2560 X 1600
3840 X 2400 (Radeon™ R9 285, 380 and Fury X only)
2560 X 1440 @ 60Hz3200 X 1800
1920 X 1080 @ 120Hz1920 X 1200 @ 120Hz
2048 X 1536 @ 120Hz

by WhyCry & SMiThaYe

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