AMD Big Navi will be officially unveiled on October 28, just over a month after Nvidia unveiled its Ampere graphics cards to the world. But because AMD likes little surprises, we got a taste of the Radeon RX 6000 series with the AMD Ryzen 5000 unveiled on October 8.
AMD is finally trying to get these upcoming graphics cards to compete with Nvidia at the top tier, but it remains to be seen if Team Red can match the gigantic performance of the GeForce RTX 3080. However, with the performance hints Lisa Su dropped earlier in October, we can finally see the competition return to the upper segment – which will be good for everyone.
AMD RDNA 2 will also be the graphics architecture behind both Xbox series X and Playstation 5and supports all next-generation features such as variable speed shading and ray tracing – despite rumors ray tracing support will not be there all the way down in the product stack.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? AMD’s hopefully high-end graphics card
- When is it out? Expected on October 28, 2020
- What will it cost? Nobody knows, but it probably won’t come cheap
Release date AMD Big Navi
It seems rumors of AMD Big Navi release date have been everywhere since the very beginning of time – or at least since Navi rumors first appeared in late 2018. Initially, we had heard that. Big Navi was to be launched on Computex – but Computex didn’t even happen.
Days after Nvidia’s announcement of the RTX 3080, AMD teased the launch of both Zen 3 desktop processors and RDNA 2 graphics cards, with the latter expected to arrive just before Halloween on October 28 at noon EST – just a few weeks before the November 10 launch Xbox series X that will power the graphics architecture.
AMD Big Navi Prize
AMD has traditionally enjoyed a reputation for providing more affordable products than their competition, but we’re not sure this will extend to Big Navi.
And to support this, we would like to refer to the AMD Radeon VII. With this graphics card, AMD really delivered performance quite near what the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 offered at the time, while stuck with a $ 679 price tag (about £ 540, AU $ 970), which was very close at the $ 699 (£ 649, AU $ 1,119) price tag of the RTX 2080 at the time.
Now, since launching its Navi line-up, AMD has put some price pressure on Nvidia’s mid-range line-up, notably pushing Nvidia to lower its prices on its Super cards at the last minute. So we could see something challenging the RTX 2080 Ti for maybe $ 200 (£ 200, AU $ 300) less than that card’s suggested retail price, but don’t expect graphics card prices to drop to where they were before Nvidia Turing made everything more expensive.
With AMD targeting the high-end, we fully expect the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (if it is called that way) to be priced at the same $ 699 (£ 649, about AU $ 950) price tag as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. And , if Team Red has anything up its sleeve to tackle the RTX 3090, expect a dazzling price.
AMD Big Navi specifications and features
AMD plans to drop a 4K-ready graphics card that can handle ray tracing later in October. During AMD’s Ryzen 5000 unveiling on Oct. 8, Team Red hinted that the next-generation RDNA 2 graphics card can achieve high frame rates at 4K in games like Borderlands 3 and Gears 5.
A recent leak would have detailed everything you would want to know about the upcoming AMD Big Navi specs. The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT – again, just a rumored name – will reportedly have 5,120 SPs, 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM on a 256-bit memory bus, and a 2.4 GHz game clock according to an even more recent leak.
A quick side note on that: instead of just listing a Max Boost Clock and a Base Clock like Nvidia does with its graphics cards, AMD clock speeds are separated into a base frequency, a game frequency, and a boost frequency. Game frequency is simply the clock speed the graphics card will typically be on while playing, with AMD’s boost frequency being the peak clock speed, and will usually only happen for a second here and there.
But of course, especially with graphics cards, clock speed doesn’t mean everything and is just part of an incredibly complex equation for gaming performance.
As for the other cards in the lineup, rumors point to a Radeon RX 6800 XT and a Radeon RX 6700 XT with 3,840 SPs and 2,560 SPs respectively. Meanwhile, those graphics cards will come with 12GB and 6GB of GDDR6 memory – although we’d be surprised if AMD launched a Radeon RX 6700 XT with less VRAM than the 5700 XT, especially when competition with Nvidia is so strong right now.
At the end of the day, while we already have this juicy speculation, we don’t know what will end up being true and what won’t. Regardless, 2020 will be an exciting year for the best graphics cards.