How will Big Navi fare against Ampere?
Rumor mill: Nvidia is enjoying its time in the spotlight following the reveal of its Ampere cards, but it seems AMD wants to spoil the party. Team Red has dropped an Easter egg into Fortnite teasing the upcoming arrival of the Radeon RX 6000 series, and we’ve heard rumors that a 16GB version of Big Navi will be priced to undercut the $699 RTX 3080.
Streamer GinaDarling discovered the Fortnite Easter egg in AMD’s Battle Arena. Upon entering a phone booth, she was teleported to a secret “AMD Radeon” room that contains a special console. After entering the passcode “6000” into a terminal, the words “something big is coming to the AMD battle arena” appeared.
One of the people to congratulate GinaDarling was AMD’s Scott Herkelman CVP & GM at Radeon. While the Easter egg doesn’t reveal too much, this appears to be AMD’s first step in embedding Big Navi in the public’s consciousness.
Elsewhere, tech analysis YouTube channel coreteks tweeted that AMD wants to release a 16GB version of the RDNA 2-based card at $599, but following the Ampere announcement, that price will likely drop to $549.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard such a rumor; back in July, it was reported that Big Navi wouldn’t be the Ampere killer first thought, offering around just 15 percent better performance than the RTX 2080 Ti, which would put it slightly above the $499 RTX 3070.
If the 16GB rumor is true, it would mean the Big Navi card features double the memory of the RTX 3070 and 6GB more than the RTX 3080.
We’ve heard previous claims that there will be two Navi 21-based cards with 12GB and 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, rather than the GDDR6X used in the RTX 3080/3090. Coreteks adds that there will not be a consumer version with HBM.
The rumor should be taken with a pinch of salt, of course; coretex’s source is an unnamed “AMD partner,” though parts of it do line up with some previous claims.
AMD boss Lisa Su has repeatedly said that both Big Navi and Zen 3 are arriving this year. The company also confirmed that the former would be here before the November launch of the next-gen consoles, which use RDNA 2 GPUs, meaning an October release—possibly the 7th—seems likely. How they stack up against Ampere remains to be seen, especially as an RTX 3070 Ti is already rumored to be in the works, and the RTX 3080 can allegedly reach 100+ fps in many AAA games in 4K at max settings with RTX on.