back to article Nano – meet her: AMD's Radeon R9 4K graphics card for non-totally bonkers gamers, people

AMD will today launch the Radeon R9 Nano, a beefy graphics card designed to run comfortably inside tight spaces. It's aimed at people who want to build small-case PCs fitted with mini-ITX motherboards and relatively dinky power supplies: such setups need a GPU card that can do as much as possible without overloading the PSU or …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Cough.. cough... cough...

    175W in a mini-ITX case is called a fan heater, not a piece of electronics. There is no way in hell you can dissipate that amount of heat in that little space unless you are pushing all of it outside the case straight away which is not the case (the heatsink has vents on top and on the side in addition to the exhaust).

    So frankly, if marketed for that it is mismarketed from the start. You simply cannot stuff something like this in a mini-ITX case even if you severely under-clock it.

    It will end up with the usual suspects - the shorter size improves airflow in a normal gaming case too.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Cough.. cough... cough...

      I think only vents at the back of the card (i.e. PCI bracket) are the exhaust, look at the direction of radiator strips. So, yeah, vast majority of this heat will be pushed outside.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Cough.. cough... cough...

        I think only vents at the back of the card

        Nope. Look at "how it is constructed" diagram.

        It is a bog standard intake from "face" fan pushing onto a bog standard radiator matrix. Airflow will be coming out half from the PCI bracket (so far so good), but other half from the from the other side into the case. There will be minor overspill from the top side too.

        So you are looking at 50% of 175W recycled back into a book size (mini-ITX) case. Even the best ones (f.e. by Silverstone) have trouble dissipating > 80W. Pushing 90W into it from the card alone is a fried system outright.

        Overall - pretty bad design. They could have done the cooling differently by moving the fan pushing everything out of the PCI bracket exhaust. It is non-trivial as the airflow reqs are quite high so it is difficult to have something that does not sound like a hovercraft.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: Cough.. cough... cough...

          @Voland's right hand assuming you are right, it is very surprising they did it like this. Hope to read more on this subject.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Hope to read more on this subject

            We might find more in the fried graphics card column in some weeks or months.

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Hope to read more on this subject

              Not all Mini ITX Cases are the ultra small ones, there are ones that will handle this as people do actually want smaller machines with plenty of grunt.

              I am all for it as it means more choice for the PC builders!

    2. regadpellagru

      Re: Cough.. cough... cough...

      "175W in a mini-ITX case is called a fan heater, not a piece of electronics. There is no way in hell you can dissipate that amount of heat in that little space unless you are pushing all of it outside the case straight away which is not the case (the heatsink has vents on top and on the side in addition to the exhaust)."

      Yes, 175W is quite high, but I really wonder about the Fury X TDP ... 275 W ?? Really ?! It's more than my total mitx new gaming build, which burns 250 W total on extreme load ! No OC yet, though.

      And meantime, the ASUS GTX 270 mini IS overclocked, and as far as I can tell, doesn't throttle while gaming.

  2. msknight Silver badge

    I'll probably get one next year

    I went low power/small a few years ago and this is definitely of interest to me.

    I don't need ultra-fast FPS; so long as the game doesn't judder, I'm perfectly happy. I'm currently running an A10 black as my gaming machine, and although the on-die graphics is adequate I'd like a little extra from the graphics so I can run some shaders.

    But as a mature gamer who doesn't like to live with the window permanently open to expel heat, it sounds like this is just down my street.

  3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    I wonder how

    ... would look benchmarks of this card under DirectX 12, against best of nVidia.

  4. danielbUK

    How does it compare to a GTX 970 ITX?

    I wonder how it compares to a GTX 970 ITX which are alot cheaper..........

    1. regadpellagru

      Re: How does it compare to a GTX 970 ITX?

      Probably not that great, seeing the only version that won't set your build on fire is severely under-clocked, vs. mitx 970, which some of them are over-clocked.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $649 (£420)

    stopped here, sorry.

    1. Tom_

      Re: $649 (£420)

      Yeah, it should probably have said "$649 (£649)".

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: $649 (£420)

        Problem with products considered niche :(

    2. montyburns56

      Re: $649 (£420)

      Indeed, I was getting quite excited about this product until I saw the price!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $649 (£420)

      Yep. That IS totally bonkers.

  6. scrubber
    Coffee/keyboard

    Very small market at that price

    The only people who would want this card at the same price as the Fury X are people who need lots of power in a really small case.

    All other use cases can simply underclock their Fury X and see similar power/heat benefits as the nano with a better (water) cooling solution in place sending heat outside, and possibly even less noise as the watercooler is dealing with much less heat in an underclocked card than it was designed to.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Very small market at that price

      Nope, there are also people who want Fury X but without water cooling (and with slightly lower power budget). E.g. cases where water cooling for Fury X won't fit, CrossFire etc.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Yes please....

    ...my Atom based system needs a boost....just need to wait 2 years to get one on eBay with my budget

  8. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Having a giraffe..

    The Nano Fury and Fury X are typical AMD : technically they should be superior, in reality they're not, as Nvidia and Intel are better at implementation and that's what counts.

    The Fury series aren't appreciably faster than NVidia's offering, they're not any cheaper, the drivers are worse and the connectivity on the cards is worse unless running an all Displayport estate, or the Sapphire Fury custom card.

    420 quid? Not a chance. 150-200, might be getting somewhere.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Having a giraffe..

      Better at DX12 though, based on evidence so far.

  9. Matthew Taylor

    I've tried several times to parse the title of this article, but I can't make any sense of it whatsoever.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      I've tried several times to parse the title of this article, but I can't make any sense of it whatsoever.

      At! least! it! wasn't! one! of! those! tedious! Yahoo! headlines!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Nanometer/Nano: meet her? = small

        just guessing

  10. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    ..on the other hand

    On Anandtech, a commenter 'stanleyipkiss' makes the point that this is a market test to prove the later release of the Fury X2 - two Nanos in one PCB. That might actually make sense.

    It's the only thing that does however, as others point out, even ITX cases can handle full size cards.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    175watts!!!

    And people get told to switch their lightbulbs for energy saving ones.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      This number is maximum power. At idle or low utilisation it will be much, much lower.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Desktop supercomputing

    This architecture will usher in the era of desktop supercomputing. Re-architecting a database to take advantage of HBM and implementing scientific applications in SPIR-V will allow you to do what before would have required an entire cluster.

    True innovation doesn't come very often to our industry, this looks really exciting.

  13. Brian 3
    WTF?

    $$

    The price is all wrong here - it's obviously not that great of a cooler and it's an underclocked Fury chip. It should be cheaper as with any lesser product. It's not like it's smaller because of anything but the size of the cooler and reduced power requirements really. I mean, come on. Enough BS. Specialty form factor? How about Reduced Net Cost?

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: $$

      Smaller might mean more expensive if you need more expensive materials to move the heat faster, but I agree - this looks like trying to sell a bin-sorted chips as premium. That's a business which apparently doesn't want to be seen as trying to do its best for its customers. It's accountancy-driven. It's a shame. I want AMD to do well but they just keep messing up.

      Am I the only one who wants a pseudo-all-in-one? If I've got a large screen, hide the cpu/graphics behind it in a couple of boxes with large, slow fans, maybe with water cooling if the angles are hard. I like all-in-one tidiness but if I wanted a laptop-spec, I'd get a big screen and a laptop. ITX has missed the boat a bit. We need a new hidden-behind-the-screen form-factor standard.

  14. LINCARD1000

    This Actually Looks Kinda Neat

    I've got a slightly aging but still quite well spec'd out Shuttle XPC gaming rig that something like this would be *perfect* for. Yeah, the price is a little high but damn if those aren't some good specs for something that size. Most cards designed for smaller cases aren't particularly powerful beasties so this makes for a pleasant change.

    3 display ports is also rather spiffing eh wot! :-)

  15. Cuddles Silver badge

    I remember when AMD used to be competitive

    Rather telling that they compare this to a GTX970, a card which costs about half as much. Meanwhile the GTX980, which cost $549 at launch and can be found much cheaper now the GTX980Ti and TitanX are out, uses less power and massively outperforms it (GTX980 is about on par with the full R9 Fury X, the Nano doesn't come close).

    So why would you actually want to buy this? If you want performance or efficiency, Nvidia still win by a country mile. If size is all important, you have to pay double the price to get something that only barely outperforms the Nvidia equivalent. AMD used to be good at making low to mid-range GPUs at a decent price. Now they seem to be handing the price advantage to Nvidia without compensating in any other area. It's not really surprising which company is the one actually making a profit.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: I remember when AMD used to be competitive

      There are reasons to expect that AMD will benefit significantly from Vulcan and DX12 , when nVidia will stagnate. There is only one benchmark for DX12 at the moment (at ArsTechnica) where much older card R9 290X is a match to 980Ti . The reason for this being that AMD has parallel pipelines, which scale much better with jump to Vulcan and DX12 than serial pipelines implemented by nVidia. All of that hardware in AMD was underutilised under DX11. If this proves to be correct, then this card will eat Titan X for breakfast on DX12 games.

      Of course it's a bet and of course, we are years away from DX12 being sufficiently popular. Which leaves plenty of time for both AMD and nVidia to design/build/sell a new generation. Nevertheless, perhaps the tables are turning for AMD and all the investment they made in hardware design could start paying off. Eventually. If the don't go bankrupt first.

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