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The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Review: Aiming For the Top

Almost 7 years ago to this day, AMD formally announced their “small die strategy.” Embarked upon in the aftermath of the company’s struggles with the Radeon HD 2900 XT, AMD opted against continuing to try beat NVIDIA at their own game. Rather than chase NVIDIA to absurd die sizes and the risks that come with it, the company would focus on smaller GPUs for the larger sub-$300 market. Meanwhile to compete in the high-end markets, AMD would instead turn to multi-GPU technology – CrossFire – to offer even better performance at a total cost competitive with NVIDIA’s flagship cards.

AMD’s early efforts were highly successful; though they couldn’t take the crown from NVIDIA, products like the Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon HD 5870 were massive spoilers, offering a great deal of NVIDIA’s flagship performance with smaller GPUs, manufactured at a lower cost, and drawing less power. Officially the small die strategy was put to rest earlier this decade, however even informally this strategy has continued to guide AMD GPU designs for quite some time. At 438mm2, Hawaii was AMD’s largest die as of 2013, still more than 100mm2 smaller than NVIDIA’s flagship GK110.



AMD's 2013 Flagship: Radeon R9 290X, Powered By Hawaii

Catching up to the present, this month marks an important occasion for AMD with the launch of their new flagship GPU, Fiji, and the flagship video card based on it, the Radeon R9 Fury X. For AMD the launch of Fiji is not just another high-end GPU launch (their 3rd on the 28nm process), but it marks a significant shift for the company. Fiji is first and foremost a performance play, but it’s also new memory technology, new power optimization technologies, and more. In short it may be the last of the 28nm GPUs, but boy if it isn’t among the most important.

With the recent launch of the Fiji GPU I bring up the small die strategy not just because Fiji is anything but small – AMD has gone right to the reticle limit – but because it highlights how the GPU market has changed in the last seven years and how AMD has needed to respond. Since 2008 NVIDIA has continued to push big dies, but they’ve gotten smarter about it as well, producing increasingly efficient GPUs that have made it harder for a scrappy AMD to undercut NVIDIA. At the same time alternate frame rendering, the cornerstone of CrossFire and SLI, has become increasingly problematic as rendering techniques get less and less AFR-friendly, making dual GPU cards less viable than they once were. And finally, on the business side of matters, AMD’s market share of discrete GPUs is lower than it has been in over a decade, with AMD’s GPU plus APU sales now being estimated as being below just NVIDIA’s GPU sales.


AMD's Fiji GPU

Which is not to say I’m looking to paint a poor picture of the company – AMD Is nothing if not the perennial underdog who constantly manages to surprise us with what they can do with less – but this context is important in understanding why AMD is where they stand today, and why Fiji is in many ways such a monumental GPU for the company. The small die strategy is truly dead, and now AMD is gunning for NVIDIA’s flagship with the biggest, gamiest GPU they could possibly make. The goal? To recapture the performance crown that has been in NVIDIA’s hands for far too long, and to offer a flagship card of their own that doesn’t play second-fiddle to NVIDIA’s.

To get there AMD needs to face down several challenges. There is no getting around the fact that NVIDIA’s Maxwell 2 GPUs are very well done, very performant, and very efficient, and that between GM204 and GM200 AMD has their work cut out for them. Performance, power consumption, form factors; these all matter, and these are all issues that AMD is facing head-on with Fiji and the R9 Fury X.

At the same time however the playing field has never been more equal. We’re now in the 4th year of TSMC’s 28nm process and have a good chunk of another year left to go. AMD and NVIDIA have had an unprecedented amount of time to tweak their wares around what is now a very mature process, and that means that any kind of advantages for being a first-mover or being more aggressive are gone. As the end of the 28nm process’s reign at the top, NVIDIA and AMD now have to rely on their engineers and their architectures to see who can build the best GPU against the very limits of the 28nm process.

Overall, with GPU manufacturing technology having stagnated on the 28nm node, it’s very hard to talk about the GPU situation without talking about the manufacturing situation. For as much as the market situation has forced an evolution in AMD’s business practices, there is no escaping the fact that the current situation on the manufacturing process side has had an incredible, unprecedented effect on the evolution of discrete GPUs from a technology and architectural standpoint. So for AMD Fiji not only represents a shift towards large GPUs that can compete with NVIDIA’s best, but it represents the extensive efforts AMD has gone through to continue improving performance in the face of manufacturing limitations.

And with that we dive in to today’s review of the Radeon R9 Fury X. Launching this month is AMD’s new flagship card, backed by the full force of the Fiji GPU.

AMD GPU Specification Comparison
 AMD Radeon R9 Fury XAMD Radeon R9 FuryAMD Radeon R9 290XAMD Radeon R9 290
Stream Processors4096(Fewer)28162560
Texture Units256(How much)176160
ROPs64(Depends)6464
Boost Clock1050MHz(On Yields)1000MHz947MHz
Memory Clock1Gbps HBM(Memory Too)5Gbps GDDR55Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width4096-bit4096-bit512-bit512-bit
VRAM4GB4GB4GB4GB
FP641/161/161/81/8
TrueAudioYYYY
Transistor Count8.9B8.9B6.2B6.2B
Typical Board Power275W(High)250W250W
Manufacturing ProcessTSMC 28nmTSMC 28nmTSMC 28nmTSMC 28nm
ArchitectureGCN 1.2GCN 1.2GCN 1.1GCN 1.1
GPUFijiFijiHawaiiHawaii
Launch Date06/24/1507/14/1510/24/1311/05/13
Launch Price$649$549$549$399

With 4096 SPs and coupled with the first implementation of High Bandwidth Memory, the R9 Fury X aims for the top. Over the coming pages we’ll get in to a deeper discussion on the architectural and other features found in the card, but the important point to take away right now it that it packs a lot of shaders, even more memory bandwidth, and is meant to offer AMD’s best performance yet. R9 Fury X will eventually be joined by 3 other Fiji-based parts in the coming months, but this month it’s all about AMD’s flagship card.

The R9 Fury X is launching at $649, which happens to be the same price as the card’s primary competition, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Launched at the end of May, the GTX 980 Ti is essentially a preemptive attack on the R9 Fury X from NVIDIA, offering performance close enough to NVIDIA’s GTX Titan X flagship that the difference is arguably immaterial. For AMD this means that while beating GTX Titan X would be nice, they really only need a win against the GTX 980 Ti, and as we’ll see the Fury X will make a good run at it, making this the closest AMD has come to an NVIDIA flagship card in quite some time.

Finally, from a market perspective, AMD will be going after a few different categories with the R9 Fury X. As competition for the GTX 980 Ti, AMD is focusing on 4K resolution gaming, based on a combination of the fact that 4K monitors are becoming increasingly affordable, 4K Freesync monitors are finally available, and relative to NVIDIA’s wares, AMD fares the best at 4K. Expect to see AMD also significantly play up the VR possibilities of the R9 Fury X, though the major VR headset, the Oculus Rift, won’t ship until Q1 of 2016. Finally, it has now been over three years since the launch of the original Radeon HD 7970, so for buyers looking for an update AMD’s first 28nm card, Fury X is in a good position to offer the kind of generational performance improvements that typically justify an upgrade.

Sours: https://www.anandtech.com/show/9390/the-amd-radeon-r9-fury-x-review

AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X kicks ass.

It’s important to note that right up front, because AMD’s graphics division has had a rough year or so. The company’s been forced to watch Nvidia release not one, not two, but five new GeForce graphics cards—the entire GTX 900-series line—since the Radeon R9 285 launched last September. What’s more, those GeForce cards delivered so much performance and sipped so little power that all AMD could do in response was steeply slash prices of its Radeon R200-series graphics cards to stay competitive. And AMD’s “new” Radeon R300-series cards are basically just tweaked versions of the R200-series GPUs with more memory.

Through it all, the promise of the water-cooled Radeon R9 Fury X glimmered as the light at the end of the tunnel, first through unofficial leaks and then through official reveals. It’ll have cutting-edge high-bandwidth memory! It’ll have a new Fiji graphics processor with an insane 4,096 stream processors! It’ll have an integrated closed-loop water cooler! It’ll play 4K games and go toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s beastly Titan X and GTX 980 Ti!

And it’s all true. Every last bit of it. The Radeon R9 Fury X kicks ass.

It’s not quite the walk-off home run that Team Red enthusiasts were hoping for, however—and AMD’s claim that the Fury X is “an overclocker’s dream” definitely does not pass muster.

Let’s dig in.

AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X under the hood

hbm memory

There isn’t much mystery to the Fury X’s technical specifications at this point. AMD long ago provided a deep-dive into the card’s HBM implementation and described the Fury X’s technical and design details with loving exactness just last week. We’ll cover the high points here, but check out our previous coverage if you’re looking for more details.

The most notable technical aspect of the Fury X is its use of high-bandwidth memory, making it the first graphics card to adopt HBM. AMD says it’s been developing the technology for seven years, and Nvidia’s not expected to embrace similar technology until 2016 at the earliest, when its Pascal GPUs launch.

HBM stacks DRAM dies one atop the other, then connects everything with the GPU using “through-silicon vias” and “µbumps” (microbumps). The stacking lets 1GB of HBM consume a whopping 94-percent less on-board surface area than 1GB of standard GDDR5 memory, which enabled AMD to make the Fury X a full 30-percent shorter than the Radeon R9 290X.

hbm space savings gddr5

While GDDR5 memory rocks high clock speeds (up to 7Gbps) and uses a smaller interface to connect the GPU—384-bit, or 512-bit in high-end graphics cards—HBM takes the opposite approach. The Fury X’s memory is clocked at a mere 1Gbps, but travels over a ridonkulously wide 4,096-bit bus to deliver effective memory bandwidth of 512GBps, compared to the GTX 980 Ti’s 336.5GBps. All that memory bandwidth makes for great 4K gaming, though it doesn’t give the Fury X a clear edge over the 980 Ti when it comes to games, as we’ll see later.

Technological limitations capped this first-gen HBM at just 4GB of capacity. While AMD CTO Joe Macri told us in May that’s all developers really need for now, it definitely proved to be a problem in our testing when playing games that gobbled up more than 4GB of RAM—Grand Theft Auto V, specifically. Gaming at 4K resolution can eat up memory fast once you’ve enabled any sort of anti-aliasing.

amd radeon fiji gpu
amd radeon fury x specs

Moving past memory, AMD’s new “Fiji” GPU is nothing short of a beast, packed to the gills with a whopping 4,096 stream processors—compared to the R9 290X’s 2,816—and 8.9 billion transistors. It’s clocked at 1,050MHz, promises 8.6 teraflops of compute performance, and draws 275 watts of power through two 8-pin power connectors that can draw up to 375W. Again, our previous coverage has much more info if you’re interested.

The Radeon R9 Fury X over the hood

AMD spared no expense on the physical design of the Fury X, either. The 7.5-inch card is built from multiple pieces of die-cast aluminum, then finished with a black nickel gloss on the exoskeleton and soft-touch black everywhere else. Everything’s covered, even the sides and back of the card. There’s not even an exhaust grille on the I/O plate, which rocks a trio of full-sized DisplayPorts and an HDMI port that’s sadly limited to the HDMI 1.4a specification. The decision not to go with HDMI 2.0 limits 4K video output to 30Hz through the HDMI port, so gamers will want to stick to using the DisplayPorts.

amd radeon fury x backplate

You’ll find an illuminated red Radeon logo on the outer edge and face of the card, along with a new “GPU Tach” (as in “tachometer”) feature that places 8 small red LEDs above the power connections. The harder you push the card, the more LEDs light up. It’s super-dumb but honestly, it thrilled me to no end watching those little LEDs flare to life when booting up a game. There’s also a small green LED next to those that illuminates when AMD’s ZeroCore technology puts the Fury X to sleep. This thing screams “premium.”

That extends to the Fury X’s cooling system. Rather than going with a typical air-cooling solution, with a fan or blower, the Fury X utilizes an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler that’s basically a more refined version of the beastly Radeon R9 295×2’s water-cooling setup. It’s a slick custom design built in conjunction with Cooler Master, rocking a 120mm fan from Nidec on the radiator. AMD says the cooler itself is rated for up to 500W of thermal capacity.

amd radeon fury x with cooler

Deploying water-cooling indeed keeps the Fury X running nice and cool. Despite AMD’s claim that the fan stays more than 10 decibels quieter than the Titan X’s air-cooled blower, however, I was surprised by just how much noise it puts out. Subjectively—as I don’t have a decibel meter on hand—the Fury X’s radiator fan creates more sound than the fan on Nvidia’s reference GTX 980 Ti and AMD’s own R9 295×2, though I still wouldn’t call it loud.

The braided cables connecting the radiator to the card itself are a nice touch and far more aesthetically appealing than the R9 295×2’s plastic tubes. Be mindful of where you place the discrete radiator/fan combo, however: At 2.5 inches of total width (the same as the R9 295×2’s), they jut far enough into the case of PCWorld’s GPU testing machine to bang against our CPU’s closed-loop liquid cooling. 

Final design note: You won’t be able to buy aftermarket variants of the Fury X with custom cooling or hefty overclocks applied by add-in board vendors like Asus or Sapphire. AMD says the Fury X is a reference design only, though the air-cooled Radeon R9 Fury scheduled for a July 14 release will have vendor-customized designs available.

Continue to the next page for overclocking results discussion and performance testing benchmarks.

The elephant in the room

Normally, this is where I’d leap into gaming benchmarks, but I wanted to talk about a more advanced issue first: overclocking.

With power pins capable of sucking down 100W of additional energy, a liquid-cooling solution rated for up to 500W of thermal capacity, and a redesigned AMD PowerTune/OverDrive that gives you more control over fine-tuning your card’s capabilities, the Radeon R9 Fury X seems tailor-made for hefty overclocking. Heck, AMD even touted the card’s overclockability (that’s a word, right?) at its E3 unveiling. “You’ll be able to overclock this thing like no tomorrow,” AMD CTO Joe Macri said. “This is an overclocker’s dream.”

That’s… well, that’s just not true, at least for the review sample I was given.

I was only able to push my Fury X from its 1,050MHz stock clock up to 1100MHz, a very modest bump that added a mere 1 to 2 frames per second of performance in gaming benchmarks. You can’t touch the HBM’s memory clock—AMD locked it down. And any time I tried upping the Fury X’s power limit in AMD’s PowerTune utility, even by 1 percent, instability instantly ensued.

amd radeon fury x split view

An AMD representative told me that “We had a very limited number of OC boards.” When I asked whether there will be different variants of the Fury X, given this “OC board” talk, I was told that there will only be one SKU, and it’s the usual “silicon lottery” when it comes to your GPU’s overclocking capabilities. (Overclocking capabilities vary from individual GPU to individual GPU; another Fury X could have much more headroom than ours, for example.)

All that said, we’ve heard through the grapevine that we’re not the only ones experiencing disappointing overclocks with the Fury X, either. So if you’re considering picking up a Fury X, peruse the following gaming benchmarks knowing that you may not be able to eke out additional performance via overclocking.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X gaming benchmarks

Enough preamble! Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

As with all of our graphics card reviews, I benchmarked the Radeon R9 Fury X on PCWorld’s GPU testing system, which contains:

As far as the games go, we used the in-game benchmarks provided with each, utilizing the stock graphics settings mentioned unless otherwise noted. We focused on 4K gaming results for this review. 

I’ve compared the Fury X against Nvidia’s reference GeForce 980 Ti, GeForce 980, and the $1000 Titan X, as well as AMD’s older Radeon R9 290X and the Radeon R9 295×2, which packs two of the “Hawaii” GPUs found in the R9 290X. I’ve also included some benchmarks from a card that we won’t have a formal review for until later this week: EVGA’s $680 GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+, an aftermarket version of the GTX 980 Ti that sports EVGA’s popular ACX 2.0+ dual-fan cooling system.

evga 980 ti superclocked

EVGA sent me the GTX 980 Ti SC+ on the same day AMD passed me the Fury X—pure coincidence, I’m sure. We’ll dissect it in full detail in our review later this week, but basically, the ACX 2.0 cooler helps EVGA’s model run a full 9 degrees Celsius cooler than the 980 Ti reference design, which in turn let EVGA crank the GPU’s core clock up to 1,102MHz base, which boosts to 1,190MHz when needed. The stock GTX 980 Ti packs 1,000MHz base and 1,075MHz boost clocks, for reference.

Spoiler alert: This EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ is a beast that outpunches both the Fury X and Titan X itself—something EVGA was no doubt aware of when it sent me the card just in time to coincide with the Fury X launch.

But remember: Even if the EVGA card is more beastly, the Fury X still kicks ass.

Housekeeping notes: You can click on any graph in this article to enlarge it. Note that only 4K results are listed here due to time constraints, but I can drop 2560×1440 resolution benchmarks for the Fury X in the comments if anybody’s interested. (With the exception of Sleeping DogsDragon Age, and GTA V on ultra settings—all of which hover in the 40 to 50 fps range—the Fury X clears 70 fps in every other tested gaming benchmark at that resolution.)

Let’s kick things off with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. This nifty little game gobbled down tons of industry awards and, more importantly for our purpose, offers an optional Ultra HD textures pack that is only recommended for cards with 6GB or more of onboard memory. That doesn’t hinder the Fury X’s ability to come out swinging with slightly higher frame rates than the reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti—no small feat, especially when the game opens with a splash page championing Nvidia technology.

The game was tested at Medium and High quality graphics presets, then by using the Ultra HD Texture pack and manually cranking every graphics option to its highest available setting, which Shadow of Mordor’s Ultra setting doesn’t actually do. The R9 295×2 consistently crashes every time I attempt to change Mordor’s resolution or graphics settings, hence the zero scores. (Ah, the joys of multi-GPU setups.)

shadow of mordor fury x

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition absolutely murders graphics cards when the graphics settings are set to Extreme at high resolutions. Only the dual-GPU Radeon R9 295×2 hits 30 fps at 4K resolution, though the Fury X hangs with its Nvidia counterparts.

sleeping dogs fury x

The Fury X also hangs tight with the reference GTX 980 Ti in Metro Last Light Redux, which we test with PhysX and the frame rate-killing SSAA options disabled. EVGA’s version of the GTX 980 Ti trumps all single-GPU comers, though the dual-GPU Radeon R9 295×2 fires on all cylinders in this title.

metro last light redux fury x

Again, the Fury X and reference 980 Ti are neck and neck in Alien Isolation, a game that scales well across all hardware types and falls under AMD’s Gaming Evolved brand.

alien isolation fury x review

The gorgeous Dragon Age: Inquisition also partnered with AMD at its launch, but Nvidia’s cards maintain a clear lead here. Note that the R9 295×2 apparently doesn’t have a working CrossFire profile for the game, so it drops down to using a single GPU.

dragon age inquisition fury x

The same goes for Sniper Elite 3. Note that we didn’t have a chance to test the reference GTX 980 Ti here.

sniper elite 3 fury x

We also tested the Fury X and EVGA’s 980 Ti Superclocked+ in Grand Theft Auto V, because the game is notorious for demanding more than 4GB of memory—HBM’s top capacity—at high resolutions.

We tested the game three ways at 4K resolution. First, by cranking all the sliders and graphics settings to their highest settings, then enabling 4x MSAA and 4X reflections MSAA in order to hit , of RAM usage; then, using the same settings but disabling all MSAA to drop the memory usage to 4,029MB, just under the Fury X’s limit; and then by testing the Fury X’s chops at normal graphics settings with MSAA disabled, which consumes 1,985MB of memory. (We didn’t have time to benchmark any other cards, alas.)

gta v fury x

The EVGA card pounds the Fury X here—no wonder GTA V wasn’t included in the reviewer’s guide benchmarks AMD provided for the Fury X last week. But the frame rate averages alone don’t show the full experience: When GTA V was pushed to consume more memory than the Fury X has onboard, the experience became extremely stuttery, choppy, and graphically glitchy as the card offloaded duties to system memory, which is far slower than HBM.

That’s to be expected when a game’s memory use exceeds the onboard capabilities of a graphics card, however, which was a big part of the reason gamers were in such a tizzy over the GTX 970’s segmented memory setup earlier this year, in which the last 0.5GB of the card’s 4GB of RAM performs much slower than the rest.

Continue to the next page for the conclusion of our Fury X performance testing, and final thoughts about AMD’s new flagship.

I also tested the systems using three synthetic, but well-respected benchmarking tools: 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra, as well as Unigine’s Valley. As AMD promised, the Fury X comes out ahead of the reference GTX 980 Ti in Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra, beating even the EVGA variant at the former, perhaps due to HBM’s speed—though the tables are turned in the Valley results.

unigine valley fury x
3dmark fire strike fury x
3dmark fire strike ultra fury x

To test power and thermal information, I run the grueling Furmark benchmark for 15 minutes, taking temperature information at the end using Furmark’s built-in tool and double-checking it with SpeedFan. Power is measured on a whole-system basis, instead of the GPU alone, by plugging the PC into a Watts Up meter rather than the wall socket.

power use fury x

As you can see, the Fury X may technically need only 275W for what AMD calls “typical gaming scenarios” but it draws much, much more under Furmark’s worst-case scenario—nearly as much as two GTX 980s (not Tis) in SLI. It drew even more power than the dual-GPU Radeon 295×2.

gpu temp fury x

On the positive side, the Fury X runs extremely cool, hitting 56 degrees Celsius max after several hours of overclocking. There would be plenty of room for overclocking… if the chip itself overclocked worth a damn.

Bottom line

So there you have it: Between the new Fiji GPU and the inclusion of HBM, AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X enters the rarefied air of single-GPU cards capable enough to play games at 4K resolutions with high graphics detail settings enabled—an exclusive club containing only it, the GTX 980 Ti, and the Titan X. (Like the Titan X and 980 Ti, the Fury X struggles to hit a full 60fps at 4K/high, however, so if you opt to pick one up you should consider picking up a new 4K FreeSync monitor to go with it.)

One more time: The Fury X kicks ass! Both technically and aesthetically. AMD needed a hit, and the Fury X is sure to be one with Team Red enthusiasts.

That said, it’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed about some aspects of the card—though that may have to do more with AMD’s failure to manage expectations for it.

amd radeon fury x front view

After hearing about HBM’s lofty technical numbers for months, it’s disappointing to see little to no pure gaming benefits from all that bandwidth. After seeing the tech specs and hearing AMD’s Joe Macri wax poetic about the Fury X’s overclocking potential, it’s majorly disappointing to see it fail so hard on that front, crappy silicon lottery draw or no. And while 6GB of RAM is still overkill for the vast majority of today’s games, it’s disappointing to see the Fury X limited to just 4GB of capacity when some of today’s games are starting to blow through that at the 4K resolution that AMD’s new flagship is designed for, as evidenced by our GTA V results.

The timely arrival of EVGA’s custom GTX 980 Ti, which beats both AMD and Nvidia’s reference flagships in raw benchmarks, also takes some of the wind out of the Fury X’s sails—wind that can’t be countered by AMD’s own hardware partners, because the Fury X is limited to reference designs alone.

No, the Fury X isn’t Titan-killer that Team Red fans hoped it would be—but it is a GTX 980 Ti equal. This is nothing short of a powerful, thoughtful graphics card that once again puts AMD Radeon on equal footingwith Nvidia’s gaming finest. Being one of the most powerful graphics cards ever created is nothing to sneeze at, especially when AMD wrapped it all up in such a lovingly designed package.

AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X kicks ass… even if it doesn’t make Nvidia’s high-end offerings obsolete.

Sours: https://www.pcworld.com/article/428220/amd-radeon-r9-fury-x-graphics-card-review-amds-thoughtful-4k-powerhouse.html
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AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi?

Introduction & History Lesson on Fiji

It has been nearly 5 years since AMD released the Fiji GPU architecture, the first graphics card with HBM technology, and the flagship Radeon R9 Fury X. The company has almost shed its former skin since then and been completely reborn, almost like a Big Bang in itself.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 103 | TweakTown.com

VIEW GALLERY - 61 IMAGES

In this testing, I wanted to cover graphics cards from years ago right through to the new Turing-based GeForce RTX 2000 series cards and the flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and Radeon RX 5700 XT on the Navi architecture. I've included older-gen cards with the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 900 series led by the GTX 980 Ti, as well as the Pascal architecture with GeForce GTX 1000 series cards and its flagship GTX 1080 Ti.

I've also included AMD's first RTG graphics card in the Radeon RX 400 series led by the Radeon RX 480 -- and their refreshes in the Radeon RX 580 and RX 590. Not just that, but the Radeon RX Vega 56 and Vega 64 -- as well as the first 7nm GPU in the Radeon VII and its 16GB of HBM2 memory.

I thought I would include as many graphics cards as I could from across multiple generations, so I've included:

  • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (11GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (8GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (8GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (8GB)
  • GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB)
  • MSI GTX 1660 Ti GAMING X (6GB)
  • MSI GTX 1660 SUPER GAMING X (6GB)
  • MSI GTX 1650 SUPER GAMING X (4GB)
  • MSI GTX 1650 GAMING X (4GB)
  • Radeon RX 5700 XT (8GB)
  • Radeon RX 5700 (8GB)
  • MSI RX 5600 XT GAMING X (8GB)
  • MSI RX 5500 XT GAMING X (8GB)
  • Radeon VII (16GB)
  • Radeon RX Vega 64 LCE (8GB)
  • Radeon RX Vega 64 AIR (8GB)
  • Radeon RX Vega 56 AIR (8GB)
  • Radeon R9 Fury X (4GB)
  • MSI RX 590 MECH 2 (8GB)
  • MSI RX 580 MECH 2 (8GB)
  • MSI RX 570 MECH 2 (8GB)
  • Radeon RX 480 (8GB)
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB)
  • GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB)
  • GeForce GTX 1070Ti (8GB)
  • GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB)
  • GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)
  • GeForce GTX 980 Ti (6GB)

History Lesson on Fiji

History Lesson on Fiji -- The Last 5 Years of Radeon

We've seen AMD move away from its head-first dive into the world of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which it moved from Fiji to Vega and used HBM2, but then from Vega to Navi we saw the company shift to GDDR6 memory. This has been a big deal for the company, along with the huge change from the GCN (GraphicsCore Next) architecture to the RDNA architecture that powers Navi (and the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles).

I exclusively reported back in June 2018 that AMD would be powering the next-gen Sony PlayStation 5 console with a semi-custom design based on the Zen CPU and Navi GPU architectures. AMD since then, has really turned things around -- but a history lesson up until that point is below.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 103 | TweakTown.com

AMD has since gone from having its CPU range go from 'not really bothering with, Intel is so much more superior' to 'uh yeah, so which Ryzen CPU did you buy this time'. Oh how life has changed for AMD -- now commanding over 50% of premium CPU sales worldwide, and it's not just Ryzen -- it's Threadripper and EPYC knocking down door after door at Intel.

Radeon on the other hand? This is where the idea for re-looking at the Radeon R9 Fury X (my review here) came from. It has been nearly 5 years to the day that AMD released the Radeon R9 Fury X -- and the world has changed (in so many other ways, too). NVIDIA has been completely dominant since 2015 -- hell, even more so.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 102 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA has gone from stride to stride with its graphics card launches, no matter the hype and anger at pricing of the Turing-based GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (my review here). They flew off shelves because gamers were, and will always be, thirsty for the best of the best. AMD hasn't had a best of the best graphics card for a very long time -- and at the time, the Radeon R9 Fury X was meant to be just that -- the best of the best.

And we all know how that played out.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 105 | TweakTown.com

The Radeon R9 Fury X was a $649 mess, muddled with pre-installed AIO cooling because the card ran so hot -- and a million other issues. It was a good performer, but it didn't keep NVIDIA up at night either. NVIDIA responded, and kept responding, pushing AMD into Vega.

We all know how Vega went.

AMD released the Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64 (my review here) and the launch was so-so at best. They weren't popular, and really only dominated in cryptocurrency mining. Which, at the time, was absolutely exploding. The crazy HBM2 tech on the Vega GPU was not really utilized well, and then GDDR5X and eventually GDDR6 came and knocked its doors down.

NVIDIA kept responding, and kept responding -- and kept pushing harder down on AMD until the company nailed the next-gen console contracts. The semi-custom design win allowed AMD to have flex some of its muscle with RDNA and the Navi GPU architecture. The shift to GDDR6 was a big win for graphics card fans and enthusiasts, as well as gamers -- as it will be the lifeblood of the next-gen consoles and the next few waves of graphics cards.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 101 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA is already pushing the boundaries of near 20Gbps on current GDDR6 tech, and we should expect AMD to get far closer to that with RDNA2-based Navi 2X graphics cards later this year.

But at the time, AMD pushed and pushed that HBM was going to be the savior of everything -- and that HBCC would knock our socks off.

Once again, we all know how that went -- it was all marketing BS.

Or was it?

HBCC has no benefits to PC gamers outside of a few benchmarks and resolutions where it provides a few % more performance, but now we're seeing something very similar play out on next-gen consoles. The mix of PCIe 4.0 connectivity with a super-charged NVMe SSD and super-fast GDDR6 acting as huge chunks of ridiculously fast cache? That sounds like HBCC... or something at least close to it.

NVIDIA is also rumored to unveil something called NVCache, which sounds much like HBCC, with its next-gen Ampere GPU-based GeForce RTX 3080 Ti -- and other RTX 3000 series cards, later this year when it unveils the new family of graphics cards in September 2020.

AMD after that shed most of its Radeon Technologies Group team -- a team that was created to shield themselves from AMD as a whole. The team disbanded after Vega didn't make the waves it promised after Fiji (and the Radeon R9 Fury X that I'm about to look at today).

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 104 | TweakTown.com

RTG disbanded and most of them went off to workwith Intel -- the largest of which being GPU architect Raja Koduri -- and its new adventures into discrete GPUs with its new Xe architecture. Some of those folks eventually left AMD to work for other companies after a few months, and now we have a new team at AMD that hasn't really had the band together -- and won't get the chance because of COVID-19.

AMD will have a mystery release later this year for RDNA2 (more on that here) and its new, and what should eventuate in the Radeon RX 6000 series cards. My sources have told me there will be no media event for this release, the first time in over a decade (or more) that no media event will be held for a new family of graphics cards being released.

Without further ado, let's move into the rest of our re-look at the Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card and see how it keeps up in 2020.

Benchmarks - Synthetic

GPU Test Rig Specs

Welcome to the latest revision of our GPU test bed, with our system being upgraded from the Intel Core i7-7700K to the Core i7-8700K. The CPU is cooled by the Corsair H115i PRO cooler, with the 8700K overclocked to 5GHz. We've stayed with GIGABYTE for our motherboard with their awesome Z370 AORUS Gaming 7.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1060 | TweakTown.com

We approached our friends at HyperX for a kit of their kick ass HyperX Predator DDR4-2933MHz RAM (HX429C15PB3AK4/32), with 2 x 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB DDR4-2933. The RAM stands out through every minute of our testing as it has beautiful RGB lights giving the system a slick look while benchmarking our lives away, while the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard joins in with its own array of RGB lighting.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1061 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's Test System Specifications

Additional Images

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1063 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1064 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1065 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1066 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4000 | TweakTown.com

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 01 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1440p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 02 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 4K

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 03 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 04 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy Extreme

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 05 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven benchmark

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 06 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1440p

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 07 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 4K

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 08 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p

1080p Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 17 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 11 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 20 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 14 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

We have some good performance at 1080p with the Radeon R9 Fury X in the VRAM intensive Middle-earth: Shadow of War, with 70FPS average -- but the Radeon RX 5500 XT comes in and knocks that down with its sub $200 kick ass performance with 89FPS average.

The gap disappears entirely at 1080p in Metro Exodus, with 40FPS flat for both the R9 Fury X and RX 5500 XT, as well as the RX 580 and GTX 980 Ti. 40FPS average is the flavor of the month for those cards.

Far Cry New Dawn sees the Radeon R9 Fury X tying with the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER with 77FPS average, 2FPS up from the Radeon RX 580 and 5FPS slower than the Radeon RX 590.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an AMD friendly title, but the Radeon R9 Fury X falls behind here with 68FPS average, bringing it down to the same 68FPS average as the GeForce GTX 1060. The Radeon RX 5500 XT is miles away at 82FPS average.

Benchmarks - 1440p

1440p Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 16 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 10 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 19 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 13 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Starting with Shadow of War, the Radeon R9 Fury X barely beats the GeForce GTX 1650, and gets demolished by the Radeon RX 5500 XT -- we're looking at 51FPS average for the Fury X and 61FPS average for the RX 5500 XT. The Radeon RX 5700 XT for comparison, hits 91FPS here at 1440p in Shadow of War.

Metro Exodus is hard on any graphics card, with the Radeon R9 Fury X maintaining 33FPS average at 1440p -- identical results to the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, and 1FPS behind the Radeon RX 590.

Far Cry New Dawn nearly hits that magic 60FPS mark at 1440p on the Radeon R9 Fury X, failing to beat the RX 590 -- and keeps up better with the RX 5500 XT here but still loses to it.

We have just 48FPS at 1440p in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, losing to the RX 570 this time -- and getting its ass handed to it by the RX 5500 XT which achieves 56FPS average.

Benchmarks - 4K

4K Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 15 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 09 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 18 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 12 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

This is what I'm here for: 4K or 3840 x 2160.

AMD touted that its HBM and HBCC technologies would work wonders in high resolution gaming scenarios, so let's see how it holds up 5 years later.

Oh yeah -- it sucks.

Shadow of War? 33FPS average, beating out the Radeon RX 570/580/590 finally, but losing to the GTX 1070 and RX 5500 XT graphics cards. The Radeon RX 5700 XT on the other hand pushes out a much better 55FPS average.

The Radeon R9 Fury X gets it ass handed to it in Metro Exodus, where it is only capable of 15FPS at 4K. It matches the Radeon RX 480 (hah) but loses to every single Radeon RX 500 series card (haha). The Radeon RX 5500 XT has 20FPS here, while the flagship Navi-based Radeon RX 5700 XT pushes ahead with 33FPS average.

Far Cry New Dawn is still hardcore on the R9 Fury X, which manages just 26FPS average at 4K -- identical to the RX 570, and 3FPS behind the RX 580. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is just 1FPS off of 30FPS, this time matching the RX 5500 XT for once.

Benchmarks - Synthetic (Radeon Only)

GPU Test Rig Specs

Welcome to the latest revision of our GPU test bed, with our system being upgraded from the Intel Core i7-7700K to the Core i7-8700K. The CPU is cooled by the Corsair H115i PRO cooler, with the 8700K overclocked to 5GHz. We've stayed with GIGABYTE for our motherboard with their awesome Z370 AORUS Gaming 7.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1060 | TweakTown.com

We approached our friends at HyperX for a kit of their kick ass HyperX Predator DDR4-2933MHz RAM (HX429C15PB3AK4/32), with 2 x 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB DDR4-2933. The RAM stands out through every minute of our testing as it has beautiful RGB lights giving the system a slick look while benchmarking our lives away, while the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard joins in with its own array of RGB lighting.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1061 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's Test System Specifications

Additional Images

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1063 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1064 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1065 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 1066 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4000 | TweakTown.com

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 201 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1440p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 202 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 4K

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 203 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 204 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy Extreme

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 205 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven benchmark

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 206 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1440p

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 207 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 4K

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 208 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p (Radeon Only)

1080p Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 217 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 211 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 220 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 214 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

I decided to spend many more hours on benchmark charts for you guys, so I could illustrate in the previous pages how the Radeon R9 Fury X stacks up against ALL of the graphics cards -- but in these charts, I've used only AMD Radeon graphics cards to see how the Fury X stacks up against its own Radeon brethren.

Starting with Shadow of War at 1080p we see the higher memory bandwidth of the HBM2-based Radeon RX Vega 56 and Vega 64 as well as the Radeon VII pulling way far and out from the Fury X. The faster GDDR6 memory on the Navi-based Radeon RX 5000 series cards see it soar ahead of the HBM(1) on the Fury X.

The same goes for Metro Exodus, where the HBM2/GDDR6 based Radeon cards pull way ahead -- the previous-gen and HBM1-based cards are stuck at 44FPS and below here at 1080p.

Far Cry New Dawn is a little more forgiving, but we still see the Radeon R9 Fury X falling in between the Radeon RX 500 series cards. But wow-oh-wow, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (which is an AMD friendly game) smacks the R9 Fury X all over the place -- it is the second slowest Radeon in the stack losing to the Radeon RX 480.

Benchmarks - 1440p (Radeon Only)

1440p Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 216 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 210 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 219 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 213 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

I decided to spend many more hours on benchmark charts for you guys, so I could illustrate in the previous pages how the Radeon R9 Fury X stacks up against ALL of the graphics cards -- but in these charts, I've used only AMD Radeon graphics cards to see how the Fury X stacks up against its own Radeon brethren.

We should see the Radeon R9 Fury X scale up and take some wins the higher the resolution we go, with Shadow of War seeing the Fury X beating out the Radeon RX 480, RX 570, RX 580, and RX 590. It loses still to the new GDDR6-packed Radeon RX 5500 XT by 10FPS at 1440p.

Metro Exodus sees similar drops, with the Fury X falling under the Radeon RX 590, with 33FPS average -- losing by 1FPS to the RX 590. The Radeon RX 5500 XT actually loses to the Fury X here -- but by a single frame per second.

Far Cry New Dawn sees AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X being the fourth-slowest card in the AMD Radeon cards, with the Radeon RX 5500 XT being 3FPS faster at 1440p. The AMD-friendly Shadow of the Tomb Raider has the Fury X falling off a cliff down to 48FPS average, just 5FPS better than the RX 480 -- and 8FPS slower than the RX 5500 XT.

Benchmarks - 4K (Radeon Only)

4K Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 215 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 209 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4015 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry New Dawn was developed by Ubisoft, and is powered the Dunia Engine, an engine that has been modified over the years for Far Cry and last used in Far Cry 5. Dunia Engine itself was a modified version of CRYENGINE, scaling incredibly well on all sorts of hardware.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 218 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 212 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

I decided to spend many more hours on benchmark charts for you guys, so I could illustrate in the previous pages how the Radeon R9 Fury X stacks up against ALL of the graphics cards -- but in these charts, I've used only AMD Radeon graphics cards to see how the Fury X stacks up against its own Radeon brethren.

Alright, we're at the business end of the benchmarks now -- with the Radeon R9 Fury X hitting 33FPS in Shadow of War at 4K, beating the lower-end Radeon RX 500 series cards but losing to the Radeon RX 5500 XT at 36FPS.

Metro Exodus punishes everything you throw at it, with the Fury X tripping over itself to even provide 15FPS at 4K -- the same result as the RX 480 -- and 5FPS slower than the Radeon RX 5500 XT.

Far Cry New Dawn isn't much better, with the Radeon R9 Fury X achieving 26FPS -- the same as the RX 570 and 1FPS better than the RX 480. It loses to the RX 580 with 29FPS, and to the RX 5500 XT with 31FPS.

Things are a tiny bit better for the Fury X in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, with 29FPS at 4K -- this time the R9 Fury X matches the RX 5500 XT but loses to the RX 580 and RX 590 graphics cards.

Temps & Power

Temperatures

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 222 | TweakTown.com

You'd be surprised: Fury X runs pretty damn cool at just 58C. It's the coolest card on my charts next to the just-reviewed ASUS TUF Gaming X3 OC Radeon RX 5700 graphics card with its revised thermal solution. You can read the full review on that here.

But damn, 58C.

AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X might not win performance crowns, but it wins the thermal performance here. Remember, it does have a huge AIO cooler and I'm not a fan (if you'll pardon the pun) of that. I'd rather an air-cooled card for convenience, but the thermal performance here is warranted -- 58C is a stellar achievement.

Power Consumption

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 111 | TweakTown.com

It's not overly power hungry, but it still sees my Intel Core i7-8700K test bed chewing up to 300W under load. This puts it above the Radeon RX 5700 XT reference card, and just under an overclocked Radeon RX 5700 XT -- but with far less performance.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it -- another look at AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X that launched 5 years ago now. How does it perform? It is alright, nothing surprising -- it hasn't aged well in a world of mid-range cards that not only keep up performance wise, but also offer that important increase in frame buffer with 8GB of VRAM.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 107 | TweakTown.com

AMD launched the Radeon R9 Fury X in a world where 4K gaming was only just becoming a thing, and high refresh rate 1080p and 1440 monitors were launching. Well, now we live in a world where those are aplenty, and even 4K 120Hz and above displays are now a reality.

HBM might have been a technological marvel at the time, and HBCC was pretty much marketing fluff -- but from a technological perspective I still admire what AMD was able to achieve with the Radeon R9 Fury X. The first graphics card with HBM memory, and it was an impressive feat.

But even that fan-dangled HBM technology isn't enough when even at 1080p the Fury X gets smashed by mid-range cards like the Radeon RX 590 and GeForce GTX 1070. Hell, the new Radeon RX 5500 XT is superior in virtually every single test. That goes to show how far AMD has come architecturally from Fiji to Navi.

AMD has come a very long way with its GPU architectures since 2015, leading right up into 2019 when it launched its new Navi GPU architecture and the flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT. The RX 5700 XT blows the R9 Fury X out of the water, with Navi being so much better in so many ways that even the lowest end member of the RX 5000 series family beats the Fury X.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X: How Does It Stack Up In 2020 Against Navi? 106 | TweakTown.com

The Radeon RX 5500 XT launched at $199 with 8GB of RAM and it beats the Radeon R9 Fury X which launched at $649 with 4GB of RAM. AMD has come a very long way when it comes to giving gamers some kick ass value for money, and the Radeon RX 5500 XT shows just how far the company has come.

  • 2015 -- Fiji GPU + 4GB HBM2 = $649
  • 2020 -- Navi GPU + 8GB GDDR6 = $199

All this does for me is make me want to see what RDNA 2 turns out to be like, and these retrospective looks are always fun. The next one in line will be another look at the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition -- which is another fun release from AMD.

Anthony Garreffa

Anthony Garreffa

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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RX 580 Vs. R9 Fury X Vs. GTX 1660 - 1080p Gaming Benchmarks

Radeon R9 Fury X 4G

  • Graphics Processing Unit
  • Interface
  • Core Clocks
  • Memory Speed
  • Memory Size
  • Memory Type
  • Memory Bus
  • HDCP Support
  • Power consumption
  • Power connectors
  • Recommended PSU
  • Card Dimension (mm)
  • Weight (Card / Package)
  • DirectX Version Support
  • OpenGL Version Support
  • Multi-GPU Technology
  • Maximum Displays
  • HDMI Connectors
  • DisplayPort
  • Accessories
1 (version 1.4a)
Max Resolution: 4096x2160 @24 Hz (1.4a)
3 (version 1.2)
Max Resolution: 4096x2160 @60 Hz
6-pin to 8-pin Power cable x 2
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AMD Eyefinity Technology

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MSI Afterburner Overclocking Utility

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Fury x amd

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R9 Fury-X vs GTX 980 Ti vs RTX 2060 - Tested in 11 games in 1080p 1440p 4K - Ryzen 5 2600 @3.9GHz

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