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AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB Review

Metro: Last Light, Middle-earth And The Witcher 3

Metro: Last Light

Like Battlefield, Metro is another mature title, meaning AMD and Nvidia have both optimized their drivers for peak performance. Interestingly, the Radeon R9 Fury X capitalizes and places ahead of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Titan X, trailing only the R9 295X2 at 2560x1440. A look at frame rate over time illustrates clearly where AMD’s shader- and bandwidth-heavy approach serves it well, and, conversely, where GM200’s strengths allow it to make up ground.

Although the 295X2’s frame time variance is highest at 2560x1440, Metro’s age has allowed AMD to smooth out most of the wrinkles. As such, dual-Hawaii has little trouble securing a first-place finish ahead of Fury X.

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Fiji holds onto its second-place position behind the 295X2 at 3840x2160, besting Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X and 980 Ti. Flipping over to frame rate over time, those same few segments of our 145-second benchmark again demonstrate where Fiji carves out its advantage.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Our Middle-earth benchmark has AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X technically behind the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. But this is fundamentally a tie. Frame rate over time has the Fury on par with 980 Ti, falling back a bit and then taking a lead. Along the way, though, both cards maintain greater-than 60 FPS.

The Radeon R9 295X2 secures a better average frame rate. However, its minimum falls below the three main single-GPU cards we’re looking at today. And looking at its performance across the test, you have to wonder how those severe fall-offs correspond to your on-screen experience.

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Stepping up to 3840x2160 sees Fury X move up one position, landing between GeForce GTX Titan X and 980 Ti. Those three cards remain indistinguishable though, all serving up mostly smooth performance.

AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 appears to take another commanding first-place finish, but is diminished by problematic spikes and dips in the same sections observed at 2560x1440.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A lack of day-one drivers turned into bad PR for AMD, which scrambled to introduce an optimized build with CrossFire support. When it did publish Catalyst 15.5, we re-tested, only to discover modest improvements, at best.

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We’re still waiting on an explanation as to why AMD’s latest beta driver doesn’t benefit the Radeon R9 295X2 as much as it should. In the meantime, though, Radeon R9 Fury X shows up right underneath the GeForce GTX Titan X and 980 Ti. Frame rate over time looks good. I’d even be inclined to pinpoint the place where our benchmark run leaves a dense town and enters rolling fields based on the way Fiji and GM200 handle each setting differently.

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Fury X makes up ground at 3840x2160 and manages a slight lead, even if its minimum frame rate is a touch lower than either Titan X or 980 Ti. Frame time variance is naturally higher at 4K, though we do record more spikes from the Fury X that manifest as noticeable on-screen hitches. Still, this goes a long way to show that a 4GB card optimized for better memory utilization can handle a demanding title at its most demanding settings (even if it uses a temporal post-process form of anti-aliasing rather than MSAA).

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.