Another rumor suggests AMD won't make high-end RDNA 4 GPUs - but here's why that's a good thing

Scrapping Navi 41 should mean RDNA 4 arrives in a timely manner - and that AMD can focus on making RDNA 5 fulfil its apparently huge potential.

2 minutes & 42 seconds read time

AMD will never make high-end GPUs again? There's been some panic and chatter on the grapevine recently that Team Red could be abandoning top-end graphics cards for good, but this isn't the case.

Even though that may be true for RDNA 4, as recently rumored - but there are nuances in that speculation, too.

Moore's Law is Dead (MLID), a well-known YouTube leaker, has been setting the record straight regarding the recent rumors about the top-of-the-tree Radeon graphics cards.

We're told that AMD has, more or less (we'll come back to that), made a decision - apparently very recently - to do away with top-end RDNA 4 (Navi 41), which as MLID has noted in the past has been a headache for AMD's engineers.

This was as rumored by Kepler on Twitter, who noted that the info came from three different sources, giving it more weight than your average nugget from the rumor mill.

MLID's sources are also backing this up to a large extent. One source noted that Navi 41 was experiencing a lot of random issues - going back to that headache theme - and that thus far, RDNA 5 may be in its early stages, but things are going smoothly. Indeed, apparently there are juicy performance predictions for RDNA 5 at this point, and folks are excited about that generation.

A different source at AMD said the company was now focusing on just two RDNA 4 configurations, and that the most elaborate designs (Navi 41) had been canceled - and here's the key bit - so Team Red can accelerate RDNA 5 development (which as mentioned is looking very promising).

So, while high-end RDNA 4 may not be happening, the following generation after could be something really special - and might have high-end models.

Don't totally rule out high-end RDNA 4 just yet

Now, as mentioned, AMD's rumored decision to sack Navi 41 with RDNA 4 is not set in stone yet. The source that spoke about the random issues for Navi 41 did also add that there's a slight chance that the top-end RDNA 4 GPU could be reactivated later this month if Team Red's engineers (a skeleton team at this point, by the sound of things) have some kind of a breakthrough (and RDNA 5 development stalls).

So, while that possibility can't be ruled out, it really doesn't sound likely, particularly not with all the other threads of rumors picked out here (and by Kepler, too).

Another source MLID spoke to, from a graphics card maker, says that AMD is no longer shooting for a "full generational performance lift" from RDNA 4, so improvements compared to RX 7000 models could be modest.

But again, there is something positive lurking under that rumor - the upside being that this source notes they expect RDNA 4 to be released within a 'reasonable' timeframe, so we shouldn't be waiting too long for next-gen GPUs. Indeed, a further source - yes, MLID spoke to lots of people with insider knowledge here - reckons that the likely launch date for RDNA 4 is Q3 of 2024.

So those next-gen graphics cards could theoretically be here in just a touch over a year - even if there are no x900 series GPUs in the range.

To sum up, the good news is that while RDNA 4 may not be a huge leap forward over RX 7000, and might well run without high-end offerings, it will at least be here pretty swiftly. And going this route with RDNA 4 is letting AMD push harder with RDNA 5, which is looking more promising as a major boost in graphics card horsepower.

Scatter handfuls of seasoning over all this, but given recent leaks, what MLID observes here does make some sense. That said, we should be particularly cautious about stoking the hype too much for RDNA 5, as obviously it's still a long, long way off.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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