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AMD Radeon R9 Nano verdict

AMD’s R9 Nano is a hell of a little graphics card,
delivering near-R9 Fury X performance in a compact mini-ITX form-factor.
It’s also expensive—very expensive—at $650, matching the price of the
full-size Fury X and Nvidia’s 980 Ti. Is it worth that pile of dollars?
Our colleagues at Maximum PC have been testing the R9 Nano for over a week
(AMD only sent us one card to share), and found that the Nano “is
really an astounding GPU in many respects. It shows how with a bit of
tuning, Fiji can go from being a 275W monster to a 175W tiny terror. Put
the Nano next to most other GPUs and you’d expect it to deliver
inferior performance, but in many cases it doesn’t. The density and
space requirements of HBM are a huge win in this regard; look at the
area used for GDDR5 on a 6GB 980 Ti graphics card or even a 4GB GTX 980
and compare that with the Fiji package that contains memory and GPU in
less than half the space and you can see why most other GPUs can’t hope
to go as small as the Nano. But while there’s no question it’s the
fastest GPU in its size class, that doesn’t mean it’s the right GPU for
you.”
What does that mean? If you’re not building a small
form-factor PC, there’s little reason to buy the R9 Nano over a larger
graphics card. You’ll get more performance out of a Fury X or 980 Ti, or
can still choose high-end performance with a much cheaper card like a
GTX 970. But if you are building a tiny PC, it’s the most powerful card
you can buy.
Let’s look at some quick performance results to put things in perspective.
Amd R9 Nano Gta 5
Maximum
PC writes: “What we find is that R9 Nano falls just a few percent shy
of the R9 Fury, and about 11 percent behind the R9 Fury X, just as you’d
expect from the clock speeds and TDP. The gap also tends to be larger
at higher resolutions, which means R9 Nano has to reduce clock speeds
more under heavier loads—nothing too surprising there. AMD’s preview of
the Nano claimed performance up to 30 percent higher than the R9 290X
and GTX 970; our own testing has the 290X outperforming the GTX 970 by
12 percent on average, with the R9 Nano in turn beating 290X by 20
percent on average, and GTX 970 by 34 percent on average.”
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