AMD Radeon R9 Fury Review: Fiji On Air Tested

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Radeon R9 Fury Power Consumption, Temps And Overclocking

One of the promises of Fiji was improved power efficiency, and while we still aren’t seeing Maxwell-levels of optimization, AMD has absolutely delivered on that promise. Especially when comparing Hawaii-based cards like the Radeon 390x.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

fury power

For our power draw tests, we ran the BioShock Infinite benchmark utility on Ultra at 1440p and measured the amount of system power at the wall with an identical base platform for all cards. So what you’re looking at is total system wattage.

Consider that even though our test bench with the Sapphire Tri-X Fury is pulling 407W total peak power, it’s using 4% less energy than 390x and delivering an average of 22% faster performance.

When talking about operating temperatures, there are a lot of variables that can disrupt any concrete conclusions. For example, we tested NVIDIA’s reference cards which typically operate at higher temps than partner cards from the likes of MSI, Asus, or EVGA. Then again, the same can be said of AMD’s reference designs versus their board partners.

fury temp

So let’s focus in on the 390x versus the Fury. Both are Sapphire Tri-X cards, and both hit peak temperatures of 75C. That’s a meaningful data point because the Fury is delivering better performance and drawing a bit more power than the 390x. Further impressing us is that the Fury's idle temperatures hover between 34C and 37C. It's clear to that Sapphire didn’t cut any corners and built a cooling solution specifically designed for the Fiji die. 

Additionally, the acoustic profile is wildly customizable. You can set a target of 60C and have nearly silent gaming under load, albeit with an expected hit to performance. All told, Sapphire and AMD have done a fantastic job with their thermals here, which is refreshing given AMD’s history (remember those 290x temps?).

Overclocking The Radeon R9 Fury
Wringing out additional performance
The Radeon Fury’s base GPU clock is 1000MHz, and the Tri-X version we received for testing ships with a factory overlock boosting it to 1040MHz. As we alluded to in our introduction, there’s a decent amount of headroom provided by Sapphire’s cooler for you to pick up the standard 1000MHz edition and do it yourself without any hurdles. 

fury oc

Obviously we wanted more, so we used Catalyst Control Center’s built-in AMD Overdrive utility to push an additional 83MHz out of the GPU clock for a total of 1123MHz, or a 12.3% total overclock. What’s that look like when revisiting our 3DMark Fire Strike test? It translates to a 9% performance uplift over the baseline Fury GPU clock, and about 6% performance uplift beyond the already overclocked 1040MHz clock.

Sadly, it’s still not currently possible to overclock AMD’s High-Bandwidth Memory, but we suspect there will be measurable performance boosts made possible by doing so. The Fiji architecture is still in its infancy, and as the drivers continue to mature I think we’ll see some improvements there. 


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