Single card graphics solutions become more and more powerful we’re seeing many builders ditching the bulky full and mid tower two cases with multi-GPU setups in favor of smaller systems that still pack a powerful punch but with most top to your graphics cards having sometimes Ludacris space requirements. Generating lots and lots of heat putting them into something like an ITX chassis can be a challenge with that in mind MD delivered upon this world the Radeon R9 Nano a small form factor graphics card that promises performance on par with full-size flagship Radeon Cards.
But can team red deliver and give us a truly first class gaming experience in such a tiny little package stay tuned to find out and if you want us to do more theoretical graphics card comparison videos in the future very vague. I know the master case 5 by Cooler Master gives you the freedom to truly make your mid tower pc case your own with a variety of modular parts and accessories.
The official name of Radeon R9 Nano is the Nano, the R9 fury series of graphics cards from AMD which also includes the R9 fury the top and water cooled r9 fury X and despite the Nano being much smaller and less bulky than the fury x. It shares the same GPU with 4096 stream processors and 64 compute units the only difference being that the Nano has a peak clock speed out of the box of 1000 mega hertz.
Which are 50 less than the fury X the net also has the same memory configurations the furious with four gigabytes of high bandwidth memory AKH P.M. running at 500 megahertz on a 512 the gigabyte per second memory bus. However where the Nano sets itself apart is its cooling and power delivery systems unlike some other reference design cards from AMD we’ve seen the Nano has its heating fins oriented horizontally along the card. Instead of radically out of the card you’d see a radial design set up very often on Intel stock CPU coolers. They did this they moved to horizontal to minimize obstructions and make the cooler function more similarly into a blower style solution AMD is targeting a temperature of 75 degrees Celsius. While gaming with this card throttling at 85 degrees Celsius the Nano is also a lot less power-hungry peak board power is rated at 175 watts compared to the 235 lat draw of the fury. Fury acts be improved cooling and reduced power consumption combined with the space saving benefits of HBM which is physically integrated into the GPU package means that AMD was able to make the Nano PCB only six inches long so the card only extends as far as the end of your pci express slot.
On your motherboard do keep in mind though if you’re interested in dropping the Nano into your ultra small system that the power connector alone 8-pin pcie input is oriented on the side of the card not on the top. Meaning you’ll have to factor in some extra length there for your plug coming off of your power supply with that said let’s have a closer look at the card itself starting on the front you see a matte black metal shroud it looks quite similar to what we saw on the fury X. Except of course that the Nano is an air-cooled card so there’s a single 90 millimeter fan on the front cool everything down do note that if you pick up a reference Nano the Heatsink and fan are actually integrated into the shroud and therefore are not easily removable should you be interested in Modding the card the heat sink.
Itself features the after mentioned horizontal thins and no heat pipes which AMD decided to omit to keep the weight and bulkiness of the card to a minimum while still keeping the cooling good the back of the PCB is bear though it does have a matte black finish for a clean look we want to the top we see a fairly understated design with the radeon logo.
And only a small part of the Heatsink peeking through the black shroud and then the side of the card is open to allow case fans to help move air across the heatsink and also includes that loan 8-pin pcie power connector we mentioned earlier on the back we see one HDMI.
Three display outputs note that this doesn’t have any DVI outs and we didn’t see any adapters in the Box to make sure you pick one up if you’ll be using DVI with this card now onto performance we used a fairly standard test suite of Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Far cry 4 and the Witcher 3 for our standard performance benchmarks. Then we just added on fire strike ultra which was a little aggressive but interesting regardless then we did our standard sky box testing and Crysis 3 to test heavy low temperature and system wattage from the wall one very important factor to remember when looking at these numbers is the size of the nano.
Sure its trading blows of the gtx 980 and it’s being beaten by the fury both of which are cheaper but this thing is absolutely tiny in terms of size while the 980 and fury are both center of attention case monsters this shows in power draw as well the only card that beats the Nano in terms of power draw. We tested is the now old 285 compact from sapphire which to be fair is it a much lower to your performance which shows very well when looking at the graph comparison of system wattage per frame. Even though the nano has a little a bit more power draw than the 285 compact its system watch for frame is under half which is pretty great this leaves us with a card that when compared to a 390x tricks edition performs better runs cooler and draws significantly less power from the wall.
All while being much smaller but at an increased price of two hundred dollars which brings us to our last question price. You got me it’s not exactly a cheap card at six hundred fifty dollars it’s got a price tag to it it’s dollars per frame is not really that great surprise performance is not really that great but I honestly don’t think that’s the reason why someone would be interested in this card.
The card isn’t trying to be the best price performance cars on the market it’s trying to be a badass in terms of power consumption and performance while containing itself in a small package and that honestly basically was my conclusion the Nano is small. The Nano is fast and the nano draws an impressively low amount of wattage from the wall it does all of this wild yes being a little expensive but not to an impossible degree.
I could see a lot of small form factor builders looking in this direction soon especially with the number of case manufacturers coming out with smaller and smaller cases every year with some very interesting ones on the horizon with the raintree V DOT 0 SDK. Which is one small snippet of code you’re all set up in less than 10 minutes they even have support staff ready to walk you through the process over the phone?