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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. 

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.