Sapphire Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury Card
As mentioned during the launch event with AMD, the R9 Fury cards would all be customized by the add-in card vendors while the Fury X would be a controlled design and release. It makes sense that companies like Sapphire and ASUS are much more excited about Fury as it allows their custom designs and engineers to stand out and flourish.
Today we have the Sapphire Tri-X R9 Fury 4GB card on the table. Literally.
The first thing you notice when comparing the Sapphire Fury to the Fury X is that this card looks a lot more like a flagship GPU than Fury X. Sapphire has been developing the Tri-X cooler design for some time and the triple fan layout is implemented here again, keeping the Fiji GPU quite cool (in the 65-75C range) without the need for water cooling. Card length is very similar to other high end cards including the Radeon R9 390X, etc.
From straight on you'd be hard pressed to tell that anything was unique about the Sapphire Fury card – it just looks like a high-end GPU with a large air cooler doing its job.
Flipping the card around reveals its secret: the Sapphire Tri-X Fury card is using the same shortened PCB that was used with the Fury X, but is using a cooler that extends well past the board. Likely in an effort to get the Fury out with as little delay or increase in cost as possible, Sapphire has used the exact same PCB design used on the Fury X cards, a reference design that was built to show off the flexibility of the Fiji GPU and HBM in terms of space saving. In this implementation the space saving isn't necessary, but it is interesting. The cooler extends another 50% past the circuit board but actually adds positively to the aesthetic design of the total package.
The back plate that Sapphire has included matches up with the cooler design and structure and is nice looking to boot.
Zooming in a bit on the back plate we find the same power delivery circuitry that existed on the Fury X and we even have the same GPU Tach LEDs along the top edge of the card that perform the same function.
Just like we saw on the Fury X, the Sapphire Tri-X Fury uses a triple DisplayPort and single HDMI port output configuration. The lack of DVI will still be concerning for some users, but we haven't found it to be an issue in the office yet.
The cooler implementation is definitely in the 2+ slot design type, so keep that in mind if you have a lot of other accessories floating around your system or you intend to use a small-ish chassis for this card.
Overall I really like the build quality of what Sapphire has put together with the Tri-X Fury. It feels nice when you pick it up and many gamers will appreciate the simplicity of not having to mess with water cooling radiators when installing this card.