XFX AMD R9 Fury X

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Still Team Red’s top end

BOY, WOULD IT BE NICE to see a high-end card from AMD right now, huh? The Fury X cer­tainly feels like it’s lag­ging a bit, es­pe­cially with the likes of the GTX 1080, and now the Ti­tan X, throw­ing them­selves into the bat­tle for GPU dom­i­na­tion. But, for bang for buck, it’s still an ex­cep­tional card. Right now, you can pur­chase an old­school wa­ter-cooled Fury X for less than $400, mak­ing it cheaper than the cheap­est GTX 980 or 980 Ti, a card it fought with for su­pe­ri­or­ity.

It’s an am­bi­tious move on AMD’s part, but that’s what the Fiji core at the heart of the Fury X has al­ways been about. With a leap into high-band­width mem­ory, an in­no­va­tive step for­ward in ref­er­ence cooler de­sign, and the am­bi­tion to place it on not one but three sep­a­rate styles of card, each with a dif­fer­ent pur­pose, it was cer­tainly ballsy. Did it pay off? Well, not quite, but you have to ad­mire its gusto.

As a per­former, the Fury X is stag­ger­ing for its size and lim­ited VRAM. At 1440p, it dom­i­nates, eas­ily se­cur­ing 60 frames per sec­ond in most AAA ti­tles. In fact, it’s not too far off the per­for­mance of a GTX 1070. Where the Fury X re­ally comes un­stuck is 4K gam­ing and over­clock­ing. Al­though HBM’s colos­sal mem­ory band­width does help to al­le­vi­ate some of the bot­tle­neck at higher res­o­lu­tions, it just doesn’t have enough grunt in the core to re­ally push the frame rates at the top end. On top of that, over­clock­ing might as well not ex­ist. It’s a sor­did af­fair—at most, we man­aged to add an­other 75MHz on the core clock, and 25MHz on the mem­ory clock, cer­tainly not enough to write home about. The volatil­ity of the pro­grams used, and AMD’s lack of sup­port for over-volt­ing, leave much to be de­sired.

For the money, its sim­i­lar per­for­mance as the GTX 980 Ti and GTX 1070 makes this card an ap­pe­tiz­ing of­fer. 1440p per­for­mance is ex­cep­tional, and the over­all styling is re­ally some­thing else—a gen­uine in­no­va­tion on AMD’s part.

VERDICT8

XFX AMD R9 Fury X

FURIOSA Stag­ger­ing 1440p per­for­mance; great value for money; cool.

FU­RI­OUS FIVE Coil whine; no over­clock­ing head­room; strug­gles at 4K.

$ 400, www.amd.com

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