AMD’s upcoming RX 6000 graphics cards are nearly upon us, in just a week’s time we’ll be able to get our hands (hopefully) on the RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, or the RX 6800 for next-gen GPU performance. In a recent interview, AMD’s Executive Vice President Rick Bergman detailed some more information about the RX 6000’s ray tracing performance and AMD’s alternative to DLSS.
Unfortunately not a huge amount of details were given about the ray tracing performance of the Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards or AMD’s alternative to DLSS, but we did get a little hint of info at least before AMD will supposedly spill even more info about it soon.
Radeon RX 6000 series ray tracing performance
First of all, Bergman revealed that the RX 6000 series is targeting 1440p resolution for ray tracing performance: “our goal was at 1440p [resolution], to have a great ray-tracing experience. And that was kind of the performance level that we targeted. Now it depends on particular games and everybody's systems and so on, but I think you'll find that we have very good ray-tracing performance overall.”
Bergman then continued to state support from games will continue to be strong throughout 2021, as they have “great leverage” thanks to their new RDNA2 architecture powering the next-gen consoles as well as the RX 6000 GPUS. As Bergman put it: “It's just built in: You support ray tracing on Microsoft or Sony [consoles], you're supporting AMD on the PC side as well.”
To some that may seem a bit disappointing considering that the RTX 3080 is focusing on 4K ray tracing performance. However, Nvidia consistently displays this performance using their DLSS technology, whilst AMD’s performance metrics are based entirely on traditional rasterization right now.
On top of that, the topic of discussion was surround the two cards coming out on November 18th, the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, so it’s possible that Bergman wasn't talking about the RX 6900 XT in those 1440p ray tracing performance expectations.
AMD DLSS alternative
DLSS has recently been a game changer for higher frame rates with little quality reduction, often significantly increasing frame rates whilst retaining image clarity with the press of a button. The process involves rendering a lower quality image and then upscaling with AI technology.
AMD has been pretty quiet about their own alternative solution, but Bergman touched on it the interview stating that the technology will officially be called FidelityFX Super Resolution:
“We don’t have a lot of details that we want to talk about. So we called [our solution] FSR -- FidelityFX Super Resolution. But we are committed to getting that feature implemented, and we're working with ISVs at this point. I’ll just say AMD’s approach on these types of technologies is to make sure we have broad platform support, and not require proprietary solutions [to be supported by] the ISVs.”
That sounds a lot like the rumors we heard that AMD is planning to make the technology open source and cross platform, which means unlike Nvidia’s DLSS, FSR could be implemented across a wider range of games and even next-gen consoles.
No expected launch date has been given yet, but it does sound like AMD is working pretty hard on getting it implemented properly soon, but they also don't want to rush it just to compete against Nvidia at this point.
The latest RX 6000 graphics cards run on the latest RDNA2 GPU architecture, which has apparently provided a significant improvement in performance-per-watt over the first RDNA architecture. Obviously next steps would be RDNA3, and Bergman gave us a little taste of what we can expect.
“Let's step back and talk about the benefits of both. So why did we target, pretty aggressively, performance per watt [improvements for] our RDNA 2 [GPUs]. And then yes, we have the same commitment on RDNA 3.”
Bergman continued: “if you can improve your perf-per-watt substantially. On the notebook side, that's of course even more obvious, because you're in a very constrained space, you can just bring more performance to that platform again without some exotic cooling solutions...We focused on that on RDNA 2. It's a big focus on RDNA 3 as well.”
No launch date has been set for RDNA3, but according to some old slides we can expect the new GPU architecture to arrive by 2022 at least.
What do you think? Are you excited for the Radeon RX 6000 series? Will you be trying to get a new card? Which one do you want to get? How do you feel about those ray tracing performance expectations? And what are you more excited for? DLSS improvements, or AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution? Let us know!