AMD confirms that RDNA 2 will come to PC first: we'll see its potential before the arrival of PS5 and Xbox Series X

AMD confirms that RDNA 2 will come to PC first:
we'll see its potential before the arrival of PS5 and Xbox Series X

AMD CFO David Kumar has confirmed that the RDNA 2 architecture will debut first on PC, very positive news as it means that the first graphics cards based on that architecture will be available before the launch of PS5 and Xbox. X series.

We don't have a specific launch date, but taking into account that both consoles will arrive between November and December, we can make it clear that the presentation of the new AMD graphics cards based on the RDNA 2 architecture will most likely occur between September and October.

David Wang, vice president of the Radeon Group, said at the time that the RDNA 2 architecture will serve to shape a complete catalog of graphics cards, information that Kumar has ratified, and that has very important implications. Until now AMD had limited the launch of its new graphics cards to very specific ranges, had omitted certain levels for long periods of time, and had adopted a strategy that prevented it from effectively covering the entire general consumer market and competing at the same level with NVIDIA.

Well, with the RDNA 2 architecture that will change. AMD is going to launch a set of new graphics cards based on this architecture with which it will cover both the low range and the mid-range, and also the high range.

AMD RDNA 2: ray-tracing, higher IPC, and improved efficiency

The RDNA 2 architecture has generated a lot of expectation for three great reasons. The first is the most obvious, the fact that it has been chosen to empower the new generation of consoles has given it a leading role in the media, but it hasn't been its only merit to deserve our attention.

This new architecture will be the first from AMD to feature hardware ray tracing acceleration. It is still unclear how the Sunnyvale company plans to introduce such acceleration, but some leaked patents pointed to a system supported by both texture units and shaders. If this is confirmed, the difference in power between Xbox Series X and PS5 could be enormous, since the former will have more computing units, and therefore it will also have more shaders, more texture units, and more raster units.

Finally, we also have the question of the improvement in performance and efficiency that AMD will achieve with RDNA 2. In addition to the improvement at the IPC level compared to RDNA, we find a significant increase in computing units, with an increase in frequencies and with a significant efficiency improvement (less consumption, lower working temperatures).

The top of the range AMD rumored, the Radeon RX 6900 XT, a tentative name that has not yet been confirmed, will feature 80 CUs, leaving us with a total of 5,120 shaders, 320 textured units and 96 units of rasterized. Its memory bus could be 320 bits and would be accompanied by up to 16 GB of 16 GHz GDDR6 memory.

With those specifications, I would not have problems to overcome, by a wide margin, the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, we already had the opportunity to talk about this issue at the time, but I am not so clear that it will be able to compete with the future RTX 3080 Ti from NVIDIA. Another important issue to consider, in this regard, is the performance of RDNA 2 in ray tracing, something that, at the moment is a mystery.

Before finishing, I remind you that the AMD CFO has confirmed that the company also plans to present the Zen 3 architecture before the end of 2020. This architecture will be used in Ryzen 4000 processors.

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