AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Video Card Review

We review AMD's new Fiji GPU comprising the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card with stacked chip technology High Bandwidth Memory. We take this video card through its paces, make comparisons and find out what it can do for us in real world gameplay. Is this $649 video card competitive? Is it truly geared for 4K gaming as AMD says?


Evaluation Method

We evaluate what each video card configuration can supply us in terms of a playable gaming experience while supplying the best culmination of resolution and "eye candy" graphical settings. We focus on quality and immersion of the gameplay experience rather than how many frames per second the card can get in a canned benchmark or prerecorded timedemo situation that often do not represent real gameplay like you would experience at home. Then we will follow with apples-to-apples testing in with minimum, maximum, and average framerates.

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For the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card we are using AMD supplied drivers for use only with the R9 300 and Fury series. This is driver version: "AMD-15.15-Radeon300-Series-Win8.1-Win7-64Bit-June15." It should be noted that this driver will not work or install on AMD Radeon 200 series, so we cannot install it for the R9 290X comparison.

For the XFX Radeon R9 290X DD video card we are using, which runs at 1GHz stock AMD specs for R9 290X we are using Catalyst 15.5 Beta which is the latest driver for 290X.

For the GTX 980 Ti we are using GeForce 356.06.

The XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation video card represents a stock reference AMD Radeon R9 290X. It has custom cooling so that the clock speed won't throttle, thus keeping it at the default stock reference spec of 1GHz. This represents reference stock R9 290X performance.

A Note About Resolution Testing

We are going to start this evaluation focusing on the 1440p gaming experience. We feel this is a more common and popular resolution than 4K right now for the majority of gamers. This is despite AMD claiming this video card is only for 4K and downplaying the 1440p experience.

We would be remiss if we did not start at 1440p and get this real-world level of gaming performance out to you all, it is our job to do so and show you common resolution testing. 4K resolution is growing, but it is nowhere near the saturation that 1440p and 1080p has in the gaming community on the PC.

We will of course provide apples-to-apples 4K testing as well, so you can see what the performance is in comparison to the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Therefore, both levels of resolution are tested, but our highest playable section focuses on 1440p. We will include further 4K testing in follow-ups if needed.

For comparison we are including the GeForce GTX 980 Ti because it is the direct competitor at $649. Keep in mind the GTX 980 Ti has 6GB of VRAM. We are also including the Radeon R9 290X for the specific reason of seeing how much the new flagship Fury X has improved performance over the previous flagship R9 290X video card. The Fury X is debuting at a price that is $100 more expensive than the R9 290X debuted at.