As much as the recent release of AMD’s Fury X high end, high bandwidth memory (HBM) sporting graphic card was a big event, the card that’s generating the most buzz at the moment is the smallest one in that same new range of GPUs – the R9 Nano. Set to make use of the same Fiji chip, but with a much smaller TDP and PCB, it has the potential to be the perfect graphics card for small system builders, so its release is an important one for AMD. The Nano has an expected release date in August, but there may already be a few units out in the wild.
Purportedly – and bear in mind, this is a rumor – those cards have now begun shipping to retailers (per Hexus), so it may not be long until we get our first look at them. We’ll have to wait until the official reviews land to give us a real take on the card, but there are some wattage efficiency numbers floating around that are said to come from embargoed AMD slides.
These numbers and the accompanying images that show the card in the flesh, tell us that it is indeed very small compared to some of the huge performance focused GPUs that we’ve become used to in recent years. It was said to be tested in a system containing an i7-5960x running at 3GHz, with 16GB of DDR4. The benchmark used was Unigine Heaven running at 3840×2180, with no AA or AF, and everything else at extreme.
The numbers given are all related to the size and power draw of the card. While the 290X in the same system was said to deliver 1.6FPS per inch, the Nano managed four FPS per inch. When it came to the TDP, the Nano delivered 0.152 FPS per watt, in comparison to 0.076FPS per watt for the 290x.
Although these numbers are not very conclusive, we should consider that the hardware is in very few hands at the moment. To give us a real verdict on whether this card is a strong performer for its size, TDP and price point, we’ll need to wait for the full reviews, which will compare it to Nvidia hardware as well as old AMD gear.