With Computex set to kick off next week, the rumor mill is on fire. Of course, it’s hard to believe everything we read, but with AMD itself acknowledging that there will be big launches there, we know we have at least that to look forward to. It will likewise be interesting to see what the other big companies have up their sleeves, like Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm.
On AMD’s side, it’s inevitable that Zen 2 is going to make an appearance as a Ryzen 3000 series, while the next-gen Radeon Navi will also be unveiled. For as long as I’ve known about Navi, it’s been meant as a Polaris replacement, not a Vega one, as Sony has had a heavy hand in its development to get it into the next-gen PlayStation. Apple allegedly had similar input into Vega, which would explain why it runs so hot and loud.
AMD’s Polaris-based Radeon RX 480 and Vega-based RX Vega 64
Nonetheless, some of AMD’s partners are a little too jumpy at revealing information, with the company’s leading Radeon producer, Sapphire, helping us out this time. At an AMD 50th anniversary event held in China, an interview with Sapphire’s Product Manager Leo, and Press Relations Director Jenny, tells us not just what’s coming from AMD, but Sapphire itself in preparation for the launch.
First and foremost, we’re being told that Navi will come in two versions, one priced at $399, and the other at $499. At this point, it seems like the bottom one is set to take on the RTX 2060, while the top will target RTX 2070. If you think the pricing is a little off given that comparison, you’d be right. It seems unlikely that AMD will release a card that’s more expensive and performs under the competition, but as with a lot of these leaks, there’s definitely more to be revealed. If the price points are at all correct, it’s clear that Navi will launch very differently than Polaris, which launched with a $240 8GB RX 480.
Whatever Navi becomes, it seems very likely that Vega will still offer compute advantages, but given we’re dealing an architecture set for game consoles, it seems safe to assume these new GPUs will run nowhere near as hot as Vega. They’re also not going to be married to expensive HBM2 memory, so Radeon fans will get more performance for their buck, and not feel like a chunk of it is going on something negligible.
As for Sapphire, it’s planning to extend the length of its warranties as soon as the warranties impacted by the mining boom expires. The company also confirmed it will not be releasing a non-reference Radeon VII, and Navi will indeed have a Toxic liquid-cooled model. We learn that the only reason Vega didn’t have one is because it would have been too hard to make money with such tight margins.
AMD’s Computex press conference takes place on May 27th, and is actually one of the first big press conferences of the event, taking place in the morning. We’ll be there, and we’ll be more than ready to tackle Zen 2 and Navi in benchmarking whenever they arrive.