2020 will be an important year for the GPU market. NVIDIA will launch the new 3000 series video cards, which seem to be aiming for a substantial increase in performance, thanks to the transition to the 7nm production process and a renewal of RT and Tensor Core. AMD on the other hand, after a 2019 in which Navi architecture has expanded into the medium and low range of the market, is ready to aim directly at the high end.
Some rumors seemed to indicate March as the month chosen for the launch of “Big Navi”, a date which however has not yet been confirmed. In the meantime, a leak showed a high-end AMD GPU that could compete with the RTX 2080 Ti, the most powerful consumer video card available today, and that could be the much-rumored “Big Navi”.
A monstrous card
The leaked information describes a GPU very different from those released so far with Navi architecture and RDNA microarchitecture. An important detail, which is missing from the appeal, is precisely the type of microarchitecture used. The current RDNA has already reached its peak with the Radeon RX 5700 XT, which has 40 Compute Units and 2560 Stream Processors inside. To get more you need a new type of GPU that has not yet been announced. The leak recently released on Big Navi shows a card with ben 5120 Stream Processor, exactly double those available on the RX 5700 XT, for a total of 80 Compute Units.
Then there are 24 GB of HBM2 memory, very many for a consumer video card, with a 4096 bit bus that allows a bandwidth of 2 TB per second. HBM2s cost more than GDDR6s, a detail not to be underestimated, because it could bring the costs of this card to levels even higher than those of the RTX 2080 Ti, priced at over € 1000.
The last card of AMD to use these memories was the Radeon VII, which had no luck on the market, thanks to a price too high for the performance offered in gaming. There are also 12 MB of L2 cache, double that of the Titan RTX and triple that of the RX 5700 XT. High level specifications that they seem to belong more to the world of GPUs dedicated to professionals rather than a gaming product.
The leak then does not reveal the type of architecture that will be used in this GPU. Will it be RDNA or RDNA 2? RDNA 2 will integrate hardware support for Ray Tracing, a lack that has made itself felt this year, more in terms of image than in practice, given the few titles that have come on the market, but AMD cannot leave NVIDIA a further free field.
In short, although this information on the new GPU has been reported all over the world, there is no certainty if we will ever see this card, and above all there is no certainty on the type of market to which it is addressed: is it a gaming card or for professionals? Unfortunately, the answer will only come in the coming weeks.