AMD Big Navi: November launch in reference form for RDNA 2 'Navi 2X'

AMD is expected to use GDDR6 on its Big Navi / RDNA 2 / Navi 2X graphics card, and not HBM2 memory -- with a November 2020 launch.

11 minutes & 20 seconds read time

AMD's upcoming Big Navi has been in the rumor mill the entire year, with whispers that it would use 24GB of HBM2e memory with 2TB/sec of memory bandwidth -- but new reports suggest AMD won't be using HBM2 or HBM2e memory on the Navi 2X cards at all.

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It has been rumored that AMD would use HBM2 memory or a 2.5D design on Big Navi, but according to the latest information that is wrong. We should see 16GB of GDDR6 (we heard that in a rumor just two weeks ago) on a whopping 512-bit memory bus, which is double the memory and bandwidth offered on the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

This doesn't mean AMD couldn't use HBM2 memory on another Big Navi GPU, so we could expect a higher-end workstation version with HBM2 memory. The consumer Radeon gaming graphics cards, they will be powered by the mainstream GDDR6 standard.

The bigger news is that AMD would be launching Big Navi in reference form only at launch in November 2020, lining up with previous reports that AMD wanted to use a show of strength for RDNA 2 -- considering the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles launch in November 2020, too.

This is a similar move AMD did with the Radeon VII where no custom models were offered (at all), but Big Navi will have custom cards rocking the next-gen RDNA 2 architecture... it just won't happen this year. We should expect custom Big Navi graphics cards in early 2021.

The Very Latest Big Navi Specs

These specs are from a collection of the latest reports and rumors, and can change at any moment. I'm sure you'll know, because it'll be one of the most exciting news posts of 2020.

  • GPU: Navi 20 aka Big Navi
  • Node: 7nm+
  • Compute units: 80
  • Stream processors: 5120
  • TMUs / ROPs: 320 / 64
  • Base GPU clock: ???
  • Boost GPU clock: ???
  • Game GPU clock: ???
  • Compute power: ???
  • VRAM: 16GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 512-bit
  • Memory bandwidth: 896-1024GB/sec
  • TBP: 250-300W (or more)

The Very Latest on Big Navi

  • No custom Big Navi in 2020: This is unfortunate, but AMD will most likely really nail the reference cooler this time around with Big Navi. The custom cards will be even better, faster, and cooler -- oh and they'll have various designs that differ from the reference Big Navi card.
  • Big Navi AKA everything else: Big Navi is also known as Navi 2X, and is powered by the RDNA 2 architecture. So if you've heard about "Big Navi" then that is "Navi 2X" which is powered by the RDNA 2 architecture. They're all one and the same thing.
  • No HBM2 or HBM2e memory, it's GDDR6: This is the latest news... AMD is not using HBM2 or HBM2e memory and rather GDDR6 which has been a gigantic leap for current RDNA and Turing-based graphics cards on the market right now. HBM2 and HBM2e are also very expensive.
  • Big Navi launches in November: I've written about that here, but Big Navi is launching in November 2020.
  • Alongside PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X: November 2020 is going to be the hottest month of 2020 for gamers, tech enthusiasts and performance enthusiasts -- we have the launch of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Series X, the launch of Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5, and AMD's next-gen Big Navi graphics cards.
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Previous Big Navi / RDNA 2 highlights:

  • Big Navi GPU samples are in for driver validation: This is something new, with reports suggesting that the "first validation sample was sent recently to Shanghai for driver development". This means that new rumors on Big Navi performance could be much more true than before, because AMD will now have a performance target for final revision cards.
  • RDNA 2 = 40-50% faster than GeForce RTX 2080 Ti: We have rumored performance improvements inside of RDNA 2 that would make it 40-50% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. This is impressive, as the flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT is nowhere near the RTX 2080 Ti in raw performance. You can read more on that here.
  • RDNA 2 = 195-225% faster than RDNA aka RX 5700 XT: RDNA 2 being a huge 195-225% faster than RDNA means that it will be a truly kick ass 4K gaming card, as well as being able to pump away at 1080p and 1440p resolutions at 120/144/165FPS much easier than the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
  • 7% IPC improvement: AMD is bound to have at least 6-7% IPC improvement in RDNA 2 over RDNA, I would say 10% and above, but lowering estimates now will only improve what we think when AMD unleashes in November 2020.
  • NVIDIA Killer? Maybe: If the rumors are true, then like what Jason Momoa said when he was asked if he thought the Snyder Cut of Justice League (now known and confirmed as Zack Snyder's Justice League releasing in 2021 as a HBO Max exclusive) then I have the following answer to the question is Big Navi an NVIDIA Killer: f*ck yeah.
  • November 2020 launch: This is the key. November gives AMD a couple of months to see how Ampere does, and launch it when the next-gen consoles are launching in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. More on the November 2020 launch of RDNA 2 here.

Big Navi / RDNA 2 launching in November key points

  • November 2020 launch: Firstly, AMD aiming for November means it puts the next-gen Radeon a couple of months behind NVIDIA is the rumors (and my sources) are true about an "August 2020 launch, September 2020 release" for the next-gen Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards.
  • How AMD benefits from a November launch: It will allow the company to have a couple of months to see where NVIDIA has priced its next-gen cards, and to gauge how performance is once it hits the hands of customers. AMD would then have a couple of months to be ready for a possible KO blow (at least for 2020) with Big Navi.
  • Thanksgiving launch: This is big for obvious reasons, but AMD being able to be inside of the next-gen Xbox Series X, the next-gen PlayStation 5, and have an NVIDIA Killer with Big Navi -- all for thanksgiving? What better gift can AMD bring to the table for Thanksgiving than that?!
  • Launching alongside PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X: The stars have truly aligned for AMD to make this happen, and if performance of Big Navi is truly double that of RDNA1 and a 40-50% boost over the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti? Well, we could see AMD take out the end of 2020 with Intel and NVIDIA destroying products. Amazing.
  • Lisa Su did say Big Navi was coming in 'late 2020': You can read more about that here, but November is pretty damn spot on with "late 2020", right?!
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(Older) Quick RDNA 2 / Big Navi specs

  • GPU cores: 72 SMs (two clusters of 36 CUs)
  • GPU game clock: 2.05GHz
  • GPU boost clock: 2.15GHz
  • Power usage: 300W or so
  • Performance: 40-50% faster than RTX 2080 Ti, 100% faster than RX 5700 XT

More reading on Big Navi / RDNA 2X:

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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