In their typical goliath two-step, AMD follows Nvidia’s recentdebut with its competing series, the Radeon RX 7000 line, and its own architecture upgrade, RDNA 3. The first two cards out of the gate will be the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, shipping on Dec. 13, for $999 and $899, respectively.
Both cards are intended for 4K, high frame rate, high quality gaming and streaming, but AMD’s also pitching the XTX as an 8K gaming GPU. And to prove 8K is coming, the company teased an upcoming Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 8K widescreen monitor slated for its official announcement at CES in January. The company also says that we’ll be seeing high-res DisplayPort 2.1 monitors starting in the beginning of 2023 from companies like Dell, Asus, LG and Acer and Samsung.
|AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX||Radeon RX 7900 XT|
|Memory||24GB GDDR6||20GB GDDR6|
|Memory bandwidth (GBps)||960 (up to 3,500 with 96MB Infinity cache)||800 (up to 2,900 with 80MB Infinity Cache)|
|GPU clock (GHz, base/boost)||1.9/2.5||1.5/2.4|
|Memory data rate/Interface||20Gbps/384-bit||20Gbps/320-bit|
|Compute units and Ray accelerators||96||84|
|Process||5nm and 6nm||5nm and 6nm|
|TGP/min PSU (watts)||355/800||300/750|
|Connectors||2 x DP 2.1, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x USB-C||2 x DP 2.1, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x USB-C|
|Size||2.5 slots; 11.3 in./287mm long||2.5 slots; 10.9 in./276 mm long|
|Ship date||Dec. 13||Dec. 13|
In addition to AMD’s in-house cards, third-party cards will be available from AMD’s usual partners, such as Asus.
8K? Well, RDNA 3 and the new GPUs add support for DisplayPort 2.1, which has the bandwidth necessary to support 165Hz 8K at 12 bits per color (up from 10 bits) for HDR and to enable full gamut coverage of, or up to 480Hz in 4K. That’s a link bandwidth of up to 54Gbps, up from 20Gbps in DP 1.4a, which Nvidia’s cards still use.
Keep in mind that GPUs are usually well out front of monitors when it comes to color and bit depth, though. (So get ready for meaningless, breathless exclamations of “68 billion colors!” in monitor marketing materials.)
DP 2.1 works in conjunction with AMD’s new Radiance Display Engine, which also supports up to 8K/60p simultaneous HEVC encoding and decoding (a boost for streamers), AV1 encode acceleration and AI-enhanced encoding via dedicated AI acceleration silicon.
RDNA 3 architecture improves on RDNA 2 in several ways. It’s the first GPU built from, the modular building blocks of modern processor design.
For one thing, it allows AMD to use different process sizes on the same die, in this case a 5nm graphics core and 6nm memory cache die. This can result in the ability to optimize performance of the two separately, squeeze in more power or speed where it does the most good and ultimately fit a better processor in the same space and power envelope as earlier models.
It enables AMD to add dedicated AI acceleration and improved raytracing accelerators — a weakness it’s traditionally had versus Nvidia’s RTX cores — and to decouple the memory clock speeds from the compute unit speeds to help conserve power draw. AMD claims the GPU gets better DirectX raytracing (DXR) performance.
The chiplet dies incorporate second generation Infinity cache, which streamlines use of available memory over the earlier version, meaning it doesn’t have to pop out to system memory as much — a faster and lower latency approach.
And SmartAccess Video joins the company’s other “smart” technologies, like Smart Access Memory. In this case, when you have a system equipped with a CPU and RX 7000 GPU, it can distribute encoding and decoding tasks between the two for better performance. That’s coming starting in December.
AMD Advantage Desktops
SAV factors into the company’s new partner program for desktops similar to its, which basically means a system uses all the cutting-edge AMD technologies, as well as robust cooling (with a liquid-cooled CPU), premium system design with tool-free entry, at least 32GB DDR5 memory and an 80 Plus Gold power supply.
The program seems to be intended for custom-build companies — at least initially — given that the highlighted list of partners are CyberPower PC, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Origin PC and the like.
FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 and Adrenalin
AMD didn’t provide any details for the biggest update to its performance optimization algorithms (I just can’t call it and DLSS “upscaling” anymore, since they’ve both grown significantly beyond those roots), FSR 3, but on the surface, “Fluid Motion Frames” sounds an awful lot like Nvidia’s Frame Generation, the biggest upgrade to DLSS 3.
If it does the same thing, Fluid Motion Frames enhances speculative rendering from “what does this pixel look like in the next frame” to “how is the next frame different and how does that translate to changes in a given pixel” for lower latency without detail loss in detailed scenes.
AMD’s Adrenalin gaming hub-slash-optimization utility will also introduce a notable new feature in the first half of 2023, dubbed “Hyper-RX” mode: It will be a one-click optimizer for performance and latency that takes into account all the settings you’d normally have to hunt down and tweak individually. For those of us who like faster, but can live without the hassle induced by tweaking for fastest.