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AMD Radeon R9 Fury Review: Sapphire Tri-X Overclocked

Quickly following the Fury X, AMD’s next graphics foray is a cut-down Fiji called Fury, running at 1000MHz GPU clock. We tested Sapphire’s Tri-X Overclocked version.

Conclusion

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.

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Kevin Carbotte is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware, covering Graphics. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Igor Wallossek is a Senior Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware Germany, covering CPUs and Graphics.

Follow Tom's Hardware on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  • Troezar
    Some good news for AMD. A bonus for Nvidia users too, more competition equals better prices for us all.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Kevin, Igor, thank you for the review. Now the question people might want to ask themselves is, is the $80-$100 extra for the Fury X worth it? :-)
    Reply
  • bjaminnyc
    My next card, nice job AMD.
    Reply
  • vertexx
    When the @#$@#$#$@#$@ are your web designers going to fix the bleeping arrows on the charts????!!!!!
    Reply
  • eza
    fyi - typos in verdict: should be "has proven" and "fewer texture units"
    Reply
  • ern88
    I would like to get this card. But I am currently playing at 1080p, but will probably got to 1440p soon!!!!
    Reply
  • confus3d
    Serious question: does 4k on medium settings look better than 1080p on ultra for desktop-sized screens (say under 30")? These cards seem to hold a lot of promise for large 4k screens or eyefinity setups.
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    This is my next card for certain. Fury X is a bit too expensive for my taste. With driver updates, I think the results will get better.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    Serious question: does 4k on medium settings look better than 1080p on ultra for desktop-sized screens (say under 30")? These cards seem to hold a lot of promise for large 4k screens or eyefinity setups.

    I was in microcenter the other day, one of the very few places you can actually see a 4K display physically. I have to say i wasn't impressed, everything looked small, it just looks like they shrunk the images on PC.

    Maybe it was just that monitor but it did not look special to the point where i would spend $500 on monitor and $650 for a new GPU.
    Reply
  • Embra
    I hope you can add the 5.7 driver results.
    Reply