AMD’s mid-range RDNA 3 GPU could be as fast as RX 6900 XT
AMD’s next-gen RX 7700 XT, which will be a mid-range RDNA 3 offering, is rumored to be equally as powerful as the current 6900 XT (RDNA 2) flagship – or even better performing in some respects.
This is the latest from Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID), a YouTube leaker who often chimes in on the subject of GPUs and CPUs, but as ever with anything from the rumor mill, arm yourself with a boat-load of skepticism.
So, the theory as outlined by MLID is that the mid-range RDNA 3 graphics card, presumably set to be called the RX 7700 XT (the follow-on to the 6700, of course), will match the performance of the 6900 XT in rasterization, meaning traditional rendering as opposed to ray tracing. Indeed, performance could be slightly faster in 1080p (and a little slower in 4K resolution), but likely the same ballpark for 1440p which is what the 7700 XT will be pitched at.
The further assertion is that when it comes to ray tracing, the RX 7700 XT – which is built around the Navi 33 GPU – will outdo the 6900 XT, although MLID is a bit more vague about how much in the way of gains we can expect here.
MLID reminds us that the 7700 XT is set to be a 6nm monolithc GPU (meaning it’s a single chip, rather than chiplets – the latter is supposedly the route AMD will take with the higher-end RDNA 3 GPUs, meaning Navi 31 and 32).
The 7700 XT will see speedier clocks than Team Red’s current products, and better power-efficiency – indeed that’ll be a hallmark of the entire RDNA 3 family, as you might guess. The GPU will supposedly run with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory, with a 128-bit memory bus, so cut down in other words (the 6700 XT is 192-bit), but the faster VRAM will make up for that, MLID reckons.
Analysis: Mid-range – or even lower mid-range – killer GPU for AMD?
MLID notes that the design decisions purportedly made with this GPU, including limiting to 8GB of video RAM, show that this is clearly a mid-range, or even lower mid-range, graphics card.
The leaker estimates that the price could be as low as $400, maybe $500 in the US, but MLID makes it clear enough that this graphics card could well represent quite the bargain if it delivers the rumored performance which is essentially equivalent to the 6900 XT (and maybe surpassing the existing flagship for ray tracing, and for 1080p gaming).
The icing on top for would-be next-gen AMD buyers is power-efficiency, with the 7700 XT delivering these kind of frame rates on a power budget of around 200W (MLID claims power usage will be about 180W to 230W, so it could even be under 200W).
Compare that to the talk of Nvidia’s Lovelace (presumably RTX 4000) graphics cards being seriously power-hungry – like the RTX 4080 maybe chugging 450W for example – and things look bad for Team Green in that respect. Particularly if the top-end next-gen Nvidia GPUs are going to force some gamers to look at a PSU upgrade (not just an added expense, but a serious additional complication for the less tech-savvy out there).
All that said, while there’s a lot of big talk here about how RDNA 3 is shaping up to deliver on both performance and efficiency fronts, we’d do well to remember these are just rumors. Time will tell if they pan out, with both AMD and Nvidia set to spring their fresh GPUs on the market later in 2022 (Nvidia may beat Team Red to the punch for launch timeframe, though, going by the grapevine).
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