AMD Next-Gen RDNA 2 ‘Navi 21’ GPU Powered Radeon RX & RDNA 1 ‘Navi 10 Refresh’ GPU Powered Radeon RX Graphics Cards Leaked
AMD seems to be readying several Radeon RX graphics cards based on its next-generation Navi 2X (RDNA 2) and Navi 10 Refresh (RDNA 1) GPUs. In an exclusive post featured on his new tech portal, Rogame, has detailed several Navi GPU SKUs which will be powering all the way from Radeon RX to Radeon Pro series graphics cards.
AMD's Next-Gen Radeon RX Graphics Cards With Navi 21 (RDNA 2) & Navi 10 Refresh (RDNA 1) GPUs Leak Out, Navi 22 & Navi 23 GPUs Also Spotted
As AMD had hinted, the upcoming Radeon RX graphics cards will be split between two different GPU architectures. We will have the next-generation RDNA 2 based Navi lineup and also existing RDNA 1 based parts which will be offered as a refresh to the existing Radeon RX 5000 series cards.
Once again, with Navi 2X, the primary focus is on the Navi 21 chip which is also referred to as the 'Big Navi' GPU. The Navi 21 GPU is expected to power AMD's enthusiast and flagship offerings that would tackle existing flagships from NVIDIA such as the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER while also challenging NVIDIA's next-generation GeForce lineup based on the Ampere GPU architecture.
AMD Navi 21 (High-End RDNA 2) Gaming Radeon RX Graphics Cards
According to the leak, AMD is planning at least four variants of the Navi 21 GPU which will go on to power the enthusiast Radeon RX graphics cards. The information is derived from the PCI IDs of the GPUs which have leaked out. Following are the four SKUs as revealed by Rogame:
- Navi 21 XTX (0x731F:D0)
- Navi 21 XT (0x731F:D1)
- Navi 21 XL (0x731F:D3)
- Navi 21 XLE (0x731F:DF)
Each GPU SKU will be replacing the existing cards in the Radeon RX 5000 series family but in an entirely different performance segment. For comparison, Navi 10 also has four GPU SKUs that are available to consumers. The Navi 10 XTX chip is the highest binned part which powers the Radeon RX 5700 XT 10th Anniversary Edition followed by the Navi 10 XT GPU that powers the Radeon RX 5700 XT, Navi 10 XL which powers the Radeon RX 5700 and finally, the Navi 10 XLE which powers the Radeon RX 5600 XT.
AMD Navi 21 (High-End RDNA 2) PRO Radeon RX Graphics Cards
In addition to the gaming graphics cards, there are also two Radeon Pro variants which will also be based on the Navi 21 GPU design. Following are the SKUs for the Radeon Pro lineup based on the RDNA 2 GPU architecture:
- Navi 21 Pro-XT (0x731F:10)
- Navi 21 Pro-XL (0x731F:12)
Similar to the Radeon RX Gaming cards, the Radeon Pro lineup would replace the Radeon Pro W5700X which features the Navi 10 XT GPU while the Navi 21 Pro-XLE will replace the current Radeon W5700 Pro graphics card. The Navi 21 SKU spree doesn't end here, AMD is also making at least four variants for next-generation Apple products which include:
- Navi 21 XTA (0x731F:50)
- Navi 21 XLA (0x731F:51)
- Navi 21 Pro-XTA (0x731F:11)
- Navi 21 Pro-XLA (0x731F:13)
In addition to Navi 21 GPU, there are also several PCI IDs spotted for the AMD Navi 22 and Navi 23 GPUs which although smaller than the Navi 21 chip, are still around as big in die area as the Navi 10 GPU. Following are the device IDs for these GPUs:
AMD Navi 10 (Mainstream RDNA 1) Gaming Radeon RX Graphics Cards
Finally, we have a word on the Navi 10 refresh lineup which will still rely on the RDNA 1 architecture but feature key optimizations with a refined process node to deliver better performance than the existing Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards. There are at least three Navi 10 Refresh SKUs in the works which include:
- Navi 10 XT+ (731F:E1)
- Navi 10 XM+ (731F:E3)
- Navi 10 XTE+ (731F:E7)
According to the leak, the Navi 10 XT+ GPU will replace the Navi 10 XT GPU which powers the 5700 XT, the Navi 10 XM+ will replace the Navi 10 XM which powers the 5600M and finally, we have the Navi 10 XTE+ which replaces the Navi 10 XLE which powers the 5600 XT. The whole reason for this lineup is to offer something to the mainstream segment while the big Navi GPUs tackle the higher-end spectrum.
Since reports suggest that Big Navi 'Navi 21' GPU will be the first RDNA 2 chip given to the gaming market, it is likely that a Navi 10 refresh could keep things interesting in mainstream segment until AMD launches its RDNA 2 powered mainstream lineup with the Navi 22 and Navi 23 GPUs. We can definitely expect much lower price points than existing Radeon RX 5000 series cards for the refreshed parts so the added performance would be a bonus. The expected die sizes of these three GPUs are also listed below:
- AMD Navi 21 (505mm2)
- AMD Navi 22 (340mm2)
- AMD Navi 23 (240mm2)
AMD Navi 2X & Navi 10 Refresh GPU SKUs With PCI-IDs (Image Credits: Rogame):
Here's Everything We Know About RDNA 2 Based Radeon RX Navi 2X Desktop GPUs
The AMD RDNA 2 based Radeon RX Navi 2x graphics card family is also touted to disrupt the 4K gaming segment similar to how Ryzen disrupted the entire CPU landscape. That's a pretty bold claim from AMD themselves but leaks and rumors are suggesting that this might be the case for AMD's next-generation Radeon RX graphics cards.
AMD unveiled that its RDNA 2 GPUs will deliver a similar performance jump over the first-gen RDNA GPUs like Zen 2 delivered over Zen 1. The first RDNA GPUs delivered a massive 50% increase in performance per watt over GCN architecture and RDNA 2 GPUs are expected to do the same over RDNA 1, delivering another 50% increase in performance per watt.
According to the roadmap shared by AMD, the RDNA 2 GPUs would feature three key features that will be part of the new GPU architecture. First and foremost is the performance per watt increase which is due to a number of reasons. AMD will be shifting from TSMC's 7nm process to the more advanced 7nm process node. The new process node itself increases transistor efficiency on the new GPUs while decreasing its overall size, allowing AMD to cram more performance in a much smaller package.
The key changes that have led to a 50% increase in performance per watt include a redesigned micro-architecture with improved performance-per-clock (IPC), a logic enhancement that helps reduce design complexity and switching power and physical optimizations such as increased clock speeds.
AMD has also announced that RDNA 2 GPUs would feature VRS (Variable Rate Shading) and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. AMD is following suit with NVIDIA here who have already implemented the said technologies on its Turing GPU based GeForce RTX graphics cards. With the launch of the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony imminent, AMD is going to work to provide these features with its own optimization framework to developers for integration within next-generation gaming titles.
AMD has also recently showcased its RDNA 2 GPUs running Microsoft's DXR 1.1 (DirectX 12 API Ultimate) demo internally which utilizes hardware-accelerated ray tracing. AMD's approach to ray tracing is to offer simplified development and speedy adopting and that is definitely possible through consoles where the mass majority of game developers focus their efforts towards.
A recent rumor hinted that only AMD's high-end RDNA 2 GPU lineup would feature ray-tracing technology on hardware-level whereas the entry-tier and mainstream lineup will focus on higher performance efficiency, similar to how NVIDIA distinguishes its GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX line of Turing graphics cards.
AMD's CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, has already stated that we can expect a new RDNA 2 GPU based Radeon RX high-end family and a 7nm RDNA refresh family to launch this year. The same was stated during the presentation in which it was stated that the "Navi 2x" lineup would scale from top to bottom and as the name suggests, would deliver twice the performance efficiency increase over the first-generation RX graphics cards.
With that said, we are already aware of a recent rumor which 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.”
Once again, AMD in its own presentation emphasized enthusiast-class performance for the RDNA 2 based Radeon RX 'Navi 2X' GPUs so that's something to consider. The competition however from the other side won't just go eyes closed as AMD launches its high-performance graphics cards. The next-generation NVIDIA based GeForce GPUs are shaping up to be a beast on their own based on the early specs that we have seen.
Rumors have also suggested that both NVIDIA and AMD are planning their next-generation and flagship gaming graphics cards to hit streets by September 2020. So it looks like AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs would compete against whatever is NVIDIA's next-generation GPU inventory. Q3 and Q4 2020 would definitely be interesting times for all the hardware enthusiasts and mainstream PC gamers who are looking forward to upgrading their PCs with the best hardware.