In August, Dr. Lisa Su introduced the world to the latest iteration of AMD’s CPU technology, the Ryzen 7000 series– but it didn’t stop there. We had an announcement for an announcement: RDNA 3, the next generation of GPU technology from AMD. Well, today is November 3 and we now know more about AMD’s response to the RTX 40 Series.
Dr. Su started the presentation by reflecting on the release of the Ryzen 7000 series and laying out AMD’s ambitious goals, much like she did in the previous presentation. For RDNA3, she reiterated the company’s commitment to energy efficiency and performance.
“At the forefront of what we do, it’s all about power and energy efficiency. We want to make sure we continue to innovate around performance-per-watt leadership to enable all gamer upgrades with fantastic performance, but at reasonable power. -Dr Lisa Su
Starting with the new chiplet design, RDNA 3 takes a modular approach with the goal of maximizing the efficiency of the overall GPU design. Much like the Ryzen family of processors, RDNA3 will use a mixed chip architecture. With a 5nm Graphics Matrix Computing Unit (GCD) containing all shaders, display engines and updated multimedia engine, the GCD is paired with a 6nm Memory Cache Array (MCD) which consists of GDDR6 controller as well as 96MB from AMD. Infinite Cache – 2nd Generation Infinite Cache, that is!
With this new design, the RNDA 3 chiplet will have an interconnect speed of up to 5.3 TB/s (a 2.7x increase over RDNA 2), enabling up to 61 TFLOPS of compute. All of this will be supported by up to 24GB of GDDR6 with up to 384-bit memory bus (not the GDDR6X we saw in the RTX 4090) and, according to Dr. Su, will allow RDNA 3 GPUs to achieve up to 54% more performance per watt than the previous generation.
So what is this mysterious magic GPU? Well, it’s actually two GPUs: the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX comes with 24 GB of GDDR6 and the Radeon RX 7900 XT comes with 20 GB of GDDR6. Designed as both 4K and 8K gaming GPUs, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT have a number of updates over the previous generation that will help propel it into the future of gaming.
Starting with dedicated AI acceleration, RDNA 3 would improve GPU AI-based functions by 2.7x and ray tracing instructions by 1.8x over RDNA 2. In rendering applications, including ray tracing, this new architecture is claimed to achieve up to 50% more performance per compute unit and double the number of instructions per clock. This is a much needed leap for Radeon graphics to be competitive in this particular space of graphics processing!
But there is more :
AMD’s new Radiance display is the engine that pushes all that data onto the screen. The engine will support 12-bit color per channel with up to 68 billion colors as well as higher refresh rates. Thanks in large part to the adoption of DisplayPort 2.1 and HDMI 2.1, the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT will support refresh rates of up to 900Hz at 1440p, 480Hz at 4K, and 165Hz at 5K.
Along with the Radiance Display Engine, AMD also unveiled a new dual-media engine for simultaneous encoding and decoding of AVC and HEVC formats. This engine will also support AV1 encoding and decoding, with a maximum resolution of 8K60. Later in the presentation, AMD announced future support for AV1 encoding support in OBS as well as other popular video streaming and editing software. This teaser also included a future feature called SmartAccess Video, which will leverage Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs together to supposedly deliver up to a 30% increase in 4K multi-stream encoding.
When it comes to gaming performance, the RX 7900 XTX is claimed to perform up to 1.7x better than AMD’s former flagship GPU, the Radeon RX 6950 XT, in rasterization and up to 1.6x better in ray tracing games. Using FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), graphics presented by AMD for the 7900 XTX showed several titles running at frame rates well in excess of 200 FPS at 4K. A star was Valorantwhich showed the RX 7900 XTX running at 704 FPS! Lots of bold claims here, but we’ll have to see for ourselves once the cards are in the hands of third-party reviewers!
As for the actual specs, the RX 7900 XTX will feature 96 compute units with a 2.3 GHz gaming clock. This is all said to work with a total card power consumption of 355W. For context, that’s 95W less than NVIDIA’s RTX 4090 Founder’s Edition while still approaching the typical power of the RX 6950 card. XT. The RX 7900 XT will have 84 compute units with a 2 GHz gaming clock and a total card power of 300 W.
Oh yes, and none of them will need a special cable to power them.
That’s just the hardware, though. AMD took some time to talk about the adoption of FSR, the performance improvement seen in FSR2, and how well RDNA 3 works when enabled. An example that the company showed was that of Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed: Walhalla running at 96fps at 8K. It was a short clip, but pretty wild to watch all the same. But AMD wanted us to know that FSR doesn’t stop at FSR2. There is a new iteration, FSR3. At the time of the announcement, AMD said Radeon users can expect up to 2x more frames per second compared to FSR2 and the technology will be available in 2023.
Continuing the software conversation, AMD’s Frank Azor shared Radeon Adrenaline software updates, including a new feature coming in the first half of 2023 called AMD HYPR-RX. This feature will be a one-button optimizer to give AMD systems the best possible performance without having to make all the adjustments yourself.
Team Red also shared their commitment to providing the best unified CPU and GPU experience by working with system integrators to bring the AMD Advantage line to the desktop platform. This means pairing AMD GPUs and CPUs in AMD-curated system configurations for the supposedly best AMD experience possible.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT will be available on December 13, 2022. And the price? $999 and $899 USD, respectively. It’s a stunning distinction over NVIDIA’s $1599 flagship.
We can’t wait to see how these GPUs perform in the wild! Let us know in the comments what interests you most about AMD’s announcement today and if you plan on upgrading before the end of the year.
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