AMD is launching RDNA 2 with TSMC N6 for $ 199

Even if AMD's focus is on the upcoming RDNA-3 graphics cards in 2022, a new model with the current RDNA-2 technology will be launched in January.

AMD is launching RDNA 2 with TSMC N6 for $ 199

Photo Credits: AMD / promo

Even if AMD's focus is on the upcoming RDNA-3 graphics cards in 2022, a new model with the current RDNA-2 technology will be launched in January. AMD's CEO Lisa Su announced the Radeon RX 6500 XT and thus the new entry-level model at the CES will cost around $ 199.

Small Navi 24 from TSMC's 6 nm process

The Radeon RX 6500 XT offers a premiere: It relies on the new GPU Navi 24, which, unlike Navi 21, Navi 22 and Navi 23, is no longer manufactured in TSMC's N7P process, but in the more modern N6 process. AMD is still hiding exactly what effects this will have, but there will be minor advantages.

The Radeon RX 6500 XT will be able to fall back on only 16 compute units and thus 1,024 FP32-ALUs, which corresponds to a halving of the 32 CUs on Navi 23. The game clock is specified at 2,610 MHz, so that the theoretical computing power is not quite halved compared to the larger configuration level. The maximum boost is specified as 2,815 MHz.

Speaking of halved: This also applies to the Infinity Cache, which is shortened on Navi 24 from 32 MB to just 16 MB. This significantly reduces the hit rate of the fast cache even in Full HD. The 64-bit memory interface is also only half as wide as the Radeon RX 6600, but the memory clock is slightly higher at 18 Gbps. This is interesting insofar as the Navi 24 actually has a 128-bit interface and also uses it in the notebook. It is unclear why AMD intentionally deactivates half in the desktop and thus automatically halves the bandwidth.

The memory expansion of the Radeon RX 6500 XT is also a maximum of 4 GB, variants with 8 GB should not be available. The typical power consumption is 107 watts.

Performance between RX 580 and RX 590

According to AMD, the Radeon RX 6500 XT should be between 20 and 60 percent faster than the GeForce GTX 1650 in current games and also clearly beat a Radeon RX 570 . Based on the benchmark results, it can be assumed that the performance ends up somewhere between a Radeon RX 580 and a Radeon RX 590 - as long as the memory lasts. Both Polaris graphics cards already had 8 GB.

The Radeon RX 6500 XT should be available in stores on January 19, with AMD giving a recommended retail price of 199 US dollars before taxes. There is not yet a euro price, although this will probably not play any role in retail anyway, because the graphics card prices are far removed from the manufacturer's price recommendations these days . A reference design is not to be expected, the sale will only take place via the custom designs. The EIA could thus be completely wasted.

The Radeon RX 6000 models in comparison
Radeon RX 6900 XTRadeon RX 6800 XTRadeon RX 6800Radeon RX 6700 XTRadeon RX 6600 XTRadeon RX 6600Radeon RX 6500 XT
Chip size519 mm²519 mm²519 mm²336 mm²237 mm²237 mm²?
Transistorsapprox. 26.8 billionapprox. 26.8 billionapprox. 26.8 billion17.2 billion11.1 billion11.1 billion5.4 billion
Compute units80726040322816
FP32 ALUs5,1204,6083,8402,5602,0481,7921,024
RT accelerationYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Game clock2,015 MHz2,015 MHz1,815 MHz2,424 MHz2,359 MHz2,044 MHz2,600 MHz
Maximum boost clock2,250 MHz2,250 MHz2,105 MHz2,581 MHz 2,589 MHz2,491 MHz2,815 MHz
Texture units32028824016012811264
Storage speed16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps14 Gbps18 Gbps
Memory interface256 bit256 bit256 bit192 bits128 bit128 bit64 bit
Memory bandwidth512 GB / s512 GB / s512 GB / s384 GB / s256 GB / s224 GB / s144 GB / s
Infinity cache128 MB128 MB128 MB96 MB32 MB32 MB16 MB
IC bandwidth2.0 TB / s2.0 TB / s2.0 TB / s1.5 TB / s0.92 TB / s0.92 TB / s?
L2 cache4 MB4 MB4 MB3 MB2 MB2 MB?
TBP300 watts300 watts250 watts230 watts160 watts132 watts107 watt
Slot connectionPCIe 4.0 × 16PCIe 4.0 × 16PCIe 4.0 × 16PCIe 4.0 × 16PCIe 4.0 × 8PCIe 4.0 × 8?
DirectX 12 UltimateYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price$ 1700$ 1500$ 1500$ 1000$ 600$ 500$ 200
RX 6400 is only available for the OEM computer

Aside from the Radeon RX 6500 XT, AMD has quietly released the Radeon RX 6400 . The graphics card will only be available from OEM retailers and does not play a role in the retail market. With only 12 CUs and a game clock of 2,039 MHz, the computing power is significantly lower, but the graphics card only needs 53 watts. There is also 4 GB here, but the clock rate is even lower at 16 Gbps.