AMD RDNA 3 flagship GPU may debut in December

AMD’s first RDNA 3 graphics card will be available in December, according to the latest rumors about the next generation of GPUs.

 may fall short of Nvidia RTX 4090

As reported, this comes from known leaker ECSM on Bilibili (opens in new tab) (Chinese video sharing platform), and while this guy has been right about the grapevine in the past, we’ll spice it up to eat this. Especially when speculation is expressed in somewhat vague terms (post-translation, that is — remember that).

ECSM thinks the RX 7000 series will be released in November (sounds about the same), with the first cards arriving in the second half of December – basically just in time for the holidays. Which models are coming soon?

“First and second flagship” is the leaker’s assertion, which we assume means a pair of graphics cards based on the high-end Navi 31 chips, presumably the RX 7900 XT and RX 7800 XT – but obviously this is a rough guess here one side.

Worryingly, ECSM raised the idea that AMD’s flagship might find it “hard to compete with Nvidia’s RTX 4000 series” when it comes to performance — meaning the flagship RTX 4090, of course.

Even if it were true, the RDNA 3 flagship could still be very competitive

Indeed, it has been rumored for a long time that AMD will release its next flagship first in terms of RDNA 3 graphics cards, so of course that ties in with the information here.

We’d expect the first RX 7000 products to appear a little earlier than that, in fact, if that date is correct, AMD is only on track to deliver the next-gen product by the end of 2022.

As mentioned earlier, ECSM is a little doubtful about the performance of the high-end RDNA 3 GPU relative to the RTX 4090. In case you were wondering, a commenter on Bilibili actually asked if this might have something to do with ray tracing performance, or rasterization (traditional, no ray tracing) – the leaker clarified that they mean both.

From what we’ve heard elsewhere, AMD certainly can’t compete in ray tracing, but hopefully with rasterization, things will be closer. There are only so many rumors we can take to heart, though, so let’s be wary that these somewhat ominous voices are overly cautious guesses. While even AMD’s flagship performance does struggle to compete with Nvidia, there is room for GPU pricing to form a convincing formula in terms of price/performance.

If performance per dollar is good for AMD — actually power-related performance, which means additional cost savings in the long run, of course, especially if electricity prices go up — then the red team still has enough funds to build a strong booth in the next-generation GPU space.

Don’t forget that this is just the flagship end of the spectrum we’re talking about, which is a relatively niche proposition – the midrange battle (and actually the low end) could get very different.

Also, another tricky area will undoubtedly be inventory, and there will always be question marks about how many RX 7900 XT supplies AMD might be able to muster. Because as we’ve seen, Nvidia’s original RTX 4090 is rumored to have high stock levels, but that’s not what we’ve seen so far

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