amd is not jumping on the bandwagon of raising GPU prices. The company announced the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT at its event. RDNA 3 releaseAnd contrary to speculation on the heels of the RTX 4090, AMD is not raising prices. The RX 7900 XTX launches at $1,000 and the RX 7900 XT at $900, and will be available on December 13.
Although AMD was light on hard performance numbers, instead going for relative performance graphics and frame rates with FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), AMD execs delved into the new architecture and the improvements it could bring to gamers. For starters, the new compute unit (CU) includes a second-generation ray tracing accelerator, which AMD says brings up to a 50% improvement in ray tracing performance over the previous generation.
Ray tracing was a major shortcoming for AMD’s previous generation RX 6000 cards. Similarly, the lack of dedicated AI acceleration hardware like what Nvidia uses was a common criticism. The new design includes two AI accelerators per CU, which AMD claims provides up to 2.7x better AI performance. The company also focused heavily on the inclusion of DisplayPort 2.1, which is an area where AMD now has an advantage over Nvidia.
Both the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT support DisplayPort 2.1, enabling 1440p up to 900Hz, 4K up to 480Hz, and 8K up to 165Hz. The RTX 4090 it still uses DisplayPort 1.4, despite exceeding the capabilities of the standard in some cases. Although it will be many years before we see the full benefit of DisplayPort 2.1, AMD’s latest cards are set to take advantage of the standard once it becomes more common.
Of course, support for higher refresh rates at higher resolutions doesn’t matter if newer AMD cards can’t deliver the performance products. Overall, AMD says the RX 7900 XTX is up to 1.7x faster than the RX 6950 XT at 4K. In performance per watt, which is a metric that focuses on efficiency over raw throughput, AMD says the new architecture offers a 54% improvement over RDNA 2.
AMD was light on raw performance numbers, but still shared that the RX 7900 XTX can deliver 295 frames per second (fps) at apex legendsand 355fps onOverwatch 2at 4K. The company also shared 8K performance numbers, with the RX 7900 XTX delivering 96fps at Assassin’s Creed Valhallaand 73fps on Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection, albeit with a lot of help from FSR.
Ray tracing performance is also seeing a big boost over the previous generation. In Cyberpunk 2077at 4K Ultra ray tracing settings, the RX 7900 XTX delivers 62fps with FSR, compared to 42fps on the RX 6950 XT. In the same way, Hitman 3jump from 57fps to 89fps with FSR. However, we will have to wait until the cards are in hand to verify these numbers and to see how the cards perform with FSR disabled.
Finally, AMD drew attention to Nvidia’s recent problems with fusing 12-pin power connectors. Reference designs for the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT feature dual 8-pin power connectors, though the company has strongly suggested that the board’s partner cards can use more connectors for more overclocking headroom. The cards are also not too big. The reference design is almost identical to the previous generation, taking up two and a half slots in our case.
Although power demands have increased for GPUs in general, AMD did not go as far as Nvidia with its new GPUs. The RX 7900 XTX tops out at 355 Watts, while the RX 7900 XT is slightly lower at 300W.
Other spec upgrades include 24GB of GDDR6 memory on the RX 7900 XTX and 20GB of GDDR6 on the RX 7900 XT. You can see a full breakdown of the specs for these two new cards below.
|Ray Tracing Accelerators||96||84|
|Memory||24GB GDDR6||20GB GDDR6|
|memory bus size||384 bit||320 bit|
|Game clock speed||2.3GHz||2GHz|
|connection support||DisplayPort 2.1||DisplayPort 2.1|
|total board power||3456||3106|
|Release date||December 13, 2022||December 13, 2022|
It’s unclear how AMD’s new chips will stack up against the RTX 4090, but it looks like Nvidia will continue to have the overall performance lead. AMD appears to be targeting more value buyers, offering its flagship GPU for $600 less than Nvidia. As for how the card will hold up in terms of performance and value, we’ll have to wait until they’re here on December 13.