Three technologies of the gaming world
The world of gaming is now dominated by three big companies. These three add up to hundreds of millions of graphics cards and are responsible for bringing revolutionary advances to the industry. Today we are going to see how their proposals differ.
2022 is a year for GPU history . After years of dominance by NVIDIA and attempts by AMD to compete on the same level, Intel made good on its promise to re-enter the graphics card market. Now we have NVIDIA, AMD and Intel competing for a pie that is very big.
If we compile what has happened so far this 2022, we have NVIDIA with its RTX 4000 series , how expensive and powerful they are; we have AMD with their RX 7000 graphics card due to make an appearance this month; and then we are left with Intel, who has launched the Intel Arc as a mid-range proposal.
Having seen this, let’s bring all the manufacturers to the table and dive deeper into their architectures , peeling back the marketing layers to see what’s new in graphics cards , what they have in common, and what it all means for the average user.
In this article you will find the most important of each company, which will allow you to differentiate between each brand, its architecture and the chip that makes it possible. Without further ado, we get into the matter that there is a lot of graphics card to cut:
AMD and RDNA 3: the Navi 31 chip
Navi 31 is the largest chip ever built under the RDNA 3 architecture so far. Compared to the Navi 21, the new SoC promises to compete head-to-head with NVIDIA and its RTX 4000 .
Shader Engines (SE) host fewer Compute Units (CUs), 16 vs. 200, but there are now 6 SEs in total, two more than before. This means that Navi 31 has up to 96 CUs, with a total of 6,144 Stream Processors (SP) from the Radeon 7900 XTX.
Each shader engine also contains a dedicated raster unit, a primitive engine for triangle configuration, 32 Render Output Units (ROPs), and two 256KB L1 caches.
AMD hasn’t changed much to the raster engines and primitives either: the claimed improvements of 50% are for the entire chip, as it has 50% more shaders than the Navi 21 chip.
The most obvious change is the one that sparked the most buzz and gossip before the November release: the chiplet approach to the GPU package . With several years of experience in this field, it’s only logical that AMD would have opted for this, but it’s entirely for cost/manufacturing reasons, rather than performance.
In Navi 31, the memory controllers and their associated end-level cache partitions are housed in separate chiplets (called MCD, or Memory Cache Dies) surrounding the primary processor (GCD, Graphics Compute Die).
With more SEs to feed, AMD has also increased the number of MCs by 50%, so the total bus width to global GDDR6 memory is now 384 bits. There’s less total Infinity Cache this time around (96MB vs. 128MB), but the higher bandwidth makes up for it.
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