AMD Hints at More Than 4 GB Graphics Memory As Standard on Next-Gen Radeon RX Graphics Card
In a recent blog post, AMD might have hinted at the end of the 4 GB entry-level graphics cards era as we get closer to the launch of the first RDNA 2 powered Radeon RX graphics cards. The blog post that is cleverly titled 'Game Beyond 4GB' compares AMD's most entry-level Navi based Radeon RX graphics card, the 5500 XT, in both 4 GB and 8 GB flavors and shows how the increased VRAM size not only delivers better performance but has become crucial from a support point of view in next-generation AAA titles.
AMD Hints At More Than 4 GB Entry-Level Radeon RX Graphics Cards Based on RDNA 2 GPU Architecture
Currently, AMD's entry-level Radeon RX graphics card lineup consists of the Radeon RX 5500 XT which has two variants, one with 4 GB GDDR6 memory and a second variant with 8 GB GDDR6 memory. In addition to its Navi based cards, AMD's older Polaris based options continue to sell large volumes and have several options to select from with the majority being 8 GB variants that we saw become a standard in the last generation of Polaris offerings.
AMD in its own testing reports up to 24% performance improvement in AAA titles using an 8 GB Radeon RX 5500 XT versus a 4 GB variant. Modern titles such as Borderlands 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Forza Horizon 4, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Doom Eternal, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus were tested, all of which showed marked improvement over the 4 GB option.
In addition to better performance, AMD acknowledges that graphics cards with insufficient VRAM can lead to several issues, some of which include:
- Error Messages and Warning Limits
- Lower Framerates
- Gameplay Stutter and Texture Pop-in Issues
What's more important here is that AMD's minimum VRAM tier card is also the Radeon RX 5500 XT and this blog post hints us at where the company is headed with its next-generation offerings. 8 GB and 6 GB options in the entry-level market have become the norm as can be seen with AMD's 8 GB RX 5500 XT offering and while NVIDIA still offers its entry-level GTX 1650 Ti in 4 GB flavors, the GTX 16 series mainstream lineup now starts with 6 GB offerings, replacing the 3 GB GTX 1060 offerings from the Turing generation.
AMD has always been at the forefront of offering increased VRAM and new memory technologies in its graphics cards. The Radeon 300 series were the first cards to push 8 GB memory as standard when NVIDIA was offering 4 GB and up to 6 GB on its high-end offerings. AMD also was the first to dive into HBM standard first with its 4 GB Radeon R9 Fury X & pushing the boundaries once again with 8 GB HBM2 on 1st Gen Vega and up to 16 GB HBM2 memory on its last ultra-premium option, the Radeon VII.
AMD & NVIDIA currently offer similar memory configuration in high-end cards such as the Radeon RX 5700 XT and the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER but with the launch of AMD's Big Navi RDNA 2 GPUs approaching, we can see a bump from 8 GB to higher memory configs on the higher end cards while entry-level Radeon RX RDNA 2 cards can offer anywhere from 6 GB to 8 GB which would set the bar high for the competition too.
AMD's first priority with its next-generation RDNA 2 GPUs will be on the PC market in the form of Big Navi before moving to the console segment. It is likely that a Navi refresh at lower prices but AMD plans RDNA 2 to power its entire top-to-bottom lineup so we will definitely see entry-level and mainstream options with higher VRAM after Big Navi enters the GPU market.