New partnerships, a Navi GPU, some games on new hardware and a view to the future. AMD's been talking up high frame rates and low latencies for a while, and at E3 they finally announced what tech they have that might power that.
Much of AMD's E3 presser was outlined at Computex, when the company spoke about its upcoming suite of hardware based off the 7nm manufacturing process. A July release was announced for the next-gen Ryzen CPUs, but the company's 7nm next-gen GPUs — not including the GCN-based Radeon 7 GPU — were still missing some details.
After talking about how the company bet on the 7nm process five years out — a similar line given to investors at Computex — Dr Lisa Su spoke about how Sony and Xbox would be building their consoles on the Zen 2 and next-gen RDNA architecture.
But the conference wasn't an advertisement for consoles — it was a discussing about PC. The Radeon RX 5700 series, the first GPU to utilise the PCI Express 4.0 standard, leaked shortly before the conference began. Featuring 8GB GDDR6 RAM and base/boost clock speeds of 1605 MHz/1905 MHz respectively, the card would launch in two versions.
The 5700 Pro, which is designed to compete with the RTX 2060, is priced at $US379 internationally. The 5700 XT GPU is the top-of-the-line offering, and priced at $US449 to compete with the RTX 2070 (which sells for $680 or more locally). Both cards would launch worldwide on July 7, although local availability is expected to be a few weeks behind.
Invited to give Computex's opening keynote for the first time in the company's history, AMD chief executive Dr Lisa Su began the annual tech show by demoing a 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen desktop gaming CPU, Navi GPUs and a new collaboration with Microsoft.
After leading with some decks with some FPS, AMD ran a canned benchmark with The Division 2 comparing the Ryzen 9 3900X to the i9-9900K at 1440p on a High preset. To further hammer home the benefit of more cores, AMD had both machines run a stream while they were benchmarking using the slow OBS quality preset at a bitrate of 10,000kbps (1080p). Unsurprisingly, the i9-9900K struggled to stream and play the benchmark at the same time. The 3900X dropped frames as well, but the point was obvious.
Unlike their Computex briefing, AMD also ran a live demo of their Ryzen 5 CPUs. Running CS:GO at 1440p — a game that requires a very high frame rate, and one that's very CPU bound — between the 3600X and i5-9600K had comparable frame rates of around 260 to 280fps while playing deathmatch. The 9600K had slightly higher frames in parts, but AMD's point was that you could get the same level of performance with more threads for non-gaming workloads.
Talking about "leadership performance in its class" — read: not the best GPU in the world, but the best at its targeted price point — AMD unveiled the raw specs, which matched what leaked beforehand.
Using what they described was the "best against the best" — the highest possible scores recorded, rather than median or the average — a slide was shown again with 1440p results against the RTX 2070. A similar slide was shown against the RX 5700 and the RTX 2060, with the "best" results for the 5700 base card supposedly between 4 percent and 16 percent better (save for Battlefield 5, which was 21 percent better) than the RTX 2060. None of these figures have been confirmed by third party vendors or reviewers at the time of writing.
Outside of the hardware, AMD also announced FidelityFX, an open-source image quality toolkit for developers. It's designed to improve the sharpness and detail in softer parts of the image. A before and after of Borderlands 3 was shown, with small honeycomb textures in the wall visible once FidelityFX was enabled.
Radeon Image Sharpening would also be launched through the Radeon drivers when the new Radeon 5700 cards are released, with less than 2 percent hit to frame rate when enabled. Another new feature is Radeon Anti-Lag (RAL), which is designed to reduce lag between the graphics card and the monitor to reduce end-time latency.
The technology, AMD claimed, reduces input lag by about a frame to a frame and a half. Across a range of competitive focused games, the click-to-response time was supposedly between 15 percent and 35 percent lower after turning on RAL. As a pre-order bonus, any Radeon 5700 or select Ryzen CPUs would come with a Xbox Game Pass PC subscription.
The rest of the conference was then a showcase for AMD partners and third-parties. Unity spoke about their upcoming graphics renderer, while some fresh Gears 5 and Borderlands 3 footage was played on stage. Ubisoft took the stage, adding that Ghost Recon: Breakpoint would be optimised for AMD CPUs and the Radeon RX 5700 GPUs.
The final announcement of the conference was the 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition, sold through AMD.com for $US499. It's clocked slightly higher than the 5700XT with 40 Compute units. Following that was an extra gaming CPU, the 16 core / 32 thread Ryzen 9 3950X running at 105W TDP. Running at a max of 4.7Ghz (0.1Ghz higher than the 3900X) and 72MB total cache, the 3950X would launch in September for $US749.
This post is being updated live...