AMD’s RDNA 3 graphics cards are almost here, and a final rumor has surfaced on YouTube making some interesting revelations, although we should keep a skeptical point of view when evaluating all of this.
The video comes from Moore’s law is dead (opens in new tab) (MLID), which is a big contributor to GPU (and CPU) leaks for that matter, with the clip covering various topics related to RDNA 3’s impending release, including power usage, performance, and potential inventory levels.
MLID begins by stating that their sources have confirmed the spec information that was previously revealed by VideoCardz to be correct, and that both early models of RDNA 3 graphics cards should be the RX 7900 XT and a slightly more powerful 7900 XTX version. They will apparently run with 10,752 stream processors (SPs, meaning cores) and 12,288 SPs, respectively, with 20GB and 24GB of VRAM (running at 20Gbps, with a 384-bit and 320-bit memory bus, respectively).
The reason the 7900’s XTX flavor is being brought in instead of the 7950 XT is that AMD wants to leave room for a more powerful flagship in the future (as happened with the 6950 XT).
In terms of power usage, MLID claims that the 7900 XTX will likely run at 350W (AMD’s reference card), with the 7900 XT around 300W. As always, keep in mind that third-party versions of these graphics cards can be boosted in terms of power (perhaps to 450W or more) and clocks, but that’s what AMD reference cards will work with (and some models from third parties, no doubt).
So what to expect in terms of performance then? MLID warns us that the high-end 7900 XTX is unlikely to outperform Nvidia’s RTX 4090 in raster performance (no ray tracing) at 4K.
That said, this is where the theoretical 7950 XT comes into play at some point, with plenty of room to push performance further with clocks, faster VRAM and more Infinity Cache.
Review: A robust rival to the RTX 4090 – and even more so against the 4080?
MLID notes with performance that it is possible for the 7900 XTX to be very close to the RTX 4090, at least in rasterization (the difference with ray tracing will be greater as Nvidia has the clear advantage here). AMD’s main GPU can even trade blows with the RTX 4090, perhaps outperforming in some scenarios, so this is far from a bad situation for Team Red.
Also, even if the reference card falls a little short, these beefier 450W (or more) 7900 XTX models could still be a good match for the RTX 4090 – although it’s too early to tell just yet.
On the power front, these new vine gossip lines up with what we’ve heard in recent leaks about the Flagship RDNA 3 using only 2 x 8-pin power connectors. In fact, it’s even better news because not only is the 7900 XT configured to employ this configuration, but also the XTX version, if that rumor is right about running at 350W. (Dual 8-pin connectors provide 150W each, for 300W plus 75W from the PCIe slot itself provide 375W, enough to power a 350W card).
If true, expect AMD to make a lot of noise about this in front of Nvidia’s rival flagship, the RTX 4090, which uses this 4 x 8-pin adapter setup (for those without one of the new ATX 3.0 power supplies that supports the 4090’s 16-pin connector natively). Mainly because of all the adapter meltdown controversy that Nvidia is currently involved in, of course.
MLID notes that AMD graphics card manufacturing partners can use 3 x 8-pin connectors with cards that go up to 450W and are considerably more powerful; using more robust coolers too, of course. (MLID suggests that these cooling solutions can be repurposed from RTX 4090 designs, in fact, with the 4090 cards ending up thinner than anticipated.)
AMD’s beefier graphics cards won’t arrive until later, mind, and initially the 7900 XT and XTX products we’ll see released will be along the reference lines with the reference cooler. As for when we might see those first hit shelves, well, the MLID calculates late November or early December, and the latter is what we’ve heard from rumor elsewhere. So you’ll likely be waiting a month to actually be able to buy these RDNA 3 graphics cards (and several months for the supposedly beefier versions of the third-party formula).
Regarding pricing, MLID theorizes that AMD will put a premium label on the 7900 XTX, but will hurt the RTX 4090 – although leaker sources aren’t sure how much. That sounds a little ominous, sounding like the price might be close to the hefty price tag of the 4090 unfortunately – but the 7900 XT might be a different story and could end up hurting Nvidia more aggressively.
There are a lot of question marks here, as it appears that AMD itself has yet to make the final decision on cost – and of course any relative value proposition depends on how these graphics cards fare in terms of performance versus the RTX 4090 and 4080
Speaking of the RTX 4080, MLID believes that the RX 7900 XT could be more than a match for it, possibly slightly outperforming the Nvidia graphics card in frame rates and certainly in power efficiency, as well as being smaller too and a lot less. a headache to fit inside your average PC case.
A final note on stock levels: MLID claims that while AMD may have a slow start on launch day (probably early December, as mentioned), things should improve quickly, with decent amounts of RDNA graphics cards 3 available before 2022 is over. The theory is that AMD will be able to ship at least the same volume as Nvidia manages with its Lovelace GPUs, or perhaps more – although stock could still run out quickly, and scalping could still come into play, unfortunately.