AMD’s Radeon R9 Nano: half the size of the GTX 980, just as fast

AMD's Radeon R9 Nano: half the size of the GTX 980, just as fast

UPDATED: We’ve added the confirmed price tag and benchmark results for the R9 Nano. Thanks WCCFTech.

As it turns out, the R9 Nano is as fast as the GTX 980, though its official price is a heck of a lot more at $649. That means it costs the same price as the R9 Fury X, a faster card in almost every case.

Granted, it’s a very neat package, its size being incredibly attractive, but that price is a little too steep.

Mini-ITX cards most often target sub-$400 markets, particularly because you don’t generally use compact PCs as your primary gaming rig.

If it’s not handling a majority of your gaming, the R9 Nano-powered PC we mean, then why would you spend such an enormous amount of money on such a GPU? Very few can afford that.

Besides, for the most part you can fit a GTX 980 into a compact PC case if you’re smart about it. Not all cases can manage it, but many can. That’ll save you R2, 000 right there.

And actually, if you can work a water cooling reservoir into the space you’re using for your compact PC, then you can just purchase an R9 Fury X. The Fury X is really quite small and should happily fit.

Here are the R9 Nano’s benchmark results:

Graphics Card GeForce GTX 960 Mini GeForce GTX 970 Mini Radeon R9 380 ITX-Compact Radeon R9 Nano
3DMark Firestrike 4K (Ultra) 1297 Marks 2593 Marks 1551 Marks 3411 Marks
Far Cry 4 4K (High/0xAA/0xAF) 15.095 FPS 27.345 FPS 16.542 FPS 37.966 FPS
Performance Per Watt in Far Cry 4 4K (Ultra/SMAA/0xAF) 0.13 FPS/Watt 0.12 FPS/Watt 0.08 FPS/Watt 0.22 FPS/Watt
Battlefield 4 4K (High/FXAA/0xAF) N/A 41 FPS N/A 57 FPS
Crysis 3 4K (High/0xAA/0xAF) N/A 41 FPS N/A 58 FPS
Far Cry 4 4K (High/SMAA/0xAF) N/A 28 FPS N/A 42 FPS
GTA V 4K (High/0xAA/4xAF) N/A 38 FPS N/A 60 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 4K (High/0xAA/0xAF) N/A 34 FPS N/A 50 FPS
Witcher 3 4K (High/0xAA/0xAF) N/A 26 FPS N/A 37 FPS

As we pointed out below, NVIDIA’s closest competitor is a compact GTX 970, which is a good margin slower than the R9 Nano.

It’s an impressive card, no doubt, but that price.


 

Original Story: We’ve thought for a while now that the Radeon R9 Nano used the R9 Fury X’s entire Fiji XT GPU, rather than the nerfed Fiji Pro powering the R9 Fury.

And in spite of AMD’s efforts to keep the mini-ITX GPU’s specifications a mystery, a number of leaks have all but confirmed it’s that GPU.

After all, when an R9 Nano was tested against the R9 290X in the Unigine Heaven Benchmark and crushed it, scoring nearly twice the latter card’s score, there was little doubt about what was powering this little dynamo.

Now, thanks to a leaked datasheet, we know exactly what’s under the hood of the little card that could.

AMD-Radeon-R9-Nano-Final-Specifications

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Final Specifications. Image courtesy of VideoCardz.com.

What that means is that AMD’s latest Mini-ITX card, and easily the most powerful card of its type with an absurd 8.9 billion transistors, has much the same specs as the R9 Fury X, and it’s done with 100W less.

That’s some very impressive numbers, and an efficiency no one is going to scoff at.

Who would have thought that AMD would manage to run all 64 compute units, each containing 64 stream processors, a single render output unit (ROP) and 4 texture mapping units (TMUs), with far less power than is required to run the R9 Fury X – keep in mind that the Fiji XT GPU is one serious piece of silicon.

AMD-Radeon-R9-Nano-Fiji-GPU-Block-Diagram

Fiji XT’s GPU Block Diagram.

Don’t forget that a full Fiji XT GPU means the added bonus of 4GB of high bandwidth memory (HBM). That’s 4GB of memory with an immense 512 GB/s of bandwidth.

For reference sake, the mighty NVIDIA GeForce Titan X has a memory bandwidth of just 336.5 GB/s.

And all of this performance, 8.19 TFlops at a cores speed of 1000 MHz, can be obtained by a 6 inch (approximately 15 centimetres) long card with a single 8-Pin connector.

NVIDIA’s best mini-ITX GPU in comparison, the mini-ITX version of the GTX 970, manages just 3.494 TFlops.

Just keep in mind that 1000 MHz is the maximum speed of the R9 Nano, not necessarily what it will be running at around the clock.

The core speed will increase and decrease according to the task required of it, optimising its energy efficiency even more so.

Category AMD Radeon R9 Fury X2 AMD Radeon R9 Fury X AMD Radeon R9 Nano AMD Radeon R9 Fury AMD Radeon R9 290X
GPU Fiji XT x 2 Fiji XT Fiji XT Fiji Pro Hawaii XT
Stream Processors 8192 4096 4096 3584 2816
GCN Compute Units 128 64 64 56 44
ROPs 128 64 64 64 64
TMUs 512 256 256 224 176
GPU Frequency TBA Up to 1050Mhz Up to 1000 MHz Up to 1000 MHz 1000Mhz
Memory 8GB HBM (4 GB Per Chip) 4GB HBM 4GB HBM 4GB HBM 4GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 4096-bit x 2 4096bit 4096bit 4096bit 512bit
Memory Frequency 500Mhz 500Mhz 500 MHz 500Mhz 1250Mhz
Effective Memory Speed 1Gbps 1Gbps 1Gbps 1Gbps 5Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 1024 GB/s 512GB/s 512GB/s 512GB/s 320GB/s
Cooling Liquid Liquid, 120mm Radiator Air, Single Fan. Custom AIB Solutions Later Air, Custom AIB Solutions Air, Single Blower Fan
Performance (SPFP) 17.2 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS 8.19 TFLOPS 7.2 TFLOPS 5.6 TFLOPS
TDP TBA 275W 175W 275W 250W
Power Connectors Dual 8-Pin Dual 8-Pin 8-Pin Dual 8-Pin 6+8 Pin
GFLOPS/Watt ~ 31.3 TBA 26.2 22.4
Launch Price / Local Price TBA $649 / R10, 500R12, 000 $649
$549 / R9, 800 $549 / R5, 000R8, 500
Launch Date Autumn 2015 24th June 2015 27th August 2015 (Announcement)
10th September (Launch)
10th July 2015 24th October 2013

*Table courtesy of WCCFTech.

It’s perhaps the most impressive card AMD has revealed of late – we’re just waiting on the colossal R9 Fury X2.

The only point that may sour the R9 Nano for you is its price tag. Predicted to offer a similar performance to the GTX 980, it’s probably going to sit around the same price range, between R7, 900 and R10, 800.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano - Front

AMD Radeon R9 Nano - Back

AMD Radeon R9 Nano - Output

AMD Radeon R9 Nano - Power Connector

*Images courtesy of iyd.kr.

Should the R9 Nano launch at around $499, the international recommended price for the GTX 980, then we might just see the card sit under the R8, 000 mark.

Funnily enough, if it does, there would be very little reason to buy the bulkier, and slower, R9 Fury. So we expect it to arrive at the same price as the R9 Fury, pushing the overall price of the R9 Fury down somewhat.

Like the rest of the Fury range, the R9 Nano comes with 3x DisplayPorts and 1x HDMI. It will also support DirectX 12 and anything else you might require of it.

Just one caveat, while the R9 Nano supports the codecs to encode and decode ultra-high-definition (UHD) video, via H.265 (HEVC), it does not support HDMI 2.0.

So if you want to use your R9 Nano with your Ultra HD television, you will need to use a DisplayPort. But just how many of you own 4K televisions?


Source: VideoCardz, KitGuru

More AMD news you might be interested in

From an R9 Fury to R9 Fury X: tool unlocks the cores of select Radeon cards

The ultimate 4K showdown: Radeon R9 Fury X Quad Crossfire vs. Titan X Quad SLI

AMD Catalyst 15.7 WHQL drivers adds cross-generation Crossfire support

AMD is moving on from Mantle: expect all optimisations to be halted

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AMD’s Radeon R9 Nano: half the size of the GTX 980, just as fast

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