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AMD hints RDNA 4 coming soon

by on15 May 2024


Linux penguins spilt the beans

There have been signs that AMD is about to release its RDNA 4 architecture—an aura over Britain, a comet, a supernova, and changes to the Linux driver.

 For those who didn’t know, AMD’s just unleashed a Linux driver update, and those looking through the open saucy goodness found 24,000 lines of code for the much-anticipated RDNA 4 graphics cards from Team Red.

Phoronix.com has clocked a fresh Linux kernel driver that's been whipped up for 'AMD GFX12 Mesa support.' Word on the street is GFX12's the secret handshake name for the soon-to-drop Radeon RX 8000 GPUs, all kitted out with the shiny new RDNA 4 architecture.

This hefty update chucks in GFX12 support for a whole host of nitty-gritty techy stuff, not to mention a tidy bundle of tweaks and tunings (we're talking 23 patches, no less).

On top of sprucing up video and encoding, there's a dab of initial code for GFX12 that seems to be getting cosy with Vulkan as well.

This scoop lands just a few weeks shy of Computex, pencilled in for early June. That's where we might finally get an eyeful of RDNA 4, after being strung along by whispers and guesswork for yonks.

The gossip mill's been churning out the idea that AMD's RDNA 4 gang might be more about fine-tuning than full-on fireworks, with Team Red keeping the real showstoppers for RDNA 5. The latest chinwags suggest the Radeon RX 8000 series is shaping up to be more of a nip and tuck job on some of RDNA 3's hiccups, rather than a giant leap forward.

This ties in with earlier tittle-tattle about the now-scrapped Navi 4X / 4C GPU, which could've been a whopping 50 per cent beefier than the RX 7900 XTX. Looks like Team Red was noodling around for ways to give Nvidia a run for its money at the high end, but put that on ice because it would've cost too much.

Intriguingly, we've had a peek at what might be the leftovers of the Navi 4X / 4C kit, with a quad-slot cooler that's been rejigged for the beefy XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX Phoenix Nirvana earlier this month. Needing a trio of PCIe power connectors and at least 850W of total system juice, the RDNA 4 big dog might've been too fiery for the manufacturers to handle.

There's been a right old pile of chin-scratching and second-guessing about RDNA 4, painting a picture that AMD's next-gen GPUs might not exactly set the world alight in the performance department. But the price tag and the step-ups from the last gen will decide if Team Red's new kit will be a hit or a miss. It's a bit of a crunch time, especially since AMD's number-crunching shows their GPU biz could do with a bit of pep.

Computex 2024 is all set for the 4-7 June, with the Taipei shindig looking like the ideal spot to pull the wraps off a fresh batch of GPUs. Sure, we're bound to cop an earful about Ryzen AI computing and the latest laptops, but this bash is the last big chance of the year to snag the spotlight for gaming gear.

 

Last modified on 15 May 2024
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