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Today AMD formally revealed the next-generation Radeon GPUs powered by the RDNA 2 architecture and it looks like they’re going to thoroughly give NVIDIA a run for your money.

What was announced: Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, Radeon 6800 with the Radeon RX 6800 XT looking like a very capable GPU that sits right next to NVIDIA's 3080 while seeming to use less power. All three of them will support Ray Tracing as expected with AMD adding a "high performance, fixed-function Ray Accelerator engine to each compute unit". However, we're still waiting on The Khronos Group to formally announce the proper release of the vendor-neutral Ray Tracing extensions for Vulkan which still aren't finished (provisional since March 2020) so for now DirectX RT was all they mentioned.

Part of the big improvement in RDNA 2 comes from what they learned with Zen 3 and their new "Infinity Cache", which is a high-performance, last-level data cache they say "dramatically" reduces latency and power consumption while delivering higher performance than previous designs. You can see some of the benchmarks they showed in the image below:

As always, it's worth waiting on independent benchmarks for the full picture as both AMD and NVIDIA like to cherry-pick what makes them look good of course.

Here's the key highlight specifications:

  RX 6900 XT RX 6800 XT RX 6800
Compute Units 80 72 60
Process TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm
Game clock (MHz) 2,015 2,015 1,815
Boost clock (MHz) 2,250 2,250 2,105
Infinity Cache (MB) 128 128 128
Memory 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6
TDP (Watt) 300 300 250
Price (USD) $999 $649 $579
Available 08/12/2020 18/11/2020 18/11/2020

You shouldn't need to go buying a new case either, as AMD say they had easy upgrades in mind as they built these new GPUs for "standard chassis" with a length of 267mm and 2x8 standard 8-pin power connectors, and designed to operate with existing enthusiast-class 650W-750W power supplies.

There was a big portion of the event dedicated to DirectX which doesn’t mean much for us, but what we’ve been able to learn from the benchmarks shown is that they’re powerful cards and they appear to fight even NVIDIA’s latest high end consumer GPUs like the GeForce 3080. So not only are AMD leaping over Intel with the Ryzen 5000, they’re also now shutting NVIDIA out in the cold too. Incredible to see how far AMD has surged in the last few years. This is what NVIDIA and Intel have needed, some strong competition.

How will their Linux support be? You're probably looking at around the likes of Ubuntu 21.04 next April (or comparable distro updates) to see reasonable out-of-the-box support, thanks to newer Mesa drivers and an updated Linux Kernel but we will know a lot more once they actually release and can be tested.

As for what’s next? AMD confirmed that RDNA3 is well into the design stage, with a release expected before the end of 2022 for GPUs powered by RDNA3.

You can view the full event video in our YouTube embed below:

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Additionally if you missed it, AMD also recently announced (October 27) that they will be acquiring chip designer Xilinx.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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150 comments
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mos 28 Oct
Cool.
The only detail I'm currently interested in though is WHEN THE FECKING rdna1 PRICES WILL GO DOWN
sub 28 Oct
Please consider supporting AMD.

I don't really mind proprietary games, but as a Linux user
I clearly want my computer infrastructure being as open as possible.
Hardware, drivers and libs.

This is where AMD shines, if you're smart enough to value this.
lunix 28 Oct
Quoting: subPlease consider supporting AMD.

I don't really mind proprietary games, but as a Linux user
I clearly want my computer infrastructure being as open as possible.
Hardware, drivers and libs.

This is where AMD shines, if you're smart enough to value this.

Or just be a conscious customer and evaluate products properly instead of relying on ideologies only.
mirv 28 Oct
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Quoting: lunix
Quoting: subPlease consider supporting AMD.

I don't really mind proprietary games, but as a Linux user
I clearly want my computer infrastructure being as open as possible.
Hardware, drivers and libs.

This is where AMD shines, if you're smart enough to value this.

Or just be a conscious customer and evaluate products properly instead of relying on ideologies only.

Unless you're a customer who evaluate products on ideologies.

Actually I do to a point, but don't forget that AMD still uses firmware blobs if you want to go that far (not many don't use firmware blobs now actually).

All that aside, I do hope the new cards have some good manufacturer's support behind them either right out of the gate, or not long after. GNU/Linux is increasingly an important target for graphical applications because of game streaming, if not because of desktop.
mos 28 Oct
Quoting: lunix
Quoting: subPlease consider supporting AMD.

I don't really mind proprietary games, but as a Linux user
I clearly want my computer infrastructure being as open as possible.
Hardware, drivers and libs.

This is where AMD shines, if you're smart enough to value this.

Or just be a conscious customer and evaluate products properly instead of relying on ideologies only.
As if AMD's GPU's clearly suck compared to NVIDIA's value-wise.
No they don't, and the diff between them is mostly ideological to begin with. The latter abhors public software model, the former at least partially supports it. So the ideology starts with the vendor in this case, rather than with the consumer.
lunix 28 Oct
Quoting: mos
Quoting: lunix
Quoting: subPlease consider supporting AMD.

I don't really mind proprietary games, but as a Linux user
I clearly want my computer infrastructure being as open as possible.
Hardware, drivers and libs.

This is where AMD shines, if you're smart enough to value this.

Or just be a conscious customer and evaluate products properly instead of relying on ideologies only.
As if AMD's GPU's clearly suck compared to NVIDIA's value-wise.
No they don't, and the diff between them is mostly ideological to begin with. The latter abhors public software model, the former at least partially supports it. So the ideology starts with the vendor in this case, rather than with the consumer.

Every product is different and the ideology is the least important difference between them. If you have failed to realize that then you should spend more time trying to understand the metrics we use to evaluate a GPU. Watch some reviews and interact with the community. Learn to carefully choose between PC components.


Last edited by lunix on 28 October 2020 at 1:23 pm UTC
scaine 28 Oct
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Quoting: lunixEvery product is different and the ideology is the least important difference between them.

For you. Not for me. The ethos of a company, its ethical stance, and its impact on fostering a cultural shift to open methodologies is the single most important aspect of choosing my hardware. Then it's performance, then it's heat/noise/efficiency. Finally, its price comes into consideration.

It's weird to me that you're commenting on a Linux site and don't understand this, or somewhat buy into it. But I suppose as Linux increases in popularity, there will be more and more people like yourself who don't care about open standards (or least, care as much as others do).
Despite the performance improvements, I'll keep my current CPU but will most likely upgrade the GPU to AMD.
x_wing 28 Oct
Quoting: lunixEvery product is different and the ideology is the least important difference between them. If you have failed to realize that then you should spend more time trying to understand the metrics we use to evaluate a GPU. Watch some reviews and interact with the community. Learn to carefully choose between PC components.

The review I only see is that Nvidia doesn't follow Linux standards with their drivers. This is not about ideology, is about doing things in the right way so the OS we use improves.
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