XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Introduction:
AMD's R9 Fury series video cards were first introduced to the world in August of last year with great fanfare and the hopes that AMD had finally broken out of the doldrums to deliver a high performance video card that would bring back market share to the red team. In fairly quick succession, you had the R9 Fury X, the R9 Fury, and the R9 Fury Nano that came to market with the next generation of AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture, along with the introduction of HBM to improve VRAM bandwidth. With the R9 Fury, AMD let two cooling options out of the door. Reference cooling on the R9 Fury X was an AIO solution that was problematic, based on the heated Internet buzz. On the R9 Fury, AMD gave its partners the go-ahead to put together custom cards, as has been the case recently. That brings us to the card I have to look at today, the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation.
XFX has put together a package using its Triple Dissipation cooling solution laid over a non-reference PCB equipped with XFX's own voltage control technology to improve overclocking margins. What this all comes down to is what kind of gaming performance/experience you can get for your hard earned cash. Priced at roughly $480 USD, the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation is cost competitive with the GTX 980. Let's see if the added clock stability with improved cooling allows this card from XFX to perform above its price point.
XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Closer Look:
XFX's packaging is an interesting mix of design and the need to stand out on brick and mortar store shelves. The 3D checkerboard design with red accents does grab the eye. Information on the front panel is basic and to the point, showing the XFX logo, the model of the card, and the top line features that separate it from the crowd. Things like 4GB of High Bandwidth Memory and triple fan cooling using a six heat pipe-equipped cooler are mentioned in this section. The back of the package dives into what you get in the package besides the R9 Fury Triple Dissipation, along with the AMD specific feature set including FreeSync, Liquid VR and Eyefinity, and Zero Core technologies.
Peel off the outer sleeve and XFX's market machine keeps right on coming. Instead of a base cardboard box, this card gets the royal treatment with a black box with the XFX logo and slogan "Play Hard" up close and personal. Inside, the R9 Fury Triple D rides in comfort, thanks to the thick foam cocoon around it. The accessory bundle is pretty slim on this card, but includes what you need to get up and gaming. You get a quick install guide, a driver disc if you do not have access to the Interwebs to grab the most current driver package, a warranty card, and a pair of dual 6-pin PEG to 8-pin power adapters.
The XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation video card is built around AMD's Fiji GCN architecture and is part of the first wave of video cards equipped with High Bandwidth Memory. Measurements clock in at 12.4 x 4.41 x 2.01 inches for this beast. At over a foot long, it is a large card that will need a case that can accommodate it. The front view shows that XFX is using a trio of fans to provide the airflow to keep the Fiji core, voltage controls, and the 4GB of HBM cool. Flipping this beast over shows that the PCB does not run the length of the card, but stops about 2/3 of the way to the end of the cooling assembly. At that point you get an idea of just how massive the six heat pipe-based cooling solution actually is. A metal frame is used to ensure that the secondary fin array stays in place. A trio of XFX Duratec IP-5x dust-free fans provide the required airflow that keeps the Fiji core, HBM stacks, and the power delivery circuits cool while under a 3D load.
From the factory, the XFX R9 Tripe Dissipation comes with baseline clock speeds of 1000MHz on the core and 500MHz for the High Bandwidth Memory. The side view shows that the Triple Dissipation fin arrays take up the entirety of the space under the metal fan shroud.
What stands out initially when you look at the I/O panel is the lack of a DVI port on this card. That makes ownership of a DVI connectivity-only monitor a problem that will mean added cost, requiring the purchase of either an HDMI to DVI or DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Connectivity on the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation includes a trio of full size DisplayPort 1.2 ports and a single full-size HDMI 1.4a port. This configuration supports up to six monitors in an Eyefinity arrangement, but may require an MST hub. The absence of the DVI port allows for a larger cross section of the I/O panel to become available for discharge airflow from the trio of IP-5x fans. The back end of the card is, well, not really the back of the PCB, but is the back end of the massive Triple Dissipation cooling solution. Six copper heat pipes are used to carry the thermal load from the Fiji core and HBM through a large aluminum fan array.
Along the top spine of the XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation is a two position switch that allows the user to set one of two cooling profiles. Further back are the dual 8-pin power connections that show this card is going to be able to pull at least 375 watts from the PSU. XFX recommends at least a 750 watt power supply for systems running this card due to the current draw. CrossFire configurations are supported by way of AMD's XDMA technology that gets rid of the CrossFire bridge connection and sends the inter-GPU communication through the PCIe bus.
Equipped with AMD's latest GCN architecture, the Fiji core used on this R9 Fury Triple Dissipation is built on TSMC's 28nm process and is in the first wave of video cards to use High Bandwidth Memory or HBM. Under the hood is a core that houses 8.9 billion transistors in a 596mm² package. Of course when you include the stacked HBM on the interposer layer that grows much larger. There are a total of 3584 unified shader cores, 64 ROPs, 224 texture units, and 4GB of HBM running at 500MHz through a 4096-bit bus. The core clock speed is relatively modest at 1000MHz that should leave a bit of margin available for the enthusiast to boost up the clock speeds.
Let's take a look at just how much FPS performance this card from XFX can deliver.