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The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X and the Ramblings of a VHS Collector

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This review's gonna be an odd one, not because I'm gonna trash the Fury X, but rather, I wanna explore more than just simple "how does this card perform?" on this thread. I wanna tell you what possesses someone to buy this card in 2019, what this card pretty much is and the quirks that I've grown to learn or hate about it.






Welcome to the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X. This was AMD's answer to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 Ti that AMD launched in 2015. Being their first OEM all-in-one watercooled card (the R9 295X2 was a hybrid system, from what I remember) AMD intended this to be the knockout punch to the 980 Ti, it instead became an expensive and bizarre alternative to that card. But now in 2019, what makes it bewildering and what possessed me to purchase one?


A Little Bit of a Spec Sheet:

This was the fully-specced out version of the Fiji GPU series with 4096 stream processors rather than the 3584 of the R9 Fury, and clocked at 1050MHz, higher than the Fury Nano. Like other cards from the Fiji series, this has 4GB of HBM memory and are the first cards to use HBM. Unlike the R9 Fury and the Fury Nano (in where the former did have special variants that were watercooled), the Fury X could only be purchased as a watercooled model. Not much else I can bother to add, besides that we'll come back to the HBM in a while.


Getting the Fury X into a Smaller Case:

For anyone who's gonna get this card for a small case that doesn't allow for much cable management... reconsider, or at least think about what you're doing with it. Now, this is admittedly very scenario-specific, because I cannot organize anything in my case, but still. 



This is a picture of my rig with the Fury X in it. Now, some of the issues aren't related to my case but, funny enough, my capture card (namely the tilt of the card) but the clutter isn't related to the capture card. Just something I'd like to say that might be an issue for those who are more management challenged like I apparently am.


A Small Section about Performance on Games I Play:

Not really much I care to say here. It plays Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 4 at 3840x2160 at 60fps... for the most part. I'm coming back to this because this WILL become relevant later on alongside the HBM part earlier.



Call of Duty: Black Ops also runs just fine at 3840x2160 on this card and ditto with CS:GO at any resolution I care to play at. For the former, I hit the 91fps cap in multiplayer about 99% of the time and the latter I can manage at least 100+fps with 4x MSAA at basically all times.



Oh, and of course Team Fortress 2 is held back by my CPU rather than my GPU, and Gran Turismo 3 and 4 on PCSX2 run just fine at way higher than native resolution at 60fps.


I don't have any 3840x2160 TF2 screenshots from my Fury X so here's a 1080p screenshot at settings lower than what I normally play at.




I'd actually like to expand this section so if you guys have any suggestions on what I could throw at the card, go ahead.


Using It for a Daily Rig:

Honestly, you'd think a card like this would be a bit annoying to use daily, but honestly? It's a shockingly good daily driver card, at least from what I've tested. I haven't really had any issues with the card in normal day-to-day tasks. Haven't had any issues with it in any browser, Vegas, YouTube, OBS, whatever I usually do.


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What Possesses Someone to Purchase a Fury X in 2019?

No, really: what made me want to go out and buy a Fury X?

Honestly, I think I could round it down to a couple of things: the desire to satisfy a dream that 15 year old me had and the desire to have a card with more 2160p grunt than an RX 580.

Ever since the card came out, I always found it WAAAAYYYYY more interesting than the 980 Ti just because of how bizarre this card is. No one in their right mind would stick an AiO on a 980 Ti-tier card in 2019, but AMD wasn't thinking straight in that time, so whadaya want?

But what about that desire to get more 2160p performance? Why did I mention FM7 and FH4 as something I'd talk about later? Why did I mention that I'd want to talk about the HBM later on? Simple:


4GB of VRAM Really Isn't Enough for a Good 2160p Experience

That's a bold statement to make, but honestly? The R9 Fury X has convinced me that you really should find a card with 6GB of VRAM or more for modern 2160p gaming, especially on games with less of a VRAM and hardware optimization blessing than the Forza games, because you're absolutely going to want to use higher quality textures for a game should that game have it, but the Fury X just won't have the amount of VRAM you want for those textures.

The card's got grunt, that's for damn sure (and no one ever accused the card of being slow), but even the fast-as-fuck VRAM can't keep up with the sheer amount it's gotta store at 2160p, and if the game uses MSAA? Fugedaboudit. It's gonna be tough for the card to cope with needing a lot of VRAM for textures and other data and the amount of VRAM MSAA will suck away. 

For older games, and games that have less of a demand on VRAM (and games that like fast VRAM), the Fury X is an absolute champ, so long as you aren't using HDMI, but for games that do need more VRAM (again, many modern games) then the Fury X will honestly start to falter.

On a related note, the fact that this card can't do 3840x2160 at 60Hz through HDMI actually irritates me the more I use the card on my downstairs TV that is a 4K set. I knew this going into the card, but yeah. It truly irritates me to no end the more I use it.


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How Do I Honestly Feel about the Card?

As much as some things irritate it... I just can't hate it all that much. It's a really nice looking GPU that has the kind of grunt I was looking for (for the most part), and for what I paid for it ($190 used, not too bad) I can't complain too much. It's what 2015-era me really wanted for their dream rig and managed to grab one finally, being able to complete my dream (granted, in a very different direction but with the same goal nonetheless) and being able to experience what the hell this card really was. 

The problem is that the card basically represents 2015-era AMD all too easily: wanting to hit the bullseye but instead of hitting the bullseye, they end up hitting the person next to the target in the head with their dart. It's a very powerful card hampered by tech AMD really wanted to use. I can't blame them, honestly: HBM is pretty damn dope, but it's just not all that useful for the task people really wanted to use them for: 2160p gaming. And with that, I honestly feel a little bit of a buyer's remorse with this card, because what this card can do, my 580 could do about 80% of it, but with more features that I just want. Namely 3840x2160 at 60Hz via HDMI and h265 hardware encoding.


Is there anything else you guys would like to hear about my card? Throw it down in the comments.

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I think you've told me, but how hot does it usually get under load and how hot does your room relatively tend to get after pushing it?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

I think you've told me, but how hot does it usually get under load and how hot does your room relatively tend to get after pushing it?

If I don't ramp up the fan curve, it'll usually stagnate at around 65C and my room'll get pretty warm.

If I throw the fans at like 2000rpm, then they'll cool down to high-50s or low-60s and my room won't be as warm.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I wanted to come back to this because I've been using my RX 580 for almost two weeks again, and honestly?

It's less of a pain in the ass than the Fury X. For one, I can actually use it at 3840x2160 at 60Hz (this'll definitely be irrelevant to some, but it's one hell of an important factor for me) on my downstairs TV, and two, the compromises I make on my 580 compared to the Fury X aren't enough to really sway me away from using the 580. For Forza Horizon 4, I just set it to run at 2560x1440 and the game still looks good because I can still use 4x MSAA and not choke below 60fps on my rig (GPU-wise, anyways; RAM is another story).

I plan on putting the Fury X back into my rig eventually, but it's not really a need the more I think about it. I don't love the card any less, it's just that it's a redundancy for my rig.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

My Third and Final Update on the Fury X:

It's been about a month since I've used it. It just sits around doing nothing. My 7850 saw more usage than the Fury X. I liked the card but honestly, I have no real usage for it. I plan on getting rid of it. There's a saying that goes "do you really want to meet your heroes?" and for me, maybe I shouldn't have after buying an RX 580. 

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I still kinda regret it for not owning Fury X or the Vega 64. People whine about them, but like you, the out of this world different design makes them really interesting and they weren't performing all that bad either.

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I love both of my Fury Nitro's - I don't go over 1440p with them (and use DP on that one) and for 1080p it destroys

Workstation Laptop: Dell Precision 7540, Xeon E-2276M, 32gb DDR4, Quadro T2000 GPU, 4k display

Ryzen Rig 2: ASrock B450 Pro4 ATX, Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4.2ghz all core 1.4vCore, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM (+100mhz core clock), 16gb (2x8) 3600mhz V-Color Skywalker (or 4x8gb DDR4 2666mhz for large tasks), Corsair HX850 PSU, Custom Loop 2x240mm + 1x120mm radiator, 128gb Patriot Scorch NVMe Win 10 boot drive, 500gb Samsung 840 EVO SSD, CoolerMaster HAF XM Case.  DSI 90-Key Mechanical Keyboard w/ Cherry Red switches, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Hannspree HF207 and Acer AL2016W monitors


Ryzen Rig 1: ASUS B350-PRIME ATX, Ryzen 7 1700, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3200mhz V-Color Skywalker, ANTEC Earthwatts 750w PSU, MasterLiquid Lite 120 AIO cooler in Push/Pull config as rear exhaust, 250gb Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Patriot Burst 240gb SSD, Cougar MX330-X Case.  Zalman K600S keyboard, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Acer XF270HU 2560x1440 144hz IPS monitor


Dwight: The Mixed Metals Loop Media Center.  Ask me about it.  Currently decommissioned to move to an mATX setup on a new MOBO once I pick one out

Schrute: ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0, FX 8350, 2x Gigabyte HD 7850 2gb GPUs in crossfire, 16gb (4x4) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600mhz, Sparkle/FSP 650w PSU, PCCOOLING 160w TDP air cooler, 60gb Patriot SSD Win 10 boot drive, 1tb WDBlack HDD, Rosewill Nautilus 1.0 case.  Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, Roku 55" 4k TV

Micro Form Factor Dell OptiPlex 3040: Dell 0MGK50 A02, i3-6100T, 2x4gb DDR3 1600, Team Group 120gb SSD, 500gb Seagate 7mm HDD attached storage, Windows 10 Pro, Logitech K400+, USB Wifi adapter all vesa mounted to the back of a 37" 1080p TV for form factor in the kitchen

Linux Box: Toshiba Laptop, i7 620M, NVS graphics, 2gb ram tinker toy at the moment.  Running Manjaro at the moment

APU Laptop: I need to clean this things TIM up so it can boot into Windows 7 for more than 5 minute before overheating at idle, it has things, I just haven't been on it in 2 years or so

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