AMD’s next-gen Radeon GPUs would possibly function utterly new ray tracing {hardware}

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By Calvin S. Nelson

The massive image: AMD has trailed Nvidia in ray tracing efficiency throughout a number of GPU generations for a number of years. Nevertheless, a dependable leaker now means that Group Pink is poised to reassess its technique concerning this expertise. This info contradicts earlier rumors indicating that the upcoming Radeon lineup wouldn’t see important enhancements in ray tracing capabilities.

Famend leaker Kepler_L2 not too long ago remarked that AMD’s upcoming RDNA 4 graphics playing cards will function a “model new” ray tracing implementation. Whereas this remark does not explicitly state whether or not the forthcoming merchandise, doubtless named Radeon RX 8000, will considerably improve ray tracing efficiency in comparison with their predecessors, it does counsel a renewed emphasis on the expertise.

When questioned additional, Kepler elaborated that whereas the RX 7000 GPUs deal with ray tracing equally to the RX 6000 sequence, the RDNA 4’s RT expertise seems to be “utterly totally different.”

Ray tracing has been an space the place current AMD merchandise have notably lagged behind Nvidia’s choices. For example, our benchmarks reveal that AMD’s present flagship, the RX 7900 XTX, experiences a considerably larger efficiency influence from ray tracing in comparison with Nvidia’s equally priced GeForce RTX 4080.

Prior studies offered a markedly totally different outlook. Earlier this 12 months, sources knowledgeable YouTuber RedGamingTech that RDNA 4 would solely see a 25 p.c enchancment in ray tracing efficiency over RDNA 3. This determine would doubtless place AMD’s upcoming playing cards unfavorably towards Nvidia’s forthcoming Blackwell sequence and Intel’s Arc Battlemage GPUs when it comes to ray tracing capabilities. All three GPU generations are anticipated to debut later this 12 months.

One side the place sources concur is AMD’s resolution to abstain from the present heavyweight GPU competitors, as a substitute concentrating on extra reasonably priced mid-range choices. Kepler reiterated earlier studies indicating that no RDNA 4 card will rival the highest two Blackwell GPUs – doubtless named the RTX 5090 and 5080.

Latest data-mined code means that AMD scrapped a card that probably might have doubled the efficiency of the 7900 XTX, boasting as much as twice as many chiplets and compute models. In the meantime, the Battlemage sequence will mark Intel’s inaugural entry into the enthusiast-class discrete graphics chip market.

One other intriguing improvement concerning AMD’s future ray tracing efficiency revolves across the anticipated specs of Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 Professional console.

Rumors counsel that, regardless of being primarily based on RDNA 2 structure, it might deal with ray tracing operations as much as 4 instances sooner than the bottom PS5. This projection might probably surpass the ray tracing capabilities of any present AMD product, together with RDNA 3 GPUs that exceed the console’s worth vary. It stays to be seen whether or not Sony has proprietary expertise at play or if the mid-generation refresh will incorporate AMD’s newest improvements.

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