By Bill Thomas
After releasing the AMD Radeon VII earlier this year, Team Red finally dropped its AMD Navi graphics cards shortly after their reveal. And so far, things are promising.
After its AMD Radeon VII hit the streets in early 2019, Team Red finally dropped its AMD Navi graphics cards not too long after their reveal. And so far, things are looking good.
Based on our very positive reviews of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, it’s definitely looking like the company crafted these cards to take the PC components world – not to mention, the best gaming PCs – by storm. And give Nvidia a run for it money while they’re at it. AMD first showcased these two cards at E3 2019 as mid-range GPUs designed to compete with Nvidia’s highly popular Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060, unveiling their specs and how they stack up against their rivals.
Along with these AMD Navi updates, AMD also announced their new game-developer toolkit, Fidelity FX, which has been available for free since June 10. Fidelity FX enables game developers get more detail and crispness in low contrast textures, permitting them to take full advantage of what these AMD Navi cards are capable of.
On top of that, AMD has also released its new 19.8.2 driver for its graphics cards, , which is expected to bring support for HDCP 2.3 to Radeon RX 5700 cards as well as deliver up to 10% better performance of the much talked about third-person shooter, Control.
Be sure to keep this page bookmarked, and we’ll keep it updated with all the latest AMD Navi information that surfaces.
Cut to the Chase
- What is it? AMD’s next-generation 7nm GPU architecture
- When is it out? Out since July 7, 2019
- What will it cost? Pricing remains yet to be confirmed
AMD Navi release date
Both the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT were released on July 7, alongside the Ryzen 3rd generation processors. These cards are now available for purchase at the AMD store, and each comes with a 3-month subscription Xbox Game Pass for PC free.
As for Navi 20, the rumored lineup for 2020, it’s still anyone’s guess. However, we do know that the Xbox Project Scarlett, powered by Navi, will be out Holiday 2020, so we could see the more powerful Navi chips out around that time. In fact, we’ve just recently seen leaked roadmaps that suggest their successors could be hitting the streets sometime in 2020.
AMD Navi price
At Computex 2019, AMD took the stage and showed an unidentified Radeon RX 5000 graphics card going toe to toe against an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 in Strange Brigade, where it performed about 10% faster. It turns out, that was the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.
But, with E3 2019, AMD proved it’s still king when it comes to components for the masses. AMD revealed its two new graphics cards to be significantly cheaper than their competitors.
The Radeon 5700 is currently priced at $349 (about £275, AU$500), with a price tag that’s $50 cheaper than the RTX 2060 when it was released in January 2019.
The Radeon 5700 XT, on the other hand, is $399 (about £315, AU$580). And, that’s with offering comparable performance at 1440p to the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super at Ultra settings.
AMD Navi specs
Right off the bat, we know that AMD Navi is based on the new 7nm RDNA graphics architecture, which makes it the first mainstream AMD graphics card to break away from the aging GCN architecture.
At Computex 2019, AMD said that we’re going to see 1.25X faster performance per clock and 1.5X performance per watt over GCN. This not only means improved performance in the best PC games, but also increased power efficiency. In addition, AMD Navi is using faster GDDR6 memory, compared to the GDDR5 in the Radeon RX 500 series.
The lower-end AMD Radeon RX 5700 features 36 compute units, 2,304 stream processors and a boost clock of 1,725 MHz, not to mention 8GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 VRAM on a 256-bit bus, with 65 render output units (ROPs) and 256 texture units.
The mid-range AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, on the other hand, boasts 40 compute units, with 2,560 stream processors and a boost clock of 1,905MHz. This GPU also has 8GB of GDDR6 video memory (VRAM), 14Gbps GDDR6 VRAM, 64 ROPs and 256 texture units.
That’s all well and good on paper, but what about their actual real-world performance?
Well, AMD showed the Radeon RX 5700 XT in a demo against the RTX 2070, where it bested Nvidia’s mid-range card in World War Z by about 10% at 1440p on Ultra. Indeed, during our tests of the card, we found the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT to be a 1440p monster, with no massive drops in performance, no matter how demanding the game is.
The Radeon RX 5700, on the other hand, fared better against the RTX 2060 by 21% in Battlefield V and by 9% in The Division 2, also at 1440p on Ultra. In our review, we hailed the Radeon RX 5700 as an absolute powerhouse at its price point, bringing 1440p gaming at Ultra settings to the mainstream.
Rather than taking on the RTX 2080 Ti at the high end however, it looks like AMD is comfortable inhabiting the mid-range where it has traditionally excelled. That is, until the PS5 launches. Back in April, Sony Lead System Architect Mark Cerny revealed that the PS5 would be using a custom AMD Navi GPU, and that it would be capable of some pretty impressive things.
For instance, the PS5 will likely support ray tracing, along with 8K resolutions. We think that’s a little pie-in-the-sky, and we’d take it with a grain of salt. But, AMD Navi could theoretically mark a true generational shift when the next generation of consoles hits the streets.
AMD Navi GPUs will also be behind Project Scarlett – the next Xbox. We don’t know the exact specs, but Microsoft made a point to talk up its capabilities, mentioning things like “real time ray tracing”, 8K capabilities and up to 120 fps gameplay.
Beyond that, we have heard rumors about another generation of Navi graphics cards on the high-end hitting the streets in 2020. These high-end graphics cards are rumored to be code-named Navi 20, and should feature improved performance that takes on Nvidia’s flagship. We could see AMD graphics cards capable of 2020 in the future if these rumors are to be believed.