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AMD likely won’t release high-end RX 8000 GPUs, but it could be the right call

AMD's next-gen GPUs are starting to take shape
Last Updated on July 3, 2024
AMD likely won't release high-end RX 8000 GPUs, but it could be the right call
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The introduction of RDNA 4 should be on its way later on this year, with the launch of the RX 8000 series. More news is now here as AMD has confirmed two new GPU variants: Navi 44 and Navi 48. These will be the basis for their next-gen graphics cards and actually seem to be slowing down AMD’s development in some ways. It is expected that they’ll be passing on a high-end model this time around, leaving the RX 7900 XTX to stay on top for another generation.

Both Navi 44 & Navi 48 GPUs are now confirmed

Prominent leaker Kepler is generally a good source for early GPU news, and this post on X showcases that both the Navi 44 and Navi 48 GPU variants have been spotted in ROCm updates via GitHub on lines 122 and 123 under the AMDDeviceInfo list. ROCm is AMD’s open-source software stack, and consists of drivers, development tools, and APIs. The list below shows the development order for the GPUs, with the two new additions sitting at the very bottom.

Navi 44 & Navi 48 listed in ROCm update
Navi 44 & Navi 48 listed in ROCm update, source: GitHub

So, instead of the usual three GPU variants per generation (for entry-level, mid-range, and high-end cards), it looks like AMD is sticking with just two. We don’t think it would make much sense to remove one of the cheaper tiers, as these are generally some of the most popular, especially since the 7000 series didn’t sell as well as expected. Furthermore, VideoCardz reports that Navi 44 and Navi 48 will be the basis for the RX 8600/8500 and RX 8800/8700 series respectively. This makes a lot of sense following rumors that the 8000 series will max out at an 18 Gbps memory clock, compared to the 20 Gbps available on the current top two SKUs.

Why no high-end card?

Right now, it looks like only Navi 44 and Navi 48 are confirmed to arrive for RDNA 4. Current rumors say that AMD will likely not release any high-end cards this generation, instead focusing on improving tech such as ray tracing to try and catch up to Nvidia. Again this news comes from Kepler, as the ray tracing implementation looks like an overhaul.

We’re a little unsure of this strategy, as Nvidia will only pull ahead further, but a refreshed look at the current generation does make sense and its ray tracing performance is obviously a downside when compared to Team Green. This gives time for AMD to pause a little and think about what they need do to. We hope they’ll come back stronger and make more of an impact on the GPU market. Perhaps it’s the right time to do so, though we imagine it has been a tough call.

At PCWer, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.