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AMD crosses the Horizon with Zen 2, Navi, 7nm, and PCIe 4.0

AMD returns to gaming GPUs with Navi, its first RDNA-powered in the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT

By Anthony Garreffa from Jun 10, 2019 @ 18:18 CDT

So... I'm sitting here in my hotel room the morning after a massive 10-hour information download session from AMD and their Next Horizon Gaming event and wanted to write it all up. The problem? There's too much to talk about.

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So before I give you the basic run down of Navi and the new Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT, I'll tell you one of two things. First, I will detail much more of this when I get back home next week in much greater detail. Secondly, AMD has never hosted an event with so many new things to show us and I don't think I've ever been this excited for the company, ever.

We all know about Navi by now: AMD's next-gen GPU architecture on the new 7nm node. It is here to compete with NVIDIA's current GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 (before things get SUPER). It is not, and was never meant to, compete or beat the flagship RTX 2080 Ti and that is not a bad thing.

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I think the journey that AMD has been on for the last few years is something to talk about versus raw specs and me blabbing about the new cards, which I'll do in a minute. Rewind the clock for some that might remember and AMD won the 1GHz race. AMD was the first to market with a dual-core CPU. They have been first to market with HBM. They have dominated so much with Zen that Intel has reacted in ways they haven't, well, ever.

AMD was the first to 7nm with Radeon VII, and once again with a more gaming-focused Navi. They're the first with PCIe 4.0 technology and will enjoy that technological leadership for at least another 12-18 months. AMD might not have the bank account of its competitors in Intel or NVIDIA, but it has much more fight in them than you'd think.

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The company has completely changed in the last 5 years under the great leadership of Dr. Lisa Su, shifting the company from focusing on just core PC components to much more semi-custom. I was not a fan of this at first, I made that clear both on TweakTown and to AMD staffers... but around 2-3 years ago I began to see it differently.

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Lisa's shift to semi-custom has been THE BEST thing the company has, at least in my opinion, ever done. It was nothing short of brilliant. One-two punching Intel more times than I can count, and while AMD won't be destroying NVIDIA any time soon, Zen 2 and Navi will be so disruptive in their own ways for many reasons.

The design of chiplets in the Zen design allowed the company to shift very quickly into throw-in-all-the-cores designs from Zen APUs up to dominating EPYC processors with EPYC 'Rome' coming on 7nm with 64C/128T soon. AMD is firing on all cylinders, that's for sure.

I was one of the first people in Australia (TweakTown is a US-based site, I write in US English yet most of you should know by now I'm based Down Under) with the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ at the time, I have had the Radeon 9700PRO (OMG how good was that), through to the X800PRO/XT, HD 5000 series, right through to Hawaii, Polaris, Vega, and now Navi.

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I wanted to take a more personal approach with this article, and I think AMD deserves it. They have fought hard to be here and while Navi won't destroy Turing, there is enough exciting stuff going on with Zen 2, PCIe 4.0, and the 7nm node that I think this is truly just the beginning.

AMD has crossed the horizon.

But what exactly do we have here with the new Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards? I'll give you the quick skinny and as promised, I will deep dive into this when I get back. All of the tech press are buggered, we're post-Computex... for me 100s of hours of travel (it is hard work on my body, mind, and soul - and my kids). Yesterday was 10 hours almost straight of room-to-room sessions breaking this all down but man, was it worth it.

I'm seriously like a kid in a candy store at these events, pinching myself to believe I'm sitting in the room of all these respected tech outlets and getting briefed by AMD on their next-gen hardware. So... without further ado, the skinny on Navi and the new Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT cards.

At the time of writing, we weren't given pricing (it will be unveiled during the Next Horizon Gaming livestream @ E3) and then I'll update this post.

Update: pricing!

AMD has just unveiled the official pricing of the Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards, with the Radeon RX 5700 XT priced at $449 while the RX 5700 costs $379. I don't know how I feel about this pricing just yet, and will talk more about it in a detailed piece. I was really hoping for sub-$400, but first - what do YOU GUYS think about the $449 pricing of the RX 5700 XT? Considering the super-competitive pricing of the Ryzen 3000 series for what it brings to the table, Radeon RX 5700 feels a little on the expensive side.

  • Radeib RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition -$499
  • Radeon RX 5700 XT - $449
  • Radeon RX 5700 - $379

Right at the end AMD unveiled the Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary card for $499.

  • 40 compute units
  • Up to 10.14 TFLOPs
  • 8GB GDDR6
  • 1980MHz Boost clock
  • 1830MHz Game clock
  • 1680MHz Base clock
  • $499.

More on that in the coming days.

For now, check out some glamour shots of the new Radeon RX 5700 XT and its contoured shroud design.

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