AMD Radeon R9 Nano
It’s not the size of your boat...
ONE OF THE BEST THINGS about HBM is how little space it takes up on the PCB, in lieu of traditional GDDR5 and 5X memory stacks. Thanks to being able to stack it vertically, as opposed to horizontally next to one another, you can shore up a lot of extra space on the PCB. And, of course, if there is excess space, it’s possible to eliminate that space entirely. Thus, here we are, with the R9 Nano. It houses the exact same Fiji graphics processor and 4GB of HBM as the Fury X, but—alas— that’s where the similarities end. The Nano is composed of a six-inch form factor, a single eight-pin power, and a core clocked slightly lower at 1,000MHz, as opposed to the Fury X’s 1,050MHz.
But is that shrink in size enough to warrant the extra cost? Overall graphics performance is exceptional, especially for a card with dimensions like this. At 1080p, average frame rates of 60–70fps is common. At 1440p, graphics performance does falter a touch, with averages dropping down to 45 frames per second, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable experience in AAA titles. However, in contrast to the full might of the Fury X, it does lack substance. There’s a 10–12 percent difference in performance, and when you consider that the Nano currently costs more than AMD’s flagship by almost $70, you have to ask who exactly is this card for? After all, although it’s only six inches wide, it’s still a fullheight card, it still utilizes a single eight-pin PCIe power, and it still draws almost as much power from the wall as a Fury X.
What the Nano does show us is just how important core clock speed is to the Fiji XT processor. But where does the Nano fit exactly? There’s no doubt that its overall footprint is far smaller than anything we’ve seen, but it’s just not small enough. It’s quiet, but it lacks cooling potential, and it performs well at 1080 and 1440p, but lacks the confidence that the Fury X provides with higher performance.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano
NANITES Smallish form factor; solid 1080 and 1440p performance.
JUST NAHH… Performance drop compared to Fury; full-height card.
$ 470, www.amd.com