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AMD talks RDNA 3 efficiencies just ahead of the RTX 4090 reveal

AMD RDNA 3 GPU running Lies of P, with Lisa Su in the corner.
(Image credit: AMD)
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An AMD blog post went up yesterday to remind potential customers of the RDNA 3 GPUs set to launch November 3 (opens in new tab), right as Nvidia gets ready to reveal its anticipated GeForce 40-series GPUs (opens in new tab). In particular, the post talks of "energy prices skyrocketing," and the need for more energy efficient graphics cards with the same level of graphical prowess.

The post specifically calls out Nvidia's 30-series in that "there is a cost savings benefit as well, as seen when comparing the thermal design power across the current lineup of AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards (opens in new tab) versus NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series products."

It's true performance per watt has been a major focus for AMD's graphics card lineups, with its 5000-series cards improving 50% over the previous generation of GCN architecture, and the 6000-series upping that by another 65%.

It's worth noting that in our tests, we saw Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 ran at 0.32 frames per jule at 4K, and 0.44 frames per jule at 1080p, whereas the RX 6800 XT was 0.22 at 4k and 0.45 at 1080p.

Last month, the company confirmed a chiplet-based RDNA 3 GPU architecture (opens in new tab) for its upcoming RDNA 3 design, which alongside adaptive power management technology that the company has been refining, we can expect the performance per watt numbers to be pretty darn impressive.

It was during the design process for RDNA 2 that AMD began implementing such tactics. "We leveraged the dense CPU L3 memories to implement AMD Infinity Cache," the post reminds us.  That helped them create "a high-density, low-power cache, to make frequently used data in gaming workloads more easily accessible, dramatically increasing bandwidth while reducing the power needed for memory and cutting latency."

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That efficiency is set to improve even further with the next generation of graphics cards. Essentially, by mimicking some of the physical makeup of the company's Zen CPU micro architectures, AMD is on track to improve the efficiency of its graphics cards by another 50%. We'll be hearing more about RDNA 3 on November 3, so keep an eye out for more information regarding efficiency.

Either way, the post is a nice little reminder of the importance of efficiency just as we set ourselves up to hear about Nvidia's flagship GPU monster, the RTX 4090 (opens in new tab). As you're watching the keynote, AMD wants you to remember that power isn't everything—and that running a GPU can be expensive.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.