RDNA 3 GPUs are 'competing at $1,000 or below' leaving the RTX 4090 to 'a segment of its own'

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card render
(Image credit: AMD)
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AMD has just announced its first RDNA 3 graphics cards, the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT (opens in new tab). These two cards boast an impressive spec, and an impressive uplift in gaming, ray tracing, and compute performance. However, AMD has suggested that it doesn't really see Nvidia's recent RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) as the main competition for its two new high-end cards.

There was a notable lack of comparison to Nvidia's RTX 4090 during AMD's announcement live stream for RDNA 3, which would suggest it's not a comparison the red team would care to make.

That was further alluded to by comments from Radeon top brass Scott Herkelman in a Q&A after the show when he was asked about the lack of benchmarks versus the RTX 4090.

"What I would say is we're competing at a thousand dollars and below," Herkelman said. "I think that chip was in a segment of its own, and we're really after than $1,000 segment. We don't know what their 4080/4070 really is, but I would assume it's somewhere in that range in terms of class, but I believe in the performance and what we're offering in terms of price."

The RX 7900 XTX will be priced at $999, the same as the RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab) at launch, and the RX 7900 XT will start at $899. I suspect we'll see some card partners break the $1,000 barrier with one, or perhaps both, of the cards, but AMD is essentially saying it's the RTX 4080.4070 that these cards are competing with.

AMD focused on performance in isolation, or versus the previous RDNA 2 generation, during its live stream. (Image credit: AMD)
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With the RTX 4080 16GB (opens in new tab) launch still over a week away, we don't have much to go on by way of comparison between it and AMD's RDNA 3 chips. That card also starts out at $1,199, which still puts it notably pricier than AMD's top card. As for a cheaper card built on Nvidia's Ada Lovelace GPU, we were originally expecting the RTX 4080 12GB at $899, but that has since been canned (opens in new tab).

All of which means we have one Nvidia GPU for comparison today, the RTX 4090. But since AMD doesn't want to make that comparison due to its $1,599 price tag, we're actually still looking at performance between AMD and Nvidia in isolation for this generation so far.

For a rough idea of raw compute performance, which I should note isn't the be all and end all of gaming performance, the RX 7900 XTX delivers 61 TFLOPs, while the RTX 4090 manages 82.58 TFLOPs. That's a 31% increase in raw compute performance for the RTX 4090, for a 60% increase in price.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.