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AMD confirms Navi refresh for 2020

AMD confirms a refresh to its Navi 7nm GPU range this year, which will identifiable by their Radeon RX 5X50 XT graphics cards naming scheme.

AMD Radeon Graphics logo

AMD has confirmed during its FY 2019 earnings call that for 2020 it is hoping to do a refresh of the 7nm Navi cards as well as debuting a new generation of Navi cards with 7nm+ architecture. In particular their intention this year with the much rumoured ‘Big Navi’ is to ‘disrupt’ the 4K market as they AMD did with CPUs, which feels like a slightly corporate-buzzwordy way of saying the plan is to release a really powerful graphics card that is going to be really good and that lots of people are going to want.

The ‘refresh’ to the existing Navi lineup means that we should be expecting to see something akin to what Nvidia did with their ‘Super’ cards. This kind of refresh is less an effort to render their relatively new generation of cards immediately obsolete, rather to offer an upgraded version at a slightly higher price. The net result of this should mean a graphics card to fit every size of budget, with the trade-off that people who have already bought a graphics card but had a little more money to throw at it at the time might feel some buyer’s remorse.

It is rumoured these refreshed versions of cards might use a ’50’ designation, such as RX 5650 XT. This would represent a more subtle distinction between refreshed and non-refreshed models that might avoid some of the annoyance that came with the Super branding.

Meanwhile because of the links between the RDNA2 architecture and the upcoming console generation any reveals about its capabilities and graphics cards using it might be more tangled up than usual, with both Sony and Microsoft being having an interest in it and reasons to want to keep a lid on precise capabilities and limitations. We know that RDNA2 is planned to have ray-tracing, but we don’t know much else, and it seems like we’re going to have to wait to find out more.