It’s only been a few days since AMD Radeon revealed that they would be announcing the next Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards on October 28th. They’ve caught quite a bit of criticism from community members for teasing the ad rather than a product announcement, but they seem to have responded and decided to pull back the curtain on the cooler of the product. Radeon RX 6000 series!
Is this big Navi?
Well is it? That part remains to be seen, but AMD Radeon decided today was a good time to ditch the cooler design for the upcoming RX 6000 series cards and it is most likely the coolest cooler (in my opinion save for the cooler). R9 295×2) that AMD has ever put on a reference card. Three big fans with a bold R on each, what appears to be an illuminated RADEON logo along the side that appears to be an evolution of the Radeon VII look. Thankfully this time around AMD has gone with much larger fans which should, in theory, be much quieter than what we’ve heard with the Radeon VII.
There are also advances on power delivery as they seem to have decided to use dual 8-pin PCIe power cables rather than the 6 + 8 design carried by the RX 5700 series. We know that the RDNA2 and Navi 2X architecture boasts high performance for watt gains, but it also looks like the Radeon is ready to push the power and go out this time. Although the wraparound casing and overall design are quite reminiscent of the NVIDIA RTX 20 Series Founders Edition cards. There are also four display outputs including 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, and a single Virtual Link port (Type-C) connector.
There is still a lot to reveal on October 28th as the most interesting is only a small part of the story, what is below is just as, if not more important. But for now, here’s the tweet sent by Radeon:
Take a first look at the design of the new Radeon RX 6000 series. Our next @AMD # RDNA2 graphics cards will feature brand new more interesting design and you can study every corner by yourself on our Fortnite Creative Island. 8651-9841-1639. pic.twitter.com/KGQAOXDivZ
– Radeon RX (@Radeon) September 14, 2020
Here’s everything we know about RDNA 2-based Radeon RX Navi 6000 desktop GPUs
The AMD RDNA 2-based Radeon RX Navi 2x graphics card family is also being advertised to disrupt the 4K gaming segment similar to how Ryzen disrupted the entire CPU landscape. This is a pretty bold claim from AMD itself, but leaks and rumors suggest this could be the case with AMD’s next-generation Radeon RX graphics cards.
AMD has announced that its RDNA 2 GPUs will offer a similar performance leap over the first generation RDNA GPUs like Zen 2 shipped on Zen 1. The first RDNA GPUs provided a whopping 50% performance per watt over architecture. GCN and RDNA 2 GPUs are expected to do the same on RDNA 1, offering an additional 50% increase in performance per watt.
According to the roadmap shared by AMD, RDNA 2 GPUs would have three key features that will be part of the new GPU architecture. First and foremost is the increase in performance per watt due to a number of reasons. AMD will move from TSMC’s 7nm process to the more advanced 7nm process node. The new process node itself increases the efficiency of transistors on new GPUs by decreasing their overall size, allowing AMD to cram more performance into a much smaller package.
Key changes that have led to a 50% increase in performance per watt include a redesigned microarchitecture with improved performance per clock (IPC), a logical improvement that helps reduce design complexity and switching power, and physical optimizations such as ‘increased clock speed.
AMD also announced that RDNA 2 GPUs will be equipped with VRS (Variable Rate Shading) and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. AMD is following suit with NVIDIA having already implemented the aforementioned technologies on its Turing GPU-based GeForce RTX graphics cards. With the impending launch of the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, AMD will work to provide these features with its optimization framework to developers for integration with next generation gaming titles.
AMD also recently showed off its RDNA 2 GPUs running Microsoft’s DXR 1.1 (DirectX 12 API Ultimate) demo internally using hardware-accelerated ray tracing. AMD’s approach to ray tracing is to offer simplified development and rapid adoption, which is certainly possible through the consoles that most game developers focus their efforts on.
AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su has already stated that we can expect a new high-end Radeon RX family based on RDNA 2 GPUs and a 7nm RDNA upgrade family to launch this year. The same was stated during the presentation where it was stated that the “Navi 2x” range would scale from top to bottom and, as the name suggests, would offer double the increase in performance efficiency compared to graphics cards RX of the first generation. AMD CFO Devinder Kumar also shed light on RDNA 2 GPU-based Radeon RX products for the PC platform, saying PCs will be the first to get a taste of the new architecture in the form of the Big Navi (Halo) graphics card. followed by traditional GPUs.
“There is a lot of excitement for Navi 2, or what our fans have called the Big Navi”
“Big Navi is a Halo product”
“Fans love to buy the best and we are definitely working to give them the best.”
“RDNA 2 architecture spans the entire stack”
“It will move from traditional GPUs to enthusiasts and then the architecture will also move to gaming console products … as well as our integrated APU products.
“This allows us to take advantage of the larger ecosystem, accelerate the development of exciting features like ray tracing and more.”
through AMD CFO Devinder Kumar
Some of the features expected from 2nd generation RDNA Navi GPUs would be:
- Optimized 7nm process node
- Enthusiastic desktop graphics card options
- Hardware Ray Tracing Support
- A mix of GDDR6 graphics cards
- More energy efficient than first generation Navi GPUs
One of the key features of the Big Navi Radeon RX GPU is that it will disrupt the 4K gaming segment, similar to how Ryzen disrupted the entire CPU segment. These are some bold claims from AMD, but if those specific rumors are anything to build on, then these claims may not be that far-fetched.
“With the Radeon 5000 series we essentially cover 90 percent of total PC gamers today,” says Chandrasekhar. “And so that’s why there’s no 4K right now, it’s because the vast majority of it is 1440p and 1080p.
“This doesn’t mean that a 4K-compatible GPU won’t come, but it will, but for the here and now we want to focus on the vast majority of gamers.”
“Similar to Ryzen,” he says, “we all need a thriving ecosystem of Radeon GPUs. So, are we moving towards 4K and are we going to discontinue 4K equally? Absolutely, you can count on that. But that’s all I can. say now. “
Once again, AMD in its presentation emphasized enthusiast-class performance for the RDNA 2-based Radeon RX “Navi 2X” GPUs, so that’s something to consider. The competition on the other side, however, won’t stand by as AMD launches its high-performance graphics cards. The next-generation NVIDIA-based GeForce GPUs are shaping up to be a beast from what we’ve seen so far and will be available to consumers first, starting September 17.
The second half of 2020 would certainly be an interesting time for all hardware enthusiasts and traditional PC gamers who can’t wait to upgrade their PCs with better hardware.