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Recent RX 7900 XT leaks show that AMD is taking an efficiency-first attitude

A Radeon reference card (Image via AMD)
The Radeon RX 7900 XT will favor efficiency over performance (Image via AMD)

With its upcoming flagship, the Radeon RX 7900 XT, Team Red is letting the performance crown slip into Nvidia's hands. The RDNA 3-based rendering machine is not focused on beating the RTX 4090. Instead, Team Red is developing a formula to make GPUs more power efficient.

In recent years, graphics cards have gone from sipping power via the PCIe X16 slot to requiring 24-pin dedicated power connectors. Rumor has it that the upcoming RTX 4090 will be rated for up to 660W of power.

However, AMD is designing its upcoming flagship to draw around 300-350 watts under full load, almost half of what the 4090 is being designed for.


AMD is letting go of the performance crown with the RX 7900 XT to favor efficiency

A render of a Radeon reference card (Image via Twitter/TechyPreacher)
A render of a Radeon reference card (Image via Twitter/TechyPreacher)

As per recent developments, Nvidia RTX 40 series cards are going to be expensive, both for the user and the manufacturer. Renowned leaker Moore's Law is Dead (MLID) has mentioned that it will be hard for Nvidia to profit from these GPUs.

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NVIDIA’s RTX 4080/4090(monolithic) GPUs Likely to be Slower than AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT/7900 XT(polylithic) GPUs https://t.co/SAX5MehZei

While the RTX 4090 will be shipped with a four-slot thermal dissipation design and over-the-top engineering options to squeeze the maximum out of the AD102 GPU, AMD has no intention of following in its competitor's footsteps.

RX 7900 XT variants that will use air cooling are rumored to draw under 350W power. Howefver, other sources have confirmed that the TDP (thermal design power) will be above the 300W mark for even the cheapest AIB models.

Citing some other anonymous sources, MLID mentioned that the RX 7900 XT would have some flagship AIB variants that come with higher power requirements. The main reason these results can be achieved is the 5nm process node on which RDNA 3 is based. There will also be lots of headroom if the RX 7900 XT is cooled properly.

Here are the specs for the entire RX 7000 series.IDK if 7900 will be 12 or 24GB. https://t.co/ucSSWV7xrY

However, AMD will push power requirements to achieve maximum performance outside of its Navi 31 die, with a mid-cycle refresh to the lineup. Like the RX 6950 XT, Team Red is also expected to launch an RX 7950 XT. This GPU will feature faster clock speeds and a higher power draw requirement.

There are several potential ways that AMD can benefit from choosing to launch power-efficient and modest offerings. The market is currently facing a massive recession following the pandemic. Adding to this, cards with higher power draw requirements are more likely to run into issues, and having to cover the warranty will add to the costs for both the manufacturer and the end-user.

While Nvidia is prioritizing offering better performance, AMD is designing graphics cards that are more practical and power efficient. According to Moore's Law is Dead, AMD is using Nvidia's strategy against them, trying to make them appear to be the company that manufactures "hot and loud" cards.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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