AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series release date
AMD’s Big Navi has been rumoured since late 2018, but the most credible pre-launch rumour suggested we’d see Big Navi revealed at Computex, but as we’re all aware by now, big trade shows like Computex have been cancelled in 2020 amid coronavirus restrictions around the world. So, when should we see the AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series appear?
Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Nvidia RTX 3080 in early September, AMD teased the release not only of its Zen 3 desktop processor, but the hotly anticipated AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series too. As confirmed by the company, we’ll get to see the Big Navi graphics cards just before Halloween, on 28 October 2020.
That’s only a couple of weeks before the release of the Xbox Series X and PS5, both sporting custom AMD GPUs based on the upcoming RDNA 2 graphics architecture.
AMD Radeon RX 6000 series pricing
Generally speaking, AMD tends to undercut the likes of Nvidia when it comes to its product offerings, but that’s probably not going to be the case with the Big Navi range. Yeah, we’re gutted too.
Of course, isn’t set in stone at this point, but we can get a good idea at pricing by looking at AMD’s Radeon VII. The high-end GPU offered comparable performance to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080, and the price reflected this in the US, costing $679 (around £540) compared to Nvidia’s £649/$699, although it was better value for money for those of us in the UK. Not very often we get to say that these days, is it?
Nvidia’s RTX 3080 costs £649/$699, and if the RX 6000 Series is as capable as AMD is hinting, we expect it to cost a similar amount to Nvidia’s option.
The RX 5700 XT looks good, but the RX 6000 will look even better
AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series features and spec rumours
Like any big product release, there are plenty of rumours circulating online, but we’re only going to address those that are likely to hold some weight.
The main highlight of the upcoming AMD GPU is the 4K performance, as that has already been confirmed by AMD itself. During AMD’s financial day, AMD doubled down on the performance of the RDNA 2-powered GPU range, claiming that the top-of-stack RX 6000 Series would provide “uncompromising 4K gaming” alongside hardware-based ray-tracing and variable-rate shading, two features already present in Nvidia’s RTX GPUs.
It’s important to pay attention to the focus on the top-of-stack GPU, as rumours suggest it’ll only be the top-end graphics card that boasts ray-tracing technology, with the lower-end/mainstream options simply not offering the capacity to offer hardware-level raytracing at a competitive frame rate. Considering the huge jump in performance from Nvidia’s 2080Ti to 3080, with even the 3070 offering solid 4K ray-traced gameplay, that doesn’t sound too enticing.
Raytracing aside, there are rumours that the flagship RX 6000 series GPU will sport an increased 80 compute units, and a separate rumour suggests not one but two of the range will sport more VRAM than Nvidia's RTX 3080.
The rumour appeared on Twitter, with user @_rogame claiming that the Navi22 (which we assume will be the flagship of the RX 6000 Series) will offer 16GB of VRAM, while a slightly less powerful SKU dubbed Navi21 will offer a reduced but still powerful 12GB of VRAM. It's worth pointing out that, if true, there won't be a direct competitor to the monstrous RTX 3090, with its 24GB of VRAM.
Regardless of VRAM specifics, that’s a lot of tech to keep cool, and the current blower-style coolers aren’t going to be sufficient – even Nvidia switched to more efficient dual-fan designs with the transition from Pascal to Turing – and AMD VP Scott Herkelman confirmed on Reddit that the upcoming GPU has to do the same thing.
Then, in early September, AMD shared the first look at the new RX 6000 Series, complete with a new triple-fan setup as teased. If that wasn't enough, there's even a huge model available on Radeon's Creative Island in Fortnite for everyone to inspect up close (code 8651-9841-1639 if you were interested).
Take a first look at the design of the new Radeon RX 6000 series. Our upcoming @AMD #RDNA2 graphics cards will feature a brand new cooler design, and you can study every angle yourself on our Fortnite Creative Island. 8651-9841-1639. pic.twitter.com/KGQAOXDivZ— Radeon RX (@Radeon) September 14, 2020
There are also whispers suggesting the RX 6000 range could be around 30 percent faster than the RTX 2080Ti, which was exciting before Nvidia announced the RTX 3000 Series with incredible performance gains compared to the 2080Ti, but now it seems like that’ll have to be the minimum performance bump for AMD to stay competitive in the GPU market.
Of course, this is all complete speculation and we don’t yet know for sure what AMD has planned for the release of the RX 6000 series, but with the October reveal fast approaching, it’s likely that we’ll see more revealing details appear as the weeks go by.
For the latest on AMD's next CPUs, here's everything you need to know about the Zen 3.