If you watched the company's presentation on November 3rd, then you're well-aware that AMD is launching the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and similarly-named Radeon RX 7900 XT on December 13th. As it turns out, that may not exactly be the full story, though. AMD said that its reference cards would be available on that date, but partner models might be a bit later; according to a new rumor, the delay could be as long as 2 weeks.
AMD's official statement says that the reference cards will be available from AMD.com on the 13th—busting earlier rumors—and then “leading board partners” (comprising ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, Vastarmor, XFX, and Yeston, apparently) will have cards ready by “mid-December.” The 13th is already pretty much “mid-December,” so we're not sure what that means, exactly, but MyDrivers is reporting that the lag could be 1-2 weeks.
Likely more contentious and also more-likely is the other part of MyDrivers‘ rumor: non-reference models of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT could be significantly more expensive than the reference cards, possibly as much as $200. That would put the top-end of the new Radeon cards on the same price footing as the GeForce RTX 4080 against which they are supposedly intended to compete, although based purely on specifications it looks like even the reference version of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX will be a mighty challenge for the RTX 4080.
This idea doesn't exactly surprise us. AMD stated several times that the Navi 31 GPU was architected to hit 3 GHz, yet neither of its reference designs even come close to that mark. Both of the reference cards run relatively modest power budgets, at least for top-end GPUs; it seems very likely to use that AMD has let its AIB partners run wild with the power budget and board design.
So saying, we fully expect to see cards with triple 8-pin connectors and 450-watt power limits straining to hit that elusive 3-GHz GPU clock target. They might not have to strain as much as you'd expect, though; recall that RDNA 3 supports decoupled clock rates for the shader array and front-end graphics hardware. Depending on how that plays out, it may just happen that a 3 GHz front-end is the norm for hot-clocked Radeons.
Two weeks post the December 13th launch is just five weeks away from now, so even in the worst rumored case, we don't have too much longer to wait for the fastest Radeon cards ever. Keep your eyes here, because if there's GPU news, you'll hear about it on HotHardware.
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