AMD’s RDNA 3 GPUs are much cheaper than the RTX 4090

AMD's RDNA 3 GPUs are much cheaper than the RTX 4090
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Introducing AMD Zen 4

screenshot: AMD

Dr. again in August. Lisa Su introduced the world to the latest iteration of AMD’s CPU technology, Ryzen 7000 series– but he didn’t stop there. We’ve got an announcement for an announcement: RDNA 3, AMD’s next-generation GPU technology. Well, today is November 3, and we now know more about AMD’s answer to the question RTX 40 series.

Dr. Su began the presentation by reflecting on the release of the Ryzen 7000 Series and stating AMD’s ambitious goals, as he did during the previous presentation. For RDNA3, he reiterated the company’s commitment to energy efficiency and performance.

“What we do is all about power and energy efficiency. We want to make sure we continue to innovate around performance leadership per watt to provide all gamer upgrades with fantastic performance, yet affordable power.” – Dr. Lisa Su

Starting with a new chiplet design, RDNA 3 takes a modular approach with the intention of optimizing the efficiency of the overall GPU design. Like the Ryzen CPU family, the RDNA3 will use a mixed chiplet architecture. With a 5nm graphics chip (GCD) compute unit that includes all shaders, display engines and an updated media engine, the GCD is combined with a 6nm Memory Cache Die (MCD) consisting of a GDDR6 controller and 96MB of AMD. Infinity Cache–2nd Generation Infinity Cache, that is!

With this new design, the RNDA 3 chiplet will have an interconnect speed of up to 5.3 TB/s (a 2.7 times increase compared to RDNA 2), enabling up to 61 TFLOPS of computing. All of this will be supported by up to 24 GB of GDDR6 with up to 384-bit memory bus (not the GDDR6X we see in the RTX 4090), and Dr. Water will allow RDNA 3 GPUs to achieve up to 54% higher performance per watt compared to the previous generation.

So what is this magical secret GPU? It’s actually two GPUs: Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT.

The Radeon RX 7900 XTX comes with 24 GB of GDDR6, while 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 to help propel it into the gaming future.

Starting with dedicated AI acceleration, RDNA 3 is said to improve the GPU’s AI-based functions by 2.7x and ray tracing instructions by 1.8x compared to RDNA 2. Rendering applications, including ray tracing, are said to gain up to this new architecture. 50% more performance per compute unit and double the instructions per clock. This is a much-needed breakthrough for Radeon graphics to compete in this dedicated graphics processing space!

Introducing AMD Zen 4

screenshot: AMD

But there’s more:

AMD’s new Brilliant Display is the engine that pushes all this information to the screen. The engine will support 12-bit color per channel and higher refresh rates, up to 68 billion colors. Thanks 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 900 Hz at 1440p, 480 Hz at 4K and 165 Hz at 5K.

Along with the Radiance Display engine, AMD introduced a new dual media engine for simultaneous encoding and decoding for both 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 support for AV1 encoding within OBS, as well as future support for other popular video streaming and editing applications. This teaser also includes an upcoming feature called SmartAccess Video, which will combine Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs to provide up to a 30% boost in 4K multi-stream encoding.

When it comes to gaming performance, the RX 7900 XTX performs up to 1.7 times better than AMD’s former flagship GPU Radeon RX 6950 XT in rasterization and 1.6 times better in ray tracing games. Using FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), AMD’s benchmarks for the 7900 XTX showed several titles running at over 200 FPS at 4K. It was a standout EvaluationRX 7900 showed XTX running on 704 FPS! Lots of bold claims here, but we’ll have to see for ourselves once the cards are in the hands of 3rd party reviewers!

As for the current specifications, the RX 7900 XTX will have 96 compute units with a game clock of 2.3 GHz. All of this is said to run at a total board power of 355W. For context, that’s 95W less than NVIDIA’s RTX 4090 Founder’s Edition, which is close to the RX 6950 XT’s typical board power. The RX 7900 XT will have 84 compute units with a 2GHz game clock and a total board power of 300W.

Yes, and none of them will require a special cable to power them.

It’s just hardware though. AMD took some time to talk about the adoption of FSR, the performance boost seen in FSR2, and how well RDNA 3 works with it. One example the company showed was Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla It runs at 96 frames per second in 8K. It was a short clip, but it was pretty wild to see the same thing. But AMD wanted us to know that FSR didn’t stop at FSR2. There is a new iteration, FSR3. During the announcement, AMD said that Radeon users can expect 2x more frames per second compared to FSR2, and that the technology will be available in 2023.

Continuing the software conversation, AMD’s Frank Azor shared Radeon Adrenaline firmware updates, including a new feature called AMD HYPR-RX, which is coming in the first half of 2023. This feature will be a one-button optimizer to give AMD systems the best possible performance without having to do all the tweaking yourself.

Introducing AMD Zen 4

screenshot: AMD

Team Red also shared their commitment to providing the best CPU and GPU unit experience by working with system integrators to bring the AMD Advantage line to the desktop platform. This means combining AMD GPUs and CPUs in system configurations carefully selected by AMD for the best possible AMD experience.

Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT will be available on December 13, 2022. And the price? $999 and $899 USD respectively. That’s a stunning difference from NVIDIA’s $1,599 flagship.

We look forward to seeing how these GPUs perform in the wild! Let us know in the comments what you’re most excited about in AMD’s announcement today, and if you plan to update before the year is out.

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