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Intel Unveils Xe DG1-SDV Graphics Card, Demonstrates Intent to Seriously Compete in the Gaming Space

At a media event on Wednesday, Intel invited us to check out their first working modern discrete graphics card, the Xe DG1 Software Development Vehicle (developer-edition). Leading the event was our host Ari Rauch, Intel Vice President and General Manager for Graphics Technology Engineering and dGPU Business. Much like gruff developer-editions of game consoles released to developers several quarters ahead of market launch, the DG1-SDV allows software developers to discover and learn the Xe graphics architecture, and develop optimization processes for their current and future software within their organizations. We walked into the event expecting to see a big ugly PCB with a bare fan-heatsink and a contraption that sort-of looks like a graphics card; but were pleasantly surprised with what we saw: a rather professional product design.

What we didn't get at the event, through, was a juicy technical breakdown of the Xe graphics architecture, and its various components that add up to the GPU. We still left pleasantly surprised for what we were shown: it works! The DG1-SDV is able to play games at 1080p, even if they are technically lightweight titles like "Warframe," and aren't maxing out settings. The SDV is a 15.2 cm-long graphics card that relies on the PCI-Express slot for power entirely (and hence pulling less than 75 W).

Everything AMD Launched Today: A Summary

It has been a huge weekend of product announcements and launches from AMD, which expanded not just its client computing CPU lineup on both ends, but also expanded its Radeon graphics cards family with both client- and professional-segment graphics cards. This article provides a brief summary of everything AMD launched or announced today, with their possible market-availability dates.

AMD Outs Video BIOS Update for R9 Fury Series with Improved UEFI Support

AMD released an official video-card BIOS update for the Radeon R9 Fury X and Radeon R9 Nano graphics cards, which improve UEFI BIOS support. End users on our forums are also reporting improved overclocking stability. UEFI support at the video-BIOS level is required for the card to run without CSM at the system-BIOS end, in turn enabling useful OS features such as Secure Boot. Several of AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners already ship their cards with UEFI-ready BIOS. AMD is distributing the BIOS as ROM images, and it takes thorough knowledge of how to flash your graphics card's BIOS, to make use of these ROM images.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Video BIOS Update for Radeon R9 Nano | Radeon R9 Fury X | From AMD Website

AMD Pushes for a Universal External Graphics Standard

AMD is working on a standardized external graphics solution for notebooks. This solution will allow people with ultra-thin notebooks to enjoy the mobility served up by frugal, mainstream hardware; as well as high-end gaming, with the graphics card plugged in at home. It also probably gives AMD greater control over design and cooling solutions. Unlike a mobile GPU that sits inside your notebook, and makes it bulky due to additional cooling and power requirements, an external graphics card sits on your desk, sipping on wall socket power.

AMD's external graphics solution isn't necessarily an AMD-branded piece of hardware, but rather an open specification for notebook vendors to follow. AMD will merely provide the GPUs and software ecosystem that makes the solution truly universal and plug-n-play, with "standardized connectors, cables, drivers, and OS support." Such a graphics card will interface with just any notebook with a high-speed interface (eg: Thunderbolt). Its drivers will make it crunch your games, while sending back output to your notebook's display, over the same connection. This gives you the mobility of an ultra-thin notebook. You should also be able to plug this into your work's boring Dell desktop, or any SFF ITX box. Pictured below is a Razer Core graphics solution embedding a Radeon R9 Nano. Other examples include MSI Gaming Dock and Alienware Graphics Amplifier.

AMD Slashes Radeon R9 Nano Price

AMD gave its premium small-factor gaming graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, its first major price cut. The card now starts at US $499, down from its launch price of $649. At $499, the R9 Nano is priced on par with its similar-performing albeit bigger and noisier sibling based on the "Fiji" silicon, the Radeon R9 Fury. The company's flagship single-GPU card, the R9 Fury X, remains at $599, its price was gradually reduced from its launch price of $649.

The three SKUs appear to be positioned to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980, and offer cost-effective alternatives to the $629 GTX 980 Ti. Elsewhere in the lineup, the Radeon R9 390X starts at $379, and has its guns trained on the GTX 980 and GTX 970. Its smaller sibling, the Radeon R9 390 starts at $299.

ASUS Unveils a Limited Edition Radeon R9 Nano with White Cooler Shroud

ASUS unveiled a limited edition Radeon R9 Nano graphics card with a matte white cooler shroud, replacing its matte-black reference twin. Besides this, there's absolutely nothing that sets this card from AMD's reference design. The underlying PCB is reference, and so are the clocks, with up to 1000 MHz core, and 500 MHz (512 GB/s) memory. It remains to be seen if ASUS seeks a small premium for this card, and if that's enough to lure case-modders building machines around this color scheme.

EK Water Blocks Radeon R9 Nano Full-coverage Block Now Available

EK Water Blocks, Ljubljana based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is excited to launch the true single-slot liquid cooling solution for AMD Radeon reference design R9 Nano graphics card. EK-FC R9 Nano directly cools the GPU, HBM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas, thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks.

EK-FC R9 Nano water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance. Such system also works flawlessly with the reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps. Unlike the original cooling solution with a single 90mm fan that comes with AMD Radeon R9 Nano and takes up two slots, EK-FC R9 Nano water block will transform the R9 Nano into a stunningly beautiful single-slot graphics card! EK encloses a single-slot I/O bracket which replaces the original two-slot in order to make installation of mutliple graphics cards easier.

AquaComputer Announces Kryograpics Radeon R9 Nano Water Block

AquaComputer announced one of the first full-coverage water blocks for the Radeon R9 Nano, the Kryographics R9 Nano. This single-slot thick block made of copper, with an acrylic top (opaque brushed aluminium top option also available), covers almost the entire area of the incredibly compact PCB of the R9 Nano, its coolant channel passes over both the GPU and VRM areas of the card. Pre-orders for the card will begin on Friday (11/09), the block will be available the following week.

Update: AquaComputer put out prices.

PowerColor Launches its Radeon R9 Nano Graphics Card

TUL Corporation, a leading and innovative manufacturer of AMD graphic cards since 1997, has proudly announced a new graphics card that is powered by the world's most advanced and innovative GPU. The PowerColor R9 Nano 4GB HBM delivers revolutionary innovation, power efficiency, performance, and enables a new paradigm for small form factor PCs. The PowerColor R9 Nano 4GB HBM is the first GPU with on-chip High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) delivering extreme 4K gaming performance in an incredibly innovative 6-inch length graphics card.

Even though the size of PowerColor R9 Nano graphics card is only just 6 inches in length, it gives a radical leap forward in enthusiast class performance that features to an inventive design no equal for the Mini-ITX PC. No graphics card has ever packed so much performance and power into such a small form factor. The PowerColor R9 Nano is armed with the first-ever GPU with High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) integrated on-chip that delivers more than 4 times the bandwidth per watt over GDDR5. Add that along with a 4096-bit memory interface for incredible new advances in power and efficiency which makes the most innovative total solution GPU available today.

XFX Radeon R9 Nano Starts Selling

AMD's Radeon R9 Nano graphics card, started selling on Amazon. The listing confirms the card's US $649.99 pricing. The card being sold is XFX branded, but as AMD's "co-flagship" product, there likely won't be any custom-design adaptations of this chip. The USP of the R9 Nano is to offer the highest possible performance for SFF gaming desktops. It has a nearly identical specifications sheet to that of the Radeon R9 Fury X, but with slightly lower clocks, and a far more conservative power-management system, which reduces its typical board power rating compared to the R9 Fury X by 100W, down to 175W. The first orders on Amazon should begin shipping after the 13th of September.

Edit: Sapphire's R9 Nano is also listed, at $649, too.

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.

AMD Releases Catalyst 15.8 Beta Driver

AMD released the Catalyst 15.8 Beta driver. In addition to an updated display driver, with likely support for newly launched GPUs, the Radeon R9 Nano and R9 370X, the drivers offer DirectX 12 performance optimizations for "Ashes of the Singularity," and optimizations with stability updates for "Batman: Arkham Knight." More importantly, the driver integrates Oculus 0.7 SDK, and fixes a number of game-specific bugs.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 15.8 Beta for Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit | 32-bit

AMD Announces the Radeon R9 Nano Graphics Card

AMD continues to push the boundaries of graphics card design, today announcing its category-creating AMD Radeon R9 Nano, the fastest Mini ITX graphics card ever to enable 4K gaming in the living room through ultra-quiet, ultra-compact PC designs. First previewed to gamers around the world during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in June 2015, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card is based on the graphics chip codenamed "Fiji," and is the third "Fiji"-based product to launch this summer alongside the AMD Radeon R9 Fury and R9 Fury X graphics cards. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury graphics family, based on the "Fiji" chip, marks a turning point in PC gaming with the implementation of High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) to deliver extreme energy efficiency and performance for ultra-high resolutions, unparalleled VR experiences, smoother gameplay, with the Radeon R9 Nano revolutionizing form-factors for enthusiasts everywhere.

With 30 percent more performance and 30 percent lower power than the previous generation AMD Radeon R9 290X card, the 175W AMD Radeon R9 Nano is the world's most power efficient Mini ITX enthusiast graphics card. The six-inch long, air-cooled board represents a new class of graphics card, enabling gamers, PC modders, and system integrators to build compact, unique, ultra-small form factors that have never before been possible, opening the door to new, sleek PC designs that are no bigger than a home DVR or videogame console, and look every bit in place beside them.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Faster than GeForce GTX 980, Pricing Revealed

AMD's upcoming super-compact graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, will be faster than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980, and a whopping 30% faster than the GTX 970, according to the company. At its size, it will offer the fastest pixel-crunching solution for compact ITX/SFF gaming PC builders, and that is something AMD want to capitalize on. If what we're hearing is true, then not only will the R9 Nano have the same core-config as the R9 Fury X, but also its price - US $649.99. At this price, the R9 Nano definitely isn't going to affect sales of the GTX 970 or GTX 980, which are currently going for as low as $299 and $465, respectively; but serve as a "halo product," targeted at SFF gaming PC builders.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Core Configuration Detailed

AMD's upcoming mini-ITX friendly graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, which boasts of a typical board power of just 175W, is not a heavily stripped-down R9 Fury X, as was expected. The card will feature the full complement of GCN compute units physically present on the "Fiji" silicon, and in terms of specifications, is better loaded than even the R9 Fury. Specifications sheet of the R9 Nano leaked to the web, revealing that the card will feature all 4,096 stream processors physically present on the chip, along with 256 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. It will feature 4 GB of memory across the chip's 4096-bit HBM interface.

In terms of clock speeds, the R9 Nano isn't too far behind the R9 Fury X on paper - its core is clocked up to 1000 MHz, with its memory ticking at 500 MHz (512 GB/s). So how does it get down to 175W typical board power, from the 275W of the R9 Fury X? It's theorized that AMD could be using an aggressive power/temperature based clock-speed throttle. The resulting performance is 5-10% higher than the Radeon R9 290X, while never breaching a power target. Korean tech blog DGLee posted pictures of an R9 Nano taken apart. Its PCB is smaller than even that of the R9 Fury X, and makes do with a slimmer 4+2 phase VRM, than the 6+2 phase VRM found on the R9 Fury X.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Launch Date Revealed

AMD is expected to launch its super-compact performance-segment graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano this Thursday, 27th August, 2015. Reviews and market availability could follow a week later. It will be marketed as a halo product, and hence will likely only be available in its reference design. AMD claims that the card will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X, while offering 90% higher performance-per-Watt than it. More importantly, that it will offer 50% higher performance-per-Watt than the Radeon R9 Fury X. "Elmy" from OCN snapped these pics of an R9 Nano installed on a compact gaming desktop, and boy is it tiny!

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Nears Launch, 50% Higher Performance per Watt over Fury X

AMD's ultra-compact graphics card based on its "Fiji" silicon, the Radeon R9 Nano (or R9 Fury-Nano), is nearing its late-August/early-September launch. At its most recent "Hot Chips" presentation, AMD put out more interesting numbers related to the card. To begin with, it lives up to the promise of being faster than the R9 290X, at nearly half its power draw. The R9 Nano has 90% higher performance/Watt over the R9 290X. More importantly, it has about 50% higher performance/Watt over the company's current flagship single-GPU product, the Radeon R9 Fury X. With these performance figures, the R9 Nano will be targeted at compact gaming-PC builds that are capable of 1440p gaming.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Coming Sooner Than You Think?

AMD's upcoming disruptive performance-segment graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, could be arriving sooner than its late-Summer expected launch. One of AMD's promotional heads Anthony "Elmy" Lackey posted two pictures of the card on his Flickr page, which reiterates just how compact the thing is. AMD earlier announced that the R9 Nano will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X, with typical board power well under 190W, making it an exciting product to look forward to. The R9 Nano will be based on the same "Fiji" silicon, which powers the R9 Fury X and R9 Fury. AMD could make a major announcement related to this product very soon, given how Elmy promised to release a few details next week.

AMD "Fiji" Silicon Lacks HDMI 2.0 Support

It turns out that AMD's new "Fiji" silicon lacks HDMI 2.0 support, after all. Commenting on OCUK Forums, an AMD representative confirmed that the chip lacks support for the connector standard, implying that it's limited to HDMI 1.4a. HDMI 2.0 offers sufficient bandwidth for 4K Ultra HD resolution at 60 Hz. While the chip's other connectivity option, DisplayPort 1.2a supports 4K at 60 Hz - as do every 4K Ultra HD monitor ever launched - the lack of HDMI 2.0 support hurts the chip's living room ambitions, particularly with products such as the Radeon R9 Nano, which AMD CEO Lisa Su, stated that is being designed for the living room. You wouldn't need a GPU this powerful for 1080p TVs (a GTX 960 or R9 270X ITX card will do just fine), and if it's being designed for 4K UHD TVs, then its HDMI interface will cap visuals at a console-rivaling 30 Hz.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano to Feature a Single PCIe Power Connector

AMD's Radeon R9 Nano is shaping up to be a more important card for AMD, than even its flaghsip, the R9 Fury X. Some of the first pictures of the Fury X led us to believe that it could stay compact only because it's liquid cooled. AMD disproved that notion, unveiling the Radeon R9 Nano, an extremely compact air-cooled graphics cards, with some stunning chops.

The Radeon R9 Nano is a feat similar to the NUC by Intel - to engineer a product that's surprisingly powerful for its size. The card is 6-inches long, 2-slot thick, and doesn't lug along any external radiator. AMD CEO Lisa Su, speaking at the company's E3 conference, stated that the R9 Nano will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X. That shouldn't surprise us, since it's a bigger chip; but it's the electrical specs, that make this product exciting - a single 8-pin PCIe power input, with a typical board power rated at 175W (Radeon R9 290X was rated at 275W). The card itself is as compact as some of the "ITX-friendly" custom design boards launched in recent times. It uses a vapor-chamber based air-cooling solution, with a single fan. The Radeon R9 Nano will launch later this Summer. It could compete with the GeForce GTX 970 in both performance and price.

Radeon Fury X Outperforms GeForce GTX Titan X, Fury to GTX 980 Ti: 3DMark Bench

AMD's upcoming $650 Radeon R9 Fury X could have what it takes to beat NVIDIA's $999 GeForce GTX Titan X, while the $550 Radeon Fury (non-X) performs close to the $650 GeForce GTX 980 Ti, according to leaked 3DMark 11 and 3DMark (2013) benches by Korean tech publication ITCM.co.kr. The benches see the R9 Fury X score higher than the GTX Titan X in all three tests, while the R9 Fury is almost as fast as the GTX 980 Ti. The cards maintain their winning streak over NVIDIA even with memory-intensive tests such as 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (4K), but buckle with 5K. These two cards, which are bound for the market within the next 30 days, were tested alongside the R9 390X, which is not too far behind the GTX 980, in the same graphs. The R9 Nano, however, isn't circulated among industry partners, yet. It could still launch in Summer 2015.
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