Highly anticipated: We’ve known for a while that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will come with AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs, but they won’t be the first products to feature the new architecture. The company has confirmed that an RDNA 2 'Big Navi' graphics card will be arriving before the next-generation consoles.
Speaking at the Bank of America 2020 Securities Global Technology Conference, AMD CFO David Kumar said: "There's a lot of excitement for Navi 2, or what our fans have dubbed as the Big Navi. This will be our first RDNA 2 based product."
With the PS5 and next Xbox set for release this holiday season, the announcement suggests we’ll see a Big Navi flagship graphics card that could take on the aging RTX 2080 Ti sooner than expected. AMD’s revelation lends credence to a recent report claiming Big Navi GPUs would arrive this September.
Kumar said that AMD was "on track to launch our next-generation Zen 3 CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs in late 2020."
"Big Navi is a halo product," the CFO added. "Enthusiasts love to buy the best, and we are certainly working on giving them the best."
In other words, we can expect to pay a high price for this card, probably $1,000+, but that’s to be expected if it’s able to rival the best Nvidia has to offer.
RDNA 2 isn’t just going to be for high-end graphics cards and next-gen consoles, though; it’ll reach through AMD’s entire stack. "It will go from mainstream GPUs all the way up to the enthusiasts and then the architecture also goes into the game console products... as well as our integrated APU products," said Kumar. "This allows us to leverage the larger ecosystem, accelerate the development of exciting features like ray tracing and more."
RDNA 2 GPUs are said to bring a 50 percent performance-per-watt improvement over RDNA 1, along with increased clock speeds and instructions-per-clock. They also feature VRS (Variable Rate Shading) and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. With Nvidia’s Ampere-based consumer cards rumored to arrive around the same time, the second half of the year will be an exciting time for PC gamers.