We’ve been hearing a lot about AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 series graphics cards. Based on the Navi 31 die, the XTX was expected to compete with the GeForce RTX 4090 instead of the RTX 4080. Unfortunately, certain hardware design flaws prevented the engineering team from achieving the originally set goals. The boost clocks were a big part of this compromise. As noted in the original marketing slide below, RDNA 3 was supposed to be the first graphics architecture to boost over 3GHz.
However, as we already know from the official specifications, neither of the Radeon RX 7900 series cards comes close to the 3GHz mark. The 7900 XT tops out at 2.4GHz while the 7900 XTX peaks at 2.5GHz, a hefty 500MHz lower than the marketed 3GHz target.
According to AGF, Navi 31 missed its target clocks by 700-900MHz, and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX was supposed to undercut the GeForce RTX 4090 at $1,499 (at least in rasterized gaming workloads). Unfortunately, it’s targeting the RTX 4080 in rasterization and the RTX 4070/4070 Ti in ray-tracing for $500 less.
The other day a rumor claimed that Navi 31 (the die powering the RX 7900 series) would require a retape to fix all the hardware bugs. This implies that AMD will have to revise the IC design, essentially like planning a refresh. RDNA 3+ will supposedly address all the design flaws of Navi 31 (in 2023?).