Radeon RX 6900 XT Might Get Beat By A Mid-Range RDNA 3 Graphics Card

big navi radeon gpu
Greymon55 is a popular, Digimon-themed hardware news leaker, and he's been busy lately. Early this month, he tweeted vaguely about a product entering its "bring-up" phase, which is the testing phase after "tape out" when a company receives its first shipment of etched dice from the foundry.

As it turns out, that tweet was in relation to AMD's RDNA3 GPUs, also known as the Navi 3x family. AMD isn't saying anything about the matter itself, of course, but Greymon55 sure is. According to him, Navi 33 might actually be more powerful—at least in terms of FP32 compute—than the Radeon RX 6900 XT.

greymon55 tweet

Let's back up a second. For those unfamiliar, AMD Radeon codenames for the last several generations have gone like this: "Name" xy, where "Name" is the foundational architecture (in this case Navi), "X" is the generational revision, and "Y" is a number that indicates placement in the series, with the biggest GPU getting the lowest number.

For the sake of example, we'll explain that the Radeon RX 6900XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800 are all based on Navi 21, the RX 6700 XT is based on the smaller Navi 22, both variants of RX 6600 are based on Navi 23, and then the puny RX 6500 XT and RX 6400 are based on Navi 24.

With that in mind, let's take a look back at Greymon55's tweet. According to the leaker, based on what he knows, Navi 33—rumored to be the largest monolithic design in the RDNA 3 series—will draw around 220-250W and run at up to 2.8 GHz, giving it peak theoretical 32-bit floating point math performance of 22.9 TFLOPs. Compare that to the RX 6900 XT's 18.68 TFLOPS and the RDNA 3 series starts to look pretty monstrous.

radeon 6900 xt angle
Are you ready for an x700 or x600 Radeon with a cooler this size?

It's worth mentioning that the 18.68 TFLOP number for the Radeon RX 6900 XT doesn't take into account that GPU's boost clocks; the actual theoretical peak compute for the RX 6900 XT is somewhere around the same 23 TFLOP range. That's still very impressive for a GPU drawing 2/3 the power and supposedly situated fully two or three tiers lower in the product stack.

We'll caution folks from reading too much into this, though. For starters, while Greymon55 has been fairly reliable, it's still just a rumor at this time. It's possible that he has the details wrong, and it's also possible that AMD won't be able to scale clocks as high as its wants. Moreover, even all of the data is correct, FP32 compute numbers really don't necessarily tell you anything about how a card will perform in games.

This actually isn't the first time we've heard that Navi 33 could eclipse Navi 21 in performance. Way back in October of last year, the same rumor was going around alongside the speculation that the Radeon RX 7000 series could include GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture as well. That somewhat echoes the idea that NVIDIA could sell Ampere GPUs alongside its next-generation Ada Lovelace parts; it's likely both companies are expecting limited availability of parts fabbed on bleeding-edge fabrication processes.

AMD still hasn't said anything about the RDNA 3 or Navi 3x series of GPUs aside from that they're in development, so leaks and rumors like this are all we have to go on. We'll let you know as soon as we hear more, so keep your eyes on HotHardware.