Just like the recently launched Ryzen processors, AMD is also using a chiplet design for the new RX 7000 series graphics cards. The new Navi 31 GPUs will feature a large graphics compute die, which is surrounded by six memory cache dies. The GCD is made using the latest TSMC 5nm architecture, while the memory modules feature the 6nm architecture. While the 7900 XT only uses five of the six MCDs, the XTX uses all the modules in a flexible and efficient manner.
The graphics card uses 96 such individual compute units that band together to create a pool of 58 billion transistors that deliver up to 50% more performance than outgoing models. This setup is paired up to 24GB of VRAM in the XTX, which hosts a 384-bit bus width. While the lower-end XT makes do with 20GB and 320-bit, respectively. This enables up to 56 TFLOPS of peak performance and around 900GBPS bandwidth, at a maximum TDP of 355W and 300W, respectively.
The new cards can reach such performance levels while maintaining relatively decent thermal efficiency, thanks to a special split clock domain for efficiency purposes. This allows the system to run the front end at 2.5GHz, while the shaders run at 2.3 GHz. For reference, the new RDNA 3 unified compute unit has 64 dual-issue stream processors, also known as GPU shaders. This ensures that the workload is spread across the system evenly, and the GPU is never taxed, even under heavy loads. Towards this end, the system utilizes a lot of software and hardware enhancements.
The most useful software enhancements these days are based on AI algorithms, so AMD has worked hard to improve AI acceleration, which is now up to 2.7x faster than before. This includes the Ray Accelerators, which have been optimized to deliver better lighting and shadows while handling 1.5x as many rays. The process is further improved with the use of FSR2, an AI-based frame interpolation algorithm that helps increase the frame rate while maintaining visual fidelity.
They even teased the upcoming FSR3 tech, which will land sometime next year and theoretically bump up the frame rates for 4K gaming to triple digits across all types of graphics-intensive game titles. AMD is planning to at least get on par with NVIDIA's recently announced DLSS3, which claims similar improvements through AI optimization. We can expect at least a 2x improvement whenever they finally do release it to the public.
Another major inclusion with these new GPUs is the long-awaited DisplayPort 2.1. This feature comes with the moniker of AMD Radiance Display Engine and can handle upwards of 54GBPS total bandwidth. While the DisplayPort 2.1 can go up to 80GBPS total bandwidth, thanks to the 20GBPS UHBR20 certification, AMD has gone for a lower-end 13.5GBPS UHBR13.5 certification, which delivers a relatively lower-end result.
However, with the addition of display stream compression, AMD can still deliver support for up to 480Hz gaming at 4K resolution or even 165Hz on 8K displays, as long as they feature the same DisplayPort 2.1 ports. The brand is promising tie-ups with many monitor manufacturers, who are expected to launch various gaming monitors in various sizes and resolutions, that can take advantage of this new standard.
Another significant upgrade comes in the form of new dual media engines, which can run simultaneous 8K streams at 60FPS, whether you are encoding and decoding two different clips at the same time or simply boosting the output of a single stream. This is made possible by a new AI-enhanced video encoder, which increases the processing speed of the process by up to 30%.
These figures go up significantly if you are working with the royalty-free AV1 codec, which now comes with full hardware-level encode and decode support. This, combined with the previously mentioned improvements, makes the entire process up to seven times faster than regular encoding.
Price & Availability
The biggest surprise of the launch was the cost of the new GPUs, which come with a starting price of just $999 for the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and $899 for the Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics cards. The prices are expected to go up once they get into third-party manufacturers' hands and resellers' hands, but this is still a lot cheaper than the competition. We can't wait to see if they live up to the hype.