The latest roadmap for AMD products was shown, revealing a a whole series of planned hardware releases ranging from Zen 4 CPUs will be released later this year for new APUs for data center use. Perhaps most exciting, though, is the news of new hardware slated for release later on: RDNA 4 graphics cards and Zen 5 processors, both of which are due for release in 2024.
RDNA 4 will (surprisingly) follow the new RDNA 3 GPU architecture scheduled to be released later this year. That means we’ve just received our first glimpse of the Radeon RX 8000 series gaming GPUs, codenamed ‘Navi 4x’.
We don’t have hard numbers on the RX 8000 graphics cards yet, but the flagship will likely be the RX 8900 XT and it’s assumed to employ a dual-node architecture using 3nm and 5nm processes. It looks like the Navi 4x family will exclusively use the RDNA 4 architecture, while rumors suggest that the Navi 3x (the RX 7000 series arriving this year) might use RDNA 3 for the high-end GPUs and an updated RDNA 2 for the cheaper ones.
The details of the Zen 5 CPUs are even finer, plus the 2024 release date and everything we can extrapolate from what we know about the Zen 4 microarchitecture. AMD is promising a serious 35% performance boost from Zen 3 to Zen 4, so we can expect a significant increase in Zen 5.
Interestingly, AMD also mentions that Zen 5 includes ‘optimizations for AI and machine learning’, but doesn’t detail what that means. With AMD FSR upscaling technology notably not using dedicated AI cores (unlike Nvidia DLSS and Intel’s XeSS), could we expect to see AMD taking the plunge into AI-powered hardware with these new CPUs? Either way, we’re looking forward to seeing more.
Analysis: is RDNA 4 worth the wait?
We still don’t have a concrete release date for AMD’s Radeon RX 7000 GPUs, which will face both Nvidia Lovelace graphics cards and Intel’s Arc desktop GPUs later this year (assuming Intel manages to keep its always slippery launch plans). So it might seem silly to get excited about the RX 8000 so soon.
But today’s news gave more details about the 7000 series cards, and the revelation that some of these low-end Navi 3x GPUs will run on the current RDNA 2 architecture (with a single GPU node) could be a blow to anyone looking a more affordable graphics card.
We’ll have to wait for the actual performance numbers, but this decision could lead to a significant gap in gaming performance between the high-end RDNA 3 GPUs and the cheaper updated RDNA 2 models. If that’s the case, anyone looking to upgrade to 1080p games or potentially even 1440p might want to wait until the RX 8000 drops and jump straight from RDNA 2 to RDNA 4.