We have been aware since August 2023 that there are rumors of AMD stepping back from the enthusiast graphics market with its upcoming RDNA 4 graphics architecture. This means that we are unlikely to see successors to the RX 7900 series competing against NVIDIA's fastest GeForce RTX "Blackwell" series. Instead, we can expect a product lineup similar to the RX 5000 series RDNA, with the top model offering a competitive price-performance ratio around $400. A recent report by Moore's Law is Dead provides more details on this.
According to the report, the top Radeon RX SKU based on the next-gen RDNA4 graphics architecture will deliver performance comparable to the current RX 7900 XTX, but at a price that is less than half of its predecessor (around $400). This performance target is expected to be achieved using a smaller and simpler silicon, resulting in significantly lower board costs. Additionally, the switch to a newer 4 nm-class foundry node and the RDNA4 architecture itself could lead to energy efficiency gains. It is possible that the performance target can be reached with fewer compute units compared to the RX 7900 XTX, which has 96 compute units.
When the RX 5700 XT was released, it offered impressive performance, surpassing the RTX 2070 and prompting NVIDIA to refresh its product lineup with the RTX 20-series SUPER, including the RTX 2070 SUPER. The situation could be slightly different with RDNA4. In 2019, ray tracing was not as relevant, and AMD could compete with NVIDIA in terms of performance even without it. However, now that ray tracing is important, AMD may need to time its launch before the Q4-2024 debut of the RTX 50-series "Blackwell" to maintain a competitive edge.