AMD has revealed our first ever look at its upcoming Navi 7nm gaming GPU during a keynote at Computex 2019. The world’s first gaming-focused 7nm graphics cards will fall under the AMD Radeon RX 5000 series. We really do despair about tech naming conventions sometimes.
Perhaps the biggest change for the RX 5000-series is AMD’s finally moving away from its GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture in favour of ‘RDNA’. The name seems to simply stand for ‘Radeon DNA’, unless AMD is implying some deeper meaning. AMD GPUs have been using GCN for a decade now, along with all the limitations that apply. GCN GPUs are limited to a maximum of 64 Computer Units with a total of 4096 shaders, for example, thanks to the limitations of the shader engine. RDNA aims to improve performance, power and memory efficiency of AMD’s GPUs, all while using a smaller package. Performance-per-clock is expected to be around 25% higher than GCN, while performance-per-watt should be around 50% improved.
The first two Radeon RX 5000 graphics cards we’ll be getting will include the Radeon RX 5700, and AIB partners are already showing off their custom variants. Higher-end Navi chips are expected in 2020, with AMD choosing to focus on the mid-to-high-end market for the initial run.
The Navi GPU die used is around 275 mm². This makes it slightly larger than than the 12nm Polaris 30 GPU used for the Radeon RX 590, and far smaller than the 495 mm² Vega 10 GPU used for Radeon RX Vega 64.
In terms of performance, the top-end Radeon RX 5700 model was demoed on-stage during AMD’s Computex keynote and averaged around 10% higher frame rates than the GeForce RTX 2070 when running Strange Brigade. It should be noted that Strange Brigade is a Vulkan and DirectX 12-powered title that heavily favours AMD hardware and was clearly cherry-picked for this exact reason. The Radeon VII, for example, outperforms the GeForce RTX 2080 in Strange Brigade DX12 by around 2-10% (depending on resolution), while the RTX 2080 typically runs faster than the Radeon VII in overall averages. To that end, we’re expecting Radeon RX 5700 and RTX 2070 to be trading a few punches.
Unfortunately, further details on the Radeon RX 5000 series are a little thin on the ground. We shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out all the gory details though - the AMD Radeon RX 5000-series graphics cards will be launching in July 2019. More details are promised during AMD’s own E3 live stream event which is set to take place on June 10th at 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm BST.
AMD president Dr. Lisa Su also revealed the AMD Ryzen 3rd generation of CPUs yesterday. Team Red has an absolute stacked line-up for the coming few months; it’s certainly exciting times for those who want to see Nvidia and Intel finally feel the heat.
“2019 is off to an incredible start for AMD as we celebrate 50 years of innovation by delivering leadership products to push the limits of what is possible with computing and graphics technology,” said Dr. Su. “We made significant strategic investments in next-generation cores, a breakthrough chiplet design approach, and advanced process technologies to deliver leadership 7nm products to our high-performance computing ecosystem. We are extremely excited to kick-off Computex 2019 together with our industry partners as we prepare to bring our next generation of Ryzen desktop and EPYC server processors and Radeon RX gaming graphics cards to market.”