[Exclusive] Future AMD GPU stack – “Big Navi” & Navi10 Refresh

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AMD & Nvidia fans around the world are gearing up to what could be the most competitive GPU hardware in recent years. Rumors from both camps are painting great performance gains over current generation.

While I would’ve liked to share something new about “Ampere”, the focus of today’s article will be on AMD’s “Big Navi” and more specifically on Navi21, the larger of the three RDNA2 based GPU dies planned for release sometimes in the near future. First, a little overview of what we know so far.

Big Navi : Navi21

  • Up to 80 compute units/5120 GPU cores
  • A die size of around 505mm²
  • 50% better performance per watt

All of this remains to be confirmed but, a spec sheet like this gives AMD a real fighting chance to not only be competitive in performance but also performance per watt, an area where they were lacking in recent years.

Gaming performance aside, one of the many unknown mysteries about Navi21 is pricing and AMD’s plan to segment such a big GPU.

A month ago, I shared a list of PCI IDs & revisions for Navi21 containing 10 different ids but I had no idea what was different between them. Today, we have more details to look at, including gaming variants, Pro variants & some Apple specific variants.

Big Navi gaming variants

There are 4 Navi21 variants for the gaming market :

Navi21 Gaming

It seems AMD is taking a similar route to what they did last year with Navi10 lineup. The existence of an XTX bin raises some questions though regarding the competition with future “Ampere” gaming cards.

Did AMD need to raise the clocks a little bit to be competitive ? or are they just going for pure performance crown regardless of power considerations ?

Pro variants

There are 2 Navi21 variants for the pro market :

Navi21 Pro

Apple variants

Apple will be using 4 variants of Navi21 :

Navi21 Apple

No surprises here seeing Apple, once again, having early access to cutting edge silicon from AMD.

To recap, Navi21 will have three or four CU configs depending on whether Navi21 XTX have the same CU count as Navi21 XT or not.

Beyond Navi21

We know from previous leaks that AMD is planning three RDNA2 dies as part of the Navi2x family. We also know that even the smaller Navi23 die is around Navi10 die size. Add to that the new RDNA2 improvements as well as the expected clock bump and you have a product that is far better than current Navi10 lineup.

Having Navi23 this powerful means it’ll not be cheap. So how does AMD plan to cover the “low end” gaming market ?

Enters Navi10 Refresh

A lot of people were speculating that Navi10 will coexist with Navi2x products. Turned out it’s true. AMD is planning 3 “new” Navi10 variants :

Navi10 refresh

Remains to be seen how AMD plans to position these vis-à-vis RDNA2 SKUs.