AMD fans have long awaited the next-generation graphics cards from the red team, and it looks like they won’t have to do so for much longer. If a new report linked to unnamed sources turns out to be true, AMD could launch its Navi line of graphics cards at the big E3 show in June. Those same sources claim that gamers from across the spectrum of GPU fans will be pleasantly surprised by performance too.
Although AMD has enjoyed massive success with its Ryzen CPUs in recent years, making enormous strides in performance and more recently market share, it’s not been able to make such an impact with its graphics cards. The Vega line of high-end GPUs was constrained by high power demands and a rabid cryptocurrency market that made them far too expensive for average gamers — though the Vega 56 is pretty competitive these days. The Radeon VII is one of our favorite GPUs in recent years, but it’s still very expensive. Navi should be quite different.
Most reports about the upcoming generational leap in AMD’s graphics technology suggest it will debut with the Navi 10 range of cards; the mid-range solution. Some rumors have made grandiose claims of RTX 2070-like performance but at a $250 price point. While that may be a little too exciting for us to believe wholeheartedly, Tweaktown’s latest report suggests that Navi will be very capable indeed. Just as important, it could be launched within the next couple of months.
E3 is the time and the place that AMD has previously launched its Vega GPUs, as well as the first-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips. This year may see AMD launch Navi on July 7, or 7/7, to celebrate its use of the 7nm process. Earlier rumors suggested it would be unveiled at E3 and then launched later, but Tweaktown’s report claims otherwise. It also suggests that Navi could approach RTX 2080-levels of performance. The 2080 Ti will remain out of reach of AMD’s new architecture, we’re told, but for such a niche card that’s not really a problem.
From Digital Trends’ perspective, we’d be surprised if a Navi card could be competitive with the 2080, since that’s the job of the Radeon VII at the moment. However, something comparable to a 2070 would be a smart move by AMD, especially when ray tracing hasn’t made the major waves Nvidia clearly hoped it would. The real kicker will be price, though. If AMD can present its typical value proposition with more typical pricing than Nvidia’s inflated RTX costs, AMD could steal the mid-range right out from under Nvidia’s new GTX 16-series cards.