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PSA: GPU-Z shows PCI-Express x16 for Radeon RX 6500 XT / Navi 24. It really is x4

AMD announced the Radeon RX 6500 XT and RX 6400 at CES just a few days ago. These new entry-level cards debut the company's first 6 nm GPU, codenamed "Navi 24"—the smallest chip from the RDNA2 family. Navi 24 is barely the size of a motherboard chipset, roughly 100 mm² in die size. The chip only features a 64-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, needing just two memory chips to achieve 4 GB of memory size. While AMD has been fairly quiet about it, people quickly found out that the Navi 24 GPU only uses a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface. While the physical connector is x16, there is only enough signal traces for x4.

Even the most updated 2.43.0 public version of GPU-Z misreports the bus interface as PCIe x16 4.0 though, which will certainly lead to confusion in the reviewer community who trust GPU-Z to report the correct specs and speeds for their articles. Maybe that's the reason why AMD has decided to not send us a sample this time—a first in 15 years.

Update Jan 20th: GPU-Z 2.44.0 has been released, which properly reports the PCIe bus configuration of RX 6500 XT.

AMD to Refresh the Radeon RX 6000 Desktop Series with Faster Memory

AMD is preparing a round of updates to its desktop Radeon RX 6000 series in the wake of RTX 30-series models by NVIDIA, according to Greymon55, a reliable source with GPU rumors. The company could be leveraging faster 18 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips for the task. This wouldn't be the first RX 6000 series products with 18 Gbps memory, as the liquid-cooled MBA (made-by-AMD) RX 6900 XT that's exclusive to OEMs, already comes with 18 Gbps memory clocks.

Mass-production of JEDEC-standard GDDR6 memory chips with data-rates as high as 20 Gbps and 24 Gbps by Samsung is expected to get underway later this year. The company is already sampling these chips, and it's likely that they may feature in the next round of product-stack updates by AMD and NVIDIA. In the run up to its next-gen RDNA3 graphics architecture, AMD is rumored to be working on a refresh of RDNA2 on the new TSMC N6 (6 nm) foundry node that it already leverages for the entry-level "Navi 24" ASIC. This is expected to open up headroom to dial up engine clocks, and possibly support faster memory. As for this latest refresh with 18 Gbps memory, if AMD's naming convention for its mobile RX 6850M is anything to go by, the new SKUs could feature a similar "xx50" model numbering.

AMD Navi 24 GPU Powering RX 6500 XT Built on 6nm

AMD's first GPU built on the N6 (6 nm) silicon fabrication process isn't some big RX 7000 series behemoth, but the smallest chip from the Navi 2x GPU family, codenamed Navi 24. Based on the same RDNA2 graphics architecture as the rest of the RX 6000 series, the Navi 24 physically packs 1,024 stream processors across 16 compute units (8 WGPs), and on the RX 6500 XT, reportedly comes with 4 GB of memory across a 64-bit wide memory bus. The chip also packs a tiny 16 MB Infinity Cache. VideoCardz scored the first renders of the upcoming Radeon RX 6500 XT and RX 6400, which are based on the Navi 24. The RX 6500 XT features a full-height, 2-slot board design that uses a simple aluminium monoblock fan-heatsink. The RX 6400, on the other hand, is not just low-profile (half-height), but also single-slot.

Update Dec 28th: Unless we're mistaken, the SMDs near the PCIe interface in those renders seem to suggest that the GPU features a PCIe x4 interface. This should offer sufficient bandwidth for a GPU in this segment, and should help lower the pin-count of the GPU, as well as board costs.

AMD Readies Radeon RX 6500 XT and RX 6400 Graphics Cards

AMD is preparing to wrap up its Radeon RX 6000 series desktop discrete graphics card family with two new SKUs, the RX 6500 XT and the RX 6400. The two debut the company's smallest piece of silicon based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture, codenamed "Navi 24," to the desktop space. The RX 6500 XT maxes out this silicon, enabling all 16 compute units physically present, working out to 1,024 stream processors. The RX 6400 is significantly cut down, featuring 12 out of 16 CUs, which means 768 stream processors.

The Navi 24 silicon features a 64-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, which is paired with 4 GB of discrete memory on both SKUs. This memory operates at 14 Gbps data-rate, which works out to 112 GB/s memory bandwidth. Interestingly, the Infinity Cache makes a comeback, in the form of a tiny 16 MB on-die cache that cushions the memory sub-system. The RX 6500 XT could have just enough muscle for e-sports gaming at 1080p, while the RX 6400 seems more like a card you'd buy just because your processor lacks integrated graphics (eg: if you're using a Ryzen 5000X processor and just need a graphics solution that meets the latest display I/O and media-acceleration standards). At this point we don't know if the Navi 24 is DirectX 12 Ultimate compliant, i.e., featuring Ray Accelerators on its compute units. Both cards are expected to launch in Q1, 2022.

AMD "Navi 24" is the Smallest RDNA2 GPU Yet, Could Power RX 6400 Series

The 7 nm "Navi 24" silicon will very likely be the smallest discrete GPU based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. The chip surfaced in technical documentation under the codename "Beige Goby." AMD uses such internal codenames to track sources of leaks. No specs of the "Navi 24" are known yet, but it could be significantly smaller than the "Navi 23" that powers the Radeon RX 6600 series and possibly the RX 6500 series, reportedly packing up to 2,048 stream processors. The "Navi 24" chip could also help AMD compete against NVIDIA and an emerging Intel in entry-level discrete GPUs for notebooks.

AMD Confirms Radeon RX 6000 Series Laptop GPUs are "Coming Soon"

AMD has just announced its Navi 22 RDNA 2 devices, spanning the middle-end gaming sector. The Radeon RX 6700 XT, which is the latest addition to the 6000 series of Radeon graphics cards, is carrying the Navi 22 chip inside it. However, AMD GPUs need to satisfy another sector in addition to the desktop market and that is the laptop/mobile market. With the past 5000 series of laptop GPUs, AMD has made a bit of a disappointing launch. Given the availability of the first-generation RDNA GPUs in mobile devices, many gamers were unable to find 5000 series Radeon GPUs in laptops, as it was rarely a choice. MSI and Dell have carried a few models with the Radeon RX 5500M and RX 5600M, and the highest-end Radeon RX 5700M availability was limited to Dell Alienware Area-51m R2 laptop.

During the announcement of Radeon RX 6700 XT, Scott Herkleman (CVP & GM AMD Radeon) has announced that AMD is preparing the launch of the next-generation RDNA 2 based RX 6000 series of graphics cards for mobile/laptop devices. While there should be a range of models based on Navi 22, Navi 23, and Navi 24, the availability is unknown for now. The only information we have so far is that it is "coming soon". The exact configurations of these chips remain a mystery until the launch happens, so we have to wait to find out more.
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