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
  $629 GeForce GTX 980 Ti
Radeon R9 Fury X $599  
Radeon R9 Fury
Radeon R9 Nano
  $479 GeForce GTX 980
Radeon R9 390X $379  
Radeon R9 390 $299 GeForce GTX 970
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  • AS118 - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Good. They should have priced it at no more than $599 at the very beginning, it was kind of insulting for them to price it at $650, the same as the Fury X. Now it's good to see that both this card and the Fury X are priced more appropriately, along with the Fury.
  • Jm09 - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    i thought they were going to be at $499 all along before it came out they were binned chips..this is a good spot for the card, but i feel it would of made a real big splash if it came in at this price point right of the bat.
  • zodiacfml - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Price cut was sooner than I expected. But, I did not expected them to price the Nano at such levels as consumers pay usually for the performance level and the Fury X includes a pricey cooling solution which is a no-brainer if I had that money.
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Yeah, the only real difference was that you needed to fit a radiator in your case for a fury x, but the bank doesn't have that requirement.

    However, I think most cases can fit a 120mm radiator so I've never really understood the need for the nano except in the tiniest of cases (where it just dominates).
  • Refuge - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    It isn't uncommon for SFF cases to have clearance issues with the radiators. They have the spot to put the fan, but not a fan and radiator. Usually a drive bay, CPU cooler, or RAM gets in the way.

    But for any normal mid tower and up there shouldn't be an issue finding a 120mm slot with the clearance for a radiator.
  • zodiacfml - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Right. It's already a small niche for powerful GPU in a small case and AMD made it a lot smaller by thoughtless pricing of the Nano. Though, it might be possible it was their true intention to control demand for the Nano.
  • eldakka - Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - link

    That's a good point. Maybe this is more an indication of improved yields such that they can support a higher demand than they originally envisioned.
  • Chaser - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    It's clear that the recent senior management changes with the AMD GPU division are showing their fruit. A re-commitment to restoring the Radeon Brand which many enthusiasts are hopeful for. Today my wallet prefers an Intel/Nvidia build but I think most of us long for the days of having an AMD based rig as the "smarter" choice.
  • Refuge - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Right? Hopefully this is the first of many more smart moves to come from the big red GPU maker. Lord knows it could use it these last few years....
  • cknobman - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    At <$500 the R9 Nano is a easy pick.

    About time, I always felt the Nano was an amazing card priced too high.

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