5 New AMD Radeon Graphics Card Specs That Will Wow Custom System Builders

Radeon Revealed

Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its newest line of enthusiast-oriented Radeon 300 graphics cards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last week in Los Angeles.

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

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.

Here are five new features of these new graphics cards that will have custom system builders cheering.

5. Fiji: Everything You Need To Know

At the crux of AMD's announcement was Fiji, its GPU that its four new cards at the top of the product stack are utilizing for the first time.

In addition to the R9 Nano, R9 Fury and R9 Fury X, AMD announced that it would unveil a future unnamed graphics cards featuring dual Fiji GPUs.

"The graphics card with two Fiji chips on it, which some are calling the R9 Fury X2, could be the highest-performance card on the market," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principle analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, a tech analysis firm based in Austin, Texas.

4. HBM: Peak Scalability

Fiji created a scuffle in the gaming market, as it features a new memory interface using High Bandwidth Memory (HBM).

HBM stacks all the graphic card's chain of memory on top of the main chip, allowing the memory to communicate at many points along the chip and heightening power usage, performance and scalability for the overall graphics card.

According to AMD, HBM in conjunction with the interposer ensures performance well beyond memory options like DDR4, GDDR5 and LPDDR4.

3. Small Form Factors

AMD made a point of launching graphics cards with smaller form factors during its Radeon 300 series launch.

The R9 Fury X and R9 Fury are both just 7.5 inches, while the Radeon R9 Nano is 6 inches. Graphics cards are typically around 12.5 inches, according to Moorhead.

AMD is able to pack more performance into smaller form factors through HBM, which uses 94 percent less surface area per gigabyte than GDDR5.

"Differentiated form factor is something vendors have been playing around with," he said. "Usually smaller means less performance, but AMD has been able to make a graphics card that is smaller with the highest level of performance with their R9 Fury X."

2. Ready For VR and 4K

AMD's flagship Radeon R9 Fury X comes ready for high-end gamers to take on current trends in the gaming industry. The card GPU's 4096-bit HBM interface exceeds performance requirements for games running in 4K resolutions.

In addition, the Fury X is designed for performance with virtual reality games, with compatibility across a wide range of head-mounted displays.

"The R9 Fury X is really targeted at the elite gamer, who cares about the sexiness of their system in terms of form factor and noise," said Moorhead.

1. Pricing And Availability

AMD offered an array of different pricing models based on performance and scalability for its new products.

The Radeon R9 Fury X will hit the shelves on June 24 for $649, while the Radeon R9 Fury will be available July 14 for $549.

Other prices for the AMD Radeon R9 and R7 GPU 300 series range from $429 for the R9 390X at the high end to $109 for the R7 360 at the low end.

Meanwhile, prices and availability for the Fury Nano have yet to be released, but the card is slated for release later in the summer, according to AMD.