AMD Next-Gen Navi 2X GPUs Based Radeon RX Reference Graphics Cards Won’t Use Blower Fans, More Focus On Dual/Tri-Axial Fan Designs


In a response to AMD's subreddit community on the teased next-generation Radeon RX 'Navi 2X' GPU based graphics card design, Scott Herkelman (VP & GM of Radeon Technologies Group), confirmed that the red team's future reference designs would go for a more open-air cooling approach and ditch the blower fan designs after getting feedback on its Radeon RX 5700 series reference designs.

AMD's Next-Gen Radeon RX Graphics Cards With Navi 2X To Feature Dual/Tri-Axial Tech Fan Coolers, No Blower Fans on Reference Designs

Last week, AMD gave us the first official glimpse at its next-generation Radeon RX lineup. The new lineup of graphics cards which will be based upon the Navi 2X GPU architecture is said to deliver up to 50% better performance per watt along with new features such as real-time ray tracing, variable-rate shading and more. You can learn more about the Navi 2X (RDNA2) GPU over here.

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AMD's Radeon RX 5600 XT's reference design featured a dual-fan design and a slightly updated shroud design compared to the blower-fan based Radeon RX 5700 series.

As for what to expect in terms of the graphics cards, we got a small teaser of the next-gen cards in AMD's FAD slide deck. One thing you can note right off is how the card looks very similar to NVIDIA's reference Founders Edition design. The AMD reference seems to feature dual fans and has an AMD logo etched in the frame on the side of the shroud. This is where we start seeing the design similarities with NVIDIA's Founders Edition cards. The whole shroud is fully enclosed and has the red lines running around the borders of the shroud. There's a cut out for the power connectors and we can also see the heatsink exposed through the sides to dissipate hot air out.

Just for comparison sake, the following is what the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition looks like and while AMD's design may not be final, it looks very similar to what NVIDIA has been offering on its cards for a while, although for a premium (in the first RTX lineup).

Now according to Scott himself, based on the feedback AMD received from the community at the launch of the Radeon RX 5700 XT, they have decided to exclude blower fans from all of its reference designed cards. With that said, AMD themselves and will be guiding its AIB partners and themselves to focus on Dual and Tri-Axial technology-based fans. Once again, AMD is taking design inspiration from NVIDIA in the field of fans too as the GeForce Founders Edition cards have featured Axial-tech based fans since launch back in 2018. Scott also states that while they would recommend the use of Axial-tech fans, AIBs are open to using their own custom solutions for cooling, including blower designs.

There will be no blower reference fans for gamers on next gen. So you are correct 😉

Our AIBs may choose to do a “blower” design on any of the next-gen GPUs, however, the majority of feedback we received from the community at the launch of 5700 XT on AMD reference designs has guided us towards dual/tri-axial designs. I’m excited for you all to see them when the time is right!

  • Scott Herkelman (VP & GM of Radeon Business Unit)

Scott also mentioned that AMD will continue to ship GPUs with GDDR6 and HBM in 2020. It was not stated as to which GPUs Scott was referring to, but I believe he was referring to all GPUs and not some specific segment (HPC / Gaming). We know that AMD has a separate lineup of GPUs in work for the Data Center market this time around, known as CDNA. It will be interesting to see if any of the new gaming parts end up featuring HBM but from a business perspective and seeing how AMD would like to maximize efficiency for its next-generation gaming lineup, GDDR6 is the way to go.

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Both GDDR6 and HBM memory will continue to ship with our GPUs in 2020. For new stuff, well, we will let you know 🙂

  • Scott Herkelman (VP & GM of Radeon Business Unit)

A recent rumor pointed out that AMD's high-end Radeon RX Navi GPUs could be up to twice as fast as Navi 10, featuring a massive die size and GDDR6 memory. Some of the features to expect from 2nd Generation RDNA Navi GPUs would be:

  • Optimized 7nm process node
  • Enthusiast-grade desktop graphics card options
  • Hardware-Level Ray Tracing Support
  • A mix of GDDR6 and HBM2 graphics cards
  • More power-efficient than First-Gen Navi GPUs

One of the key features on the Big Navi Radeon RX GPU is that it is going to disrupt the 4K gaming segment, similar to how Ryzen disrupted the entire CPU segment. These are some bold claims by AMD but if those rumored specifications are anything to go by, then these claims may not be that far fetched.

“With the Radeon 5000-series we are essentially covering 90-something-percent of the total PC gamers today,” says Chandrasekhar. “And so that’s the reason why no 4K right now, it’s because the vast majority of them are at 1440p and 1080p.

“That doesn’t mean a 4K-capable GPU isn’t coming, it is coming, but for here and now we want to focus on the vast majority of gamers.”

“Similar to Ryzen,” he says, “all of us need a thriving Radeon GPU ecosystem. So, are we going after 4K, and going to similarly disrupt 4K? Absolutely, you can count on that. But that’s all I can say right now.”

- PCGamesN

AMD's Radeon RX graphics cards based on the RDNA2 'NAVI 2X' GPU architecture are slated for launch by the end of 2020. That's definitely a long time to go till we see these cards in action, but hopefully AMD would keep on giving us more information on its next-generation lineup in the coming months.