In addition to AMD’s mobile graphics offering announced during today’s CES 2022, the company also has some new desktop video cards to talk about for the low-end market segment. On January 19thth the company will launch its Radeon RX 6500 XT video card, a long-awaited member of the low-end Radeon RX 6000 series desktop. Based on the new Navi 24 GPU, it will hit retail shelves for $ 199. Meanwhile, a little later in the year it will be joined by the Radeon RX 6400, the second Navi 24 and only the OEM part.
Soon, a major hardware development driving new desktop cards is the introduction of AMD’s new Navi 24 GPU. The fourth and seemingly last member of AMD’s Navi 2x GPU stack, the Navi 24 is aimed at the lower / entry market segment. The smallest of the Navi GPUs has led AMD to re-use the scalpel on the Navi 2x architecture, essentially halving the Navi 23 to deliver a part with half CU, half Infinity Cache and about half power consumption.
But in addition, AMD is not using TSMC’s 7nm process again for Navi 24. Instead, the smallest of the Navi chips is made on a 6nm manufacturing node, which we assume is TSMC’s N6 line. This is the second AMD GPU / accelerator we’ve seen built at 6nm – after the giant CDNA2 chip in the Radeon Instinct MI250X – so AMD is taking full advantage of their close working relationship with TSMC, and in turn is taking advantage of what it has to offer. essentially a further refined version of TSMC’s 7nm process. Switching to the N6 probably doesn’t contribute much to AMD’s performance, but a roughly 15% improvement in transistor density will allow AMD to extract as many more matrices from each board at a time when fab capacity is at its peak.
To that end, although AMD has not released an official transistor number or nut size for the Navi 24, expect it to be very small, especially compared to the significant Navi chips that AMD has released so far.
Along with reducing the number of CUs, another big area of saving space for the AMD transistor / die on the Navi 24 comes from further reducing the size of Infinity Cache. That on-die SRAM cache is only 16MB for Navi 24, half the cache on Navi 23 (6600). Since the Navi 23 was already a sweet spot for playing games in 1080p, I’m very curious to see how the Navi 24 progresses this way; will 16MB be large enough cache to play entry levels? For reference, the 32-bit 1080p frame buffer is slightly smaller than 8MB, so it won’t take too much to load 16MB of cache.
Anyway, when the Navi 24 is finally available, AMD is ready to start shipping it in mobile (6500M / 6300M) and desktop (6500 XT / 6400) formats.
|Comparison of AMD Radeon RX series specifications|
|AMD Radeon RX 6600||AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT||AMD Radeon RX 6400||AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT|
|Bandwidth (FP32)||7.3 TFLOPS||5.3 TFLOPS||3.1 TFLOPS||5.2 TFLOPS|
|Memory Clock||14 Gbps GDDR6||18 Gbps GDDR6||16 Gbps GDDR6||14 Gbps GDDR6|
|Memory bus width||128-bit||64-bit||64-bit||128-bit|
|Infinity Cache||32MB||16MB||16MB||N / A|
|Total power plate||132W||107W||53W||130W|
|Production process||TSMC 7nm||TSMC N6||TSMC N6||TSMC 7nm|
|GPU||Navi 23||Navi 24||Navi 24||Navi 14|
|Launch date||10/13/2021||01/19/2022||H1 2022||12/12/2019|
|Launch Price||$ 329||$ 199||For OEM only||$ 199|
Like AMD’s other GPU-related announcements this morning, we’re still waiting for AMD to reveal the full specifications of the card. But at a high level, what we’re looking at is almost half the Radeon RX 6600 XT. The biggest shift is, of course, halving the number of CUs to 16, bringing in a total of 1,024 SPs. The Navi 24 is designed to be a small part and this is very much reflected in the amount of hardware at hand. However, the compensatory part of this is that the advertised watch is a game very lively 2.6GHz, which is a few hundred MHz more than as much as 6600 XT. As a result, the 6500 XT should hit a little harder than we would otherwise expect for the 16 CU part.
As for memory configurations, I expect this card to have a 64-bit memory bus, pending AMD’s confirmation. This would be in line with halving other resources on the card, as well as in line with AMD’s design goals to use smaller memory buses on parts of the Navi 2x than their Navi 1x predecessors. In that case, we’re looking at just 128 GB / second or so of external memory bandwidth, assuming AMD uses standard 16Gbps GDDR6 here. And as mentioned earlier, Infinity Cache has also been reduced to 16MB. So, the RX 6500 XT will be in an interesting position trying to make the most of its small but fast Infinity Cache before the bandwidth drops significantly when turned off. Even with so many computing resources halved, it will be interesting to see if the 6500 XT can be properly powered with such a small memory bus.
But as a side benefit of removing the Navi 2x and switching to the N6 is that energy consumption has also dropped. On the mobile side it makes 35W parts, and even on the desktop side we see power figures that AMD hasn’t been able to match since the days of Polaris. Most importantly, the power requirements of the 6500 XT are low enough that the card can be fully powered via the PCIe bus – that is, it can be kept below 75 watts. It’s some 55W lower than the previous generation 5500 XT, and makes the 6500 XT the first bus-powered video card we’ve seen from any manufacturer since the launch of the GeForce GTX 1650 until 2019.
Given this, it should be noted that remaining below 75W is not a requirement for the SKU, and therefore not all partner board designs can work entirely on bus power. So expect to see a mix of both types of cards on the market, with factory overclocking which is a dead thing that the card will require an external PCIe power supply to meet its full power needs.
Meanwhile, AMD is not revealing anything else about the Radeon RX 6400 at this time. It is reasonable to expect that the OEM-only part will be a lower configuration with lower power requirements, but after that we will have to see what AMD is preparing for OEM a little later years.
Product positioning, partner cards and availability
It goes without saying that when it comes to product positioning, where the Radeon RX 6500 XT fits into the bigger picture, the situation is constantly changing. The lack of an ongoing GPU means that all logic has long since passed – and will not return soon. So at best we can talk about where AMD intends to compete, and then we’ll see where the market will take it.
As NVIDIA does not have the current generation of low-end video cards for desktop computers (3050 has yet to be pulled out of laptops), on paper AMD has an advantage. The only cards on the market that are close to it are the GeForce GTX 1650 (when it can be found) and the generation-old Radeon RX 570 4GB, which has fallen out of favor with cryptocurrency miners due to its low memory capacity. In both cases, the RX 6500 XT should be a faster card, according to AMD.
Yet, based on AMD’s own choice in gaming, it’s not a generation ahead of any card. The RX 6500 XT is a cheap video card; the only cards that will come close to doubling performance are similar low cards from 5 years ago. Cards that never sold for $ 199 to begin with.
The relatively good news is that the 6500 XT should be a horrible mining card due to its limited memory capacity and equally limited memory bandwidth, so there shouldn’t be much demand from card miners. However, this will be mitigated by the fact that gamers and other desktop manufacturers, who are also facing a constant shortage of video cards, may have even taken cheap video cards to get their hands on. something and completion of system construction. So, there is a good chance that the demand from players / consumers alone is enough to absorb everything that AMD can produce; it’s something worth watching out for.
The basic IFRS of $ 199, in turn, is not unreasonable given the current market conditions. But the 6500 XT will certainly not be an agreement in any part of the word. On the AMD side, there is no point in underestimating the card just to save the difference for retailers and board partners, so AMD is not going in that direction. Video cards will cost as much as the market can handle, and if that changes later, AMD can always cut prices.
In the meantime, expect a mix of basic and premium 6500 XT cards from common AMD board partners. As with the recent low-end card launches, AMD is not selling a reference retail card for the 6500 XT, so it will be up to the partners to deliver the full range of designs. This means that along with simpler cards, we should expect to see factory overclocked cards, cards with advanced coolers and other premium cards that take up a part of the space between 199 and 329 dollars, the price of 6500 XT and 6600.
Finally, as AMD announces the Radeon RX 6500 XT today, expect a launch on January 19thth be a difficult launch. Both retailers and retailers should all carry the card, starting with the launch of our first (?) Video card in 2022.
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