Word comes from AMD via a press release this morning that they are giving the Radeon R9 Nano a price cut. AMD’s diminutive flagship, which launched in September 2015 at $649, is now the first Fiji card to get an official price cut, with AMD lowering the MSRP to $499 effective immediately.

The third card based on AMD’s flagship Fiji GPU, the Radeon R9 Nano was in a sense a culmination of AMD’s design goals for Fiji. Seeking to take full advantage of the compact packaging afforded by the use of High Bandwidth Memory, AMD packed a fully enabled Fiji into a Mini-ITX sized video card designed especially for small form factor systems. The resulting card was neither a performance flagship card like the Fury X nor a clear second-tier card like the regular Fury, but rather a third card that occupied its own niche within the PC market. This coupled with its unique power binning requirements led to it being launched as a micro-sized alternative to the full Fury X at the same $649 MSRP.

This marks the first instance of a significant price cut for a Fiji card – since their respective launches we’ve seen all three cards drift lower by only $50 or so – and that the card receiving a price drop is AMD’s most recently launched Fiji card is a bit surprising. From a price/performance perspective the Nano was essentially priced as a luxury card, with AMD banking on being able to charge a premium for its improved power efficiency and small size. Today’s price drop essentially puts an end to that, especially since the two Fury cards are not receiving a price cut of their own. With that said, the Nano’s power requirements call for what is arguably the best Fiji chip bin, so that adds another wrinkle to the entire situation.

More interesting perhaps is where this puts the R9 Fury (vanilla), which can already be found for as low at $499. The R9 Fury is only a few percent faster than the R9 Nano and noticeably more power hungry as well, so if the R9 Fury remains at $499 then it's hard to imagine the R9 Nano not being disruptive to R9 Fury sales.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that this comes just days after NVIDIA’s most recent game bundle announcement. Although not specifically addressed by AMD, this may be their response to that bundle in order to shore up their lineup against the similarly-priced GTX 980. Especially since this now places AMD's most power efficient card against NVIDIA's most efficient card, offering about 5% better performance for 5% higher power consumption.

Winter 2016 GPU Pricing Comparison
AMD Price NVIDIA
  $629 GeForce GTX 980 Ti
Radeon R9 Fury X $599  
Radeon R9 Fury
Radeon R9 Nano
$499  
  $479 GeForce GTX 980
Radeon R9 390X $379  
Radeon R9 390 $299 GeForce GTX 970
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  • techguyz - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Even at $499 this card is hardly worth it. This card is only a tiny bit faster than a $280 GTX 970, yet nearly twice the price....and it's certainly not twice as fast. Overclock the 970 and the gap closes even more. As always, one would simply be better off buying a 980ti, not just for the performance, but for the longevity that performance offers, which eventually destroys AMD in price to performance ratio after a few years of ownership. Reply
  • just4U - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    The nano is more comparable to the 980, not the 970 which cant compete with it.. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    The 970 is comparable to the 980, which is why everyone buys it. Reply
  • looncraz - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    The 970 can trail the Nano by 30% or more, though is often fairly close.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1556?vs=159...

    The 980, however, is usually losing by much less... but still, generally, losing:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1556?vs=144...

    And the Nano is more power efficient than either - since we all know how important power efficiency is to nVidia users.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    "And the Nano is more power efficient than either - since we all know how important power efficiency is to nVidia users."
    You just made me chuckle. :-)
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    thats Big die vs Small die comparison tho. The Nano was priced to compete with the 980ti which destroys the nano.

    Now with the price drop, it's a good deal
    Reply
  • Adul - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Nvidia cards do not age well compared to the ones released by AMD. Reply
  • looncraz - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    There's no doubt about that!

    AMD/ATI has always been VERY forward thinking, always looking to push the boundaries in an attempt to create extra product value. The end result has been that owners of their cards can usually enjoy continual performance improvements when/IF the software catches up to the hardware.

    DirectX 12 revealing an extra 25~30%+ more performance out of many-years old AMD cards is just one example, but probably one of the most compelling in the modern era (formerly the video decoding blocks were of more interest to me, personally).
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    you can look at it two ways.

    Nvidia usually releases a product with very mature drivers, where the GPU is being utilized 90-95% right out of the gate.

    AMD releases very early "beta like" drivers where engineers have not figured out how to tap the full potential of the card. You might have to wait 1-2 years to see it's full potential.

    If you upgrade your GPU every year or two, then you might want something that's pretty polished from the get go.

    If your price conscious and don't upgrade your GPU very often, then AMD is definitely a solid option for future proofing.

    This whole dynamic will most likely change with the 16nm Fin Fet GPU's because of DirectX12. Both companies will get the full potential of their gpu much quicker on DX12 titles. June will be a exciting time to be a pc gamer.
    Reply
  • just4U - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Infact.. it's probably ever so slightly better than the 980 (non ti..) Not sure where you'd consider it in the 970 realm.. the 390 (non x) competes quite well with the 970.. Bigger power draw sure.. but 8 Gigs of memory for a little more future proofing. If crossfire/sli was perfect it would make much more sense going with 2 390s over 2 970s. Reply

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