AMD is putting reviewers in a tough spot with Fury. On one hand, the Fiji GPU with HBM is a remarkable feat of engineering. HBM is only in its infancy, but the technology already shows plenty of promise. The wide memory path is clearly very effective, and AMD has proven that 4GB is enough for today's games at their highest detail settings. However, the company’s marketing team is reaching a little too far.
AMD aims Fury at 4K gaming. Technically, it's capable. But the company is disingenuous in suggesting the card can handle that resolution with Ultra detail settings. While it is true that you can play some games at those settings, you won't enjoy the frame rates most enthusiasts want to see. It'd be more accurate to say that Fury is capable of 4K at medium settings, even if it doesn't sound as sexy.
I really like Sapphire’s Radeon R9 Fury Tri-X. The cooling solution's slow-spinning fans get the job done without making much noise at all. There's quite a bit of thermal headroom available if you want to manually dial in faster fan speeds, too. Sapphire’s team does a great job making the card look great, while keeping the substantial heat of AMD’s Fiji GPU at bay. The mild overclock is a nice touch.
Fury represents AMD’s return to high-end gaming. But it's far better suited for 2560x1440 than 4K. In almost every test, Sapphire’s R9 Fury Tri-X outperformed Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980. Even at reference clock rates it's able to keep up. Fury fits nicely between the GTX 980 and 980 Ti in both power and cost.
Kevin Carbotte is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware, covering Graphics. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.