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Report: AMD Navi announcement coming Monday, performance targets revealed

Vega replacements challenge RTX 2060/RTX 2070.

AMD's next-gen Navi graphics cards have been subject to intense rumour and speculation for years, but the end is in sight. A PR director and product manager from Sapphire, an AMD partner known for their Nitro graphics cards, leaked to the Chinese press that Team Red is planning to announce two Navi GPUs on Monday. This date coincides with AMD's Computex keynote, which is scheduled to begin on May 27th at 10AM Taipei Standard Time (GMT+8).

The Sapphire representatives revealed that both cards will be upper mid-range products that sit below the Radeon 7 in AMD's product stack. The Navi Pro will outperform the RTX 2060 for $400, while the Navi XT will beat out the RTX 2070 for $500. Barring any reactive price drops from Nvidia, that should mean that AMD regain the price-for-performance crown for 1080p and 1440p gaming once the cards are launched on July 7th.

The leak was first posted online on Zhihu, a Chinese social media platform, and quickly spread to community sites such as the AMD subreddit and Western press including Tech Powerup. Since then, the original Zhihu post has been deleted.

You can get an idea of the performance we expect from the new GPUs in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1440p benchmark embedded below. The new Navi cards, which some rumours have called the Radeon RX 3070 and Radeon RX 3080, could be cheaper to manufacture and more power efficient than their Vega predecessors while providing better performance.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX12: Highest, TAA

However, neither card will include support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Earlier this year, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated (via PC World) that AMD's ray tracing efforts were "deep in development" but "the consumer doesn't see a lot of benefit today because the other parts of the ecosystem are not ready". Sapphire executives did suggest that ray tracing could be added to AMD's next architecture, which remains unfinalised.

As well as stealing AMD's thunder, the Sapphire executives took the chance to promote their own cards. Reps stated that Sapphire would relaunch the Toxic brand last seen in 2013 with a new water-cooled Navi card. The team also confirmed that they have no plans to create a custom Radeon 7 design, which will remain AMD's top card for the foreseeable future.

If these rumours are accurate, we have only a few days to wait before Navi is officially revealed. However, we expect to get more information from AMD at E3, where the company has scheduled its 'Next Gaming Horizon' event on June 19th.

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About the Author
Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.

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