AMD’s E3 Press Conference, Fury X Launch and More
The computer scene has been notoriously absent from E3 until today. Does that mean it should be called E4? I guess not since it’s the Electronic Entertainment Expo. E3+C? I’m not sure, but amidst the announcement of numerous console titles, AMD was able to take the show floor and announce their new line-up of graphics cards. Reviews will give us the official verdict, but based on what I’m seeing, I think enthusiasts everywhere have plenty of reasons to be excited. Please welcome AMD’s Fury series, the R9 300 series, and a little surprise known as the Project Quantum!
The new Fiji architecture is shaping up to be a serious contender in the GPU market. The flagship model, the Fury X, has 4 GBs of stacked HBM while packing a massive 4096 stream processors. The Fury is just slightly cut down with 3584 stream processors. The flagship model will only come with a liquid cooler, but the smaller sibling will have an air cooler. WCCF Tech did some estimates on performance in overall gaming which seemingly puts the Fury X on top of the pile and while we’ll have to wait for the official reviews on the 24th, the Fiji core isn’t looking too shabby at the time being. Meanwhile, while the power rating is still up there at 275W, the card maintains a modest 50c temperature and is being described as an overclocker’s dream. The other interesting bit is the launch prices of $649 and $549 respectively, which looks to be pretty fair considering the estimated performance. AMD also added a surprise launch in the Fury line-up called the Fury Nano. This little guy is half the size and half the power of the R9 290X, all while still offering better performance. We’ll just have to wait on the detailed specs until later.
Next up we have the R9 300 series. These are all re-brands with some slight optimizations and while this was disappointing at first, the price points and performance are actually pretty good. The R9 390X is poised to sit in between the GTX 980 and GTX 970. With 8 GBs memory, the card is designed to give consumers with 4k resolution in mind a more tempting offer. The R9 390, on the other hand, is directly competing with the GTX 970. At $329, AMD is claiming a 10% boost over it’s counter part while still offering 8 GBs of memory for higher resolutions. The same sort of thing is happening with the R9 380, which is releasing at around $199 and offering users a slight boost over the GTX 960. Once again, we’ll have to wait for a good set of reviews to verify claims, but if performance is on par with NVIDIA, the GPU market is going to be very competitive which is great news for us. Check out the graph for the rest of the specifications and pricing structures.
Finally, we have something that took the hardware communities completely by surprise. It seems that no one had heard of Project Quantum until today, although it’s no surprise that AMD would be working on something like this. AMD is putting two full Fiji XT GPUs in one card to make the Fury X2 (unconfirmed), what should be the most powerful graphics card in existence when it releases. Based on the initial temperatures of the Fury X and an estimated 17+ Teraflops computing power, this card should be an absolute beast. Each die will contain the 4 GBs of HBM and if DirectX 12 makes a good start this year, every ounce of that hardware will be fully utilized for future gaming. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for release dates and performance tests, but Project Quantum looks to have some serious credibility in the ultra-enthusiast market.
So there you have it! That’s a lot of confirmation with AMD’s news conference today. I don’t believe anybody will be saying that NVIDIA is getting blown away, but I believe the market is getting more competitive than it has been in a long time. The other great thing about today’s news is the introduction of HBM. The smaller form factors, amazing bandwidth and low power ratings are shaping up to become the future of GPUs and I for one, am pretty excited about it. Feel free to check out the full video for the press conference and follow the links below for additional details on the launches. Happy E3 computer gamers!!!