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AMD - A New Era In PC Gaming

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I know this is going to sound stupid. I've been out of the loop. What is the difference between the 390x and the Fury series (other than watercooling)

 

Short answer? Everything.

 

The 390/x series GPU's are "Grenada" cores. Which are either:

1. Fully rebranded Hawaii cores, OR

2. Tweaked/upgraded Hawaii cores.

 

We're not sure which yet - but almost everything is pointing to the 390 series being mostly a tweaked variant of the 290 series.

 

Fury, on the other hand, is using the new "Fiji" cores. Totally, 100% new GPU's. They're also like 1.5+ times as fast as the 390x.

 

They've also implemented HBM (high bandwidth memory) which places the memory modules stacked on an interposer, right beside the GPU die. This uses quite a bit less power and saves a ton of space on the PCB. See pics below: 

 

Fiji die shot with HBM:

500x1000px-LL-b32bdf4f_AMD-Fiji-GPU-High

 

Fury (top) vs 290x (bottom):

45925_03_amd-radeon-r9-fury-considerable

 

And the dual Fiji card:

dualfuryken_0.jpg

 

Note how even the dual Fiji card still has a shorter PCB than the 290x. Also note how much space is saved without all the GDDR5 memory modules spaced out around the GPU as on the 290x.

 

This was quite a breakthrough in GPU technology. The first major change in GPU layout/design in a long time. 


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<snip>

Good for them. They have always been slightly behind nVidia in the performance department (notice I didn't say value), and this seems like a step in the right direction. I've always had a soft spot for AMD, even though I use nVidia in almost every computer I build (mainly for the lower power-consumption and heat output to performance ratio)

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Good for them. They have always been slightly behind nVidia in the performance department (notice I didn't say value), and this seems like a step in the right direction. I've always had a soft spot for AMD, even though I use nVidia in almost every computer I build (mainly for the lower power-consumption and heat output to performance ratio)

 

They actually haven't been behind in terms of performance. Not until the big Maxwell cards dropped and the 980 (until recently) was the only one that really out-paced the 290x and that's only mainly at 1080p/1440p. 

 

Now, Fury is directly targeting the 980Ti/Titan X and we'll soon find out if they can take the top spot again. 

 

The thing is; Nvidia and AMD have always been leap-frogging each other. It has always been this way. Since they don't release new cards at the same time, there's always a period of time where one company has the faster card(s) at various price points and performance levels. Because of this, neither company has a standing record of holding the "best performance overall" over more than one generation of GPUs. 


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They actually haven't been behind in terms of performance. Not until the big Maxwell cards dropped and the 980 (until recently) was the only one that really out-paced the 290x and that's only mainly at 1080p/1440p.

Now, Fury is directly targeting the 980Ti/Titan X and we'll soon find out if they can take the top spot again.

The thing is; Nvidia and AMD have always been leap-frogging each other. It has always been this way. Since they don't release new cards at the same time, there's always a period of time where one company has the faster card(s) at various price points and performance levels. Because of this, neither company has a standing record of holding the "best performance overall" over more than one generation of GPUs.

True, but the 290x was worse than the 780ti, both of them bright flagship cards. You're right though. The Fury would have beaten the 780ti.

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They've also implemented HBM (high bandwidth memory) which places the memory modules stacked on an interposer, right beside the GPU die. This uses quite a bit less power and saves a ton of space on the PCB. See pics below: 

 

-snip-

 

 

Note how even the dual Fiji card still has a shorter PCB than the 290x. Also note how much space is saved without all the GDDR5 memory modules spaced out around the GPU as on the 290x.

 

This was quite a breakthrough in GPU technology. The first major change in GPU layout/design in a long time. 

I just don't get having only 2 8-pin connectors on a dual-flagship card. At least an additional 4/6 is justified and likely necessary for overclocking it.


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I just don't get having only 2 8-pin connectors on a dual-flagship card. At least an additional 4/6 is justified and likely necessary for overclocking it.

 

maybe it's a limitation of board power?


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maybe it's a limitation of board power?

Wouldn't that imply a failure in engineering?


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I just don't get having only 2 8-pin connectors on a dual-flagship card. At least an additional 4/6 is justified and likely necessary for overclocking it.

Well it's not like the HBM needs the same amount of power as GDDR5, so I don't follow.

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Well it's not like the HBM needs the same amount of power as GDDR5, so I don't follow.

Each GPU on its own has a 275W TDP. 2 8 pins and the PCIe connector do not make 550W of power draw (for overclocking headroom. I'm very much aware TDP and power consumption are not equivalent).


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I just don't get having only 2 8-pin connectors on a dual-flagship card. At least an additional 4/6 is justified and likely necessary for overclocking it.

 

The 295x2 uses 2 8pin connectors and that's two [overclocked] 290w TDP GPUs. So this dual 275w Fiji card will be better equipped for overclocking and stock power than the 295x2 was/is. They're clearly capable and able to pull more than the rated wattage through those connectors on the 295x2. ;)

 

They said during the presentation that Fury will be "an overclocker's dream". Considering the Hawaii cards overclocked like mules stuck in the mud, I think AMD realized they had very little overhead and we just might see Maxwell like OCing with Fiji. If they want to beat the 980Ti, they need Fury to OC like the 980Ti.  


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True, but the 290x was worse than the 780ti, both of them bright flagship cards. You're right though. The Fury would have beaten the 780ti.

 

The reference 290x was worse, mainly because of it's horrible cooler that caused it to thermal throttle like no tomorrow. If you look at other versions of the 290x with proper cooling (like the Sapphire Vapour X), it does trade blows with the 780Ti in a number of games. The 780Ti was a beast in it's era, not denying that. ;)


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The reference 290x was worse, mainly because of it's horrible cooler that caused it to thermal throttle like no tomorrow. If you look at other versions of the 290x with proper cooling (like the Sapphire Vapour X), it does trade blows with the 780Ti in a number of games. The 780Ti was a beast in it's era, not denying that. ;)

780ti was the king for a while but poor driver support saw the kepler range fall behind
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True, but the 290x was worse than the 780ti, both of them bright flagship cards. You're right though. The Fury would have beaten the 780ti.

The 290x was released a month before the 780 Ti though. The 780 Ti was clearly a reactionary response to the 290x, since the 290x was better than the 780.

 

For that month of October 2013, the 290x was the card to get. Even after the 780 Ti was released, the 290x was still basically the better choice, since it was cheaper for almost identical performance.


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Not sure this belongs here, but Tech of tomorrow did a nice interview with Roy Tailor from AMD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx8Uu64gIS8


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Not sure this belongs here, but Tech of tomorrow did a nice interview with Roy Tailor from AMD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx8Uu64gIS8

I would say it belongs. CPU's are part of gaming, and not everything needs to focus on the GPU.


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Each GPU on its own has a 275W TDP. 2 8 pins and the PCIe connector do not make 550W of power draw (for overclocking headroom. I'm very much aware TDP and power consumption are not equivalent).

295 x 2 was taking 620 w on the same 2x 8 pin connectors on full stress testing (487 on load)


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295 x 2 was taking 620 w on the same 2x 8 pin connectors on full stress testing (487 on load)

In which case the wires and rails are operating out of spec on full stress, which would eventually lead to a fried PSU. My point stands. There's a reason the K|NGP|N cards come with 2 8s and a 6 despite being single GPUs. You need that for stable, safe power delivery. It's not just for show. If AMD limits the dual-Fiji to 2 8-pins, they're making a foolish mistake unless they allow AIBs to make custom variants, something I doubt will happen given it's a low-volume product.


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In which case the wires and rails are operating out of spec on full stress, which would eventually lead to a fried PSU. My point stands. There's a reason the K|NGP|N cards come with 2 8s and a 6 despite being single GPUs. You need that for stable, safe power delivery. It's not just for show. If AMD limits the dual-Fiji to 2 8-pins, they're making a foolish mistake unless they allow AIBs to make custom variants, something I doubt will happen given it's a low-volume product.

 

why not just got 2x base cards and get more out of them instead of trying to fry one ?


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why not just got 2x base cards and get more out of them instead of trying to fry one ?

Compact, powerful build. Despite the fact I vehemently hate building in anything smaller than a mid-tower, it makes sense for ITX rigs to have a super-charged dual GPU option.


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Not really, it sturgled against the 780 and consumed a little more power, and the 980 stomped on it, consuming almost of the power of the 290x. The only good card since the 7970 was the r9 295x2 and the 7990

 

Well, as of now you can get a 290x for 299$ so price to performance is looking reallly good right now, and the 390/390x might drive the price down even further.

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Compact, powerful build. Despite the fact I vehemently hate building in anything smaller than a mid-tower, it makes sense for ITX rigs to have a super-charged dual GPU option.

i can see that


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In which case the wires and rails are operating out of spec on full stress, which would eventually lead to a fried PSU. My point stands. There's a reason the K|NGP|N cards come with 2 8s and a 6 despite being single GPUs. You need that for stable, safe power delivery. It's not just for show. If AMD limits the dual-Fiji to 2 8-pins, they're making a foolish mistake unless they allow AIBs to make custom variants, something I doubt will happen given it's a low-volume product.

 

Tom's hardware had a really good article on this. Link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-power-supply-balance,3979.html

 

It's a good read and goes over some of the concerns you've raised. 

 

For a card like the 295x2, as long as you use two separate PCIe cables (one for each 8 pin connector) and your PSU's 12v rail(s) can deliver the necessary (combined total for multi-rail) wattage, then you'll be fine. Why? Because each PCIe cable that has an 8 and a 6+2 connector at the end is [technically] rated for 300w. 300 x 2 = 600w through two 8 pins. ;) You just only use the one 8 pin connector on each cable.

 

Those who run cards like the 295x2 need to be very careful with how they power the card as they'll either melt the cable (if the gauge is too small and they only use one cable, connecting the 8 and 6+2 on that single cable) or the cable will just get hot and probably hinder the card's performance. It shouldn't damage the PSU if it's single rail because the PSU has no problem pushing out the power. If it's multi-rail, it may max out that rail, which will of course cause more problems.

 

So two 8 pin connectors is easily enough for two 275w TDP GPUs, and even for two 290w GPUs. What matters is that your PSU can handle it and that you hook it up properly. :)


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Good for them. They have always been slightly behind nVidia in the performance department (notice I didn't say value), and this seems like a step in the right direction. I've always had a soft spot for AMD, even though I use nVidia in almost every computer I build (mainly for the lower power-consumption and heat output to performance ratio)

Personally I never got the whole idea of heat output to performance ratio, to me it's all marketing Bullshit unless your making a super computer with hundreds of GPU's and power consumption is a factor.

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Personally I never got the whole idea of heat output to performance ratio, to me it's all marketing Bullshit unless your making a super computer with hundreds of GPU's and power consumption is a factor.

Two years ago, no one gave a shit about power consumption. Then NVIDIA started marketing about how it's such a big deal, and how AMD is suddenly so bad at it, etc.

 

Except that even in the case of the 290x, the consumption difference over a year equals a few $$ (single digits) for most people. Sure, if you live in a place where electricity is expensive as fuck, then okay, look at power consumption and heat output... but for the average person, it will make little difference.

 

But of course, because people lost their shit over the "power hungry space heater" that was the 290x, AMD was like "aiight, bruh, here you go" and blew us away with Fiji.


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Two years ago, no one gave a shit about power consumption. Then NVIDIA started marketing about how it's such a big deal, and how AMD is suddenly so bad at it, etc.

 

Except that even in the case of the 290x, the consumption difference over a year equals a few $$ (single digits) for most people. Sure, if you live in a place where electricity is expensive as fuck, then okay, look at power consumption and heat output... but for the average person, it will make little difference.

 

But of course, because people lost their shit over the "power hungry space heater" that was the 290x, AMD was like "aiight, bruh, here you go" and blew us away with Fiji.

Yea electricity costs 6¢ a kilowatt hour so I'm just like fuck you I'm going to have dual 290X's whether you think it'd a bad idea or not.

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