Xbox Series X GPU is better than any Navi GPU released so far

AMD launched its Navi GPU architecture this year with the release of the Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 this year, cutting them down into Navi 14 parts for the new Radeon RX 5500 XT — but the new RDNA 2 architecture will be powering the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.


The fine folks at Digital Foundry have done an Xbox Series X deep dive, where they think the GPU frequency on the custom Navi-based design in the Xbox Series X console will be higher than any of the Navi-based Radeon graphics cards in the PC.

Digital Foundry said: “It would also suggest frequencies that are appreciably higher than those seen in AMD’s Navi-based GPUs – which reverses the situation with the current-gen machines, which are typically underclocked compared to equivalent PC parts. Increasing both area and frequency inevitably pushes up power consumption way beyond anything we’ve seen in a home console“.

Their report continued: “Our measurements for the first-gen PlayStation 3 currently top the power consumption charts at 209W during gameplay. Based on what we know of Navi GPUs from the existing, seemingly less capable Radeon RX 5700-series, not to mention the size of the Series X casing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new console move beyond 300W“.

There’s one thing that Digital Foundry are missing here — they’re going on the fact the Xbox Series X and its semi-custom chip is anything like a traditional graphics card. It is not. It is a semi-custom design based on the Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures (the new RDNA 2-based cards should arrive in the form of the Navi 20 GPU in new Radeon graphics cards in 2020).

My industry sources have said that the Navi 20 GPU will be a “proper 4K” GPU, and that the semi-custom design chips for the new consoles when added with GDDR6 memory, technologies like Variable Rate Shading (which we’re going to go into detail on in a future article) and the fact Microsoft and Sony can finely tune every single part of their console from hardware to software — the experience on consoles will be unmatched on the PC (for the cost).

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