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Report: Big Navi Engineering Sample Points to 16 GB GDDR6 Memory

(Image credit: Bilibili)

AMD announced the keynote dates for both Zen 3 and Big Navi, with the GPU keynote happening on the 28th of October at 10am pacific time. Of course, the rumor mill was already running, but now it's kicking things up a notch.

The latest rumor comes from the Bilibili forums, where a picture of what is said to be a Big Navi graphics card has surfaced, albeit very much in an engineering sample state. Therefore, we have to emphasize that this is very much an unconfirmed source, and there is little here that really feeds us with new information.

The information we do see on this board is a sticker that lists "typical Samsung 16 Gb," pointing towards the use of 16 Gb memory stacks. Considering there are likely eight of these, this would add up to a total memory capacity of, you guessed it, 16 GB. Near this sticker is another that reads "Eng. Sample, Typical XT AB ASIC" (if I'm reading it correctly).  Of course, anyone can stick these notes on a wacky-looking PCB.

(Image credit: Bilibili)

If this 16 GB runs over a 256-bit memory interface, then it won't provide a particularly huge memory throughput, and certainly nowhere near as fast as Nvidia's RTX 3080 and RTX 3090.

But again, there's little here to confirm that this is the flagship card. It is an AMD card as can be seen from the mounting bracket for the oddly-placed CPU cooler (this solution is often used for prototypes), but there's also a chance that this isn't the biggest card yet, and that AMD has another up its sleeve with a bigger and faster memory pool.

However, it must be noted that Nvidia has a partnership with Micron for the GDDR6X memory. Somehow, it wouldn't surprise us if this engineering sample is indeed an upper-midrange card, and that AMD will lean on an HBM-style memory configuration for its top-tier part -- as they have done in the past, albeit with lesser degrees of success. 

  • wr3zzz
    Considering AMD put 16GB HBM on the $700 Radeon VII, it's probably not a cost killer putting 16GB on big Navi. Nvidia must got a really good deal on GDDR6X from Micron given that HBM is already on the DTX Ampere.
    Reply
  • Avro Arrow
    The only thing I could think about once I saw that picture of it was "What the hell kinda GPU cooler setup IS THAT?". It looks like they strapped a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 directly to the GPU but it hangs down so it wouldn't work very well because trying to draw heat down is never a very efficient cooling solution.

    Crazy man, crazy!
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    wr3zzz said:
    Considering AMD put 16GB HBM on the $700 Radeon VII, it's probably not a cost killer putting 16GB on big Navi. Nvidia must got a really good deal on GDDR6X from Micron given that HBM is already on the DTX Ampere.
    HBM2 is still very expensive. Just the RAM costs probably twice as much as GDDR6, maybe even twice GDDR6X. Then you have to add in the silicon interposer as well. There are rumors that Vega 56 / Vega 64 were basically selling at near-cost when they were in the $300-$400 range. Basically, HBM2 really only makes sense financially when you can sell a lot of cards at $500 or more each.
    Reply
  • evdjj3j
    I'm not buying it, look how filthy that case is. I can't see that being their test rig.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    evdjj3j said:
    I'm not buying it, look how filthy that case is. I can't see that being their test rig.
    That PSU looks like an older Thermaltake Grand 1000W ... which incidentally is what AMD sent out to reviewers for the initial Threadripper launch if memory serves. If so, it's been used for at least three years, and a bit of dust (even in a testing lab) isn't out of the question. But there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical.
    Reply
  • tennis2
    Shame it's not GDDR6X...
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    tennis2 said:
    Shame it's not GDDR6X...
    As long as whatever it has can feed the beast and thensome, it doesn't matter.
    Reply
  • sizzling
    I feel AMD adds more RAM than is required to some of their GPU’s as a pure marketing gimmick even if the card has no hope of ever using it all.
    Reply
  • tennis2
    sizzling said:
    I feel AMD adds more RAM than is required to some of their GPU’s as a pure marketing gimmick even if the card has no hope of ever using it all.
    Sometimes they're a bit too...forward thinking, but that only helps the card age better as VRAM requirements increase. Nvidia still uses VRAM more "efficiently". AMD generally takes a more "brute-force" approach to GPU design thus far.
    Reply
  • sizzling
    tennis2 said:
    Sometimes they're a bit too...forward thinking, but that only helps the card age better as VRAM requirements increase. Nvidia still uses VRAM more "efficiently". AMD generally takes a more "brute-force" approach to GPU design thus far.
    Maybe. For example if we look at the 1060 6gb vs 580 8gb. Very similar performance but has there ever been a scenario with playable FPS where the extra 33% of RAM on the 580 was beneficial? Not that I have seen.

    I still think it’s more to do with giving their gpu’s a selling point over NVidia that can be used for marketing. Just my opinion though.
    Reply