Unleashing The Fury: AMD Takes Wraps Off Radeon R9 Fury Graphics Cards At E3

Advanced Micro Devices gifted high-end gamers with its newest line of enthusiast-oriented Radeon 300 lineup of graphics cards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The new graphics cards, led by the Radeon R9 Fury X, contain a slew of slick new features that tighten pressure on rivals of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip company like Intel and Nvidia.

"With our next-generation Radeon graphics line-up, AMD is enabling a spectrum of innovation that can benefit all gamers," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Product, Computing and Graphics unit, in a statement. "[The line-up includes] exceptional performance, ground-breaking VP capabilities, new and dynamic form factors, premium industrial design, exceptional experiences in 4K, all built to excel in today's games."

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The Radeon R9 Fury X excels in memory with AMD's high-bandwidth memory integrated on chip to deliver up to 60 percent more memory bandwidth, according to AMD.

In addition to the liquid-cooled Radeon R9 Fury X, AMD also introduced the air-cooled AMD Fury graphics card, as well as the Radeon R9 Nano, a 6-inch small form factor high-performance, low-power card.

The Radeon R9 Fury X will cost $649 and will be available June 24, according to AMD. Meanwhile, the R9 Fury will cost $549 and ship out July 14. Pricing for the Radeon R9 Nano, which will begin shipping sometime in the summer, was not released.

These new graphics cards run on AMD's newest architecture design, code named Fiji, according to AMD.

The new set of graphics cards are aimed at spearheading cutting-edge trends emerging in the gaming space, such as 4K-resolution performances, virtual reality games and applications, and emerging PC form factor sizes.

In conjunction with the Radeon R9 300 series, AMD also showcased its Radeon R7 300 series GPUs, designed to reach a full range of consumers, from living room PC gamers to high-end gaming enthusiasts.

"AMD has released two versions aimed at different types of gamers. … Its Radeon R9 is aimed at high-end gaming enthusiasts who want a maximum performance bang for the buck, while the R7 is designed for customers looking to optimize their gaming experience," said Charles King, analyst with market research firm Pund-IT. "I think the company is achieving what it was looking for here, through delivering significant improved performance in a smaller form factor solution."

AMD's newest releases will likely tighten competition with rivals in the enthusiast market, like Nvidia, which recently unveiled its GTX 980Ti, another variant of its GeForce GPU series.

But custom systems builders said healthy competition among players in the enthusiast space was a win for customers.

"For Nvidia, I believe this product lineup already fits neatly between some of the GeForce 900 series cards they currently offer, so the customer has more choices for their specific budget and needs from the two key players in the gaming graphics card business," said Randy Copeland, president and CEO of Velocity Micro, a system builder and Intel partner based in Richmond, Va.

Copeland, whose company builds gaming and enthusiast desktop PCs, added that AMD's new release was attractive for high-end gamers.

"The Radeon 300 series is a nice evolution for AMD's line, and makes an attractive value proposition for the upper-end gamer. [The series has] more performance, better immersion into the gaming experience, and at the same price as the previous generation Radeon," he said.