Further down the rumour rabbit hole we go with the latest ‘leaks’ pointing toward AMD introducing a top-end range of Navi graphics processors. 7nm Navi 12nm is a GPU built for high-end graphics cards according to 3Dcenter, who claim AMD is planning to introduce a Radeon RX 5800 series to compete with some of Nvidia’s fastest GeForce GPUs.
There’s certainly a glaring gap at the top of the market right now for AMD. The Radeon RX 5700 series competes nicely with the GeForce RTX 2060 Super/RTX 2070 tier, while the eventual Radeon RX 5500 and Radeon RX 5300 series will fill in the lower parts of the deck. Yet at the top, Nvidia is uncontested from the GeForce RTX 2070 Super all the way on up to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
3Dcenter’s claims spring from digging around deep into AMD’s Linux-based graphics card drivers, unearthing IDs for both Navi 12 and Navi 14 chips. Slightly confusingly, based on 3Dcenter’s findings, Navi 12 would be high-end, Navi 10 is mid-range (and used for the Radeon RX 5700 Series), while Navi 14 is the lower-end part which could be used for entry-level graphics cards. It’s not a particularly logical scale, although it’s not the sort of data designed for consumers either.
AMD Linux Driver Technical Data
619 case CHIP_ NAVI12 :
620 info-> num_sdp_interfaces = 16;
622 CHIP_ NAVI14 :
623 info-> num_sdp_interfaces = 8;
3984 if (AMDGPU_IS_ NAVI10 (pInfo-> FamilyID, pInfo-> eRevId))
3994 pInfo-> gfx9.numSdpInterfaces = 16;
Based on the data available it’s surmised that AMD Navi 12 will be the biggest chip of them all. It’s the only logical solution really as there’s hardly room to fit more GPUs between Navi 14 and Navi 10.
Navi 12 should be used for a high-end graphics card series and will pack somewhere between 3328 and 4096 shader units based on its 256-bit memory interface, along with GDDR6 VRAM support. The alternate theory is AMD reverts back to HBM2 memory for a wider, slower memory interface. This would push the price up but power consumption would be down and it would allow the Radeon RX 5800 series to push past the memory bandwidth of the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
The end result would be a GPU somewhere in the region of 30-50% faster than the Radeon RX 5700 series, which would pinpoint the so-called Radeon RX 5800 series as a direct competitor to the likes of the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and the GeForce RTX 2080. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti would still be a long way out of reach; it’s an untouchable behemoth occupying Nvidia’s court right now.
My main bone of contention with this particular rumour is the naming itself. Between the Radeon RX 5300, Radeon RX 5500, and Radeon RX 5700 Series, it has become abundantly clear that AMD intends to stick to the naming conventions of its successful Ryzen processors (Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7). Slotting in a Radeon RX 5800 series is just daft in this context and AMD would surely call its top-end range the Radeon RX 5900 series. We’re picking apart scraps here though and perhaps there’s truth to the existence of the graphics cards themselves but not to the naming at this stage.
At this stage, a higher-end Navi chip is all but assured. What form it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost is a different matter entirely, although it certainly would be nice to see Nvidia greeted with the same stiff competition at the top-end as it currently is at the mid and entry levels.