AMD announced last night its new Radeon GPUs at E3. The new Radeon RX 5700 and 5700XT are positioned as responses to the Nvidia RTX 2060 and 2070 family, rather than a frontal assault on the RTX 2080. As previously announced, the Radeon VII will remain on the market over the RTX 2080 .
Navi, however, seems to be a significant step forward for AMD on several fronts. We will have a deep architectural dive in the near future, but for now, let's look at speeds, flows and competitive positioning. You can click all the slides to open a larger version in a new window.
The Radeon 5700XT is a 40-unit design, with 2,560 stream processors, 9.75 TFLOP floating point performance, and clocks far superior to anything we've seen before. AMD's new RDNA architecture, which finally GCN replaces, is significantly more efficient than its predecessor, with a projected increase of 1.25 times in performance per clock. The TDP on the 5700XT is 225W, compared to 295W on the Vega 64. The power supply is via an 8-pin connector and a six-pin connector.
The Radeon 5700 is a 36 CPU design with 2,304 stream processors and the same 8GB RAM pool as the 5700 XT. As expected, there is no sign of HBM on these products. The 5700 features a 180 W TDP and the same 1x 8-pin + 1x 6-pin power distribution system.
According to AMD, its new RDNA architecture is a major improvement over GCN, with substantial improvements in clock performance, raw clock speed, and watt performance.
The performance improvement per watt of 1.25x does not take into account clock speed gains but adds to them. It's a good time to talk about the newly defined synchronization scheme by AMD, so let's talk about it.
The basic clock of these cards is equivalent to what you will see if you run a type of workload type of power virus like Furmark. The "Game Clock" is a conservative estimate of the clock that you will see when running current titles over long periods of time. According to AMD, this is not the GPU's median clock rate over time during gaming – it's actually a bit lower than expected to allow for variations in silicon and cooling from one system to another. AMD derived its Game Clock values by measuring the average speed of the game's graphics processors on 25 different games.
The Boost Clock is an opportunistic clock that the GPU will try to hit when possible. Even this value does not represent the maximum potential speed (AMD has described it as "close to the maximum"). With improvements to the underlying architecture and overall design, GPU clocks are much higher than anything we've seen before from AMD. (We will talk about this in more detail in the coming days.)
According to AMD, the power improvements to give RDNA 1.5 times better performance in limited power environments than an equivalent GCN configuration. The change to 7nm represents just over 20% of the total gain, with improvements in design and power of about 15-18%. Most improvements result from improving the performance of the core of the graphics processor. We will write as teaser for deep diving: RDNA can execute instructions at each cycle, compared to GCN, which takes at least four cycles. The net result of these enhancements is a significantly better GPU than the cards it replaces, dramatically improving performance and simultaneously reducing power consumption.
AMD expects the Radeon 5700XT to deliver performance around 1.14 times faster than Vega 64, while consuming 23% less energy. TDPs rated on the 5700XT and 5700 are still superior to their Nvidia counterparts, but TDP is not a substitute for power; we will have to test the hardware to see how the GPUs compare. The performance improvement by area is substantial. Vega 64 was 495mm2 part, while Navi is at 251mm2 part. The RTX 2060 and 2070, on the other hand, are 445mm2.
These gains should put the 5700XT slightly higher than the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2070 in terms of overall performance. AMD also told us that we have read our reactions in terms of colder reference noise.
The 5700 and 5700XT models not only use wrapped fans that vent heat from the system, but AMD also promises to lock them to a volume of 43dbA. (It is not known whether it is absolute maximum volume or maximum volume provided you do not manually set the fan to 100%). This should respond to one of the recurring complaints about AMD's reference cards that they are often much more powerful than the competition. New buyers will receive a redeemable card for a three-month subscription to the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass for PC service.
We will have much more to say about Navi and its underlying architecture in the days to come. The GPU seems to have taken a significant step forward in reducing AMD's power over Nvidia and appears to be reaching a higher performance / watt target than Radeon VII.
The price of both cards is mobile, depending on the performance shown. The Radeon RX 5700XT will be available for $ 449, while the RX 5700 is $ 379. The price of the RX 5700 is significantly higher than the current RTX 2060 cards, which sell for $ 335 at the bottom of the market. The RX 5700XT is a $ 450 card, compared to the $ 500 price of the RTX 2070. A 50th birthday of $ 500 from the card will also be available.