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Come on AMD; It's time to talk about RDNA 2 and Next-Generation Radeon

If Xbox can talk about it, why can't you?

Come on AMD, It's time to talk about RDNA and Next-Gen Radeon

Come on AMD; It's time to talk about RDNA 2 and Next-Generation Radeon

A new Radeon graphics processor has been revealed, one which surpassed all of AMD's existing Radeon lineup, an RDNA 2 graphics card which delivers new features for team Radeon and promised next-generation performance for gamers. Sounds great, doesn't it. That's Microsoft's Xbox Series X. 

When compared to AMD's RDNA flagship, the Radeon RX 5700 XT, the Xbox Series X promises a 23% more compute performance, 12 TFLOPS of raw GPU grunt when compared to 9.75 TFLOPS on the RX 5700 XT. Beyond that, we know that Microsoft's Xbox Series X silicon is already being fabbed, Phil Spencer's using it as his Twitter profile picture, and we know that the console will feature support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and Variable Rate Shading (VRS). 

We all know that RDNA 2 is coming, and the Xbox Series X proves that the architecture is ready for primetime. Beyond that, we also know that AMD can build graphics cards much larger than their Radeon RX 5700 XT on 7nm. If you need proof, look at the size of Microsoft's Xbox Series X chip. 

The big questions for PC gamers today is where is RDNA 2, and why hasn't AMD revealed it yet? The cynic in me would point at AMD's existing RDNA lineup and say that AMD doesn't want to undermine its existing product stack. Perhaps AMD's RDNA 2 graphics card's aren't quite ready for release. That said, we know that Microsoft has had Xbox Series X development kits in the wild for months. That's RDNA 2 graphics cards in the hands of developers, long before AMD has said a word about the architecture on the PC side. 

Now that Microsoft has discussed RDNA 2's feature set, now is the time for AMD to come clean about Radeon's roadmap. With next-generation features like DXR and VRS on the cards, AMD's Radeon RX 5000 series has become a lot harder to recommend, at least on the high-end. We know that these features will underpin the next generation of gaming, and we need to hear what AMD's plan are to support these features. 

What we know about RDNA 2

Officially, AMD has been mostly silent regarding its RDNA 2 architecture. We know its due to arrive this year, and AMD's Radeon roadmap places the architecture on a 7nm+ lithography node, a refined 7nm process that should help deliver some improvements over today's 7nm RDNA products. 

The name RDNA 2 also suggests that AMD has made several architectural enhancements over its existing RDNA lineup, perhaps in the form of higher clock speed potential, heightened power efficiency or the addition of all-new features. 

Come on AMD, It's time to talk about RDNA and Next-Gen Radeon

 
What Microsoft Said

Microsoft has promised support for hardware-accelerated raytracing on its Xbox Series X, a system with an RDNA 2 graphics card. With this in mind, AMD's RDNA 2 graphics cards will undoubtedly release with support for DXR on PC. If this wasn't the case, AMD would be shooting itself in the foot. 

Phil Spencer has also promised support for Variable Rate Shading (VRS), a technology which helps developers to push the pixel-pushing performance of graphics cards to areas of the screen that matter. With this technology, the performance of graphics cards can be moved away from areas of the screen where it will have little to no graphical impact and focused on areas where it can make a qualitative difference. This technique will free up GPU performance for where it's needed, enabling higher framerates and increased performance headroom. 

Microsoft has also claimed that its Xbox Series X will support HDMI 2.1, a feature which will be critical if AMD wants to support the latest television screens at 8K 60Hz and at 4K 120Hz resolutions. 

  Microsoft reveals detailed information about its Xbox Series X Console - RDNA 2 confirmed!


Beyond these features, it is also possible that AMD's RDNA 2 graphics architecture supports a form of DirectML machine learning acceleration. We discussed DirectML back in 2018, where Microsoft used it to intelligently upscale games on the fly. Some form of DirectML acceleration will likely be available on Microsoft's Xbox Series X console, and if that is the case, we should also expect it on RDNA 2 graphics cards. Why was Microsoft working on gaming applications for DirectML if they didn't plan to bring it to Xbox? 

The long and short of the situation is that we know that AMD has already created RDNA 2 graphics cards with Microsoft's Xbox Series X console. We know that this console has shipping silicon and that it will release later this year. AMD needs to move PC gaming forward and release RDNA 2 as soon as possible; because PC gamers need to be ready for the next-generation of gaming.

As it stands, AMD's strongest graphics card is not available to PC gamers, and AMD needs to address this. We hope that AMD has plans to reveal RDNA 2 at its Financial Analysts Day on March 5th, if not sooner. AMD needs to be clear with its Radeon roadmap, because if they don't, they may see PC gamers start to transition to console platforms. 

You can join the discussion on AMD's RDNA 2 graphics architecture on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

25-02-2020, 15:40:49

NeverBackDown
Pretty self-explanatory why they can't?

They have customers who are using it. Those customers, being Sony, haven't released any info.

Therefore they can't talk about it. They can't announce the details of the architecture features before their customers have as in this case their buyers are direct competitors in the same market.

Outside of that, we learned hardly anything about RDNA2. 12 TFLOPs. Who cares? It doesn't mean anything as we discussed yesterday.

On top of that, it is entirely possible RDNA2 won't have RT support but the Series X could have a dedicated die for those computations. Unlikely, but plausible. It would be bad if they didn't but doesn't mean they won't.Quote

25-02-2020, 15:49:28

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Pretty self-explanatory why they can't?

They have customers who are using it. Those customers, being Sony, haven't released any info.

Therefore they can't talk about it. They can't announce the details of the architecture features before their customers have as in this case their buyers are direct competitors in the same market.

Outside of that, we learned hardly anything about RDNA2. 12 TFLOPs. Who cares? It doesn't mean anything as we discussed yesterday.

On top of that, it is entirely possible RDNA2 won't have RT support but the Series X could have a dedicated die for those computations. Unlikely, but plausible. It would be bad if they didn't but doesn't mean they won't.
AMD won't discuss the configurations and specs of their customer's products. That doesn't mean that they themselves cannot talk about their own RDNA 2 products. It's their product, not Sony's or Microsoft's.

The new consoles cannot stop AMD from talking about its own products. That would be stupid. They will never talk about the specs of either console or any of the secret sauce hidden underneath, but that doesn't mean that they can't announce their own products or talk about RDNA 2.

We will almost certainly hear about RDNA 2 during AMD's Investors Day. If not, AMD has missed a vital opportunity. With the next-gen consoles delivering this level of performance at a rumoured $500, AMD really needs to play its cards right on PC.Quote

25-02-2020, 16:30:54

NeverBackDown
You're assuming that the die Sony will be using will be different than AMDs or MS. It's not stupid. You don't know the contract details. No one knows the specs of each specific die. They could all be the same for all we know. Even if not they could be lawfully obligated to not say anything.

For all we know it could be launching end of Summer. That's 7 months in advance. To far for a revealQuote

25-02-2020, 16:46:05

AlienALX
RTG - talk crap about your crap stuff and say nothing about your good stuff, apart from Polaris.

Navi is ok. I'd love to say great but the drivers stink. And this is becoming a recurring theme with AMD GPUs.

Maybe it's because they're putting too much focus into the consoles? IDK, but yeah I won't be touching them ever again until I can be certain of no issues or close to none.

It's a shame, because for ages they got it right whilst Nvidia made a pig's ear of it but that's really changed.

5600XT launch was shady, 5700 and XT mounting issues and black screens.

Yeah, no thanks.

Replace consoles with Apple drivers.Quote

25-02-2020, 16:57:27

NeverBackDown
RTG was talking crap about their own stuff? Definitely missed that oneQuote
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