AMD dropped a surprise today with the first image of the Radeon RX 6000 (opens in new tab) alias Big Navi (opens in new tab), which will give Nvidia's Ampere (opens in new tab) a run for its money for the best gaming graphics card (opens in new tab). The chipmaker recently announced a keynote for Big Navi on October 28 at 10 a.m. PT and what better way to build up hype than to drop a small teaser before the event.
Big Navi exploits AMD's RDNA (Radeon DNA) 2 microarchitecture. If you've been following the console scene, RDNA 2 powers the GPUs that will land inside Microsoft's Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) and Sony's PlaySation 5 (opens in new tab). However, the next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series will show RDNA 2's true power. Bearing in mind AMD's close relationship with TSMC, the foundry should continue to be the provider for Big Navi chips for Team Red's next wave of graphics cards. It's pretty much a given that Big Navi is a product of TSMC's 7nm FinFET node and retains support for the fast PCIe 4.0 interface as well.
On an aesthetic level, the Radeon RX 6000, which is probably the reference edition, is a traditional looking three fan design. AMD opted for a black and silver theme with some red highlights this round, and the graphic card's profile reminds us a bit of Nvidia's RTX 20-series Founders Edition (opens in new tab) shroud (but with one extra fan). Alternatively, it's like the Radeon VII (opens in new tab) but with a few more contours and a less boxy aesthetic.
Take a first look at the design of the new Radeon RX 6000 series. Our upcoming @AMD #RDNA2 graphics cards will feature a brand new cooler design, and you can study every angle yourself on our Fortnite Creative Island. 8651-9841-1639. pic.twitter.com/KGQAOXDivZSeptember 14, 2020
Remaining faithful to its informal codename, the Radeon RX 6000 looks to be a big graphics card. The graphics card features a triple-fan cooling solution, suggesting it has hefty cooling requirements. Common sense also tells us that AMD wouldn't implement a triple fan cooling solution unless it was really necessary.
The graphics card draws power through two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The PCIe slot delivers up to 75W and each 8-pin PCIe power connector can supply up to 150W, meaning the Radeon RX 6000 could pull up to 375W. It doesn't necessarily mean that Big Navi is a power hog, though. It's just that the juice is there if the graphics card requires it.
We hopped into the map and did a quick flyby of the card. Obviously, it's not actually the card and is just an artistic representation of what it looks like in the Fortnite engine. Still, we can see that AMD has equipped the Radeon RX 6000 with one HDMI port, two DisplayPort outputs and the previously rumored USB-C port (opens in new tab) that's said to be present on certain Navi 21-based models.
Given the lack of the lightning bolt symbol, it's safe to assume that it's a normal USB-C port and not a Thunderbolt 3 interface. The first thought that comes to mind is that the port is there to accommodate USB-C monitors that are becoming ever so popular these days.
We'll find out more on the RX 6000 series and Big Navi on October 28 during AMD's planned livestream (opens in new tab). It's slated to take on Nvidia's Ampere GPUs, including the GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) that launches this week. If you want to take a look of the Radeon RX 6000 for yourself, you can access the AMD Battle Arena in Fortnite with the hub code 8651-9841-1639.