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AMD reveal RDNA 2 with Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, Radeon RX 6800

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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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14 1 Nov, 2020
If Cyberpunk 2077 was coming to Linux, I would be looking at that RX 6800 instead of a PS5.
Shmerl 1 Nov, 2020
Quoting: 14If Cyberpunk 2077 was coming to Linux, I would be looking at that RX 6800 instead of a PS5.

If it's not, it will work with vkd3d-proton eventually. But I'll probably wait until it's discounted. RX 6800 or RX 6800XT will still be quite useful for it.


Last edited by Shmerl on 1 November 2020 at 12:09 am UTC
14 1 Nov, 2020
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: 14If Cyberpunk 2077 was coming to Linux, I would be looking at that RX 6800 instead of a PS5.

If it's not, it will work with vkd3d-proton eventually. But I'll probably wait until it's discounted. RX 6800 or RX 6800XT will still be quite useful for it.
I had the same thoughts, but that's a lot of money to put toward something that will probably work. Cyberpunk is a special game to me. If there are launch issues, I want to be on a majority platform and not a niche one. Since I'm buying the disc, I can always sell and buy the Steam version later on.
Shmerl 1 Nov, 2020
Quoting: 14I had the same thoughts, but that's a lot of money to put toward something that will probably work. Cyberpunk is a special game to me. If there are launch issues, I want to be on a majority platform and not a niche one. Since I'm buying the disc, I can always sell and buy the Steam version later on.

On one hand I don't mind waiting until it's confirmed to be working. On the other hand I don't mind reporting bugs to vkd3d and Wine about what's not working. The only annoying thing would be paying full price when CDPR are ignoring Linux gamers. That's why I'd rather wait until it's discounted or someone gives me a key.
mawhrin-skel 1 Nov, 2020
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Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: mawhrin-skelAlso, and brace yourselves, but G-SYNC works out of the box in Linux. FreeSync doesn't, and it can barely be said to work *at all* with its "only-up-to-90 Hz" limitation.

Never had any problems with adaptive sync. I'm using LG 27GL850. Adaptive sync is fine up to 144 Hz and LFC works fine as well.

MSI MAG272CQR (165 Hz) here, and I haven't gotten it to work. I still see tearing with v-sync off, and I never did with my G-SYNC monitor.

From the Arch wiki,
QuoteFreesync monitors usually have a limited range for VRR that are much lower than their max refresh rate.
...
Although tearing is much less noticeable at higher refresh rates, FreeSync monitors often have a limited range for their VRR of 90Hz, which can be much lower than their max refresh rate.

Supposedly, it only works at 90 Hz? Few Linux games are demanding enough to run that low, though, so I haven't been able to test.

And, from amd.com:
QuoteFor FreeSync to work in OpenGL applications, V-Sync must be turned ON.
(lol! In this case, my "testing" is moot since, beyond no tearing with v-sync off, I have no idea what adaptive sync is or does, sorry.)

QuoteFreeSync enable setting does not retain after display hotplug or system restart (e.g., need to manually re-enable FreeSync via terminal command)
(Err...  
DISPLAY=:0 xrandr --output DisplayPort-# --set "freesync" 1

Ok, lemme just add that to my startup script--)

QuoteIn multi-display configurations, FreeSync will NOT be engaged (even if both FreeSync displays are identical)
(--oh, nevermind. Maybe this is why I can't get it to work? I have multiple monitors.)
Shmerl 1 Nov, 2020
Quoting: mawhrin-skelMSI MAG272CQR (165 Hz) here, and I haven't gotten it to work. I still see tearing with v-sync off, and I never did with my G-SYNC monitor.

Did you enable it for Xorg? Make sure that option is enabled. On Debian it's in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-amdgpu.conf
Option "VariableRefresh" "true"

Quoting: mawhrin-skelFor FreeSync to work in OpenGL applications, V-Sync must be turned ON.

I don't think that's right. You need to always keep vsync off.

Multiple monitors is always a mess under X. Try first with one.


Last edited by Shmerl on 1 November 2020 at 8:35 pm UTC
CFWhitman 3 Nov, 2020
I don't know. I've had a game with V-sync on as the default say it was running at 144 fps all the time other than brief drops when loading. This is with a Vega 56 card.
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