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Rumor mill: Although the last few generations of AMD graphics cards have matched their Nvidia equivalents in rasterization performance and often featured more memory, Team Red has been a step behind in hardware-accelerated ray tracing ever since it debuted in consumer hardware. New information regarding the company’s next GPU lineup suggests the situation won’t change.

Sources have told popular YouTuber RedGamingTech that AMD’s upcoming RDNA 4 graphics cards will only see a roughly 25 percent ray tracing performance uplift over the Radeon RX 7000 series. If Nvidia releases its next lineup – codenamed Blackwell – before the end of the year, it will likely remain uncontested in ray tracing.

Rumors have long indicated that RDNA 4 will not include enthusiast products and will focus entirely on the mid-range and mainstream tiers. However, the latest information has slightly revised the projected performance metrics and die sizes, which could change again before the final hardware ships. What hasn’t shifted from previous leaks is AMD’s alleged plan to offer two GPUs that can match mid-range RTX 4000 cards at significantly lower prices.

Hearing 25 or maybe 26.

I have a pretty decent update on blackwell too, actually.

unfortunately I am currently getting my ass kicked with a heavy cold lol

– RedGamingTech (@RedGamingTech) February 29, 2024

The larger product, named N48, might measure between 237 and 204 mm2, significantly smaller than what Moore’s Law is Dead heard in early February. Expected performance might fall slightly below the RX 7900 XT but with a price tag somewhere in the ballpark of $500. Combined with a projected 25 percent ray tracing performance uplift, these numbers might have a chance of challenging the RTX 4070 Super, but probably not a theoretical mid-range Blackwell card.

Meanwhile, AMD plans a significantly smaller die for N44, the lower-end RDNA 4 component. Its performance could sit between the RX 7600 and 7700 XT while costing consumers less than $300. $199 isn’t out of the question, but the rumors, if true, likely reflect plans that are still subject to change. RDNA 4, Blackwell (presumably to be named RTX 5000), and Intel’s upcoming Battlemage series are all expected to launch before the end of 2024.

AMD might be employing a modest strategy with RDNA 4 to conserve resources for RDNA 5, which will play a bigger role in data center and gaming applications. Earlier information suggested that RDNA 5 will utilize a chiplet-based design. Furthermore, Microsoft could be planning to use an RDNA 5 GPU for a next-generation Xbox slated for a 2026 release, but the move would be a radical step, so take the information with a grain of salt.

[ For more curated Computing news, check out the main news page here]

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