November 29, 2022

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AMD's first RDNA 3 GPUs are the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT

AMD’s first RDNA 3 GPUs are the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT

Now that NVIDIA has launched the latest wave of video cards with The RTX 4090 is insanely powerfulAll eyes are on AMD to see how it will respond. Today, the company announced the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, two confusingly-named GPUs powered by the new RDNA 3 architecture. On stage during the Las Vegas launch event, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su claimed that the new hardware delivers a 54 percent increase in performance per watt over previous GPUs. She also emphasized that AMD is focused on delivering complex performance with reasonable power usage, which is a clear blow against the power-hungry NVIDIA (and PSU cable melt) RTX 4090.

As usual for AMD, it is also trying to underprice its main competitor. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX will retail for $999, while the RX 7900 XT will retail for $899. Both cards will be released on December 13th. That’s a lot more reasonable than the $1,599 RTX 4090 and the $1,199 RTX 4080.

These cards aren’t just a bump in the specs. Su says the RDNA 3 is the world’s first chip-based GPU, giving it a modular design that can easily be modified down the line. Currently, these chipboards include a 5nm GPU compute dies and a 6nm cache. It’s capable of up to 61 teraflops of computing power (up to a maximum of 23 TFLOPs in RDNA 2), can manage up to 24 GB of GDDR6 RAM and is made up of 58 billion transistors.


Of course, the flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX gets 24 GB of RAM, while the 7900 XT will ship with 20 GB. Both cards look similar to AMD’s latest generation hardware, albeit with larger fans and a sleeker heatsink design. As AMD SVP’s Sam Nafzeger has joked that you won’t need any new power cables for these cards – you should be able to drop them into your existing system.

When it comes to ray tracing, one of AMD’s historical weaknesses, the company says the new cards have a next-generation accelerator with 50 percent more performance per compute unit. They’ll deliver 1.5 times more rays per flight, new custom instructions and updated ray box sorting. Hopefully, this means we’ll see a closer analogy to ray tracing with NVIDIA cards. Radeon 7000 GPUs also feature AMD’s new Radiance display engine, with 480Hz support for 4K gaming and 165Hz 8K performance. (And yes, the latter seems like an extension of ours, too.)

So what do these cards look like on paper? In addition to the massive 24GB GDDR6 RAM, the RX 7900 XTX features 96 compute units running at up to 2.3GHz, all on a 355W power draw. Meanwhile, the 7900 XT has 84 CUs, 2GHz clock speed and 300W power draw, along with 20GB GDDR6 memory. AMD has also partnered with companies like Samsung for DisplayPort 2.1 displays, which should arrive early next year. Surprisingly, Samsung has come up with something great: the new Odyssey Neo G9 display will offer 8K Ultra HD resolution. (The better question is if anyone aims for 8K games at all.)

As for gaming performance, AMD says the RX 7900 XTX hit 295 fps while playing Apex Legends in 4K, and up to 704 fps in Valorant. Given that DisplayPort 1.4’s refresh rate limit is 240Hz, that’s a lot of performance that today’s screens won’t record. AMD also claims that its GPUs see up to 96fps in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla With Fidelity FX Super Precision (FSR).

It is worth noting, of course, that any comparison with the RTX 4090 from NVIDIA. AMD may not have had time to rate this card, but it will be interesting to see how competitive RDNA 3 GPUs are.

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