AMD mainly focused on the Zen 2 based Ryzen 3000 and Epyc “Rome” processors at its Computex keynote, and rightly so. These 7nm chips probably sent shivers down Intel’s 14nm spine. However, the Navi GPUs were briefly discussed, with the focus on the new RDNA macro-architecture designed specifically for gamers. There was a dearth of benchmarks comparing the Radeon RX 5700 to NVIDIA’s Turing lineup, and only Strange Brigade was tested, and considering that it’s a heavily AMD biased title, it’d be fair to say that the results aren’t as rosy as team red claims.

AMD Navi RX 5700

There’s still one key missing ingredient from AMD’s Navi GPUs, namely ray-tracing that NVIDIA has successfully popularized with its RTX cards in a relatively short amount of time. The company went as far as to develop an RTX version of the FPS cult-classic Quake 2, and to be fair it looks pretty sweet. Now, AMD hasn’t said much about the topic in the past, usually brushing it aside as a PR stunt, calling it an “immature” technology. However, senior VP of marketing, HR, and investor relations, Ruth Cotter, during a recent press-conference briefly spoke about ray-tracing and how RTG is going to integrate it into the Navi GPUs, as well as the future plans with regard to adoption:

I’m not going to steal Lisa’s thunder on the live cast on Monday, but we have said that we will share more about our Navi family of products as part of a live cast at E3. We’ll also want to give you a little more information around our RDNA architecture and we’re very excited about that as we think about PCIe 4, GDDR6, architectural features that we will bring to that architecture that will be sustainable over multiple generations. And then, in time, obviously, we need to start to talk about what our ray tracing strategy is moving forward.

AMD CEO

During Computex, AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su also told some reporters that she will be discussing ray-tracing and how feasible it will be on the Radeon GPUs at the Next Horizon Gaming at E3 (10th June). Though NVIDIA may market it as their own tech, ray-tracing is actually enabled via DXR, one of the core features of the DX12 API, and as shown by Crytek’s Noire ray-tracing demo, AMD cards should be able to leverage it, albeit via the software fallback option and with some compromises in visual quality.

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