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AMD’s RDNA2 Next-Generation Architecture For Radeon Is Not Identical To Xbox Series X Or PS5

sonomamashine

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Jun 29, 2019
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Against the assault of laughter


Architectural reveals of the next-generation consoles have had enthusiasts discussing AMD's upcoming RDNA2 architecture with much gusto and has started the inevitable speculation on how RDNA2 will translate into next-generation Radeon graphics cards. Unfortunately, or fortunately, a source intimately familiar with the matter tells me that AMD's RDNA2 implementation for its upcoming graphics cards is not comparable to the next generation console's at all.

RDNA2 for AMD Radeon graphics cards not the same as next-gen consoles 'custom RDNA2'
There is a very good reason why both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have listed the architecture used as "custom RDNA2" instead of just "RDNA2". This is a point that AMD wanted to drive home and specifically insisted on. They do not want gamers confusing the RDNA2 used in the XSX and PS5 with that of the upcoming Radeon cards, therefore the "custom" prefix. To be clear, my source did not say how it would be different, but I did feel the implication was that AMD's RDNA2 implementation for Radeon GPUs will be superior.

Here is what I do know:

  • AMD's RDNA 2 Next-Generation GPU architecture for Radeon is not the same as the XSX or the Sony PS5. The semi-custom implementation is a different architecture as the one soon to be featured in the upcoming Radeon GPUs.
What I do not know right now:

  • Difference between the implementation of RDNA 2 in the XSX and PS5.
  • Difference between the RDNA2 implementation in next-gen consoles and in upcoming Radeon cards. (While my source did not explicitly state as such, the implication in the conversation was that the Radeon-based RDNA2 will be superior.)
AMD's upcoming Big Navi GPUs were originally expected to land by the end of Q2 but it remains to be seen whether the ongoing Coronavirus crisis will have any impact. The company has already revealed however that the upcoming RDNA2 based GPUs will feature support for Direct X 12 Ultimate APU - which should give quite an edge to these graphics cards. DX12 Ultimate, like other DirectX APIs before it requires a certain feature level to be achieved (the last feature level to be released was 12_1 so we are likely looking at hardware that corresponds to 12_2 or above. [/exclusive]

Rumored so far: AMD's Big Navi GPUs spotted in EEC filings
What are thought to be AMD's upcoming Big Navi GPUs have previously been spotted in EEC filings. Keep in mind however that AMD can change the nomenclature and the only thing these filings tell us are the number of variants.

The EEC filing mentions four new GPUs: Radeon RX 5950XT (the flagship), Radeon RX 5950, Radeon RX 5900 and the Radeon RX 5800. This means we can expect at the very least one more Navi GPU with three variants each. It is entirely possible that this is the Big Navi that was promised to us almost 2.5 years ago and the one that will deliver to AMD fans the high-end card they have been waiting for. On the other hand, it is also possible that this is a new die that the company prepared and while these graphics cards will obviously more powerful than the RX 5800 series, it is still not Big Navi.

[EEC] Radeon RX 5950XT, Radeon RX 5950, Radeon RX 5900,Radeon RX 5800 XT https://t.co/gTHD288q3w
— 比屋定さんの戯れ言@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) January 14, 2020


Without any further ado, here is a screenshot of the EEC filing submitted by AFOX corporation - an add-in board partner for AMD Radeon.



Nomenclature would dictate that the RX 5950 XT be significantly more powerful than any of its younger siblings (like the already-released RX 5700) and going by the steps involved, we can easily see that this is going to be quite a powerful card.

 

Entroyp

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So this means, PC RDNA2 is more advance?

I’ll put my money on this being the case. Whenever we hear custom on consoles most of the time it means trimming features for cost.
 
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GHG

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At this point we all need the next AMD cards to be a roaring success in order to give Nvidia a kick up the arse.

I'm not sure the world will survive another round of Nvidia's pricing bullshit, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus.
 
Sep 13, 2009
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So this means, PC RDNA2 is more advanced?

Well, they won't be constrained to a console's TDP so it makes sense.

It's certainly the case that console manufactures rarely use off the shelf PC parts, and instead either ask for a certain spec or even co-design what ends up in their console. After all, consoles are not PCs.
 
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BeardGawd

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Dec 16, 2019
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I figured this. I also wouldn’t assume both the PS5 and XSX GPUs have the same feature set unless specifically confirmed because custom RDNA2 can mean added features but also removed features.
 
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Ascend

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Jul 23, 2018
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Well, the console chips are APUs. Of course they're not going to be identical to a standalone GPU. Most likely the layout of the CUs themselves will be pretty much identical.
 

LostDonkey

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Nov 4, 2015
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it's good that they will be labelling gpus with DX12 Ultimate to ensure you have the exact same feature set as Series X.

you'll know your not missing out on any features on PC that series X is pushing.

I expect the pc cards to do it in even more abundance though.
 

LordOfChaos

Member
Mar 31, 2014
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So it might be better, in a way that they don't know.

In...formative? Consoles always blur the lines between generations, the 360 had the first ATI unified shaders by a year, the PS4 looked like GCN 1.1 on the shader core but borrowed the extra ACEs and cache enhancements from a near-future pipeline, if the new consoles effectively have most of the feature set of RDNA 2, I mean, we're going to get to ship of Theseus arguments
 
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