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AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review

Results: Tomb Raider And Battlefield 4

Tomb Raider

This AMD title should be a home run for the red team. What we've seen previously happens over again at Full HD, and by the time we hit Ultra HD, AMD does end up in the lead. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 Mini (OC) performs particularly badly in Tomb Raider. The resulting frame rates just aren’t playable.

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The frame render times promise an interesting analysis, since we can already see that the Nvidia graphics cards demonstrate very different results at higher resolutions.

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This phenomenon affects the normalized graph as well, clearly showing that the curve is anything but smooth at Ultra HD.

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If you thought that was bad, take a look at the frame-to-frame variance analysis at 4K. It's a horror story across the board for Nvidia. The GeForce GTX 970 Mini (OC)’s performance in particular is a nightmare.

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Tomb Raider might not be the most taxing title out there, and it might even look dated by today’s standards. But it’s the first game that really shows the GeForce GTX 970 Mini (OC)’s memory limit, which really impacts performance in a negative way at 4K.

Battlefield 4 (Single Player)

Unfortunately, in order to produce reliable results, we have to forgo multi-player mode and use the single-player campaign instead. We’re running fresh benchmark numbers with the most up-to-date drivers, since many people still like to play Battlefield 4. Consequently, there is still optimization work being done by the graphics card manufacturers. Mantle didn’t really add anything to the Radeon R9 Nano’s performance, so we decided to skip it for all AMD graphics cards.

There’s not much of a difference between the Radeon R9 Nano and GeForce GTX 970 Mini (OC) at 1920x1080. The latter completely collapses at 3840x2160, though. The factory-overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 yields to the Nano as well.

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The frame times are fairly well-balanced for all the tested graphics cards at the lowest resolution.

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The normalized view looks a lot better with increasing resolution than it did in Tomb Raider.

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Looking at the smoothness analysis, we see the same picture emerge. There is barely any visible stuttering.

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BF4 stands the test of time, giving us the opportunity to watch graphics drivers evolve.

  • nikolajj
    I love this segment. If I was building today, I would do a small build for sure!
    Reply
  • Eximo
    Looks like the table had a hiccup. GTX970 (OC) is showing a lot of the numbers from the R9-390X, and maybe a few numbers from the 980 column.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    It is a nice card and I agree, but... It's not USD $650 nice.

    This card is a very tough sell for AMD, specially since ITX cases that can house current long cards are not hard to find or weird enough to make short cards a thing.

    It's nice to see it's up there with the GTX970 in terms of efficiency, since HTPCs need that to be viable and the card has no apparent shortcomings from what I could read here.

    All in all, it needs to drop a bit in price. It's not "650 nice", but making it "~500 nice" sounds way better. Specially when the 970 mini is at 400.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • FormatC
    @Eximo:
    The table will be fixed, this was a copy issue :D
    Reply
  • sna
    no HDMI2.0 in itx small system near the 4k TV is unforgivable AMD , what were you thinking?
    Reply
  • sna
    16605176 said:
    It is a nice card and I agree, but... It's not USD $650 nice.

    This card is a very tough sell for AMD, specially since ITX cases that can house current long cards are not hard to find or weird enough to make short cards a thing.

    It's nice to see it's up there with the GTX970 in terms of efficiency, since HTPCs need that to be viable and the card has no apparent shortcomings from what I could read here.

    All in all, it needs to drop a bit in price. It's not "650 nice", but making it "~500 nice" sounds way better. Specially when the 970 mini is at 400.

    Cheers!


    well this card is for the smallest case ... not the easy to find huge long itx case.

    I personaly find long itx cases useless ... they are very near to Matx case in size .. and people will pick up MATX ovet ITX any time if the size is the same.

    BUT for 170mm long card ? this is a winner.

    the only thing killing this product is the lack of HDMI2.0 which is very important for itx .. ITX are the console like PC near the tv.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    The 390X was slower or as fast as a mini-970 in 1080p-1440p in all cases. What gives?
    Reply
  • FormatC
    As the manually oc'ed version. Please compare it with the 970 Mini @stock :)
    Reply
  • heffeque
    no HDMI2.0 in itx small system near the 4k TV is unforgivable AMD , what were you thinking?
    I guess that they were thinking about DisplayPort?
    Reply
  • Nossy
    I'd go with the 950 GTX for a mini ITX build for a 1080pgaming/4k video HTPC.

    For a $650 bucks video card. I'd go with a 980TI and use a Raven RVZ01 if I want an ITX build with performance.
    Reply