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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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lunix 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: lunixEvery product is different and the ideology is the least important difference between them.
This statement involves at least two major misconceptions. The first is about the nature of the word "important" as it relates to individuals' choices. Obviously, you cannot define for another person what is important to them. If their values are different from yours, what is important to them will also be different. People have different needs and so on. So for instance, if I'm buying a consumer product, it may be important to me that it be purple (note my handle). But I would not claim to you that purpleness is the most important feature of that consumer product and you are a fool making a mistake if you fail to get a purple one. I accept that, for whatever perverse reason, for many people purpleness just isn't that important. So saying ideology is, or is not, important to someone else's choice is in a basic sense a category error.

The other is about the nature and implications of ideology. An ideology is an understanding of how the world works, in a political and economic sense, combined with some values. If you have an ideology, inevitably it has implications about how the world should work--it might imply that the world should work exactly how it does work, although given how it does work that would be kind of a crappy ideology.
I say "if", but in fact everyone has an ideology. "Pragmatists" who imagine they do not have one are, in reality, just practising some received ideology they do not understand because they absorbed it without thinking about it. You might say instead of them having an ideology, it has them. Refusing to think through what your ideology is or, if you do, to take any actions derived from it, is basically a matter of passivity--accepting that you will be acted on, not an actor, and that the world will be the way all the people who do act cause it to be. Now that's OK in a way, but people who abdicate their agency that way shouldn't be getting on the case of people who have thought things through and do have positions.

Basically, if you haven't reached an understanding of the world or can't be bothered to act in ways consistent with it, shut up when those of us who do know what we're talking about and do have some consistency with our beliefs are talking.

There are various misconceptions in your comment:

1. When we are talking about buying products we shouldn't just look at that one specific thing as the deciding factor - especially when we want to build a gaming PC. This is what I was trying to tell to people but it seems like it fell on deaf ears. If you want a good purchase then you should be really careful what you buy because marketing exists and it is ready to bait you with illusions. Yes, people want different things but ultimately people want features and not vaporware or other illusions.

2. An ideology is nothing just a set of ideas - a dream. "No Tux No Bux", "Free Software for all", "The year of the linux desktop" - how are those working out? Back to square one: people want features which get things done. Ideologies might give you some drive and they might cripple your capabilities but nothing more. Linux rules the server space because of its capabilities. I thought that it is sensible to think that GamingOnLinux.com would focus on gaming but it seems like politics is more important in this community. But you can see that you can only get so far with your ideologies but without political power: linux gaming is pretty much on life support. Proton keeps it alive but for how long? Valve created linux gaming because they saw it as a not-windows-but-kinda-works alternative. Businesses evaluate business capabilities and then they invest. The FSF tries to promote "user freedom" with linux and other free software and yet there are many who say linux is not about choice - who is right and who is wrong? Or is it just another grey area? In the end, we depend on companies. Developers get paid to do things professionally because our charities are just small change.

3. No, not everyone has an ideology and operating through ideologies is not a rational thing to do. Ideologies are just restrictions: it's one thing to think you know how the world should work and another thing how it would be better. It's childish to assume that someone knows how to do things the best way. Yes, we might know how some things but in the end we should strive for what is the best for everyone and for that we need to carefully evaluate our decisions. Of course, if you just want to follow a set of conventions in which people already decided everything for you then you can do that too!

4. Telling people to "shut up" won't make them shut up or think differently - whether you like what they say or not. And it definitely won't make them listen to you, especially if you say absurd things like how you "reached an understanding of the world"
lunix 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: TheRiddick
Quoting: jarhead_hThe 850 should handle the power draw of the 6900XT just fine

Why do people think they need a 850W PSU for a 300W card? I've always been confused by this thinking. Is your CPU drawing 500W?

If you OC and also have a strong CPU and a high-end MOBO(with a 6900XT they're expected) you get close to the limit with other components and that little extra headroom for upgrades is nice for future-proofing. PSUs should last for more than 1-2 GPU generations, they're not really advancing as fast as other components.
lunix 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: The_AquabatNvidia drivers are holding back Wayland development and other graphical advancements on the linux desktop.
kernel development is not a democracy like it or not. Development of proprietary software might have some marketing PR, or a board director driving the code instead this is a pure technological decision done by programmers.

The nvidia drivers have nothing to do with wayland development - it's up to the wayland compositors' developers to develop wayland and nvidia to support wayland when it's ready. Not that wayland is going to make the linux desktop competitive with macos or windows when it barely competes with xorg...

If kernel development is not a democracy then we can't talk about freedom. Indeed, the dictatorship keeps the linux kernel development consistent because leadership has value but you need money and many developers' work too. A company's leaders might order features (indirectly) from their developers in exchange of goods - they don't "drive" the code. Features sell software. You said you want wayland but no, you want features. Wayland is just a protocol which doesn't even define most things what you want from a modern desktop.


Last edited by lunix on 29 October 2020 at 11:16 am UTC
Nocifer 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: lunixI thought that it is sensible to think that GamingOnLinux.com would focus on gaming

Now see, there's the root of all your problems. This site is not about GamingOnLinux, it's about GamingOnLinux. Linux is the main focus. And people who've deliberately chosen to game on an open platform like Linux, as opposed to closed platforms like Windows and MacOS, obviously consider openness a priority when choosing what hardware to buy. Otherwise why the fsck would we bother with Linux in the first place? If we only wanted pure performance like you claim, then we'd be gaming on Windows and arguing semantics on TenForums, yeah?

It's all a matter of ideology (like the Purple dude correctly tried to tell you but you obviously failed to listen) and yours is blinding you to these simple facts.

Quoting: lunixlinux gaming is pretty much on life support. Proton keeps it alive but for how long? Valve created linux gaming because they saw it as a not-windows-but-kinda-works alternative

Quoting: lunixNot that wayland is going to make the linux desktop competitive with macos or windows when it barely competes with xorg...

Wtf? Birdie, is that you?
mirv 29 Oct, 2020
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Quoting: lunixWhen we are talking about buying products we shouldn't just look at that one specific thing as the deciding factor - especially when we want to build a gaming PC. This is what I was trying to tell to people but it seems like it fell on deaf ears. If you want a good purchase then you should be really careful what you buy because marketing exists and it is ready to bait you with illusions. Yes, people want different things but ultimately people want features and not vaporware or other illusions.

Actually nobody is saying you should look at one specific thing. They are saying that FOSS drivers are an inclusive factor into their decisions about what video card to purchase. For myself, it's even a critical factor: I will not purchase nvidia purely because of the difficulties I faced in the past with proprietary drivers (and yes, even nvidia ones). But if there was an nvidia card with open source drivers that worked fine (i.e with nouveau) then I would consider it.

The whole topic has been about open source drivers, and your words (while in this short quote not explicit, but most assuredly imply) that FOSS drivers are marketing, and illusions. Under the assumption you do mean this (and do please clarify if not) I can flatly tell you that you are wrong.

People here are telling you exactly what they want. And it's not what you are saying.
Creak 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: lunixLinux will never get really popular if it won't get with the times and deliver actual value instead of advertizing ideologies.
I'm sorry to disagree, but I am part of the people who think performance is not the only valuable metrics.

Linux, without these ideologies, is basically Windows. Right now, I honestly don't see the interest a user would have in moving from Windows to Linux without these ideologies, considering Linux is not really supported by companies outside of the server world.

Oh and these so-called ideologies do have concrete consequences in real life: for instance I can still run very old AMD GPUs thanks to AMD open sourcing at least their specifications at the time and the performance are still pretty good (considering the GPU). On the other hand, I recently revived a PC with an old NVIDIA GPU and wasn't able to install the official NVIDIA drivers because they decided not to support this card anymore, so the only fallback was nouveau, which is less then ideal 3D performance-wise. Another example is that AMD cards do work with Wayland right now, while it is still not possible with NVIDIA's. And another example is that I'm not afraid to upgrade my system because I know the AMD drivers are coming with the new Linux kernel. Oh and I like the fact that any developer can improve the AMD drivers now as some improvements in mesa can benefit the whole graphics stack.

To me, thinking Open Source is merely an ideology means you completely missed the point here. Open Source is a way to prevent monopolies by releasing control over the source code and letting anyone to read, modify, and run it.

And, please, don't say things like "For most people(>99%)" if you don't have at least one source to prove it. This statement is a bias that is but an extrapolation of your way of thinking: "if I think this is the best, then everyone must be thinking the same".


Last edited by Creak on 29 October 2020 at 12:28 pm UTC
Creak 29 Oct, 2020
Quoting: mirvThis topic is also going into dangerous territory and no longer relevant to the article, other than that it's rather obvious that open source drivers really do matter to some people, it's not something to be dismissed, and will be a factor in purchasing decisions.
You are so right about this. This comments thread looks more and more to look like a Phoronix forums thread
mirv 29 Oct, 2020
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Quoting: Creak
Quoting: mirvThis topic is also going into dangerous territory and no longer relevant to the article, other than that it's rather obvious that open source drivers really do matter to some people, it's not something to be dismissed, and will be a factor in purchasing decisions.
You are so right about this. This comments thread looks more and more to look like a Phoronix forums thread

Thanks for this, I needed the reminder prod. So....what tech are you most interested in with the new cards? Obviously ray tracing is a thing. I flicked over some of the "Windows" features, and I'm not sure they aren't things that can already be done by a careful developer (the anti-lag thing in particular I'm referring to).
scaine 29 Oct, 2020
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Mainly, I'm just delighted to see AMD push out a card on a par with and hopefully exceeding Nivida's best offering. Nvidia have had a large chunk of the 20xx series and all of the 30xx series largely unchallenged. Great to see some real competition.

On a personal level, I've just bought my 5700XT and it plays every game I own at 4K with no hiccups (GOL Discord user, Michael, has a great series of videos demonstrating the 5700XT's 4K performance on their Youtube channel - all the vids from about April onwards are the 5700XT), but who doesn't love a bit more power and future proofing? And that Ray Tracing... that's going to be big in the coming months and years. Unlike PhysX, Ray Tracing is properly cross-platform (or will be soon) and I think it's going to take off in a pretty big way.

I might take a look at upgrading early next year, assuming the prices don't sky rocket thanks to mining (again).
Liam Dawe 29 Oct, 2020
I do have to admit personally, even as a typical NVIDIA fan that AMD are looking mighty tempting.
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