AMD was excited to introduce a family of true next generation GPUs at their E3 event today. The Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 Fury and R9 Nano are enthusiast oriented graphics cards based on the Fiji architecture that will sit above the Radeon 300 series, both in price and performance.
All Fiji cards make use of high-bandwidth memory technology (HBM), the company's replacement for GDDR5 meant to achieve higher bandwidth with less power. HBM uses 3D packaging of several memory dies stacked together, according to AMD this allows three times the performance per watt of GDDR5 in 94 percent less PCB surface area.
With Fury X, AMD is claiming a 1.5x increase in raw performance output per watt over the (very power hungry) R9 290X. The Fury X will be a liquid cooled, single-GPU proposition boasting of 4096 stream processors, 8.9 billion transistors and delivering 8.6 teraflops at $649, slated for availability this June 24. The vanilla Fury will sell for $100 less, will be air cooled and is expected to offer similar hardware with slightly less ambitious clock speeds and specs. The R9 Fury's release will follow on July 14.
Both cards will compete with the upper echelon of GTX 980 cards as signaled by the Nvidia's willingness to cannibalize Titan X sales in favor of the more affordable yet speedy GTX 980 Ti last month.
AMD is touting these cards for 4K gaming and smooth VR experiences. Consider that Oculus and the rest of the pack should start rolling finalized products in consumer hands in the next 12 months. During the announcement, AMD's Graphics CTO, Raja Koduri mentioned that it's an incredible moment in time for graphics. High-res displays and VR are big disruptions, and while we're talking about 4K and 90Hz refresh rates in today's VR gear, tomorrow's will be about 16K per eye at 120Hz, and you need a petaflop engine to push that many pixels.
The R9 Nano is a small (6" in length) graphics card sporting a Fiji GPU, and delivering 2x the performance per watt over the R9 290X. This card is scheduled for release in Q3. AMD also mentioned a dual-Fiji GPU, that will be used on Project Quantum but didn't give it a name or price, only saying it would become available by the fall.
Finally, gaming small form factor PCs are here to stay if you ask AMD. Project Quantum is a neat looking, dual stacked SFF PC powered by two AMD Fiji GPUs, which should allow for 4K gaming on the living room. The custom case keeps all processing on the bottom and cooling on top. AMD hopes to bring partners together who can manufacture and sell PCs based on Quantum by the end of the year.