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Advanced Micro Devices said it will ship its AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT graphics cards built on its RDNA 3 graphics architecture on December 13.
The launch comes a month after AMD launched its Ryzen 7000 processors based on the Zen 4 architecture for central processing units. Together, the goal is to push the limits of gaming innovation, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a press briefing.
The cards will be available on December 13, with the XTX available for $999 (with 24GB of memory) and the XT (20GB) at $899. That’s definitely cheaper than Nvidia’s high-end graphics card, the GeForce RTX 4090, which started selling for $1,600 in September.
Su said AMD’s goal is to achieve cross-platform gaming leadership, with design wins not only on the PC but with gaming-specific hardware such as Valve’s Steam Deck, the Microsoft Xbox Series X/S, and the Sony PlayStation 5.
The new graphics chips use a “chiplet” design which uses different manufacturing processes such as 5-nanometer or 6-nanometer production on the same chip. With this tech, modern processors contain multiple chips, called chiplets, rather than a single monolithic chip on a single substrate.
That helps it achieve 54% higher performance per watt and 18% higher frequency, 2.7 times peak bandwidth at 61 teraflops, two times instructions per clock, and DisplayPort 2.1 for 4K gaming, Su said.
“RDNA 3 enables the first chiplet gaming GPU,” Su said.
The graphics compute die (GCD) is built with 5nm, while the memory cache dies (MCD, a total of six of the chiplets) are built with 6nm manufacturing. That enables it to get a bandwidth of 5.3 terabytes per second and 24GB of GDDR6 graphics memory.
All told, the RDNA 3 graphics chips will have as many as 58 billion transistors.
“That gives us an incredible amount of gaming performance,” Su said.
The new graphics cards using the chips are the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX 24GB and the Radeon RX 7900 XT 20GB.
The cards are optimized for high-resolution gaming with unified compute units with 165% more transistors per millimeter squared, said Sam Naffziger, senior vice president and corporate fellow at AMD, in a press briefing.
“Chiplets are the right process technology for the right job,” he said.
They enable a second-generation Infinity Cache in the MCDs, which means the graphics chip uses less power and less time by getting data from the cache rather than going off the chip to DRAM memory, he said. Overall, the features enable the processing of times more instructions per given clock cycle. It also has 2.7 times more AI performance with dedicated AI accelerators.
With the new graphics chips, AMD has unveiled its Radiance Display engine 8K165 and 4K480 display technologies. That enables better monitors with up to 68 billion colors and 12-bit-per-channel color, and DisplayLink bandwidth of up to 54gbps.
The new dual media engine with two simultaneous encode and decode streams, along with AI-enhanced video encode. So it has 1.8 times engine frequency, reducing export times in half for video. It has decoupled clocks in different parts of the chip, with front-end running at 2.5GHz and shaders running at 2.3GHZ. That gets 15% frequency improvements and 25% power savings, Naffziger said.
The flagship graphics card with the new graphics chip is the RX 7900 XTX, said Scott Herkelman, senior vice president and general manager of graphics business at AMD, in a press briefing. It can be paired with the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU.
The card is up to 1.7 times faster on Cyberpunk 2077 and 1.5 times faster on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. It has 96 compute units, a 2.3GHz clock, 24GB of 384-bit GDDR6 memory, and enables 2.1 DisplayPort, AV1 encode and decode. And it consumes 355 watts of power. It has the same footprint as the RX 6950 XT card. You pull out the old card and put in a new one. In early 2023, new high-resolution displays will start shipping from the likes of Samsung at others. Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G9 will be an 8K ultrawide monitor.
At 1440K, the card can run Apex Legends at 300 frames per second. You can play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — Dawn of Ragnarok at 96 frames per second using DisplayPort 1.4. DirectX ray tracing will come to Halo Infinite on AMD hardware.
AMD has partnered with Ubisoft for the Snowdrop Engine to enable games like the upcoming Avatar title, and it is also partnered with Epic Games on Unreal Engine 5. Herkelman said the new cards are the most advanced, with up to 1.4 times faster 4K gaming and up to 355 watts of power consumption. Nvidia’s 4090 comes in at around 440 watts, while the 4080 comes in at 320 watts and $1,200.
Herkelman said in a Q&A that AMD’s graphics chips are competing in the segment for gaming graphics chips below $1,000, meaning Nvidia’s 4070 graphics chip and 4080 chips are the targets as opposed to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 flagship graphics chip unveiled in September.
“We would obviously like to be the definite graphics chip inside every esports room,” Herkelman said.
Frank Azor, chief architect of gaming solutions and marketing, said AMD is updating its Adrenaline software for running the games with a unified user interface and an unlocked experience with no registration required. With Open Broadcaster Software, AMD has partnered to enable better video recording and streaming. The AMD SmartAccess Video distributes encode and decode workloads across both the CPU and the graphics chip to get a 30% uplift in video processing.
Azor said esports players will feel confident enough to go beyond 1080p and still get enough frame rates, with graphics up to 4K gaming at the highest speeds.
Herkeleman said he is hopeful that gamers should be able to get their hands on the cards in December and more afterward, despite the topsy-turvy supply chain picture of recent weeks.
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