AMD are scheduled to showcase their upcoming 'big Navi' Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards on October 28th, but the red team couldn't quite resist teasing some features just six weeks ahead of time. They may be seeking to placate their ravenous fans somewhat, or introduce a little turbulence into their competitor's imminent launch, but any early news that illuminates the late 2020 GPU landscape is more than welcome.
First up is that main high-quality 3D render of the card, believed to be a flagship Radeon RX 6000-series model (naming TBC). Wonder of wonders, AMD have opted for triple axial fan cooling rather than a blower design, moving away from an approach which is widely perceived to have hamstrung AMD's reference cards since the Radeon HD 7900. It's not a silver bullet, but immediately puts the minds of tech pundits the world over at ease.
This card also makes use of two eight-pin PCIe power connectors, placing its theoretical maximum TDP at 375W (remaining within PCIe specs). No fancy 12-pin connector here, but an indication that AMD feel comfortable pushing beyond conventional 300W limits (8-pin + 6-pin) on their flagship and keeping pace with NVIDIA.
Not a whole lot more can be gleaned from the official image, but it turns out there's more to AMD's teasing. A custom Fortnite map (code 8651-9841-1639) has been created containing the card in enlarged form as an object you can float around, giving a more complete 3D picture.
Four connector ports adorn the PCI end-plate: the common HDMI and dual Displayport configuration, plus one additional port that appears to be USB-C. Could this be a VirtualLink port, mere days after reports that the standard was effectively defunct? Wait until October 28th to find out.
The venting along the top edge appears to be ample, as opposed to the Radeon VII's more restrictive design (which some blame for the compute card's high temperatures and overall overburdened cooler). Neither the I/O nor the rear sections have venting, so all the hot air from the card will be thrown back into the case to be circulated up and out.
Finally, the back-plate is simple and (surprisingly) unadorned with branding. Four pins will act as retainers for the GPU cooler rather than eight, similar to Vega64.
The above conjecture does depend on both parts of the card teaser being accurate representations of the final cooler design, rather than some artistic license being taken. At this point however things look very promising for AMD's next generation of cards at the high end at least.
More comprehensive technical information of the next-generation 'Big Navi' RDNA2 GPUs is expected to be revealed on or before October 28th, with a launch date yet to be announced.
Another leak of the AMD Radeon RX6000 BigNavi came from HKEPC's Facebook page. Previews, unboxings, and perhaps including benchmarks are likely underway.