It’s been a mighty hectic year for Nvidia, and graphics cards in general, but AMD’s output has been noticeably threadbare. Aside from the moderate performance bump of the Radeon RX 590, there’s been little to get excited about. That could be all set to change in 2019 though, with AMD now promising its upcoming 7nm Radeon GPUs will be capable of going toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s mighty Turing GPU.

“We believe, we will be very competitive overall and that includes the high-end of the GPU market,” said AMD CEO Lisa Su at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. “Obviously there are new products out there from our competition. We will have our set of new products as well and we will be right there in the mix.”

It’s a familiar refrain, to be honest, the sort of thing AMD has been promising year in, year out. Whether it actually comes to fruition is another matter entirely. There’s a heck of a performance gap to make up from AMD’s current Vega 64 flagship all the way up to the imperious, and incredibly expensive, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

Aside from raw frame rates, the standout advantage of Nvidia’s new crop of GPUs is their real-time raytracing capabilities though. On that front, AMD appears to happy to take its time and wait for the performance and affordability to catch up with the tech.

“As it relates to ray tracing, in particular, I think it’s an important technology, but as with all important technologies, it takes time to really have the ecosystem adopt”, Su went on to say. “And we’re working very closely with the ecosystem on both hardware and software solutions and expect that ray tracing will be an important element especially as it gets more into the mainstream, frankly, of the market.”

Reading between the lines, AMD’s next-gen 7nm graphics cards don’t sound as if they’ll have any DXR support whatsoever. Things could change between now and then but evidently, AMD is more interested in keeping prices while Nvidia is keen to get the best tech in gamers’ hands at whatever the cost.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what this all means for AMD’s next-gen. All the leaks and rumours we’ve heard so far have pointed to a budget-priced GPU that can match the performance of the GTX 1080, but AMD is now talking up being ‘in the mix’ within the high-end GPU market, which we can only assume means the GeForce RTX series.