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Thursday, September 24, 2015

AMD readying world’s most powerful GPU for release: the R9 Fury X2

For the moment, NVIDIA currently holds the crown as the manufacturer of the world’s most powerful graphics card, the GTX Titan.

While yes, technically, AMD’s dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 is the more powerful card in a number of scenarios, it’s an iffy card we really wouldn’t recommend.

That’s not to say that it’s a poor performer, but lacklustre drivers mean compatibility issues with certain games; in spite of being big, power hungry, often noisy and producing a lot of heat, the GTX Titan X still manages to beat it out in a number of games; and most frustratingly, the R9 295X2 has a habit of traversing, albeit briefly, into some pretty low frame rates on occasion.

But Radeon’s next dual-GPU card, the R9 Fury X2, looks to put AMD firmly in the lead, at least until their Greenland and NVIDIA’s Pascal GPUs arrive.

The biggest issue with dual-GPUs, owing to the very nature of the best, are additional power requirements, heat generation and issues with the performance of multiple GPUs in tandem scaling correctly, all of which are seemingly solved with the R9 Fury X2 thanks to the improvements when designing Fiji.

Changes made to the GCN micro-architecture has meant that with a little tweaking, a few power management optimisations and careful performance monitoring by the drivers means that the flagship Fiji GPU requires a lot less cooling and is far more energy efficient than prior AMD flagship GPUs – it’s what has allowed AMD to develop the R9 Nano.

Not only does that mean the R9 Fury X2 should run a lot quieter and with less heat build-up than the R9 295X2, but much improved multiple GPU scaling promises one helluva performer.

In fact, you need only look at how well multiple R9 Fury X cards scale in a past feature to see how well this dual-GPU should perform.

It’s particularly noticeable when gaming at 4K resolution, trouncing SLI GTX Titan Xs in a number of scenarios, which is where you’d need a card like the R9 Fury X2. There’s a reason AMD’s Quantum is supposed to be able to squash any game at 4K resolution and on maximum settings – it’s built with an R9 Fury X2 in mind.

And it’s one beautiful machine, and supposedly quite the performer, as a result.

That’s all good news, and it seems like AMD plans to release the R9 Fury X2 in the 4th quarter of 2015.

It’s set to sport 8GB of HDM memory at an outrageous bandwidth of 1TB/s and promises to deliver more than 17 teraflops of compute performance.

Compute performance that benchmarks of two R9 Fury Xs in CrossfireX confirm, will result in a faster card than two GTX Titan Xs in SLI, at least at 4K resolutions anyway.

And for those naysayers out there, AMD promises that they have tweaked and tinkered at the R9 Fury X2 such that it will behave like two R9 Fury Xs in CrossfireX.