Big price cut for a little card

R9 Nano Breakout RGB 5inch

AMD has a post-holiday treat for small form factor builders, and it comes in the form of a price cut. It’s not an insubstantial one, either — AMD is cutting the price of its high-powered Radeon R9 Nano to $499, a savings of 23 percent off its original $649 price tag when it launched in September of last year.

When we reviewed the Radeon R9 Nano, which received a 95 score and coveted Kick Ass! award, we pointed out that the card “is a classic case of diminishing returns where spending substantially more money doesn’t net you a commensurate increase in performance, but diminishing returns coupled with diminishing size is something new and different.”

That made it an interesting card for space saving builds, particularly mini-ITX setups, though the $649 price tag was a tough pill to swallow.

As a refresher, the Radeon R9 Nano is essentially a Fury X, only it’s binned for more efficient power delivery with a lower TDP (175W versus 275W) rather than pure speed. It’s clocked 50MHz slower, but otherwise is also based on AMD’s 28nm Fiji GPU with the same amount of transistors (8.9 billion), compute units (64), shaders (4,096), texture units (256), and ROPs (64).

This is the first big or otherwise significant price cut for any Fiji-based card, and it comes just ahead of the retail launch of at least two major VR headsets, those being the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. That’s worth pointing out because VR is a category that AMD is specifically targeting with its Radeon R9 Nano.

“Today, Monday, January 11th, this small card will have an even bigger impact on gamers around the world as AMD announces a change in the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card’s SEP from $649 to $499,” AMD said. “At the new price, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card will be more accessible than ever before, delivering incredible performance and leading technologies, with unbelievable efficiency in an astoundingly small form factor that makes it a class of its own.”

Finding it for that price may take some patience. A cursory glance at the web shows that some retailers haven’t updated their listings to reflect AMD’s new price point, though we suspect that will change soon.

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