We recently purchased a XFX Fury X for $699 in our quest for a quiet pump after returning two Sapphire Fury Xes with whining pumps. It has been well over 3 months since Fury X was launched as an “overclocker’s dream”, and we wanted to see if anything has changed versus the GTX 980 Ti.
Originally, we purchased a Sapphire Fury X at the end of June and reviewed it against the reference GTX 980 Ti and also versus the EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC. Besides being generally slower than the GTX 980 Ti, we found that our Fury X sample had a very irritating pump whine, as well as being a poor overclocker.
Because of its annoying pump whine, we secured a RMA and received a second Sapphire Fury X several weeks later. We evaluated our second Fury X and published our results which also included pump noise and poor overclocking characteristics. Since our second Fury X had the same pump whine, we returned it for a refund as there was no stock left for a RMA.
Two weeks ago, we purchased a XFX Fury X with the hope that the pumps would be fixed. Unfortunately, we probably received our XFX Fury X from the same batch as our original units. We notice Ver. 1.0 on the UPC sticker. Interestingly, shortly after we received it, it appears that another substantial Fury X batch has arrived in the USA. Evidently, Fury X has come back into stock just over ten days ago, and it is apparently not selling out at its 650 dollar plus pricepoint.
This XFX Fury isn’t quite as noisy as the last, and the ultrasonic frequencies are less irritating. However, we are an audio-sensitive user, and our PC usually sits right next to us while gaming. Our temporary solution for benching Fury X was to move the PC into an adjoining room and to shut the door.
We ran the same overclocking tests that we ran with our first two units. Our first Fury X managed an overclock of only 25MHz to the core and 24MHz to the High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) – 1075MHz/524MHz overclocked – compared with 1050MHz/500MHz stock. We managed a better stable overclock with the second Sapphire Fury X sample of +50MHz, but the HBM did not overclock quite as well. Our final stable overclock reached 1100MHz core/523MHz memory. How does the XFX Fury X overclock? We will give you overclocked numbers compared with the overclocked reference GTX 980 Ti on the performance chart.
It has been over 3 month since the Fury X was released into retail and it is clear that there are still some units being sold that have pump whine which sensitive users may find intolerable. BTR needs to have a Fury X for our benching, and we can hope that our next one is whine free.
If you want a good look at our main two competing cards, check out our our original Sapphire Fury X showdown versus the EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+.
Let’s take a brief look at the XFX Fury X.
The XFX Fury X
All of the Fury X cards are the same except for the box cover and the accessories each of AMD’s partners may choose to include. There is no game bundle, or any bundle other than the driver CD and start guide offered with the XFX Fury X for $699.
Our Testbed of Competing Cards
Here is our testbed of competing cards and we shall test 28 games and 3 synthetics using Core i7-4790K turbo locked to 4.4GHz, ASUS Z97+ motherboard and 16GB of Kingston “Beast” 2133MHz HyperX DDR3 on Windows 10 Home Edition:
- XFX Fury X – 4GB – $699 (AMD’s new Fiji flagship single GPU card, plus our own OC)
- GTX 980 Ti – 6GB – $649 – (Nvidia’s mainstream GM220 single-GPU Maxwell flagship, plus our own OC)
- GTX 980 Ti SLI
- GTX 980 4GB, $499 – formerly $549 and Nvidia’s flagship before the TITAN X
- GALAX GTX 970 EXOC, 4GB – $319
- MSI R9 390X OC 8GB – $429
- R9 290X 4GB – reference non-throttling 1000MHz Uber mode, originally $579 – discontinued
- R9 290X CrossFire – reference 1000MHz, non-throttling Uber mode.
Our latest game benchmarks include Mad Max and MGSV.
How does the GTX 980 Ti compare with its rival, AMD’s top single GPU, the XFX Fury X three months after launch?
This is the big question: How does the GTX 980 at $649 compare now with the XFX Fury X at $699?
Unboxing the XFX Fury X
The XFX Fury X box is huge. It advertises the ultra-wide 4096-bit HBM, HDMI, and DirectX12 are advertised.On the back, what’s in the box and other features including Eyefinity are also touted as Fury X is designed for multi-panel gaming. The packing is superb and it designed to stand up to your delivery person on a bad transport day. Inside the box is a driver CD and quick installation guides.
The XFX Radeon Fury X is styled very well with an aluminum exoskeleton and soft touch sides. The radiator is large and it is connected to the pump inside the card by braided cables.
Two 8-pin connectors are available but there are no adapters included with the card in case your PSU only supports one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe cable. The Radeon Logo lights up and is a perfect counter to the lighted GeForce logo. AMD definity succeeded in making Fury look like a premium brand.
Here is the other side with the soft touch sides a very nice feature.
Here is the Fury X with its radiator side by side. There are no CrossFire fingers/bridges with Hawaii/Grenada and Fiji GPUs.
AMD did not include a HDMI 2.0 port like its GeForce competitor. That means that most 4K TVs will require an active adapter to run over HDMI at 60Hz. Most current 4K TVs do not use DisplayPort and this a serious disadvantage for Fury X 4K TV gamers compared with the GTX 980 Ti.
The XFX Radeon Fury X is a handsome card. AMD has got their industrial design right and it is nice to have a small card, although the cooler itself is big and perhaps may be hard to fit in many smaller cases. We would have issues with our own large Thermaltake full tower case trying to fit more than one Fury X inside.
The specifications look extraordinary for both the GTX 980 Ti and the flagship Fury X, with solid improvements over just about anything else from the previous generation. Let’s check out their performance after we look over our test configuration on the next page.