AMD ‘Big Navi’ RDNA 2 GPUs To Launch Before Microsoft Xbox Series X And Sony PlayStation 5

AMD has officially confirmed that its next-generation of Graphics Cards, packing the RDNA2 or Big Navi or Nav 2X Architecture, will arrive for computers first. The company also indicated that these premium AMD Graphics Cards with hardware Ray Tracing will arrive before the upcoming next-gen premium dedicated gaming consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5.

AMD has confirmed that their upcoming Big Navi graphics processor will be the first product based on RDNA 2 architecture. What this clearly means is that Graphics Cards for PCs, with AMD GPU featuring the RDNA 2, Navi 2X or Navi 2 Architecture will be the first commercially available products. In other words, AMD has promised that PC gamers should be able to get their hands on the next-gen premium AMD Graphics Card before next-generation gaming consoles even arrive.

Enthusiasts Gamers To Get AMD ZEN 3 CPUs And RDNA 2 GPUs Before 2020 Ends, Confirms AMD CFO:

Devinder Kumar, AMD’s Chief Financial Officer, confirmed that Navi 2 will be AMD’s “first RDNA 2 base product”. He was speaking at the Bank of America 2020 Securities Global Technology Conference. This statement suggests that their RDNA 2 architecture will arrive on PC before it becomes available on next-generation gaming consoles.

RDNA 2, also known as Navi 2X, or simply Navi 2, is expected to be an enthusiast graphics card. The Big Navi is going to be based on the upcoming RDNA 2 architecture, and it means that cards will have to support Ray Tracing. Incidentally, AMD had previously indicated that only the top-end RDNA 2 based Graphics Cards will support hardware-level Ray Tracing through dedicated Cores, while the mid-range and affordable AMD graphics cards will not have ray tracing perhaps to keep prices in check.

[Image Credit: AMD via OverClocker3D]
The Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X are expected to arrive in the “Holiday 2020” season. This means PC gamers should expect to see RDNA 2 before November 2020. Kumar added “there’s a lot of excitement for Navi 2, or what our fans have dubbed as the Big Navi“, which further led him to say “Big Navi is a halo product” and “enthusiasts love to buy the best, and we are certainly working on giving them the best”. Kumar also added that AMD remains “on track to launch our next-generation Zen 3 CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs in late 2020“.

These statements clearly imply there will be a whole range of next-gen AMD GPUs as well as AMD CPUs to build a premium, top-end gaming computer. While the Big Navi RDNA 2 based GPUs will be inside high-end AMD Radeon Graphics Cards, the ZEN 3 based Ryzen and Threadripper Series CPUs will also be available.

Based on the timeline shared by the AMD CFO, it appears that the next-gen AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics Cards should start arriving between September and October. Interestingly, Kumar also said that “RDNA 2 architecture goes through the entire stack”. This means there will be a wide range of graphics cards that will all be based on the RDNA 2 architecture.

AMD Bifurcating Gaming Optimized And Compute-Optimized Graphics Architecture:

AMD’s CFO also talked about CDNA, AMD’s compute-focused graphics architecture. He noted, “There are some gaming features that are not needed in compute segment. And then there are some compute-specific features that are not needed in gaming. So, to gain efficiency and performance, we have decided to bifurcate the architecture.

We see this area as a tremendous growth opportunity for both gaming and data center GPUs over the next five years, and the bifurcation of our roadmap will allow us to optimize for the workload and for the used cases that we see so that we can grow revenue in the GPU space.”

[Image Credit: AMD via OverClocker3D]
Such segregation of technologies allows AMD RDNA 2 Architecture to be a lot leaner and power efficiency. The gaming cards can do away with compute cores while the CDNA cards will do away with gaming cores.

AMD Big Navi RDNA 2Graphics Cards To Become ‘NVIDIA Killer’?

AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture claims to deliver an incredible 50 percent boost in performance per watt over the current generation of RDNA-based products. This is due to the efficiency advantage offered by AMD’s next-generation Radeon architecture. These gains are possible because AMD shifted its entire production on to the 7nm node. Essentially, AMD appears to have achieved a boost in performance without a major process node shift.

RDNA 2 is also due to deliver support for new features like Mesh Shaders, Variable Rate Shading, Hardware Accelerated Raytracing, and more to Radeon graphics hardware. Needless to add, this represents a substantial leap in AMD’s graphics capabilities set as well as in Radeon’s power efficiency. In other words, AMD is rapidly appearing to justify the ‘NVIDIA Killer’ tag.

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Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.
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