Friday, September 4th 2015

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review by TPU...Not

There won't be a Radeon R9 Nano review on TechPowerUp. AMD says that it has too few review samples for the press. When AMD first held up the Radeon R9 Nano at its "Fiji" GPU unveil, to us it came across as the most promising product based on the chip, even more than the R9 Fury series, its dual-GPU variant, and the food-processor-shaped SFF gaming desktop thing. The prospect of "faster than R9 290X at 175W" is what excited us the most, as that would disrupt NVIDIA's GM204 based products. Unfortunately, the most exciting product by AMD also has the least amount of excitement by AMD itself.

The first signs of that are, AMD making it prohibitively expensive at $650, and not putting it in the hands of the press, for a launch-day review. We're not getting one, and nor do some of our friends on either sides of the Atlantic. AMD is making some of its tallest claims with this product, and it's important (for AMD) that some of those claims are put to the test. A validated product could maybe even convince some to reach for their wallets, to pull out $650.
Are we sourgraping? You tell us. We're one of the few sites that give you noise testing by some really expensive and broad-ranged noise-testing equipment, and more importantly, card-only power-draw. Our reviews also grill graphics cards through 22 real-world tests across four resolutions, each, and offer price-performance graphs. When NVIDIA didn't send us a GeForce GTX TITAN-Z sample, we didn't care. We didn't make an announcement like this. At $2,999, it was just a terrible product and we never wished it was part of our graphs. Its competing R9 295X2 could be had under $700, and so it continues to top our performance charts.

The R9 Nano, on the other hand, has the potential for greatness. Never mind the compact board design and its SFF credentials. Pull out this ASIC, put it on a normal 20-25 cm PCB, price it around $350, and dual-slot cooling that can turn its fans off in idle, and AMD could have had a GM204-killing product. Sadly, there's no way for us to test that, either. We can't emulate an R9 Nano on an R9 Fury X. The Nano appears to have a unique power/temperature based throttling algorithm that we can't copy.

"Fiji" is a good piece of technology, but apparently, very little effort is being made to put it into the hands of as many people as possible (and by that we mean consumers). This is an incoherence between what AMD CEO stated at the "Fiji" unveil, and what her company is doing. It's also great disservice to the people who probably stayed up many nights to get the interposer design right, or sailing through uncharted territory with HBM. Oh well.
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759 Comments on AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review by TPU...Not

#1
5DVX0130
So let me get this straight. They don't even have enough cards for reviews and at the same time expect us to believe we will be able to buy them shortly!? Sound a lot like a bunch of BS.

I’m having less and less of faith in anything AMD related. :(
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#2
Jack1n
Lisa Su needs to be replaced ASAP, AMD's decent has only been accelerated by her appointment.
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#3
Alphadark
I haven't seen a review for this yet. They may actually be in that short of supply due to the fury, fury x, and the nano all using HBM. I wouldn't take it so personally that you weren't able to get one right away.
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#4
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
btarunr said:
Are we sourgraping?
I think AMD's own rhetoric speaks for itself. No, I don't think you are. If AMD's yields are so bad that they can't even give TPU one for a review (something the AMD PR machine would typically be all over if the claims were true,) then there must only be enough to sell to the uninformed public. This tells me what I think I already knew before, that Fiji was not ready for production and isn't seemingly a huge leap over what already existed. Honestly, I see this as AMD back peddling and hoping to sell some of them before reviews can come out before people realize how slow the card really is in comparison to their claims.

You know, I like AMD's products (usually.) It's why I got a 390, and 6870s before it but, this rhetorical nonsense has to end and it ends with factual information and reviews provide that.

If they don't have enough GPUs for reviews, then they don't have enough to sell IMHO. This smells of desperation and it irritates me.
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#5
64K
AMD doesn't have enough Nano for samples for even the larger sites to review? Horse shit. They do. I suspect they don't want them thoroughly tested and found to not be worth $650. They want to sell as many as possible before word gets out.
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#6
GhostRyder
Wow, that few that they cannot even send out review samples (or at least one to TPU). That says they are in very short supply which could also mean they are making the Fury Nano a low priority. It could also be that they are not only having to deal with HBM yields, but the Fiji core yields that are at the level they are willing to use them on the Nano.
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#7
manofthem
WCG-TPU Team All-Star!
That's just lame and horrible! :shadedshu:
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#8
Midgetguy
Bad choice IMO. With high-end GPU purchases on the rise again (slightly) and the progression of people wanting smaller but equally powerful rigs, AMD should be getting this thing out to EVERYONE. As much coverage as possible to show off how capable and complete of a rig someone can have using a mATX or Mini-ITX system powered by their new Nano.
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#9
TheGameTechnician
Alphadark said:
I haven't seen a review for this yet. They may actually be in that short of supply due to the fury, fury x, and the nano all using HBM. I wouldn't take it so personally that you weren't able to get one right away.
I would. AMD specifically told press they were using the buffer between the Nano reveal last week and the review embargo to "bulk up" on supply to prevent any shortages. If they can't even get a sample to TPU, that's a serious problem.

By the way, one major AIB only had 2 Fury samples to go around between the US and Canada. So I'm inclined to fear the worst unfortunately.
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#10
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
and yet people will still ride the hype train
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#11
TheGameTechnician
btarunr said:


We're one of the few sites that give you noise testing by some really expensive and broad-ranged noise-testing equipment, and more importantly, card-only power-draw.
Tin foil hate time ;-)
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#12
Furunomoe
R9 Nano. Nano cards. Nano performance*. Nano Availability. Nah, NO Pricing.

*) Not yet confirmed.
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#13
RejZoR
So, the performance of R9 Nano is measured at 0 fps in ALL categories. Good job AMD...
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#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
:shadedshu:

^ picture is worth 1000 words.
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#16
Blue-Knight
Well, this is shocking. I thought reviewers bought each card with their own resources. :confused:

Anyway, I do not see a problem. The only problem I see is on AMD's side. :rolleyes:
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#17
Sihastru
Naaah... they have enough cards for reviews. They just don't want unbiased reviews. AMD continues to amaze me. In a bad way. Fanboys to the rescue!
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#18
esrever
That is rather disappointing.
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#19
Tsukiyomi91
What is AMD afraid of anyways? Where's the sample unit for major reviewing sites like TPU? Are you (AMD) worry that unbiased benches & real world testing proved too much for your so-called "new GPU?"
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#20
crmaris
Reviewer
Their loss (AMD)...
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#21
v12dock
Designs GPU-Z but doesn't get video cards to review... :wtf:
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#22
Sony Xperia S
TPU is mostly NEGATIVE to AMD. Just look at GPU-Z which is mostly dominated by nvidia-only features and look that W1zzard doesn't even care to add Boost support for AMD cards.

Those typos in AMD reviews don't help either.

I fully support AMD in this decision. It is perfectly just.
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#23
Tsukiyomi91
1st of all, R9 Nano has an absurd price tag ($650), 2ndly, with that money, you can either buy a perfectly overclocked 980Ti with custom cooler, backplate & the ability to play 4K games without breaking a sweat OR 2 overclocked GTX970 in SLI to tackle 4K resolution for less. If TPU's testing methodology is proved as "100% unbiased, no BS", then something is holding AMD back. GPU-Z has nothing to do with being biased with Nvidia as AMD cards do not have shaders or a Boost profile as they're thermal-limited speeds unlike Nvidia, which as of GPU Boost 2.0 protocol, has a ceiling limit of 82C & will hit at ANY frequency so long it doesn't reach the ceiling limit, in which custom cooled cards can go more than 1.2GHz with stock settings. AMD cards however are thermally throttled based on temps, not loads so they do not have a proper/solid Boost profile. If your AMD card reaches 80C, it throttles down a lot to keep it cool, which is not good for consistent performance.
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#24
Dj-ElectriC
Sony Xperia S said:
TPU is mostly NEGATIVE to AMD. Just look at GPU-Z which is mostly dominated by nvidia-only features and look that W1zzard doesn't even care to add Boost support for AMD cards.

Those typos in AMD reviews don't help either.

I fully support AMD in this decision. It is perfectly just.
You're fully supporting knowing less about a product through a detailed review.

That's very clever. Just tell me why you decided to sign up to TPU again?
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#25
Sony Xperia S
Dj-ElectriC said:
You're fully supporting knowing less about a product through a detailed review.

That's very clever. Just tell me why you decided to sign up to TPU again?
Because I didn't know what they are doing.

About knowing less - that's not clever by you because there are obviously many more web sources or real events where to get all the information required.
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