As we head into a new year, it’s clear that the stock issues with new RTX 30 series and RX 6000 series graphics cards will not be getting much better anytime soon. On top of that prices are rising, and so it's looking more and more like 2021 won’t be a good year to upgrade your PC.
Thankfully, we can look forward to the next generation of GPUs already as some information on AMD’s next-next-gen graphics cards based on the RDNA 3 architecture (most likely called the RX 7000 series) have already surfaced, and it looks like it could be an absolute performance monster.
As a quick recap: AMD’s Navi 21 GPU (which is featured in the RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT) is based on the RDNA 2 architecture. The way AMD’s works in comparison to Nvidia is comprised of Compute Units (CU) and Streaming Processors. For ray tracing, a “ray accelerator” is paired with every Compute Unit.
The top Navi 21 GPU features 80 Compute Units which translates to 5120 Cores. However, these new reports suggest that the Navi 31 GPU will actually feature a multi-chiplet design, with each chip featuring 80 CUs. That means the top Navi 31 graphics card will have a total of 160 Compute Units, a whopping 10240 Cores, which is twice as much as Navi 21.
Compute Units are also different to Nvidia's CUDA Cores, and so a direct number comparison is not relative to performance. Nvidia may have more Cores on paper compared to AMD, but that does not mean AMD's cards are weaker.
In fact, the new RDNA 3 architecture looks to be based on an MCM design. There’s a lot to unpack about what this means in terms of GPU performance, but the gist of it is that MCM designs will provide far better yields for performance as it combines multiple chiplets into one single package, rather than using a single large monolithic die. Patents for this new design have been discovered by user Underfox3 on Twitter, which can be seen below:
This will also see a big increase in ray tracing performance, which will be great news for some as so far the RX 6000 series has done very well at competing against RTX 30 series in terms of rasterization performance, but significantly lower in ray tracing performance.
AMD has revealed a rough roadmap for their gaming GPUs before, so we know that we’ll hear something about their RDNA3-based graphics cards by 2022 at the latest. Based on all the information we could find, here’s all the details about AMD and Nvidia’s latest and upcoming GPU architectures:
|AMD Navi 21||AMD Navi 31||Nvidia GA102||Nvidia AD102|
|Process Node||7nm TSMC||5nm TSMC||8nm Samsung||?|
|GPU Clusters||80 CU||2 x 80 CU||84 SM||144 SM|
|Maximum number of Cores||5120||10240||10752||18432|
What do you think? Are you excited for the next generation of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia? Does this make you want to wait for the next-gen GPUs rather than try and get any of the new cards? Could AMD possibly take the gaming crown? Let us know your thoughts!