AMD’s Finally Going To Talk About Big Navi Real Soon

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amd big navi
AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su holding up a piece of 7nm silicon from the Navi GPU generation. Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

AMD’s Big Navi has been touted by the company as a genuine, high-end 4K gaming option for a while — but the company’s said supremely little about it all year. Finally, that’s about to change.

After letting Nvidia go through with their impressive RTX 30-series launch, AMD’s response is coming. The firm announced early this morning that they would have “big things on the horizon for PC gaming” on two dates: October 8 and October 28.

The split dates mean that AMD is going to talk about Big Navi and their upcoming Zen 3 CPUs separately. The two products are in very different stages of their life: AMD has been clawing back mountains of goodwill and market share from Intel in the CPU market. They still lag behind Intel in gaming to a degree, but the price-to-performance ratio, and core counts, have caused AMD CPUs to become extremely popular over the last few years.

It’s likely that the Zen 3 launch will be desktop focused, since the Zen 2 mobile (Ryzen 4000 series) and desktop (Ryzen 3000 series and XT models) are out.

The bigger question is on the GPU side.

The Big Navi/RDNA 2 reveal won’t be until after the RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 are available locally and internationally. That’s a huge window of opportunity for AMD to give people who might be on the fence about buying upgrades — and might also be less flush with cash in the midst of a global recession and pandemic. Asking gamers to hold onto their cash after Nvidia’s reveal, while not dropping any money on the upcoming Xbox and PlayStation 5, certainly carries some risk. And for those who have been waiting months for PC upgrades for big releases — namely Cyberpunk 2077 — the timing might be really difficult.

That aside, I’m looking forward to seeing what AMD’s GPU is actually capable of. We’ve been reminded of just how good competition can be, with CPUs in desktops and laptops now offering genuine, meaningful performance gains generation on generation. Plus, the value for money has gotten much better. Some more competition on the GPU side of things would be great — we’ll just have to wait until October 8 and 28 to see what AMD can deliver.

Comments

  • While I expect the new graphics cards to be very competitive, this just doesn’t inspire much confidence. Much as you said Alex, waiting through Nvidia’s launch until cards are available (or more likely already sold out) and into the launch window of the consoles is not a great move.
    Certainly if they had a legitimate game-changer, they’d be leaking hints all over the place to take the spotlight away from Nvidia at this point.

    Ryzen 4000 series should be great, but I think everyone’s just expecting an incremental bump at this point. How much of a bump remains to be seen, but I suspect it’ll strongly be in the ‘nice to have’ rather than essential at this point given how many people jumped on Ryzen 3000 or Intel 10th gen.

  • “Too late” he cried.

    By that time I’ll have a 3080 (or if I catch the Minister for Finance at a weak moment, a 3090) comfortably nestled in my case, heating my living room while we wait for 2077 and Valhalla.

    They’ve missed the boat, and won’t get another chance for quite some time.

  • I think there is a lot of room to offer a great GPU product that is under $800 AUD. The people who want the absolute best and are willing to pay for it were always going to get an NVIDIA card.

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