The 4K gaming market heats up: AMD Launches 4K-capable Radeon R9 Fury and other GPUs

by on June 17, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 17, 2015

E3 is nicely underway in the US and gaming companies are taking advantage of the event to ramp up their launches of all sorts of new products. Of particular interest are the latest GPUs from powerhouse chipmaker AMD. The company, which is responsible for some of the best graphics cards on sale to hardcore gamers today, has now launched their newest line of 4K-capable graphics processing units.

These consist of the new flagship card, the water-cooled Radeon R9 Fury X (and its essentially identical air-cooled variant the R9 Fury), the Nano and 300 series and finally, the R7 300 GPU. All of these cards are targeted at gamers with an interest in really exploring 4K gaming as it develops and the GPUs have also been built with virtual reality and a few other PC hardware trends in mind.

AMD announced its new GPUs at their own separate PC gaming event, scheduled to happen during E3 but apart from the main show itself in Los Angeles.

AMDs latest developments in the area of 4K GPU power are a part of a larger competitive race with main rival Nvidia and its new Titan X desktop GPUs and G-Synch PC display harmonization technology. Given that AMD’s GPUs power the Xbox One and Playstation 4 both, as well as Apple’s latest 15-inch MacBook Pro version, the company is definitely no slouch when it comes to developing hardcore processing power.

Starting with the Radeon R9 Fury/Fury X: this particular GPU is AMD’s definite flagship processor and according to the company itself, it represents “the most advanced and innovative GPU ever created for the enthusiast market”. The R9 Fury X uses what is called high-bandwidth (HBM) memory to deliver what AMD claims to be a level of performance per what which is three times more efficient than the commonly used DDR5 RAM of older AMD GPUs like the Radeon 295×2 and Nvidia’s own Titan and GTX GPUs.

Basically, the R9 Fury/Fury X comes with a Fiji XT processing core whose 8GB HBM memory is designed to offer roughly 8 Teraflops of processing power and some very smooth power consumption efficiency while using far less space than a typical DDR5 RAM configuration. The Fiji core of the R9 Fury is the same one that’s being placed as a dual-GPU package in AMDs new prototype Project Quantum 4K gaming PC, also announced at E3.

Furthermore, the Fiji core of the Fury GPU offers 4096 stream processors, 8.9 billion transistors and comes with a core clock speed of 1050 MHZ. These specs all apply, like we said, to both the R9 Fury and the Fury X.

The real selling point on the R9 Fury/Fury X is that its supposedly perfect for both 4K gaming at high levels of detail and for the latest developments in VR hardware like those found in the Oculus Rift platform, which also has some seriously difficult hardware requirements for successful play.

Furthermore, the R9 Fury is one very compact little GPU, despite its enormous power. At 7.5 inches, it’s designed to fit smoothly into even the smaller new generations of heavy-duty high-end gaming PCs that are emerging on the market.

This same trend gets taken even further in the R9 Nano. At 6 inches, this also 4K-capable high performance GPU is another of AMD’s E3 reveals and in addition to being “great” for 4K gaming, offers 2x the performance per watt of the older Radeon 290X from 2014.

The compact but powerful Radeon R9 Nano GPU for 4K and HD gaming

The compact but powerful Radeon R9 Nano GPU for 4K and HD gaming

Finally, AMD’s R9 300 and R7 300 were also on display at E3 and the special AMD event.

The R9 300 is also being pitched as a wonderful 4K GPU but its most serious selling point is a new technology from AMD called “Virtual Super Resolution”, which offers gameplay at 1080p Full HD but with highly condensed graphics resolution which simulates the detail levels of full 4K without the same pixel counts or rendering needs. According to AMD, VSR technology even rivals 4K on 1080p displays and can be played very smoothly at more than 60fps frame rates through the R9 300 card.

The R7 300, on the other hand, seems to be more of a high powered HD-oriented GPU and is being positioned as an ideal and affordable choice for eSports, which requires easy 60fps performance at HD resolutions.

The R9 Furies and the other new AMD GPUs are all designed to support Microsoft DirectX 12 and are fully compatible with the soon to emerge Windows 10.

The R7 300 and R9 300 cards go on sale as of June 18th with prices ranging between $109 and $429 depending on configuration. The AMD flagship, the R9 Fury/ Fury X duo will be coming to consumers on the 24th of June for a retail price of just $649. This is the same price as the current AMD flagship, the Radeon 295X2 and could offer some excellent value if the Fury card delivers the same level of 4K performance as the 295X2.

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