AMD announces the Radeon R9 Nano video card

AMD is betting big on SFF with today’s announcement of the Radeon R9 Nano. Contrary to earlier rumors, the Nano is not a cut-down Fury X but instead features the same full complement of stream processors, ROPs, and RAM, but at a lower clockspeed and thus TDP, all wrapped up in a air-cooled SFF package. HardOCP has a great run-down of AMD’s press release, the main highlights are the 6″ (150mm) length, 175W TDP, and 1000MHz clockspeed (“up to”).

The 175W TDP is a whopping 100W reduction from the Fury X but getting there ties in closely with the disclaimer on the clockspeed. AMD says the clockspeed can ramp up to 1000MHz but users will more typically see something in the 850-950MHz range as the card works to keep the power consumption and temperature within its limits. AMD is claiming 30% faster than the R9 290X but we’ll have to wait for reviewers to get their hands of these cards to put those claims to the test.

Something interesting I noticed about the slide deck for the Nano is AMD is putting a very heavy emphasis on SFF. The card’s form factor and the name itself suggests this product is aimed at compact builds but they even give examples of short SFF cases where larger cards simply wouldn’t fit. They also suggest that things are trending towards short ITX builds. It’s very inspiring to see a big company like AMD market a flagship product so heavily towards the SFF market.

While the Nano is a boon to SFF on account of its performance/size, the price leaves a bit to be desired, AMD has set the retail price at $649, the same as the Fury X. Until we see benchmarks it’s premature to pass judgement but I feel that is quite a premium for the form factor. The Fury X is faster and comes with a better performance (albeit bulkier) cooling solution for the same price.

The cards should be available September 10th.

Thoughts? Join the ongoing discussion here