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Monday | August 3, 2020


A few months ago we took our first look at a Radeon Fury card in the form of Sapphires model. It was an impressive example of the new AMD product but that wasn’t enough for them. So today we look at their new, enhanced edition in our SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 FURY Review.

SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 FURY Review – The Card

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The Nitro R9 Fury card arrives in some stylish packaging which has a window in the centre allowing us to see part of the product. Various logo’s give us some information on the key features and inside we get a bundle containing  product documentation and a case sticker. A free HDMI cable is also included.

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For Sapphires Nitro card we get a set of 90mm dual ball bearing fans which are similar to those used on their older Tri-X card. Underneath them is a block of aluminium fins, 5 copper heatpipes (one of which is 10mm, 2x 8mm and 2x6mm) and more importantly a custom PCB. It’s slightly taller and longer than the reference design from AMD and Sapphire further improve the build quality with high quality chokes and enhanced power circuitry.

Dimensions/Form factor: 2.2 Slots, 12.8x5x1.7 Inch or 307x125x45 mm.

A BIOS switch is present on the card too, with the 2nd BIOS offering a higher level of power for overclockers and with it a target GPU temperature of 80c rather than 75c. The card also follows others in that the fans turn off when at the desktop or under low load and we get a nice metal backplate on the card with Nitro branding.

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The card requires around 250w in use and Sapphire go with two 8-pin power connectors on the top edge of their PCB. For outputs we get HDMI 1.4 and 3x DisplayPort 1.2 along with a single DVI. We can power up to 6 displays and of course 4k monitors and TVs are supported as is audio over our DisplayPort/HDMI cable.

All of the usual features are present such as support for DirextX 12, FreeSync, OpenCL, Direct Compute and the like with AMD adding also noting two key features on Fiji. The first is Virtual Super Resolution which benefits those on 1920×1080 (for example) screens. The card is able to  render the game at higher settings (such as 4k) and then scale down the image to smooth out jagged edges and enhance image quality. The card also supports Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC) which allows us to specify a maximum framerate and have the card hit this, rather than its maximum, reducing power use and heat generated. This is ideal for games such as DOTA 2 where 300fps doesn’t really benefit, so we could for example limit to 120fps and save power, reduce heat and lower noise without really impacting the gaming experience.

As far as the key specs go. This is a DirectX 12 compatible 28nm GPU with 3584 stream processors, 64 compute units and 224 texture units. ROPs are 64 and the memory interface is listed as 4096-bit. With a core speed of 1050MHz and memory of 500MHz (4GB) that gives us a bandwidth of 512GB/s.

nitro trixx

Also worth noting is the availability of Sapphires Trixx utility as a free download. It allows us to monitor and tweak our card. Adding further value is that there is a free game bundle at some retailers now for a free copy of Star Wars Battlefront.

Sapphire are also running a number of promotions through this year, here is what they had to say about them:

“The launch of the SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 FURY also marks the beginning of a year-long promotion in 2016, the Year of the SAPPHIRE NITRO. Throughout 2016, gamers can participate in exciting regular giveaways and activities and win SAPPHIRE NITRO Gaming series graphics cards. Starting in January, there will be a chance to win a SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 FURY card. More information is available at SAPPHIRE Nation. “

SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 FURY Review – Performance

Testing was performed on the Intel Core i7-5960X running on an X99 board with 16GB of DDR4 and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD. Windows 10 was the OS and all games along with the OS were patched.

AMD Driver: 16.1.1
NVIDIA Driver: 361.75



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SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 FURY Review – Conclusion

Back when we tested the Tri-X version of Sapphires Fury card we found it to be an impressive card, running quiet but offering excellent performance at higher resolutions. With the Nitro version build quality has received a bump, as has the GPU speed and therefore framerate.

In our tests the Nitro R9 Fury was more than capable of competing with the GTX 980 in the latest games and we very much like that it runs silent when under low load or at idle.  In fact even when gaming the card is whisper quiet. Of course the feature set is excellent, offering everything we expect from the Fiji GPU including support for VR, DirectX 12 and enhanced video playback features. We can also utilise GPU computing on the Fury, assisting the CPU in productivity applications to reduce processing time.

Summary: A great version of the R9 Fury which offers a high level of build quality, decent aesthetics and impressive performance.

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Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. MDM

    It is mentioned in the reviews, but no one says what position is what:

    1. the default BIOS of TDP 260w and a target T of 75C,

    2. the second BIOS of TDP 300w and a target T of 80C!

    Namely, light on is what (pressed), light off (unpressed) is what??

    In my testing in both positions temperature under stress stopped at exactly 79C?? And that left me puzzled in the dark…

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