AMD was gracious enough to invite Overclockers.com to their Club AMD event running along side, almost literally, the annual E3 video game conference. Coming into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Something GPU related no doubt, but it turns out it was much more than that. There are some details I am unable to share at this time due to embargos, but AMD and its partners really brought a lot of cool things out to show the attendees. Let’s take a look at a couple of them.
Everyone has probably been wondering about AMD’s new GPU lineup, including the 300 series and the high end Fury and Fury X. Today, we have some information on it folks. The more exciting of these reveals is clearly the new Fiji based parts, the Fury, Fury X, and R9 Nano. What we know so far is this:
The Fury and Fury X will be their current top of the line cards with the Fiji based dual GPU card coming out at some point (it was pictured at E3). The Fury X will be water cooled and the Fury will be air cooled. Board power for the Fury X will be at 275W with its AIO water cooler said to be able to handle up to 500W. On the thermals, there is plenty of headroom, that point is clear. I suppose it’s up to the silicon as the hardware is said to run up to 400A or 375W in reference form with a 6 phase power delivery, which is pretty robust out of the box for most any ambient overclocker.
We know that the Fury X will have 4096 stream processors, making 8.6 Tflops and has a total of 8.9 billion transistors. The die size is larger at 569mm² versus the slightly smaller die found on the previous generation.
Overall, you are looking at a slightly larger die on the same 28nm process using new HBM 3D memory, which allows AMD more than negligible cost savings in the final package. This will help to reach the competitive price point they plan to launch at. Speaking of that, the Fury X comes in with a MSRP of $649, while the Fury will land at $549. As long as these perform where the rumors think they will, that is a more than fair price to me. Without further ado, here are some shots of the Fury X, the core itself, and some specifications in a bit more detail.
What was really neat to see in such a small form factor (6″) and be such a potential beast is the small R9 Nano. This card is said to perform like that of the Fury, but in a smaller physical package and lower TDP (around 175W) than the aforementioned card. AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, even introduced the card. It really seems they are pretty excited to get this card to market, and if their words a true, it really will be exciting. Below is a quick shot of the diminutive power house along with some press deck information too!
Last up on the GPU front is the new… well, new used, remainder of the 300 series. As was rumored, this is simply a rebrand/refresh of the existing/previous generation hardware. We start with the R7 360 2GB coming in around $109, the R7 370 4GB at $149, the R9 380 4GB at around $199, and the R9 390 and 390X coming in at $329/$349 respectively. These cards support AMD’s FRTC (Frame Rate Target Control), which when enabled does not render ‘garbage’ frames. It discards them and goes to sleep, which helps save on power. They also support AMD’s Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), which renders at a higher resolution but down samples it to your monitor allowing for more detail in smaller resolutions. Below are some pictures from the show as well as some details from the press deck.
Ok, so enough with all the new GPUs. With 4K on its way to becoming the norm, a new technology is finally making people take notice in virtual reality (VR). We have all heard of the Oculus Rift headset. Even I am not terribly hip to the scene of VR, so I packed it away in the gimmick side of my brain. However, I really found an absolute game changing player and immersion experience when using the device. There were a couple of demos on hand showing a glimpse of what these could do from piloting a space aircraft to watching a short 3D educational experience of the Wright brothers’s first flight at Kitty Hawk. Quality content for using these is starting to pop up, which is a very encouraging sign. I have to tell you, as a person terrified of heights (though it doesn’t stop me from doing much), some of these titles really put that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach when looking down.
All of these great graphics wouldn’t exist with without using AMD’s Liquid VR software. Liquid VR software strives to, and seemingly achieves from my limited experiences, to minimize the effects of latency. Latency can have pretty averse affects resulting in noticeable delays to physical movements and the response on screen. We will finally be able to get our hands on a retail device in 1Q 2016 along with some really cool games (from Eve – Valkyrie, a zipline, dinosaur era demo from Crytek to name a few). Even educational content from GE (mapping the brain/neurons), and a 3D representation of the first flight at Kitty Hawk will eventually be available. These types of immersion have so many possibilities and AMD is leading the charge here.
The last thing that I will mention in this article is AMD’s Project Quantum. This small and cool looking PC is really a marvel in technology and form factors as far as I am concerned. Though few details emerged regarding the possible CPUs inside (though there were some rumors it was an i7???), it was mentioned that it can support up to 2 Fiji class GPUs inside this neat looking case. The bottom portion holds the hardware, while the top handles the cooling. All of the VR systems were running off this box and they all ran incredibly well.
Oh and for those that missed the stream, here is the first public game play from Star Wars: Battlefront… and wow does it look good!
Getting the invite to learn about the architecture and other exciting things was certainly a treat for the Overclockers.com family. AMD has some excitement from the Fury and Fury X release and its Liquid VR technology leading the way in the VR realm, but a bit of a let down in the rebadging/minimal changes side of things on the 300 series. Overall, assuming performance lands where it should, this is an exciting time in the enthusiast segment for AMD, that is for sure. We will provide more information on the architecture and HBM memory in our first review.
~Joe Shields (Earthdog)