AMD releases specs, pricing on Radeon Fury, showcases Project Quantum platform

June 19, 2015 1:44 pm0 commentsViews: 5

FuryFeature

Share This article

At E3 this week, AMD took the final wraps off Fiji, disclosing the technical details and design implementations of the various cards, as well as some information on its new proof-of-concept desktop design, codenamed Project Quantum. We’ve discussed High Bandwidth Memory and Fiji’s overall architecture multiple times by now, but some of what AMD revealed was genuinely surprising (and proof that you can’t trust everything the Internet rumor mill barfs up as fact).

Here’s the hardware specs that folks have been waiting for, at least as far as the Radeon R9 Fury X is concerned:

RadeonFury3

Compared with the original R9 290X, the Fury X packs 45% more cores, 60% more memory bandwidth, and supports a board power standard of up to 375W (AMD has said that typical power consumption should be in the 250-275W range). One surprising aspect of the design is that AMD didn’t increase the number of ROPS on the core — both the R9 290X and the R9 Fury X have 64 ROPS. That’s sufficient to put the Fury X on par with the GTX 980, but the GTX 980 Ti and Titan both have 96 render outputs and considerably higher pixel fill rates. Texture mapping units, however, are up substantially, as is the texture fill rate.

Whether or not 64 ROPS is “enough” for Fiji is something we honestly can’t predict until we test the card. No single feature ever tells the entire story on overall GPU performance, save in synthetic tests, so we’ll reserve judgment until we have hardware in-hand. Architecturally, the R9 Fury X is derived from Tonga and the two chips are apparently so close, it’s not even clear if Fury X should be considered a GCN 1.3 or not (AMD doesn’t use GCN 1.x nomenclatures internally, but has yet to deliver a simple method of referring to its various chip families). AMD indicated that the L2 cache on the Fury X is larger than in past cards, but didn’t say if it had added additional cache over and above what you’d expect from a card with more compute cores or not.

Dismissing the R9 Fury X as “Fat Tonga,” however, looks to be a mistake. HBM, associated power consumption improvements, and new GPU form factors and power envelopes are what AMD is counting on to drive Fiji’s success, and based on what we saw this week the company has a potent argument up its sleeve.

Nano1

AMD claims that Fury X will provide 1.5x the performance-per-watt of the R9 290X. If true, this would put the card in GTX 980 territory. The R9 Fury Nano, however, is expected to deliver a 2x performance per watt increase over previous-generation GCN cards, with a typical board power consumption of 175W and, as previously stated, a length of just six inches. Expected performance from the six-inch card is still well north of the R9 290X, though AMD declined to give specific figures.

FijiDie

AMD’s Fiji, with 4GB HBM onboard.

The other advantage of HBM integration and the dramatic reduction in PCB size is that it allows AMD to do multi-GPU configurations in far smaller footprints than it could previously manage. And speaking of footprints, let’s talk a bit about AMD’s Project Quantum, which combines 1-2 Fiji GPUs in an quiet, heat-piped enclosure with an Intel CPU. While AMD built Quantum as proof-of-concept, the amount of interest in the platform outstripped the attention paid to any other OEM rig on display.

ProjectQuantum1

The potential strength of Project Quantum is that it allows AMD to build dense systems it couldn’t previously construct because of the space requirements of huge GDDR5 memory blocks. The combined GPU + HBM chips are huge compared to previous AMD graphics cards, but they take up far less PCB space than GDDR5 + GPU did previously.

AMD's Project Quantum combines multiple GPUs and a heat pipe upper layer. All hardware is stored below.

AMD’s Project Quantum combines multiple GPUs and a heat pipe upper layer. All hardware is stored below.

According to AMD executive Richard Huddy, the only reason AMD built the Nano to a six-inch form factor is because that’s the length of an x16 PCI-Express graphics slot. Without that limit, the company could have knocked roughly another inch off the design.

Pricing and availability

AMD is rolling the R9 Fury family out in a staggered sequence. The first card to launch is the water-cooled R9 Fury X at $ 649 and the specs listed above. The R9 Fury will debut on July 14, with a reduced number of cores and likely a slightly lower clock (AMD hasn’t given specifics on this chip yet). The R9 Fury X is explicitly designed for overclockers with a maximum board power of 375W but typical consumption far below that; the R9 Fury will likely have a bit less power headroom to go with its air cooler and a lower price at $ 550. The R9 Fury Nano will launch “later this summer,” with the dual-GPU Fury (presumably called the R9 Fury X2) hitting the markets this fall.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

ExtremeTech » Video Game News & Rumors On Upcoming Releases | ExtremeTech

Tags:

Leave a Reply