AMD says its next-gen RDNA 3 GPU will be the true leader in efficiency

AMD talks about its next-gen RDNA 3 architecture, saying that it will be the 'true leader in efficiency' against NVIDIA and performance-per-watt.

AMD says its next-gen RDNA 3 GPU will be the true leader in efficiency
3 minutes & 45 seconds read time

As we get closer to the big GeForce Beyond special broadcast at NVIDIA GTC 2022 in just over 13 hours' time, we're hearing more and more about AMD's new Radeon RX 7000 series "RDNA 3" GPUs.

AMD has posted up a new "Advancing Performance Per Watt to Benefit Gamers" article on its website, where the company details how important, and how much work it has put into performance per watt. NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce RTX 4090 is expected to have a default 450W TGP, and a massive 660W+ TGP when overclocked, so it comes as no surprise that AMD is highlighting power efficiency.

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AMD's chart comparing its RX 6000 series GPUs against competitor NVIDIA (source: AMD)

In the article, AMD answers why performance per watt is so important: producing less heat, consuming less power, and enjoying more performance over longer periods of time on top of saving money (power is getting more expensive worldwide). AMD put everything it learned from their successful Ryzen desktop and mobile processors into their Radeon graphics architecture to make RDNA 2 an "extremely efficient GPU architecture".

AMD compares its fleet of RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs against NVIDIA's current Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series in what it calls the "AMD Competitive Advantage". Starting at the top, AMD's flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT with a cost of $949 and 335W TBP offers up to 11% more FPS for the money and up to 13% better performance per watt.

In the mid-range at 1080p and "Max" details according to AMD, the Radeon RX 6600 with a price of $239 and 132W TBP offers up to 72% more FPS for the money against NVIDIA's mid-range GeForce RTX 3050, as well as up to 37% more performance per watt. The list is extensive, and I can't wait to see it updated for RDNA 3 + Ada Lovelace.

Sam Naffziger, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fellow, and Product Technology Architect explained: "We incorporated some of the "Zen" CPU micro-architecture approaches and design methodologies into our graphics pipeline, streamlining the physical makeup of the die to make higher frequencies possible. For example, we leveraged the dense CPU L3 memories to implement AMD Infinity Cache™, a high-density, low-power cache, to make frequently used data in gaming workloads more easily accessible, dramatically increasing bandwidth while reducing the power needed for memory and cutting latency".

To further refine and improve the AMD RDNA™ 2 graphics architecture and deliver greater efficiency and performance gains, the team implemented several other key changes, including:

  • Optimized Switching - Improving the fundamental design of the architecture to ensure every gate switched and every clock toggled directly contributed to performance, thus removing any wasted activity and excess routing to optimize the graphics pipeline.
  • High-Frequency Design - Tuning the design for high clock speeds, pushing AMD RDNA™ 2 frequencies beyond AMD RDNA™ by up to 30 percent, which enables the GPU to run at a lower voltage to ensure the new architecture could maintain the same clock speeds at lower power[5].
  • Smarter Power Management - Implementing intelligent power management within the GPU, which identifies the best opportunities to exploit higher frequencies and does so only when it directly improves performance, then reduces back down, thus eliminating excess energy use.

Sam continued: "Looking ahead, we're continuing our push for more efficient gaming with AMD RDNA™ 3 architecture. As the first AMD graphics architecture to leverage the 5nm process and our chiplet packaging technology, AMD RDNA™ 3 is on track to deliver an estimated >50 percent better performance per watt than AMD RDNA™ 2 architecture - truly bringing top-of-the-line gaming performance to gamers in cool, quiet, and energy-conscious designs".

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AMD RDNA 3 projected performance per watt uplift: over 50% (source: AMD)

Contributing to this energy-conscious design, AMD RDNA™ 3 refines the AMD RDNA™ 2 adaptive power management technology to set workload-specific operating points, ensuring each component of the GPU uses only the power it requires for optimal performance. The new architecture also introduces a new generation of AMD Infinity Cache™, projected to offer even higher-density, lower-power caches to reduce the power needs of graphics memory, helping to cement AMD RDNA™ 3 and Radeon™ graphics as a true leader in efficiency".

"We're thrilled with the improvements we're making with AMD RDNA™ 3 and its predecessors, and we believe there's even more to be pulled from our architectures and advanced process technologies, delivering unmatched performance per watt across the stack as we continue our push for better gaming".

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MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6950 XT (RX 6950 XT Gaming X Trio 16G)

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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.

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