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Tuesday | August 11, 2020
Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review

Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review

Today, a little bit overdue for sure, we fill in the final gap in our recent GPU testing with a Fury card. Based on the same GPU as Fury X which we covered on launch day this model looks to offer something more traditional… and at a slightly more affordable price. Welcome to our Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review.

Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review – Packaging and Bundle

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There are no surprises when it comes to the packaging used by Sapphire. The window in the box is a bit of a new twist but otherwise, the usual mascot and spec’s info. Inside the bundled items are found in a small box and include case sticker, software disc, HDMI cable, product documentation (including info on Sapphires Select Club and its member benefits). Finally we have a DisplayPort to DVI convertor which is good to see.

Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review – The Card

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As this is a Tri-X card, like models in Sapphires 300 series, we get a fairly chunky cooler on this card. Three 90mm dual ball bearing aerofoil fans can be found on the front and beneath them 7 copper heatpipes (1x10mm, 2x8mm and 4x6mm) which work with the large number of aluminium fins to cool our GPU via a copper plate. Flipping the card over we see that like the Fury X this is a card which actually has a very compact PCB (in part due to the use of HBM memory again). It is the cooler which gives this model its length. The PCB is strengthened by the use of a backplate and there are no Crossfire connectors, this card works over the PCIe lanes for that.

As with many other modern graphics cards the Tri-X Fury turns off its fans at low load/temps and runs silent until heat reaches a level which requires active cooling. It is also worth noting that the front of the card has a diecast mounting frame to ensure rigidity and that there are status LEDs on the back which note load with the card also featuring dual BIOS, a nice enthusiast/overclocker feature.

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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. As far as outputs go, like the Fury X, gone are DVI and instead we get HDMI 1.4 and 3x DisplayPort 1.2. Using a DisplayPort Hub we can power up to 6 displays and of course for the average user 4k monitors/TVs are supported as is audio over our DisplayPort/HDMI cable. We can of course use convertors like the one bundled with this card to add DVIs for older screens.

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 1040MHz and memory of 500MHz (4GB) that gives us a bandwidth of 512GB/s.


For those who want to push the card a little bit further, Sapphire provide TriXX as their tweaking and monitoring software. It’s a free download from their website and has full support for the Fury as well as Windows 10.


Sapphire Tri-X 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 8.1 was the OS and all games along with the OS were patched.

All testing was performed on a BenQ BL3201 4k Display


NVIDIA Driver: 353.30
AMD Driver: 15.15.1004 Beta/15.7


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Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the Tri-X Fury we have a card which is quite interesting… one of the cool things about Fury X was its compact size and so having the Fury use this large cooler in some ways feels a little bit disappointing. That said, to cool the GPU while retaining this configuration would have been quite a challenge with a large single fan, or maybe two smaller ones… so we can understand this approach. Size issues aside, the quality is good. We’re getting the same HBM and GPU as the more expensive model and Sapphire add a nice backplate, LEDs and frame to the card which is ideal. Plenty of chunky heatpipes too.

Performance is very good, across the board. Power use is a little below the Fury X as expected and compares well with the GTX 980. Temperatures are very good, decent idle for a card which runs fanless/silent at low load and very minimal noise from the fans to sit at 71c which is about 10c below the average GTX 980 series card. 3DMark scores show the Fury sitting between the GTX 980/Ti which is where it is priced and in games we regularly were able to play at 4k. It would be great for AMD/Sapphire to knock £50 or so off the retail price of this card and make the decision vs. 980 much easier but as things stand the Tri-X Fury offers competitive performance against that model and comes pretty close to the level of Fury X.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. BB

    Looks like a pretty cool card. I think i’ll wait to see what the smaller Fury looks like/does.

  2. Headloser

    Sapphire really know their GPU card.
    But i be waiting to see what Fury Nano GPU have to offer.
    Plus since AMD going to release a 14mm Version of Fury with 8 GB next year. I would hold off until they release it.

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