AMD during its post-earnings conference call yesterday confirmed that the highly anticipated Navi GPUs will be launching in the third quarter of 2019, along with the Zen2 based Rome server processors. This is not to say that both the product families will see a release on the same day but during the three-month window. Due to a lack of any fresh launches from NVIDIA or Intel, AMD’s Zen2 CPU architecture and the Navi GPU lineup are two of the most interesting silicon parts slated for launch in 2019.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, let’s go over the basics again. Firstly, both the AMD Navi GPUs as well as the Zen2 based Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will leverage TMSC’s 7nm node. The latter should feature higher clock speeds and lower TDPs, as well as a better IPC (read per-thread performance), while the former isn’t really something new but in fact, a combination of the best GPU technologies AMD has come up with in last few years. These include the Draw Stream Binning Rasterizer, the Next-Gen Geometry Pipeline, and Primitive Shaders. DSBR is a hybrid form of rasterization somewhere between immediate-mode and TBR. NGG and PSs, on the other hand, improve the efficiency of the GPU by combining the vertex and primitive phase of rendering, thereby allowing early culling of unneeded objects from the scene.
Lastly, looking at the relative performance, the top-end Navi GPU will compete with the RTX 2070 with the lower end parts possibly butting heads with the 2060 and the GTX 1660 Ti. The cards should be priced in the $200-$400 range. They will also for a fact be cheaper than the Radeon VII and won’t compete in the same segment. It is quite certain that they’ll be based on the long-running GCN architecture. The Navi GPUs are going to power the next-gen PS5 and Xbox consoles, and are rumored to support some form of ray tracing at the hardware level. We’ll keep you updated if something else pops up.