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AMD’s next-gen GPUs may only be “25%” faster at ray tracing

Leaked performance estimates for upcoming RDNA 4 graphics cards point to meager improvements to ray tracing performance compared to RDNA 3.

An AMD Radeon graphics card, with small muscular arms and a large sweat drop, against an orange background

While the number of current generation graphics cards continues to grow, with the most recent addition being the Radeon RX 7900 GRE and Nvidia RTX 40 Super series, attention is slowly but surely being drawn to future architectures. As a case in point, potential performance estimates for AMD RDNA 4 GPUs have emerged, but they are sadly more middling than magnificent.

This is all still rumor and speculation at this point, of course, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard that AMD ray tracing won’t massively improve until the company’s RDNA 5 GPUs come out further down the line. For its RDNA 4 generation, it’s looking as though AMD still won’t be able to compete with Nvidia when it comes to ray tracing, which will make it hard for AMD’s next GPUs to be considered the best graphics card options.

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Responding to discussions on X (formerly Twitter) sprouting from their recent video discussing RDNA 4 specs, YouTuber RedGamingTech (RGT) shared some ray tracing performance estimations for the architecture they had heard from their sources.

“Hearing 25 or maybe 26 [percent]” they claim, stopping short of applying this uplift to either the Navi 44 or Navi 48 GPU they discuss in their video. This would represent a mild increase that, while welcome against the RTX 40 series, will likely not be enough to stave off incoming successors like the RTX 5090.

This feels all the more damning given that the RTX 5090 is 60 to 70% faster than the RTX 4090 according to recent rumors, leaving the RTX 50 series well ahead of any potential RDNA 4 competition.As the release of RDNA 4 graphics cards draws nearer, the nature of its launch is shaping up to be less like RDNA 3 and more akin to RDNA 1, with a greater focus on the midrange and budget spaces. At least we should see an AMD GPU match the RTX 4080 for half the price, if leaks are to be believed.

For all the relative doom and gloom surrounding RDNA 4, the future looks bright for AMD CPUs with Zen 5 processors expected to be announced at Computex 2024. That’s not to forget the company’s more recent relaunch of the RX 7900 GRE to markets outside of China.