4 big questions that we still have about ‘Big Navi’

Nvidia is struggling to keep up with orders for its GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards. Third-party cards were sold for weeks. eBay scalpers lick their chops. The introduction of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs resulted in great silicon, but the buying experience was far from smooth.

With the unveiling of the first three “Big Navi” cards in the Radeon RX 6000 series on October 28, AMD looks seriously well-equipped for the first time in many years in the field of high-end gaming graphics. Based on initial specs and claims, AMD could be ready for competition by mid-November hart with Nvidia in the arena for the hearts and minds of PC gamers … at least people who play at 1440p and 4K.

AMD presented its GeForce challenge in a virtual keynote. It was a tight 25 minutes and you can catch it up here, I’ll wait …

… but even after two views and some sensible emails to certain manufacturers of PC components, I still had a few questions after AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su had left the stage.

1. The Radeon RX 6000 Cards: Can You Really Buy Them?

That first question everyone is talking about is the right one given the current desperation over Nvidia supplies.

So far, in one way or another, there has been no concrete indication of how the supply situation for the Radeon RX 6000 series will develop. According to all information, this is not just a paper start. At least some cards will find their way to consumers on launch day, but how many remain to be seen remains to be seen. Long before Nvidia announced the GeForce RTX 30 series, there were rumors of supply-side issues that GPU production was facing. Foundry battles with semiconductor companies (a previously dry topic in baseball) suddenly became more mainstream news. Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, originally stated that most of the “Ampere” card generation at TSMC would be manufactured in a 7nm process. As it turns out, these initial amp cards use an 8nm process via Samsung factories.

Image: AMD
Additionally, Nvidia’s paw is a thorn in the side of keeping up with demand for the first two Founders Edition cards, not to mention the third-party RTX 3070 and 3080 cards. So where’s rival AMD?

Unconfirmed reports from the China Times have suggested that TSMC may have leeway in its foundries after complications related to the contract with China-based technology maker Huawei emerged. However, it should be reiterated that nothing has been confirmed that TSMC is bottlenecked in serving AMD’s requirements.

To answer if you have a good chance of getting an RX 6000 series card after launch, we have no idea: we have no idea. AMD did not take the opportunity to inform Nvidia of delivery problems at any point during its presentation (of course, to simply refer to the graphics giant as “the competition”). Mum is the word from AMD, TSMC, and all intermediate suppliers about the prospect of expanded, consistent availability of reference or RX 6000 series third-party vendors either on the day of launch or in the weeks and months thereafter.

If the new Radeon cards are rated well and Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series cards continue to be in short supply, it could add an extra burden to AMD to keep up with demand as some people may choose Radeon … in other words, what they can actually do to get.

2. What about this pricing?

Next up is the pricing scheme for the three new Radeon RX 6000 cards. While the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ($ 649) is nothing out of the ordinary than the competing Nvidia card it is set to compete against (RTX 3080, $ 699), it’s more about the specific placement of cards in the stack against each other that raises a question mark over our collective minds.

However, before we dive into AMD RX 6000 series pricing, let’s first look at Nvidia …

As you can see above, there is a $ 200 gap between the prices of the excellent GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 Founders Edition cards. Makes sense on our minds, especially given the performance gap we saw between these cards in our benchmarks …

AMD has since placed its $ 579 Radeon RX 6800 and $ 649 Radeon RX 6800 XT, which supposedly compete with these two GeForce RTX cards and are only $ 70 apart. Here’s a look at their basic specs.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series-Familie

Image: AMD
Their respective performance results seem to bridge the same rift that exists between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, but the price difference is much smaller. This tarnishes a card start, which on paper otherwise contains some rather bold claims to AMD in terms of the price-performance ratio. Is the Radeon RX 6800 XT worth it? Will the Radeon RX 6800 be overpriced? Will it be the other way around? Despite the numbers given by AMD, it’s just too close to call when it’s a $ 70 difference. I suspect I’ll get a much clearer picture of the value once I’ve had the chance to evaluate the stack.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 series prices

Image: AMD
Then there’s the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which … well, I’m not sure who this card is for. Radeon fan 4K player with deep pockets, of course. While it supposedly does the job of beating Nvidia’s $ 1,499 GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition in certain gaming benchmarks, the company didn’t mention its workstation or rendering capabilities, which is much more of the RTX 3090’s goal than the unrestricted gaming dominance.

AMD RX 6900 XT prices

Image: AMD
The RX 6900 XT is predictably priced at just $ 999, well below Nvidia’s price. With just 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM on board (compared to the RTX 3090’s 24GB GDDR6X), however, it’s a question of whether or not for avid content creators it can keep up with their most demanding tasks big Question mark. Chopping off $ 500 is a big deal without a doubt, but this card is in an interesting new mid-zone at the elite end of the market.

3. What are these “third party” cards that you are talking about?

A group of 800 pound gorillas were quite impressed with AMD’s presentation this time around: AMD’s board member.

In neither the virtual keynote nor the slides below, AMD made any mention of when (or if) versions of third-party RX 6000 series cards would be made available to the public. It is unclear whether such cards will hit the streets at the time the AMD reference card launches or after.

Saphirpuls AMD Radeon RX 5500XT

Now, of course, follows the previous logic that we will almost certainly see third-party cards in retail outlets something But point if “sometime” is accurate? Shrug at the moment.

4. ray tracing? DLSS? Are you writing a book review or something?

AMD didn’t reveal many details about the upcoming introduction of ray tracing technology. But the chip manufacturer tat Acknowledge this despite the fact that you barely mention “it exists” and “it is coming,” and this support for up to 60 titles (so far) is on the company’s roadmap from launch day. No mention of new RT specific cores or other RT related hardware on these cards. How the cards handle ray tracing is an open question.

Then there is AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s supersampling technology DLSS, which is simply called “Super Resolution”. Well, where it’s due, the name Super Resolution sounds a lot less shaky than Nvidia’s DLSS. It’s clean and to the point; No fluffy acronyms required.

According to the presentation, Super Resolution will not rely on hardware like Nvidia’s Tensor Core-based DLSS, but will be integrated directly into the company’s FidelityFX platform at a later date.

DirectX 12 FidelityFX support

Image: AMD
Other than that, we don’t know much. We don’t know how it works, what technology is behind it, or how much performance improvement we can expect from it compared to what DLSS offers on Nvidia cards with its (admittedly few) supported games.

In any case, it’s good to know that AMD is working hard on something that rivals DLSS. But whether the problem of supersampling is just one that hardware (or neural AI networks) can solve or not? Future benchmarks will have to decide that.

Questions aside, still a (red) banner day for PC gamers

Regardless of all of these questions on our part, if AMD actually holds most or all of what Dr. Su and her cohort have promised in the presentation from AMD big.

AMD engineers have not only managed to increase the performance per watt of RDNA 2 by up to 50 percent compared to the previous generation, but they also have (if perhaps definitely) new features in the works that could improve. with almost all of the features that Nvidia currently calls a competitive advantage.

AMD RX series launch dates

Image: AMD
With that in mind, the company still has a climb against Nvidia’s latest GPU releases like the Editors’ Choice Award-winning GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition. This card simply blows the economy of 1440p and 4K games and this card ever since also The Radeon RX 6800, which managed to get close to getting close to a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, appears to be making the same gains for another $ 80 still outshined by Team Green. (AMD shows up in a Porsche, but who knew Nvidia had a Maybach?)

Then we’ll just have to wait and see how all of these numbers change in tests of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 slated to hit the market on November 18th and the Radeon RX 6900 XT on December 8th. this is designed to be the Graphics card season for all times.

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