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Here’s why we’re waiting for RNDA 5 before thinking about a new AMD graphics card

RDNA 5 should be the next 'real' upgrade
Last Updated on May 13, 2024
Here's why we're waiting for RNDA 5 before considering a new AMD graphics card
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If you’re not quite up to date with AMD’s latest graphics cards, we’re currently at the RDNA 3 generation. It’s not long now until the arrival of RDNA 4 with the RX 8000 GPU release date, but news that this new series will be more of a ‘bug fix’ than a major improvement leads us to instead look forward to RDNA 5.

It is already known that AMD is shying away from the truly high-end for the 8000 series; we could be looking at something comparable to the existing RX 7900 XT at best. Instead they look to focus on improving features such as ray tracing. Perhaps they’re a little late to the party as Nvidia storms away with some telling leaks already for the RTX 50 series, particularly the 5090.

RDNA 5 could change naming scheme for a fresh start

Much like when AMD first made the switch to Zen architecture for their CPUs, there’s a rumor that we could be seeing something similar with their GPU family. According to a translated forum post from well-known leaker wjm47196 (who first leaked the 6×50 series), RNDA 3 didn’t meet performance expectations. The fall in sales for Radeon GPUs is evidence of this.

So, while it’s too early for RDNA 4 to make a big difference, RDNA 5 is said to represent a “clean sheet design” – and maybe they’ll even change the naming convention to further distance it. If that works out anything like when Ryzen CPUs first started showing up, it would be a huge deal. We can’t get too excited for rumors just yet, though as Wccftech reports, it could feature new architecture “from the ground up” in order to facilitate a fresh start.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card © BGFG

Should I skip RDNA 4?

Well, it’s not like RDNA 4 will be obsolete, or ‘dead on arrival’ as people like to say. Depending on what GPU you have right now, it could still warrant an upgrade. On the flipside, if it doesn’t really provide much of performance increase (similar to what we’ve seen in Intel 13th gen vs Intel 14th gen CPUs), it could make sense to instead pick up a RX 7000 series card as the prices will inevitably drop in price. As someone that is happy with their 6000 series GPU, and has no current plans to upgrade, waiting for RDNA 5 is very appealing.

As it stands right now, RDNA 4 may be what powers Sony’s upcoming PS5 Pro, while RDNA 5 / Navi 5 will power the next-gen Xbox, according to VideoCardz via leaked Microsoft documents.

At PC Guide, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.