Friday, March 6th 2020

Did AMD Tease its Upcoming Reference Board Design Ditching the Lateral Blower?

At AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su's keynote address at the company's 2020 Financial Analyst Day, a curious slide element caught our eye - a never before seen graphics card design that bears AMD insignia. This is quite possibly AMD's upcoming reference design. The design fits into the language of sharp dark ridges and red accents the company adopted first with its Radeon RX 5700 XT MBA (made by AMD) graphics card, and the hypothetical RX 5600 XT reference design that never made it to the market as the SKU was a partner-exclusive.

In Reddit AMAs following the RX 5700 series launch, corporate vice-president and manager for Radeon, Scott Herkelman, mentioned that all subsequent Radeon RX products by the company would ditch the lateral-blower design in favor of an axial multi-fan design that's characteristic of most partner-designed cards. NVIDIA made that switch with its RTX 20-series Founders Edition cards, and AMD too implemented a triple axial fan design for its Radeon VII card, before switching back to a conventional lateral-blower design for its RX 5700 series. AMD would go on to give the reference design RX 5600 XT an axial dual-fan cooler.
The card in AMD's presentation, however, is unlike anything we've seen so far. From the top three-quarters angle it's been taken, we can confirm two axial fans, a large vent along the entire top of the board that serves as a vent for the heatsink, and an aluminium fin stack that's arranged perpendicular to the plane of the motherboard, rather than parallel to it (i.e., hot air is guided out from the top of the card). Such a fin arrangement has more surface area than fin-stacks in which the fins are arranged along the plane of the motherboard (i.e. hot air is guided from the rear and front ends of the card), for the simple reason that you would end up with more fin-density, if the card is sufficiently long. A hexagonal insert along the top edge has the AMD logo embellishment, while another cutout is where the card's power connectors are located. This "picture" could very well be just a render for now, still on the drawing board, and only an upcoming product months away from launch could be using this design.
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35 Comments on Did AMD Tease its Upcoming Reference Board Design Ditching the Lateral Blower?

#1
Chomiq
In Mr. Burns voice: "Excellent". Good for them to ditch the blower design.
Posted on Reply
#2
delshay
It's been confirmed new cards will be dual or triple axial fans. There will be no blower models by AMD, but this does not rule out partner models not having them.

Here you go confirmation & while your there fire some questions at Scott Herkelman

Amd/comments/fe2jfu
Posted on Reply
#3
Anymal
Ditch the red accents, no need to emphasise the hotness.
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#4
Mysteoa
Anymal
Ditch the red accents, no need to emphasise the hotness.
It's the Radeon brand color. Same as AMD brand color is/was green which they seem to not use it as often any more, it's mostly black now.
Posted on Reply
#5
lZKoce
Ahhh, I am gonna miss that. I have a soft spot for squirrel cage coolers. In the right conditions (a.k.a SS FT02B) they are just awesome :)
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#7
bonehead123
Asthetically it's a great design, seems more refined and less blingy, AND not a single R.friggin.G.friggin.B. rainbow in sight..I LIKE IT :D

Now if they can just get the mfgr's to stick with the same or a very similiar design, me may be whippin out da plastik' when these cards are released....hehehe
Posted on Reply
#8
medi01
So they stop the "but we can't guarantee thermals unless blower design, what if case ventilation sucks?" song.
FordGT90Concept
More dents? But why?
Surely pure aesthetics, the same reason why we see unicorn vomits on everything, somebody thinks it sells better.
Maybe it actually does, on the other hand.
Posted on Reply
#9
Kohl Baas
medi01
Surely pure aesthetics, the same reason why we see unicorn vomits on everything, somebody thinks it sells better.
Maybe it actually does, on the other hand.
Well, RGB doesn't necessary means unicorn vomit. If it comes to sales, it's more like a Jack of all trades kind of thing. You don't need to design 12 different products to 12 different color-themes or loose some of your potential customers who may not like your company's theming, you just cram RGB on your product and let the user decide what color he wants.
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#10
R0H1T
Come on this is getting ridiculous, styling is a personal choice lest we've forgotten this ~
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#12
Basard
It's about time. Though never quite as fancy as Nvidia's coolers--gonna need more glue, chrome, and screws.
Chomiq
Isn't that "vent" actually a space reserved for pci-e power connectors?
Look at reference 5700 xt it's similar.
The 'vent' is described as running along the entire top of the card. the PCI-E power connector hole is described in the second-to-last sentance.
Posted on Reply
#14
Chomiq
Basard
The 'vent' is described as running along the entire top of the card. the PCI-E power connector hole is described in the second-to-last sentance.
Thx, missed that part.
Posted on Reply
#15
Khonjel
While a step in the right direction, I'd rather they just ditch reference design as a whole. We know from Nvidia's example that AMD wouldn’t dare put a decent cooler lest AiBs get pissed off.

Because of that, there’s reference cards with shit coolers at mstp at launch while decent/better cooler-equipped cards are $10-20 over msrp coming at 3-4 weeks later.
I just want a good aftermarket dual fan cooler AT msrp AT launch. Is it too much to ask?

I can't believe I'm saying this but follow Nvidia's example. Launch has reference cooler card and aftermarket cooler cards AT launch. But aftermarket is msrp while reference cards are over msrp for nincompoops who prefer reference shit (and not mess with AIB sales as well).
Maybe add some carbon fibre weave or some shit cause even the new cooler looks like cheap toyota lease car interior. Nvidia RTX also uses cheap chrome and silver plastic but makes itself look premium.
Posted on Reply
#16
Mysteoa
Khonjel
While a step in the right direction, I'd rather they just ditch reference design as a whole. We know from Nvidia's example that AMD wouldn’t dare put a decent cooler lest AiBs get pissed off.

Because of that, there’s reference cards with shit coolers at mstp at launch while decent/better cooler-equipped cards are $10-20 over msrp coming at 3-4 weeks later.
I just want a good aftermarket dual fan cooler AT msrp AT launch. Is it too much to ask?

I can't believe I'm saying this but follow Nvidia's example. Launch has reference cooler card and aftermarket cooler cards AT launch. But aftermarket is msrp while reference cards are over msrp for nincompoops who prefer reference shit (and not mess with AIB sales as well).
Maybe add some carbon fibre weave or some shit cause even the new cooler looks like cheap toyota lease car interior. Nvidia RTX also uses cheap chrome and silver plastic but makes itself look premium.
I think that having a reference design can also prevent leaks about the performance. Because AIB will need to have the card for longer to be able to make their coolers, which will make it far easier for actual performance leaks to occur.
Posted on Reply
#17
HTC
Khonjel
While a step in the right direction, I'd rather they just ditch reference design as a whole. We know from Nvidia's example that AMD wouldn’t dare put a decent cooler lest AiBs get pissed off.

Because of that, there’s reference cards with shit coolers at mstp at launch while decent/better cooler-equipped cards are $10-20 over msrp coming at 3-4 weeks later.
I just want a good aftermarket dual fan cooler AT msrp AT launch. Is it too much to ask?


I can't believe I'm saying this but follow Nvidia's example. Launch has reference cooler card and aftermarket cooler cards AT launch. But aftermarket is msrp while reference cards are over msrp for nincompoops who prefer reference shit (and not mess with AIB sales as well).
Maybe add some carbon fibre weave or some shit cause even the new cooler looks like cheap toyota lease car interior. Nvidia RTX also uses cheap chrome and silver plastic but makes itself look premium.
OTOH, if this ends up "forcing" AIBs to make even better coolers, i'm OK with that, even if they end up costing $20-30 more.

Now that crossfire / SLI are gone, is finally time to introduce cards with standard thickness fans: fans that are NOT brand specific and can be swapped if need be by "insert preferred brand" fans. Be them 92mm or 120mm.

EDIT

It's 92mm: not 90mm.
Posted on Reply
#18
kapone32
HTC
OTOH, if this ends up "forcing" AIBs to make even better coolers, i'm OK with that, even if they end up costing $20-30 more.

Now that crossfire / SLI are gone, is finally time to introduce cards with standard thickness fans: fans that are NOT brand specific and can be swapped if need be by "insert preferred brand" fans. Be them 90mm or 120mm.
No there are plenty of things to put in PCI -E slots. Personally I am not a fan of triple slot cards.
Posted on Reply
#19
HTC
kapone32
No there are plenty of things to put in PCI -E slots. Personally I am not a fan of triple slot cards.
Neither am i, but function over form.

It's time for board makers to space the slots further from each other. It doesn't have to be by much: 1/4 to 1/3 of a slot should be enough. This would mean 2 slots equal current 2.5 slots to 2.67 slots which is more than enough to enhance GPU cooling capabilities by both fans' and cooler's thickness.
Posted on Reply
#20
laszlo
i remember my HIS cards with blower and was happy that all hot air was going out of the case; axial is good also but you need a bigger case with proper ventilation to get rid of the heat dispersed inside; in small cases blower is preferable over axial
Posted on Reply
#21
HTC
laszlo
i remember my HIS cards with blower and was happy that all hot air was going out of the case; axial is good also but you need a bigger case with proper ventilation to get rid of the heat dispersed inside; in small cases blower is preferable over axial
True. I never said they should revove blower coolers.

However, if they increase the slot spacing, the blower's cooler can also get thicker thus it SHOULD cool better @ the same fan speed or the same @ lower fan speed. Personally speaking, it'd prefer the same cooler thickness but with standard fans, which you could replace if need be with standard 92mm or 120mm fans, depending on which size of fan the cooler came with.

EDIT

By using standard fans, which are much THICKER than the fans that usually come with the GPUs, the temps should drop quite significantly, i think.
Posted on Reply
#22
TheinsanegamerN
HTC
Neither am i, but function over form.

It's time for board makers to space the slots further from each other. It doesn't have to be by much: 1/4 to 1/3 of a slot should be enough. This would mean 2 slots equal current 2.5 slots to 2.67 slots which is more than enough to enhance GPU cooling capabilities by both fans' and cooler's thickness.
And thus requiring the creation of a new form factor. How about AIB makers stop wating time with "asthetics" and design proper coolers with proper mounting pressure and baseplate design first? They can already manage this with Nvidia cards.
Posted on Reply
#23
basco
but but amd always has the better pcb components so how hard is it to put a good cooler on a reference card you tech giants which costs less- we are not in a beauty saloon

ok i am a little bit drunk so take as ya like
Posted on Reply
#25
Casecutter
I see it also as RTG splits Gaming and Professional line's, and now they've some budget to diverge this is expected.
Posted on Reply
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