AMD Announces Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT Graphics Cards
News from the AMD together we advance_gaming Event
AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su took the stage in Las Vegas (no, this isn’t CES – yet) to lead the highly-anticipated launch of RDNA 3 graphics, and your favorite PCPer EiC was on-site for the event. As you can tell from the title of this post, the hardware announced includes a pair of Radeon RX 7000 Series GPUs, which bring back the “XTX” branding at the high end (we approve of this).
The initial Radeon RX 7000 launch consists of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, and Radeon RX 7900 XT. Hopefully there are enough Xs in there to prevent confusion with the recently-launched Ryzen 7900X processor, but this editor would have liked a different numbering scheme for clarity. At least we have “XTX” back from the ATI days.
These new graphics cards are based on the world’s first chiplet GPU, and offer some impressive specifications including 24 GB of 384-bit GDDR6 (not GDDR6X) on the flagship XTX model – with 20 GB of 320-bit GDDR6 on the XT model (one fewer memory chiplet enabled).
The flagship XTX part has 96 CUs, a 2.3 GHz Game Clock, 24 GB 384-bit GDDR6, and a rated 355W TBP (total board power). The XT part has 84 CUs, a 2.0 GHz Game Clock, 20 GB 320-bit GDDR6, and a lower 300W TBP. AMD is also, as previously stated by Scott Herkelman, using standard 8-pin PCIe connectors for these cards. Oh, and speaking of PCIe, these are PCI Express 4.0 devices.
The new GPU features a 5nm GCD (graphics) die, surrounded by six 6 nm MCD (memory) dies – again, one disabled on the XT model. Each of the MCD chiplets provide a 64-bit memory controller, thus 384-bit on the XTX part (6 x 64-bit). These are connected via the “world’s fastest chiplet interconnect” with peak bandwidth of 5.3 TB/s. The 5 nm GCD measures 300 mm^2, with the 6 nm MCDs each measuring 37 mm^2. In total we are looking at 58 billion transistors.
Performance numbers against the competition will have to wait, as AMD is not showing any comparisons to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090, and this launch happens before the GeForce RTX 4080 release. Instead, AMD focused on performance relative to their previous generation, with AMD stating that pure rendering performance of the RX 7900 XTX is 1.5x greater than the RX 6950 XT.
AMD provides a limited glimpse of performance uplift compared to the RX 6950 XT at 4K resolution in the above slide, with gains of up to 1.7x vs. the RDNA 2 flagship in these titles. Part of this performance uplift comes from the 2nd Gen Infinity Cache, which provides a 2.7x increase in peak bandwidth compared to RDNA 2’s Infinity Cache.
AMD has implemented DisplayPort 2.1 with these GPUs, giving them a distinct advantage this generation over NVIDIA’s 40 Series, which is of course limited to DisplayPort 1.4. Another feature of the new RDNA 3 graphics cards is full AV1 encode/decode support, as now all three graphics card vendors offer this in hardware.
AMD also announced that RDNA 3 offers AMD’s next generation ray tracing tech, with 1.5x more rays in flight, new dedication instructions, and new ray box sorting and traversal. What this adds up to is stated performance gains of up to 50% per CU compared to RDNA 2.
Beyond performance, at the forefront of AMD’s goals for RDNA 3 is to accelerate performance-per watt leadership. AMD states that RDNA 3 provides 54% gen-over-gen perf-per-watt, which matches the gains we saw going from RDNA to RDNA 2.
Pricing and Availability
We begin with the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, which will launch at $999 on December 13, 2022.
The XTX has 96 CUs, a 2.3 GHz Game Clock, 24 GB 384-bit GDDR6, and a 355W TBP
And now the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, which also launches December 13, 2022, at a price of $899. Maybe.
The XT has 84 CUs, a 2.0 GHz Game Clock, 20 GB 320-bit GDDR6, and a 300W TBP
I suspect that the $899 price of the Radeon RX 7900 XT is just a placeholder until we see how NVIDIA decides to position the graphics card formerly known as the RTX 4080 12GB. This is pure speculation, but the $100 proximity between these new Radeon GPUs feels slightly off. But I could be totally off base here. Personally, I would always pay the extra $100 for the flagship, and if nothing changes I’m guessing the RX 7900 XT will be a essentially a consolation for those unable to purchase an RX 7900 XTX.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Would you save $100 to purchase the $899 XT with the XTX at $999? Will the XT really launch at $799? Are you tired of GPUs over $500 in general?