Launching December 13th, the new Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX GPU are set to bring astonishing enthusiast-level performance at an $899 starting price.
This has been a year of major leaps in PC gaming, with new CPUs from AMD, Intel, and new GPUs from both Intel and NVIDIA. Now AMD is ready to show its hand with RDNA 3, and the new RX 7900XT and RX 7900XT, delivering astonishing gaming and video performance, all hitting the impressive sub $1000 price point.
Rumours have been circling for a while about what AMD had in store with their latest graphics card range. NVIDIA threw down the gauntlet with their latest 40 series, with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 showing a considerable generational leap over the 30 series, and it seems AMD was not taking this news laying down. In today’s presentation, AMD gave a taste of what enthusiast gamers could expect when they dive into RDNA 3, showing the new card, a look at performance, and a sense of how it will compare to the competition when it launches this December.
Being touted as the world’s first chiplet gaming GPU, the new flagship RX 7900 XTX comes in with some impressive specs, including a startling 61 TFLOPS of performance, 5.3 TB/s chiplet interconnect speeds, 24GB GDDR6 over a 384-bit memory bus, and a staggering 58 Billion transistors. The card boasts a 5 nm graphics compute die, and a 6 nm memory cache die, and utilizes some of the latest tech AMD has to offer up on the graphics side.
The new chiplet design allows for a more modular approach to GPU performance as AMD CEO explained: “Chiplets really allow us to use a modular approach to optimize the performance and efficiency of the overall design. And so with our triplets like we’ve done on the CPU side, and the GPU side, we’re mixing and matching the right technology for each function.”
All these specs mean RDNA 3 delivers a 54 per cent improvement over RDNA 2 in performance, in a card that will not be a major increase in power or space needs compared to the RX 6950 XT. The new card will only be 287 mm compared to the reference size of 276 mm for the RX 6950 XT, it will also use 3650 watts of power compared to the 330 watts in the last generation flagship. This is a release for people that have been seeing the size and power needs for the RTX 4090, and were dreading the potential of what that could mean to upgrade their current system.
Part of what makes the new Radeon 7900XTX so impressive is the six memory cache dies that deliver a combined bandwidth of 5.3 TB/s offering a 2.7x improvement over what was seen with RDNA 2. Buyers that opt for the slightly cheaper RX 7900XT, will be limited to five dies, meaning you will see less bandwidth, but still should be a significant improvement over what is seen on any of the RX 6000 series cards.
The new graphics die also bring a lot of new enhancements that gamers and content creators should take note of. The RX 7900XTX and the RX 7900 XT bring a unified RDNA 3 compute unit, a new display engine, and a new dual media engine. The new gaming optimized unified compute unit brings 165 per cent more transistors per mm², making this a significant upgrade for people still on the fence about which next-generation GPU to spend their money on.
RDNA 3 will also bring dual issue SIMD units to the table for flexible FP, integer, and AI operations. Combine this with the dedicated AI accelerators will bring improved AI throughput, that should make people trying to set up Stable Diffusion AI Art software on their home system very happy.
Perhaps the most interesting for people who want their code for gaming, the RDNA 3 will show up to 50 percent increase in ray tracing performance per CU. The new chip will allow a dramatic increase in frames for people that want to push their games to the limits, including a notable increase in games like Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2, and Hitman 3.
Another exciting addition is support for Displayport 2.1, that can offer a display link bandwidth of up to 54 Gbps, 12 bit colour for up to 68 billion colours, and allow for 8K165 and 4K480, making eSports players that demand the most frames possible in their games of choice, very happy.
For content creators, the news dual media engine should make streaming and video work much faster and more optimized. RDNA 3 will allow for simultaneous encode and decode of AVC/HEVC, along with 8K60 AV1 encoding and decoding, along with AI Enchanced Video Encode, leading to better looking, and more efficient videos for all the people that enjoy your content, and it is being built to support OBS and handbrake for easy introduction into your current pipeline.
RDNA 3 also introduces decoupled shader and front end clocks that AMD is boasting will offer an up to 25 per cent power saving, while still delivering great gaming and content performance. This all together brings AMD to the 61 TFLOPS of performance, compared to the 23 TFLOPS with RDNA 2. This should make gamers very happy, especially if they want to push their current gaming rig to the next level.
In gaming benchmarks, AMD gave a glimpse at how well the RX 7900XTX will perform, giving a look at 1080P, 4K and 8K gaming with FSR 2 compared to the RX 6950 XT. Some of the most notable standouts from the charts are how well the new RX 7900 XTX manages Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at 4K at 306 fps, along with F1 22 at 353, and Valorant at an eye-watering 704 fps. The numbers across the board are impressive, although with any GPU release, we will hold our judgment until we have time to compare the card in our CGMagazine test bench.
“These new graphics cards are designed by gamers for gamers. As we were developing the new cards, we not only incorporated feedback from our customers, but we built-in the features and capabilities we wanted to use,” said Senior Vice President & General Manager, Graphics Business Unit at AMD, Scott Herkelman. “We also realized that we needed to do something different to continue pushing the envelope of the technology, and I’m proud of what the team has accomplished with AMD RDNA 3 and the Radeon RX 7900 Series graphics cards. I can’t wait for gamers to experience the powerhouse performance, incredibly vivid visuals and amazing new features these new graphics cards offer.”
The new RX 7900 series will come in two announced flavours, the RX 7900 XTX that will feature 96 CUs, a game clock of 2.3 GHz, 24 GB GDDR6 Memory, DisplayPort 2.1, AV1 encoding and decoding, and have a total board power of 355 watts. The RX 7900 XT, on the other hand, features 84 CUs, a game clock of 2GHz, 20 GB GDDR6, DisplayPort 2.1, AV1 encoding and decoding, and only has a total board power of 300 Watts.
AMD’s latest Radeon announcement boast not only raw hardware speed improvements, but also software advances. In early 2023, AMD will roll out a new one-click Hypr-RX overclocking solution, designed to boost frame rates and reduce latency. AMD also has plans to release FSR 3 in 2023, that should improve things even further, although details were light about how it will compare to FSR 2 and what will be going on under the hood to make it a major improvement.
AMD is considering the new RX 7900 range as enthusiast cards, and is pricing them to pit against the competition. Launching December 13th, The RX 7900 XT is hitting the market with an MSRP of $899 USD, and its big brother, the RX 7900 XTX launching at a $999 USD MSRP. AMD is being very aggressive in this launch making it a very interesting choice for people that want the best possible but the $1,599 USD RTX 4090 is simply out of reach.
Stay tuned to CGMagazine for our in-house testing of the cards, and to get a better picture of how these new GPUs will compete against past cards, and the latest RTX 40 series from Nvidia.