AMD admits Navi 24 GPU used on Radeon RX 6500 XT was meant for Ryzen 6000 laptops

nanoguy

Posts: 1,183   +20
Staff member
Why it matters: Given its many limitations, the Radeon RX 6500 XT is hardly an exciting product. As it turns out, the Navi24 GPU was really only meant for laptops, and the missing media decoding and encoding capabilities were a cost-cutting measure linked to the upcoming Ryzen 6000 series Rembrandt APUs.

By now, it’s no secret that AMD’s recently released Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card is widely regarded as the most disastrous product launch in the company’s recent history. We expected that Navi 24 would be a low-end GPU with modest capabilities. Still, the resulting desktop graphics card is a product that can only exist in today’s heated GPU market, where miners and scalpers make it difficult for gamers to upgrade their hardware.

John Bridgman, Principal Member of Technical Staff at AMD, focusing on Linux drivers, offered a small clarification on the Phoronix forums on why the RX 6500 XT is what it is. Bridgman explained the Navi24 GPU in the RX 6500 XT will primarily be used in laptops equipped with Ryzen 6000 series Rembrandt APUs.

"My impression was that it was just encode that was limited in Navi24, not decode - still not sure if that limitation is real or just a typo on the product page," he further noted. "Trying to find out a definitive answer."

Rembrandt APUs will have PCIe 4.0 support and a media engine capable of H.264/H.265 encoding as well as AV1 decoding. In other words, AMD thought the x4 limitation wouldn't matter since the card would likely only end up in laptop or desktop PCs with PCIe 4.0 support. However, this doesn't explain the omission of media decoding and encoding capabilities, which are pretty standard these days.

The official AMD position is that the RX 6500 XT was designed to be unattractive to miners due to its 64-bit memory bus and 4 gigabytes of VRAM. However, as our own Steven Walton explained in his extensive review of the card, the same limitations coupled with a weak, heavily cut down GPU and only two display outputs make this product a bad proposition for gamers even if they’d ever find it at or close to its $200 MSRP.

In any case, it looks like AMD made a product that is hardly a replacement for the entry-level RX 5500 XT and even the older RX 570 and RX 580 4GB cards. Even if it is available in large enough quantities, no one will be rushing to buy a $300 graphics card that doesn’t even come with video encoding and decoding capabilities.

Permalink to story.

 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 985   +739
Surely should decode - especially for a laptop with gimped CPU .
Well if they can get it out and bundled , discount - should surely sell - for those that want just good enough CPU - again decode is necessary - if say a media box and emulator
I mean nearly all phone SOCs decode up to x265 - think many don't do latest 2 (x266 and is it AV1 or something )
 

seeprime

Posts: 673   +885
Surely should decode - especially for a laptop with gimped CPU .
Well if they can get it out and bundled , discount - should surely sell - for those that want just good enough CPU - again decode is necessary - if say a media box and emulator
I mean nearly all phone SOCs decode up to x265 - think many don't do latest 2 (x266 and is it AV1 or something )
Don't expect high refresh rates, or to be able to use it at all in 4K. It's too lame for 4K.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,089   +3,995
GPU would be terrible even for a laptop: It's better than nothing but since most laptops come with the APU part anyway you might as well not bother with the 6500XT mobile or whatever and just put the money towards better screens, more memory, more ssd space, etc.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,506   +2,736
Here's me thinking they found the dies pooped out into the trash bins at TSMC while rummaging around for something they could label as a GPU to sell.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,334   +4,971
My 1070ti died and now I'm using a 1050ti 4gb to power my 4k display. I don't have any off hand numbers, but 4gb of vram sucks. Luckily it's 16x pcie 3.0, but you can still tell when resources are loading. 4gb is bad enough, but make it 4x on top of that just hurts.

Oddly, Eve runs fine on high at 4k on a 1050ti and eso runs mostly smooth at medium settings.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,359   +2,502
TechSpot Elite
The thing is that this GPU is perfectly acceptable as it stands with its specs.
But pricing it at $200 (145£), and then saying it is a followup to the 5500XT, is a joke.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 571   +476
That's why in the first place, I said that the product is not thoughtfully designed, especially for the target market. They claimed that they made all these cuts to deter miners and that gamers will get a GPU. But what has the encoder and decoder have to do with miners? And even if it is purely targeting gamers, does AMD mean that gamers cannot stream videos or record videos? And even for gamers, budget gamers are mostly on PCI-E 3.0 if I am not mistaken, so did they not test that the impact is very severe when it is PCI-E 3.0 with an x4 bus? If this appears as a laptop solution where video encoders and decoders, and the number of display out can be farmed out to the APU, then it is not as bad. But as a standalone dedicated GPU, it is really bad.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 892   +1,171
People don't understand that AMD is playing the market. $200 might normally be too high, but what is normal in the current market...? Exactly. Nothing.

Why 4GB?
Because anything more than that, and it becomes a mining card immediately being bought up. This was one meant for pure gamers. Not streamers, not editors, not anyone else that might need additional features. Someone that NEEDS a card, is going to buy this. We can talk about all the other old cards like the RX 580, 1050 Ti, 1650 etc, but none of them can actually be found for the same price, let alone new.

Why $200?
Because even if this thing is cheap to make, you still have to account for absurd shipping costs nowadays. At what other price would they break even or make profits in the current market?
Because inflation is through the roof.

Why PCIe 4x?
Who knows? The only reason I can think of is trying to shove off any cost possible. Or it's some weird reason to convince people to go with PCIe 4.0 systems. Whatever the case, if you're in need for a graphics card, you're gonna buy it.

Taking a look at online shops, the 6500XT is selling. None are available, except an ITX version for $270. So yeah. AMD made the right choice business-wise.

AMD is being slammed for this while nVidia has been artificially jacking up prices and constantly lying to their consumer base for over a decade with normal markets. It's also remarkable that MSRP is still used as a base in nVidia card reviews, but suddenly with AMD, made up prices are the ones that matter... nVidia didn't even provide an MSRP for their latest cards, but that's ok I guess...? Meh...
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,049   +855
I left Lisa Su a nice message. I was mad but I made sure to vent it in a different way......

I told her I was disgusted and disappointed. I'm 37 years old 99% of my builds are from AMD products even since I was kid. I made sure to mention I'm an AMD shareholder. AMD wanted to test the waters with how far they could go and responded I will do the same and I'm very open with INTEL'S new GPU or NVIDIA and may test those waters as well......

We all can agree on this site except ( QUANTUM PHYSICS user here still hugging his two 3090 cards ;-) that this is difficult time for most of us due to the virus, shady politicians, miners, shady people trying to scam us and companies trying to milk us LEFT & RIGHT when the only way out of this nightmare is our love towards gaming and messing around with PC tech. One day hopefully we can look back at this laugh at it or just say wow and so will future generations.

We all have a tipping point and I can confirm the majority of people are feed up with everything in general and feel the pain.I understand that extra level of pressure then times that by 10 or something Maybe it's just me but I feel like the world gets greedier, crazier and dumber as each second goes by.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 5,468   +4,396
TechSpot Elite
My 1070ti died and now I'm using a 1050ti 4gb to power my 4k display. I don't have any off hand numbers, but 4gb of vram sucks. Luckily it's 16x pcie 3.0, but you can still tell when resources are loading. 4gb is bad enough, but make it 4x on top of that just hurts.

Oddly, Eve runs fine on high at 4k on a 1050ti and eso runs mostly smooth at medium settings.
Eve Online runs fine even on toasters so it's not a surprise :)
 

Aaron Fox

Posts: 153   +90
Scalpers are irrelevant. The only reason scalping is such a problem is because AMD doesn't want to sell gaming GPUs of high quality to gamers in anything approaching adequate quantity. People are focusing on symptoms and not on the fundamental problems, like a duopoly not being adequate competition and the fact that AMD has been directly competing against PC gaming for years.

AMD was pushing the 'Polaris Forever' strategy for years, keeping horrible Jaguar consoles relevant and letting Nvidia pump pricing up up up. This isn't the first phase of the mining profiteering. Remember how Vega wasn't a decent gaming GPU, with IPC that was no better than Fury X, despite all the delays and hype from AMD? It was a mining GPU. It wasn't accidental that it was good at mining. Polaris was a weak underwhelming GPU designed for cheap production and was considered midrange mainly because Nvidia's stuff was so overpriced. Instead of making a better die, AMD's strategy has been to release small dies and push the clocks higher than is optimal.

Now, Vega and its friend Radeon VII are so inflated by mining (the second round of insane pricing for Vega) that it should be mind-blowing. Yet, here we are, with people content to complain about a symptom (scalping) rather than the fundamental problems.

AMD would rather work with its bigger friends, Microsoft and Sony, to push consoles. It also benefits from Nvidia continually increasing prices.

Now, even Intel is planning to pile on by trying also to get a piece of the TSMC pie. This feeding frenzy over TSMC pushes GPU prices ever higher. That keeps AMD and its console friends happy by making consoles more justifiable. In a better world they wouldn't exist because they are nothing but PCs with redundant additional walled gardens. Everything a 'console' can do can be done with PCs. Even better, Vulkan + OpenGL + Linux could do it a much more consumer-friendly manner. However, Microsoft and its friends have a solution to that problem. It's called Pluton. Turning PCs into slave kiosks of Windows Update makes the Windows trojan horse more important to the public, just as the triple threat I mentioned was about to relegate it to the gaming dust bin.

Hruska of ExtremeTech acts like AMD's Jaguar nonsense was a gift to the community rather than a way to drag down the quality of games for years and keep PC GPU prices inflated. It was a pathetic CPU that had worse performance than Piledriver. Since modern consoles are PCs in disguise, everyone claiming Jaguar was great should have had one in their main gaming PC. It's so great, after all.

AMD can conveniently admit that it used a laptop part in this GPU called 6500 XT. Big whoop. What would be a lot better is for AMD to withdraw it from the market, change the name, and lower the price point dramatically. Then, discontinue it quickly and put out a better part, one that has full PCI-e 3 support. No one should care when executives are honest about being dishonest, while they're being dishonest. This GPU is tricking buyers by pretending to be useful for raytracing, pretending to be useful in PCI-e 3 slots, and pretending to be a midrange card that's a significant step up from Polaris and the 5500 XT. Scalpers are more honest than AMD, as we saw with the great and glorious FX 9590.
 

BSim500

Posts: 894   +2,113
People don't understand that AMD is playing the market. $200 might normally be too high, but what is normal in the current market...? Exactly. Nothing.
- First up, this "$200" card has ended up a $270-$360 GPU as is actually being observed in the real world. It's also widely out of stock mostly due to being scalped no differently to competing cards rather than "popular demand".

- Secondly, it's entirely possible to make a half-decent 4GB card (1650S springs to mind) without a severely crippled bus or missing all the media features.

- Thirdly, copper is $4.5/lb not $4.5m/oz. The difference in price going with a x4 vs x16 bus barely translates to $0.05 per GPU. You could in fact slap a 1kg solid copper heatsink on and it would barely add $10 to the material cost. So God knows where all these "Thanks AMD for this crippled x4 bus, that saved me $80 at least on those copper tracks!" deluded fantasies are coming from.

- Fourth, even AMD's excuses that "it's a laptop chip" make zero sense when the 1-2w power saving on a narrow bus is instantly wiped out by having most of the hardware decoder / encoder features ripped out (so it'll end up drawing +10-20w more having to decode AV1 video / streaming via software encoding, thus significantly reducing laptop battery life...)

- Fifth, it isn't just Intel limited to PCIe 3.0, many cheap B350/450 boards people kept recommending here instead of B550's to stay price competitive with B460's, etc, along with the newest APU's (5600G, 5700G) are limited to PCIe 3.0 too. And budget gamers this GPU is aimed at are disproportionately more likely to own cheaper boards / older CPU's. So in the process of trying to shoot Intel customers in the foot, AMD have shot half their own customers too...

There is no "genius master plan" here, just confused desperation, and a whole lot of wishful thinking from the usual hyper-biased 'characters' here...
 
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Achaios

Posts: 354   +963
First 6500XT's have been sold at Amazon.de, the price is 350 EUR.

For the same amount of money, you can only buy a brand new 1050ti.

I don't understand why everybody is mad at AMD as you get better performance (double the 1050ti's performance in fact) at the same price point.
 

Faelan

Posts: 140   +145
Eve Online runs fine even on toasters so it's not a surprise :)
When I was playing many years ago, the benchmark wasn’t whether your system could run Eve or not. It was more a question of how many clients can you run at the same time? My mid-range system at the time had no issues running 3 clients. Could even push it to 4 in a pinch with some tweaking, but only having two 20” monitors made juggling more than 2 clients a bit of a pain. Good times though.
 

Faelan

Posts: 140   +145
First 6500XT's have been sold at Amazon.de, the price is 350 EUR.

For the same amount of money, you can only buy a brand new 1050ti.

I don't understand why everybody is mad at AMD as you get better performance (double the 1050ti's performance in fact) at the same price point.
It’s still a bad card though. It only exists because it’s better than having no GPU. The problem I’m having is that if I needed a GPU right now and I’m forced to pay a stupid price for a 6500XT, then I may as well just abandon insanity entirely and get something I could actually see myself using for the next 4 years and then make the sacrifices I would have to make elsewhere. But that’s just me.

Thankfully, I have a backup plan that is way better than the 6500XT should something happen to my current GPU. It’s called “Honey, how many chores do I have to do for the 1080ti in your system?” :)
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,485   +6,282
At least AMD admitted it, but I have to wonder WTF were they thinking? Were they trying to take advantage of the current market situation, or what?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,485   +6,282
I left Lisa Su a nice message. I was mad but I made sure to vent it in a different way......

I told her I was disgusted and disappointed. I'm 37 years old 99% of my builds are from AMD products even since I was kid. I made sure to mention I'm an AMD shareholder. AMD wanted to test the waters with how far they could go and responded I will do the same and I'm very open with INTEL'S new GPU or NVIDIA and may test those waters as well......

We all can agree on this site except ( QUANTUM PHYSICS user here still hugging his two 3090 cards ;-) that this is difficult time for most of us due to the virus, shady politicians, miners, shady people trying to scam us and companies trying to milk us LEFT & RIGHT when the only way out of this nightmare is our love towards gaming and messing around with PC tech. One day hopefully we can look back at this laugh at it or just say wow and so will future generations.

We all have a tipping point and I can confirm the majority of people are feed up with everything in general and feel the pain.I understand that extra level of pressure then times that by 10 or something Maybe it's just me but I feel like the world gets greedier, crazier and dumber as each second goes by.
My bet is that Lisa Su is not going to be happy at all about the negative press this card is giving AMD.