AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card based on the RDNA 3 "Navi 31" GPU is going to be the next-gen flagship for the red team, ushering in performance levels never before seen in the PC gaming segment, and here's everything from specs, price, and performance that you need to know.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT RDNA 3 Graphics Card: The Next-Gen Navi 31 Flagship Infused With Chiplet Architecture
The AMD Radeon RX 6000 RDNA 2 graphics cards proved that the red team can offer performance on par and even exceed that of the competing GeForce RTX lineup. Each segment saw a massive increase in performance but the Navi 21 series was where the real action was, with performance higher than the RTX 3090 Ti graphics card across the board.
AMD not just delivered a brand new GPU package to its gaming audience but a package that was uplifted with a wide variety of architectural and software innovations such as Infinity Cache tech, FSR, and Smart Access Memory. All of these features combined to give Radeon users a fluid and smooth gaming experience while enjoying all the benefits that modern-day games have to offer such as Ray Tracing, DirectX 12 Ultimate, and visual upscalers technologies.
We should expect similar things with the next-generation flagship too but an important factor to consider is that GPUs are becoming more power-hungry and more pricey. It is a trend that might continue into the future as we get better products but in return, there's always a cost to pay for end consumers. So starting with what we know so far, first we should take a look at the brand new RDNA 3 GPU core that is expected to debut on the next-gen Radeon RX 7000 series graphics card lineup.
AMD Navi 31 'Plum Bonito' GPU - The Next-Gen RDNA 3 Powerhouse
At the top of the RDNA 3 SKU lineup is the Navi 31 GPU. Although there's an even faster chip in the works that is expected to debut next year, the 2022 flagship is said to be based on the Navi 31 GPU. The AMD RDNA 3 GPUs will be part of the 'GFX11' family and the flagship Navi 31 GPU is internally codenamed 'Plum Bonito' whereas the RDNA 2 flagship, the Navi 21 GPU was internally known as 'Sienna Cichlid'. AMD has become quite fond of using fish names as its internal codenames for the gaming GPU lineup and that's expected to continue with the RDNA 3 lineup.
AMD confirmed that its RDNA 3 GPUs will be coming later this year with a huge performance uplift. The company's Senior Vice President of Engineering, Radeon Technologies Group, David Wang, said that the next-gen GPUs for Radeon RX 7000 series will offer over 50% performance per watt uplift vs the existing RDNA 2 GPUs. Some of the key features of the RDNA 3 GPUs highlighted by AMD will include:
- 5nm Process Node
- Advanced Chiplet Packaging
- Rearchitected Compute Unit
- Optimized Graphics Pipeline
- Next-Gen AMD Infinity Cache
- >50% Perf/Watt vs RDNA 2
In the information published by AMD, the company highlighted a few key features of its RDNA 3 GPUs that will power the next generation of Radeon RX graphics cards. The RDNA 3 GPU will be based on a 5nm process node and utilize an advanced chiplet packaging that delivers increased performance per watt. Furthermore, the GPU will house a range of new technologies such as a brand new and rearchitected Compute Unit, an optimized graphics pipeline, and the next-gen of Infinity Cache.
AAMD will be rearchitecting the compute units within RDNA 3 to deliver enhanced raytracing capabilities. Although there's no mention of what these capabilities are if we were to guess, we would say it's definitely talking about performance and a set of advanced features on the RDNA 3 GPU core for Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards.
AMD's RDNA 2 GPU-powered Radeon RX 6000 series were the first to feature raytracing capabilities on the red camp. They were a generation behind NVIDIA who introduced their first raytracing GPUs two years prior on the Turing graphics architecture and fine-tuned it further to deliver better performance in the second generation on Ampere. With RDNA 3 GPU-powered Radeon RX 7000 pitted for launch later this year, we can expect AMD to offer a similar jump in performance or even exceed Ampere's ray-tracing capabilities. But the real challenge ahead would be to rival NVIDIA's 3rd Gen RT (Raytracing) cores which are expected to debut on the Ada Lovelace-powered GeForce RTX 40 series.
Besides raytracing, AMD will also be adding an Optimized Graphics Pipeline for RDNA 3 GPUs will allow for even higher clock speeds than RDNA 2 GPUs. The AMD Radeon RX 6000 cards already run close to 3 GHz so, with an improved 5nm process node, we can expect AMD to breach past the 3 GHz clock limit. This is essential for AMD as their competitor isn't holding back either with RTX 40 series rumors also hinting at up to 3 GHz clock speeds utilizing the more efficient 4N (optimized 5nm process node).
In addition to these, AMD will also be leveraging advanced GPU capabilities of its RDNA 3 graphics architecture to deliver a richer software ecosystem such as support for AV1 and brand new WMMA Instructions which will allow AI-Learning through the assistance of dedicated hardware blocks. The company is expected to debut its next-gen FSR 3.0 technology with RDNA 3 GPUs which will tackle NVIDIA's AI-Assisted DLSS feature suite.
The GPUs will also be amongst the first to utilize the brand new PCIe Gen 5.0 protocol, allowing for up to 128 GB/s transfer rates. This will be a crucial step in enhancing the Smart Access Memory feature and also drive the way forward for SAS (Smart Access Storage) which is a brand new feature designed in compliance with Microsoft's Direct Storage API to deliver faster loading times and better texture streaming in game. Display capabilities such as DP2.0 and HDMI 2.1 will also be present on the new graphics cards.
AMD RDNA GPU (Generational Comparison) Preliminary:
|GPU Name||Navi 10||Navi 21||Navi 31|
|GPU Package||Monolithic||Monolithic||MCD (Multi-Chiplet Die)|
|SPs Per WGP||128||128||256|
|Compute Units (Per Die)||40||80||192|
|Cores (Per Die)||2560||5120||12288|
|Peak Clock||1905 MHz||2250 MHz||~3000 MHz|
|Memory Capacity||8 GB||16 GB||24 GB|
|Infinity Cache||N/A||128 MB||96-192 MB|
|Flagship SKU||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 6900 XTX||Radeon RX 7900 XT|
|Launch||Q3 2019||Q4 2020||Q4 2022|
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT Graphics Card Specifications
The AMD Navi 31 GPU, the flagship RDNA 3 chip, would power the next-gen enthusiast cards such as the Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card. We have heard that AMD will drop CU (Compute Units) in favor of WGP (Work Group Processors) on its next-gen RDNA 3 GPUs. Each WGP will house dual CU (Compute Units) but with twice the SIMD32 clusters as opposed to just 2 on each CU within RDNA 2. Rumors are that AMD has the option to select between Samsung and TSMC for the 6nm die.
- AMD Navi 31: 12288 Cores, 384-bit Bus, 192 MB Infinity Cache, 308mm2 GPU Die @5nm
- AMD Navi 21: 5120 Cores, 384-bit Bus, 128 MB Infinity Cache, 520mm2 GPU Die @7nm
According to the latest information, the AMD Navi 31 GPU with RDNA 3 architecture is expected to offer a single GCD with 48 WGPs, 12 SAs, and 6 SEs. This will give out a total of 12,288 SPs or stream processors. This is an increase of 2.4x in cores compared to the 5120 SPs featured on the Navi 21 GPU. The GPU or the Navi 31 GCD is said to measure 308mm2 and will come packaged on TSMC's 5nm process node.
The Navi 31 GPU will also carry 6 MCD's which will feature 16 MB Infinity Cache per die and are also likely to carry the 64-bit (32-bit x 2) memory controllers that will provide the chip with a 384-bit bus interface. While this equals 96 MB of Infinity Cache which is lower than the 128 MB featured on the current Navi 21 GPUs, there's also a 3D-Stacked solution in the works which was pointed out recently and that would double the Infinity Cache with 32 MB (16 MB 0-hi + 16 MB 1-hi) capacities for a total of 192 MB of cache. This is a 50% increase versus the current Navi 21 design and it also makes Navi 31 the first GPU with both, chiplet and 3D stacked designs. These chiplets or MCD's will be fabricated on TSMC's 6nm process node and measure 37.5mm2 each.
The outlet reports that there was an even higher 288 MB (16 MB 0-Hi + 16 MB 1-Hi + 16 MB 2-Hi) MCD package planned but that was scrapped due to cost-benefit reasons. There are also talks of a cut-down variant of the Navi 31 GPU which will feature 42 WGPs or 10,752 cores and 5 MCDs for 80MB Infinity Cache across a 320-bit bus interface.
Now, this is going to result in higher power draw and AMD seems to have confirmed this much that their next-generation graphics card lineup will feature higher power consumption but they will still be a more efficient option than what NVIDIA has to offer. The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT already has a TBP of 335W so for a >2x performance gain. The cards are expected to retain their dual 8-pin plug input for power and feature an updated triple-fan cooling design which is slightly taller than the one currently in use.
To cool such a thing, a really high-end cooler will be required. A while ago, Moore's Law is Dead shared what seems to be the first look at the high-end AMD Navi 31 and Navi 32 GPUs with MCM design and the respective Radeon RX 7000 series graphics card which are seemingly going to feature high-end liquid-cooled designs out of the box. The card render shown is a dual 8-pin design with a dual-slot design and a 120mm AIO cooling solution.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT Graphics Card Performance
As for the performance of these monster GPUs, we can only use theoretical numbers here since the launch is a bit far away but based on what we know from the expected theoretical compute numbers, the performance is going to see over a 2.3x gain over the existing cards. This is a major leap
- AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT: ~75TFLOPs (FP32) (Assuming 3.0 GHz clock)
- AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: 23.80 TFLOPs (FP32) (2324 MHz Boost Clock)
- AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT: 23.04 TFLOPs (FP32) (2250 MHz Boost clock)
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT: 20.74 TFLOPs (FP32) (2250 MHz Boost clock)
- AMD Radeon RX 6800: 16.17 TFLOPs (FP32) (2105 MHz Boost clock)
Based on a theoretical clock speed of 3.0 GHz, you get up to 76 TFLOPs of compute performance and the rumors are suggesting even higher boost clocks. But one should keep in mind that compute performance doesn't necessarily indicate the overall gaming performance but despite that, it will be a huge upgrade for gaming PCs and a 6.2x increase over the current fastest console, the Xbox Series X.
This will be over a 2x compute performance uplift for each graphics card versus its predecessor and this is without even factoring in the brand new architectural features that are expected to bring major lifts too in their respective department. Now FLOPs aren't necessarily reflective of the graphics or gaming performance but they do provide a metric that can be used for comparison. A 2-2.5x gain over the RX 6900 XT & RX 6800 XT would be huge for AMD and is definitely going to be required if they are going to tackle the likes of NVIDIA's Geforce RTX 40 series.
Gamers should expect fluid 4K gaming to be buttery smooth on these graphics cards and with the FidelityFX suite offering next-gen FSR, SAS, and SAM support, we might even see playable 60 FPS at 8K resolution.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT Graphics Card Price & Availability
The AMD Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards will be focusing on the high-end variants first with the likes of the Navi 31, Navi 32, and Navi 33 GPUs. Previous rumors had mentioned Navi 33 to be followed by Navi 31 and then Navi 32 GPU-based graphics cards but the leaker had earlier pointed out that those plans were no longer applicable. We don't know which GPUs will hit the market first but AMD is likely to unveil its Navi 33 and Navi 31 variants first. As for the launch, the cards are either expected in Late October or Mid-November which means a Q4 2022 launch.
This will be a similar timeframe as the AMD Ryzen 7000 'Zen 4' Desktop CPUs which will also be launching in Fall 2022. Furthermore, NVIDIA is also aiming for a Q4 2022 launch and that's not all, even Intel is planning a Q4 2022 launch for its very own 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU family. So in total, we are looking at four major desktop PC launches later this fall which means it's going to be one heated Q4 this time around but consumers are in for a treat as they will have lots of tech to choose from for their next-gen gaming PC builds.
As for pricing, well we have seen AMD breaching past the $1000 US figure for its current-gen RX 6950 XT flagship so that might be a hint at things to come. Realistically, AMD prices its flagship around the $1000 US mark but it also comes with some more affordable options in the $600 to $800 US segment. The Navi 31 is currently only expected to include one graphics card but if the company plans on doing a duo or trio launch like their previous flagship chips, than we can also expect a $699 US solution.