You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

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:

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link

Feel free to comment as you watch as if you have JavaScript enabled it won't refresh the page.

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

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
38 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
150 comments
Page: «13/15»
  Go to:

Quoting: lunix
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"
You are describing your ideology while claiming not to have one. Kind of underlines most of what I said.
mirv 29 Oct
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
I think we just ended the whole ideology thing - can we stop it now, everyone, please? Or the thread just goes bad again.
Shmerl 29 Oct
Yeah, I don't think blob proponents are going to agree with FOSS supporters. So let's not flame this.

What's clear however is the position of the Linux project itself (i.e. kernel developers and maintainers). Linux is rooted in FOSS, and blob approach is not something that Linux as a project appreciates. It might be merely tolerated, but it's not a good thing. There is nothing to debate about that, and blob proponents like Nvidia know it well.


Last edited by Shmerl on 29 October 2020 at 6:25 pm UTC
Quoting: mosCool.
The only detail I'm currently interested in though is WHEN THE FECKING rdna1 PRICES WILL GO DOWN

On an entirely selfish level, hopefully not before I sell my Red Devil
Diable 29 Oct
Quoting: scaine
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).

I'll buy a AMD card when they have working Linux drivers available at launch. I'm not waiting six months for the Mesa guy to get their new cards working when Nvidia has Linux drivers available for their new card on day one. I'm not supporting a company that treats my OS of choice like a second class citizens.
mos 29 Oct
Quoting: undeadbydawn
Quoting: mosCool.
The only detail I'm currently interested in though is WHEN THE FECKING rdna1 PRICES WILL GO DOWN

On an entirely selfish level, hopefully not before I sell my Red Devil
Quote me
rcgamer 29 Oct
Of course I just bought a 5600xt.
dreamer_ 29 Oct
Quoting: DiableI'll buy a AMD card when they have working Linux drivers available at launch.
I think you should quantify this statement to: you will buy AMD card *at launch* when the Linux drivers will be available *at launch*. Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense.

Quoting: DiableI'm not waiting six months for the Mesa guy to get their new cards working when Nvidia has Linux drivers available for their new card on day one. I'm not supporting a company that treats my OS of choice like a second class citizens.
You got it backwards - NVIDIA releases drivers at launch day because they don't care - if the driver is broken, they will release the fixed version after some time, perhaps, maybe. Right now NVIDIA driver is broken for kernel 5.9 for example.

AMD does things correctly - starting work on supporting new GPUs in kernel early and improving it over time - support for RX 6000 series landed already in kernel 5.9 (released ~3 weeks ago) and Mesa 20.2 (released ~2 weeks ago). We can't say how good the support will be until the cards start showing up, but AMD seems to be gradually improving the process of working with open source. Also, RDNA2 is a refresh of RDNA, not a whole new architecture.

BTW, if you use Ubuntu LTS, then AMD releases closed source version of their drivers to be used until the open source version is provided via LTS point release. So this way you *have* an option of using your GPU at launch.
Creak 29 Oct
Quoting: DiableI'll buy a AMD card when they have working Linux drivers available at launch. I'm not waiting six months for the Mesa guy to get their new cards working when Nvidia has Linux drivers available for their new card on day one. I'm not supporting a company that treats my OS of choice like a second class citizens.
In the defense of AMD devs, for each generation of GPU and CPU they are getting closer and closer to be ready at launch time. For instance, here, and if I'm not mistaken, Big Navi are supported in Mesa latest code (though not yet perfectly AFAIK). Now we're just missing the Mesa and Linux releases.

Personally, I don't really mind not having these GPUs ready at launch time since they are too expensive for me, but it means that the previous generation prices should go down a little bit! 😉

I doubt much companies really need day 1 releases though, as most companies won't on the latest GPUs as they just got out of the oven. For instance, I don't think Google Stadia is really interested right now about being able to get their hands on the latest GPUs, even though their servers runs on AMD (which is also a proof that even in a private company, open source apparently matters too, otherwise they would have chosen NVIDIA which have better performance/dollar ratio).

Which makes me think Microsoft and Sony are also using AMD GPUs in their consoles, so apparently it's not that bad 😉


Last edited by Creak on 29 October 2020 at 9:59 pm UTC
jarhead_h 30 Oct
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?

Because it's always better to have more than you need than to need and not have. The 3090RTX is supposed to be a 350w card. According to LTT it can pull almost 500w and caused them noticeable problems on their test system because it only had an 850w PSU. Now do you think I trust AMD's power rating? Do you? If so, why would you do that?


Last edited by jarhead_h on 30 October 2020 at 6:18 am UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.