AMD will boost power levels with its RDNA 3 graphics cards, according to an interview with an executive at Team Red.
Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) spoke with Sam Naffziger, senior vice president, corporate member and product technology architect at AMD, about next-gen GPUs (presumably RX 7000) on topics including power consumption.
Naffziger noted that the demand for better gaming (and computing) performance is accelerating, while improvements in process technology are slowing ‘dramatically’ at the same time, and that means: “Power levels will continue to rise. We now have a multi-year roadmap of very significant efficiency improvements to offset that curve, but the trend is there.”
The exec confirmed again that with RDNA 3, AMD is expected to make a huge leap in terms of performance per watt on the order of 50% (or more) compared to current RDNA 2 graphics cards – a huge gain in efficiency and a comparable one for the progress made from RDNA to RDNA 2.
Naffziger elaborated: “Performance is king, but even if our designs are more energy efficient, that doesn’t mean you can’t increase power levels if the competition is doing the same thing. It’s just that they’ll have to push them a lot higher than we do.”
In other words, Nvidia pushing hard with power consumption to get more raw performance means AMD needs to do the same to catch up – so we can expect more power-hungry cards this time with the RX 7000 lineup, with certainty. But the key point that Naffziger is obviously making is that Nvidia will have to step up a lot more in terms of power, with less achieved on the efficiency front with its next-gen Lovelace (RTX 4000) cards (or so is the expectation – and not just here).
Analysis: The cost of keeping up with Lovelace
So it looks like higher levels of power usage (or TBPs) can be expected from both AMD and Nvidia with their respective high-end graphics cards, and this is something the rumor has held for a long time.
For AMD, we’ve seen several speculations about power consumption, including that the flagship RDNA 3 (Navi 31) could hit around 375W, or maybe more, possibly topping out at 450W. Although more recent leaks have suggested that we’re looking at the lower end of that scale.
Meanwhile, regarding Nvidia’s power usage, the vine has been carrying some more troubling theories for some time now, including speculation around the RTX 4090 hitting 600W – although 450W was another more palatable suggested figure.
It’s clear enough that the rumor largely paints the same picture as Naffziger does in this interview, but the concern is that the hint left here could point to something a little more power-hungry from Team Red in an effort to keep up with Nvidia’s performance. Pedal stance to metal in power and performance.
In the end, if AMD manages to achieve considerably better efficiency, which is how Team Red is already firmly pitching the RDNA 3 against the RTX 4000, this could influence a GPU purchase decision more than in the past – given the cost of the GPU. electricity these days and energy bills generally spiral.
The other possible perks for those looking for high-end graphics cards are a potentially better chance of avoiding the danger of a PSU upgrade with a model RDNA 3, or even allaying fears around a smaller or not-so-well-cooled case. . deal on the thermal front. But let’s not jump to conclusions just yet, of course…
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