In brief: With Intel’s Alchemist GPUs on the way and Nvidia’s Ampere lineup selling like hotcakes, AMD’s RDNA 3 cannot come soon enough. The company is rumored to be prepping three refreshed RDNA 2 cards for April as a stopgap solution, but availability and pricing could turn this into yet another paper launch.
AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT briefly sold below MSRP in Europe last month, but many gamers are still waiting for prices to drop on mid-range and high-end GPUs. Indeed, prices for both Nvidia and AMD models are now the lowest they’ve been since the start of 2021, but as the two companies prepare to launch refreshed and next-generation cards, we may see a slowdown of this trend in the coming months.
Earlier today, Nvidia hinted it may continue making Ampere cards even after it launches the RTX 4000 series. The company believes this will improve availability for gamers, but as we’ve seen with the RTX 2060 re-launch — if it can even be called that — it was a quick lunch for miners who were more than happy to pay the inflated asking price.
On another note, the RTX 4000 series will likely be manufactured on TSMC’s 5nm process node while Ampere is based on Samsung’s 8nm process node, so there is some hope for an improvement in the overall supply of Nvidia GPUs.
AMD is getting ready to release refreshed RDNA 2 cards, and those will reportedly be made on the same TSMC 7nm process node as existing Ryzen 6000 series GPUs and Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. According to reputable leaker Enthusiast Citizen from the Chiphell forums (via VideoCardz), no less than three new RX 6000 series cards will break cover on April 20 or April 21 — the RX 6950 XT, RX 6750 XT, and the 6650 XT.
These new models have reportedly been upgraded with faster 18 Gbps GGDR6 memory, up from the 16 Gbps memory used in the standard RX 6000 series graphics GPUs. The leaker said the new cards will cost $50 more than their older siblings for the privilege, which seems like a fair ask, if irrelevant under current market conditions where prices are still much higher than MSRP.
AMD CEO Lisa Su believes the chip shortage situation will improve in the second half of this year, but some — including one TSMC R&D executive — think this is an overly optimistic prediction. So far, Ampere GPUs dominate Steam charts and are also the most sought-after parts for cryptocurrency miners, while AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs barely make the chart. It will be interesting to see if the refreshed RDNA 2 cards woo more gamers away from Team Green.