During the E3 trade fair in 2015, AMD unveiled its Fiji graphics architecture, which would take place in a trio of graphics cards later this summer. It was the water-cooled flagship Radeon R9 Fury X which would be closely followed by the more affordable alternative Radeon R9 Fury. However, the third card received the most attention, which stood out with an extremely compact design in terms of its performance class.
It was the Radeon R9 Nano, a graphics card that caught many eyes with its shrunken outer dimensions. Despite the size, the model was based on powerful hardware under the hood, where the graphics circuit Fiji XT was picked up from the flagship R9 Fury X – complete with 4,096 stream processors and 4 GB HBM memory over a 4,096 bit wide memory bus for a memory bandwidth of 512 GB / s.
By taking advantage of the fact that the HBM memory circuits moved from the circuit board to the substrate together with the graphics circuit, AMD was able to compress the length of the board to an impressive 15.25 cm, which ultimately meant that the model was shorter than a Mini ITX motherboard. The whole thing was topped off by a full-coverage heat sink with a steam chamber that was cooled by a single 90 mm fan.
► Read SweClocker’s review of the AMD Radeon R9 Nano
When the card passed SweClocker’s test lab, it was praised for its class-leading performance in the size class. In addition, the model was considered to maintain good energy efficiency and offered a competent cooling solution for the size. Among the negative aspects was a really juicy price tag of around SEK 7,000 and a limited power budget, which placed the card under the cheaper R9 Fury in terms of performance.
In the end, the model took place in a very niche segment of users, as in practice there were few chassis on the market that actually required a graphics card with an extremely short length. But for those who were really extremely limited in space, the card was a really cool creation that showed impressive game performance in terms of the minimal footprint.
Radeon R9 Nano – a vanishingly small graphics card
Usually, we now present a couple of quick performance tests to show how the model performs in today’s hardware market. In the case of the Radeon R9 Nano, however, this will be difficult, as our test copy has disappeared without a trace in recent years. Exactly what happened to that we will probably never know, but after turning every stone and moving to a new room twice, we will probably consider the card lost.
With the test copy on the wrong roads, we therefore instead turn to you at home who once owned, or even still owns, a Radeon R9 Nano. What did you think of the card when it went, and for what reason did you choose to buy an ultra-compact graphics card in this performance class?