Rumoured AMD Navi 21 XT GPU Specs Surface; Might Clock To 2.4 GHz on 255W

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅19.10.2020 22:35:04

On October 28th AMD are planning the second of two livestreams that will showcase upcoming desktop PC hardware. With an eye-popping unveiling for their Zen 3 architecture and 5000-series CPUs now concluded, attention has turned to the Radeon brand with new high-end 6000-series GPUs based on the RDNA2 architecture. And as always the rumour-mill is operating at high speed in advance of their official launch.

One of the more interesting 'leaks' are some alleged specifications for 'Navi 21 XT', the possibly-not-quite-flagship Radeon RX 6000-series variant, that arrives from Patrick Schur (posted on Twitter as is traditional) via Guru3D. It details a GPU that clocks up to 2.4GHz (listed as the 'Game Clock') on 255W Total Graphics Power/290W Max. TGP and is paired with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM; striking numbers if true. Later in the conversation train Schur elucidates that this specification is for an AIB card rather than AMD's reference.

At best this seems somewhat... optimistic. While AMD will naturally feel some freedom in pushing up power draw given the gargantuan requirements of NVIDIA's RTX 3090 and 3080 (350W and 320W respectively), 2.4GHz would be a huge leap in operating frequency over the 5700XT and represents the highest ever from a retail GPU at stock. Given the GPU is supposedly almost twice the size (~72CUs rather than 40) and the 5700XT operates at 1.8GHz on 225W, the specifications don't seem particularly likely at first glance.

That being said, AMD may have pushed efficiency hard with RDNA2, and TSMC's next-gen. 7nm process node may be a bigger development than one would typically expect from a standard revision. It's also possible that some liberties are being taken with the 'Game Clock' definition. In a 2019 interview with AMD clarified the term's meaning as follows:

There's a new concept called a Game Clock. Now what we would see in the past, with Vega, we had a base clock and a boost clock. The base clock was kind of like a worst case scenario that was almost never really "real," so to speak. And then you had the best case scenario, which was boost clock. And the GPU would sort of go somewhere in between.

Think of game clock as a base, while gaming. So what that means is that, in realistic gaming situations, you'd be going somewhere in between game and boost. And unlike in the past, we've intentionally been fairly conservative with the clocks, because we want to delight the gamer. If we say it's 1700 Mhz but gamers see "Oh this is actually closer to 1750 or 1800 most of the time!" no one is going to complain about free performance. No one is going to complain about auto-overclocking, and that's basically what this is.

This statement was made during E3 2019; AMD's nomenclature may be changing to refer to the maximum dynamic clock (for marketing reasons). If so then 2.4GHz as a peak, rarely achieved, sounds less far-fetched.

We're less than 10 days from AMD Radeon's big reveal livestream, when far more will be revealed by the Red Team. Everything you read before then should be taken with a healthy pinch of salt.

SOURCES: @patrickschur_, Guru3D

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