An extremely capable mini-ITX card that will be right at home in powerful small form factor systems.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano
If you’re looking to build a powerful mini-ITX system, you’d definitely have considered the Radeon R9 Nano. And we’ll say this right from the outset, this is an excellent mini-ITX card. After all, at just six inches long, it is so compact that it fits onto a mini-ITX motherboard with absolutely zero overhang.
The Nano’s cooling system comprises a dualvapor chamber design with flat thermal heatpipes, including a dedicated heatsink and heatpipe for cooling the VRM components. The flat heatpipes actually take upless space within the heatsink, thus enabling the Nano’s compact design. They also help increase the total surface area available for heat dissipation. The metal plate that covers the PCB provides some passive cooling, but a single 90mm fan does most of the heavy lifting.
One of the most impressive aspects of the card is that despite its size, it comes with a fully-enabled Fiji GPU, with all 4,096 stream processors and 256 texture units at play. In fact, the only real differences between the R9 Nano and the flagship Fury X are their targeted power envelope and clock speeds.
AMD has set the Nano’s power limit on paper to a mere 175 watts, a good 100 watts lower than the Fury X. As a result, the Nano requires just a single 8-pin PCIe connector to power. But because of the lower power envelope and the concomitant power throttling, the card isn’t always able to maintain its top clock speed of 1,000MHz. That’s the primary reason why the card doesn’t quite reach Fury X levels of performance (which is clocked slightly higher at 1,050MHz as well), coming closer instead to the Fury.
But thanks to the asynchronous compute engines in the Fiji GPU, the Nano is able to reap some decent performance improvements when moving from DirectX 11 to 12. There was as much as a 21% increase in Ashes of the Singularity at High settings and a 1600p resolution. We also tested the Nano with a handful of other recent titles like Tom Clancy’s The Division and Hitman, making sure to run the benchmarks at the most demanding settings. The Nano never faltered, always managing to deliver more-than playable frame rates in excess of 50fps.
The card requires only a single 8-pin PCIe connector
AT A GLANCE
GPU Transistor Count 8.9 billion
Core Clock 1,000MHz
Memory 4GB HBM
Memory Clock (DDR)500MHz