AMD’s RDNA 3 GPUs are Way Cheaper Than the RTX 4090

AMD’s RDNA 3 GPUs are Way Cheaper Than the RTX 4090

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

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

“At the forefront of what we’re doing, it’s all about power and energy efficiency. We want to make sure that we continue to innovate around performance-per-watt leadership to enable all of the gamer upgrades with fantastic performance, but at a reasonable power.” – Dr. Lisa Su

Starting with the new chiplet design, RDNA 3 takes a modular approach with the intention of optimising the efficiency of the overall GPU design. Much like the Ryzen CPU family, RDNA3 will utilise a mixed chiplet architecture. With a 5nm graphics die (GCD) compute unit containing all of the shaders, display engines, and updated media engine, the GCD is paired with a 6nm Memory Cache Die (MCD) that consists of the GDDR6 controller as well as 96 MB of AMD’s 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 2.7x increase over RDNA 2), enabling up to 61 TFLOPS of compute. All of this will be supported by up to 24 GB of GDDR6 with a memory bus up to 384-bit (not the GDDR6X we saw in the RTX 4090) and, according to Dr. Su, will enable RDNA 3 GPUs to achieve up to 54% greater performance-per-watt over the previous generation.

So, what is this magical mystery 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 Radeon RX 7900 XT comes with 20 GB of GDDR6. Engineered 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 push it into the future of gaming.

Starting with dedicated AI acceleration, RDNA 3 is said to improve AI-based functions of the GPU by 2.7x and ray tracing instructions by 1.8x over RDNA 2. In rendering applications–including ray tracing, this new architecture is said to obtain up to 50% more performance per compute unit and double the instructions per clock. This is a much-needed leap for Radeon graphics to compete within this particular space of graphics processing!

Screenshot: AMD
Screenshot: AMD

But, there’s more:

AMD’s new Radiance Display is the engine pushing all of that data into the display. The engine will support 12 bit-per-channel colour with up to 68 billion colours as well as higher refresh rates. Thanks in no small part to DisplayPort 2.1 and HDMI 2.1 adoption, 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.

Alongside of the Radiance Display engine, AMD also unveiled a new dual media engine for simultaneous encode and decode for both AVC and HEVC formats. This engine will also support AV1 encoding and decoding, with a max resolution of 8K60. Later on in the presentation, AMD teased future support for AV1 encoding support within 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 provide up to a 30% uplift in 4K multi stream encoding.

When it comes to gaming performance, the RX 7900 XTX is purported to operate 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), the charts AMD showed for the 7900 XTX showed several titles running at frame rates far exceeding 200 FPS at 4K. One standout was Valorant, which 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 3rd-party reviewers!

When it comes to the actual 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 draw of 355 W. For context, that is 95 W less than NVIDIA’s RTX 4090 Founder’s Edition while hovering close to the RX 6950 XT’s typical board power. The RX 7900 XT will have 84 compute units with a game clock of 2 GHz and a total board power of 300 W.

Oh yeah, and neither one of them will require a special cable to power them.

This is just the hardware, though. AMD took some time to talk about FSR adoption, the uplift in performance seen within FSR2, and how well RDNA 3 operates with it enabled. One example the company showed off was Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla running at 96 frames per second at 8K. It was a short clip, but pretty wild to see all the same. But AMD wanted us to know that FSR isn’t stopping at FSR2. There’s a new iteration, FSR3. At the time of the announcement, AMD said that Radeon users can expect up to 2x more frames per second over FSR2 and that the technology would be available in 2023.

Continuing the conversation about software, AMD’s Frank Azor shared updates to Radeon Adrenaline software, 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 of the adjustments yourself.

Screenshot: AMD
Screenshot: AMD

Team Red also shared its commitment to providing the best CPU and GPU unified experience by working with system integrators to bring the AMD Advantage line to the desktop platform. This means pairing AMD GPUs and CPUs together in system configurations carefully curated by AMD for the supposed best possible AMD experience.

The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT will be available on December 13th, 2022. And the price? $US999 ($1,387) and $899 USD ($1,248), respectively. This is an amazing distinction from NVIDIA’s $US1599 ($2,220) flagship.

We look forward to seeing just how these GPUs perform out in the wild! Let us know in the comments what you are most excited for in AMD’s announcement today and if you plan on making an upgrade before the year is through.

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