Reviews of AMD's Radeon R9 Nano have hit the web. This card is based on the same GPU as the Radeon R9 Fury X but the chips are binned for power efficiency. The 28nm Fiji GPU in these cards has the full 4096 stream processors, has a frequency of up to 1000MHz (throttled for energy efficiency) and 4GB HBM memory clocked at 1000MHz effective.
While there was some ruckus over the last couple of weeks as several large websites (HardOCP, The Tech Report, TechPowerUp, etc) were unable to get their hands on a sample due to unknown reasons, a decent number of reviews have hit the web today.
AMD didn't explain why certain sites were cut out of the loop this time, but it seems it has something to do with what the company perceives as "fair". HardOCP definitely has quite an interesting take on this and I have to agree that it seems like AMD's marketing has hit a new low. The whole Nano review situation doesn't feel right and Taylor's public comments plus his responses to HardOCP give me the vibe AMD is cherry picking sites to ensure favorable reviews hit the web.
@wisticott there will be plenty fair reviews to read.
After checking out some of the reviews that were published today, most sites seem quite enthusiastic about it. Basically, the gist is this is a great card if you absolutely want to build a very compact Mini-ITX system with the best 4K gaming performance you can get today and don't mind spending $649 / 699EUR. But that is if you can find it for that price, as volume is expected to be low.
In all other cases, especially if you have room in your case for a larger video card, this new card from AMD is pretty pointless versus the regular Fury or Fury X. The Nano scores particularly well at 4K resolution, but if you game at Full HD resolution it can be slower than the much cheaper Radeon R9 390X and GeForce GTX 970. And while it does perform much better than NVIDIA's offerings at 4K, it should be remembered that the performance level you can expect at 4K is something that could best be described as acceptable, but not great.
The R9 Nano is designed a very niche audience and its price tag prevents it from serving a large audience. I wouldn't expect any big price cuts to arrive for this model as Fiji is a huge chip, that alone already makes it quite expensive to manufacture, but Nano is also a fully-fledged version of Fiji, meaning it can't have any defects. On top of this, AMD is also specifically binning Fiji GPUs for the Nano so it's not hard to see why they need to charge the same price as the Fury X for this card.