In addition to improved ray tracing capabilities, the addition of AI cores, and memory galore, these first RDNA 3-architecture GPUs are also the first graphics cards featuring a multi-die “chiplet” design, swiping inspiration from AMD’s epic Ryzen success.
Adam Patrick Murray / IDG
Better yet? Just like when Ryzen disrupted Intel’s stranglehold on CPUs, moving to chiplets helps AMD drastically undercut Nvidia’s pricing. While the RTX 4090 costs a chest-clutching $1,599, and the impending GeForce RTX 4080 costs $1,199, the new 24GB Radeon RX 7900 XTX costs $999 and the 20GB RX 7900 will cost $899 when they launch on December 13.
Even if AMD’s flagship doesn’t manage to go quite toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s beast when the benchmark dust finally settles, it should still be insanely fast—and sport a much more palatable price tag.
Let’s dig in.
Meet AMD’s RDNA 3 chiplets
Comparing AMD and Nvidia’s strategies to David and Goliath seems especially salient here. Nvidia slammed the pedal to the metal with its new “Ada Lovelace” architecture in the RTX 4090. The 4090 packs a gigantic 608mm2 GPU, crammed with 76.3 billion transistors. Those envelop everything you’d normally expect in a GPU die, from media and display engines to the memory controls. It truly is a goliath of a GPU.
Adam Patrick Murray / IDG
With RDNA 3 and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, AMD chose a different path. It still contains a central GPU die, of course—you need one—but it measures a comparably paltry 300mm2, built using a 5nm TSMC manufacturing node similar to Nvidia’s. That’s because AMD split its GDDR6 memory interface and second-generation Infinity Cache into separate dies—six in total—made using the more mature and cost-efficient 6nm node. It’s a radical change for GPU design, and one that helps AMD keep costs down. All told, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX wields 58 billion transistors.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT each come equipped with 96MB of that Infinity Cache (which is basically on-die L3 cache for faster memory transfers and gaming speeds), with each of the six dies also sporting 64-bit memory controllers. That’s less than what the RDNA 2-based Radeon RX 6900 XT and 6800-series packed—those had 128MB—but AMD product technology architect Sam Naffziger explained that this version of Infinity Cache has been configured to do more with less, especially paired to the 24GB of GDDR6 memory over a broad 384-bit bus (or 20GB/320-bit bus in the 7900 XT’s case).
“We’ve tuned this Infinity Cache to enable better data reuse with less capacity to accomplish several things for us,” Naffziger said. “With the high hit rates, it directly sources most of the memory requests. This delivers data to the engine in less time and uses less power than going out to DRAM.” In sum, he said, RDNA 3’s Infinity Cache offers 2.7x the peak bandwidth provided by its successor, delivering up to 5.3 terabytes per second for instructions that stay within the GPU and Infinity Cache.
Bottom line: The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT won’t leave you wanting for memory.
Radeon RX 7900 XTX: Inside RDNA 3’s GPU upgrades
But don’t let the introduction of discrete memory dies fool you: The core RDNA 3 GPU also received some serious upgrades.
Architecture tweaks, the migration to TSMC’s advanced 5nm node, and splitting out the memory to its own trailing-node chiplet helped AMD exceed its efficiency goals, with CEO Lisa Su claiming that RDNA 3 offers 54 percent higher performance-per-watt than RDNA 2. That let AMD stick with a traditional 2x 8-pin power connector design, neatly side-stepping the melting 12VHPWR adapter controversy Nvidia finds itself embroiled in with the RTX 4090.
With RDNA 3, AMD managed to squeeze in 54 percent more transistors than with RDNA 2, in a smaller area, for an overall density improvement of 165 percent.
Adam Patrick Murray / IDG
That’s all well and good, but gamers are more interested in what those fancy new RDNA 3 dies do. A deeper dive will no doubt come before the Radeon RX 7900 XTX’s December 13 launch date, but AMD provided some tantalizing morsels of information today.
RDNA 3 switches to a new “unified” compute unit that uses dual-issue wave 32 units, so AMD can issue either integer or floating point instructions as needed depending on the workload, which Naffziger says can speed up gaming frame rates and AI tasks alike. An enhanced general purpose register file with 50 percent more capacity than the RDNA 2 design likewise helps keep all tasks fed.
Yes, I said AI tasks. Two generations after Nvidia introduced tensor AI cores for DLSS and more in its RTX 20-series GeForce GPUs, AMD is finally following suit. Each RDNA 3 Compute Unit (CU) packs a pair of AI cores, as well as an enhanced ray tracing core that supports new dedicated instructions, 1.5x more rays in flight, and fresh ray box sorting and transversal capabilities.
AMD says RDNA 3 offers up to 50 percent more performance per CU than RDNA 2 did, which feels unlikely to catch up to Nvidia’s blistering RTX 40-series performance given the deficit AMD started in, but could make ray-traced games truly playable on RX 7000-series graphics cards. And you have to assume those AI cores will be put to work upsampling games before you know it—especially since Radeon chief Scott Herkelman teased FSR 3 for a 2023 release during this event, with a twofold increase in frame rates versus the already-impressive FSR 2.
Speaking of compute units, RDNA 3 might have a much smaller die, but it packs in many more CUs than before. The Radeon RX 6900 XT topped out at 80 CUs. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX has 96 running at 2.3GHz, while the 7900 XT offers 84 running at 2GHz.
From traditional games to ray tracing to AI tasks, AMD’s new flagship should offer substantially more performance than before, as the AMD-supplied slides below illustrate. (That said, as always you should wait for independent benchmarks before judging a new graphics card—especially since these lack any RTX 4090 comparisons that could give us direct insight on how the Radeon RX 7900 XTX compares against Nvidia’s latest and greatest.)
AMD also teased a new one-click “Hypr-RX” feature that can greatly enhance frame rates by activating FSR, Radeon Boost, and other helpful Radeon technologies. Like FSR 3, it’s coming in 2023—specifically the first half.
Raw performance is only part of the package though. AMD also upgraded the media and display engines in RDNA 3.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT support DisplayPort 2.1, unlike the GeForce RTX 4090. That means it can support 4K displays at up to a blistering 480Hz, or 8K displays at 165Hz. And 12 color bits per channel unlocks up to 68 billion colors, which is welcome, but seems more like stat porn than something anyone other than content creators need to worry about.
Nvidia and Intel hold the most sway with content creators, but AMD seriously upgraded its media engine with RDNA 3. Not only does it support AV1 encode and decode, joining Intel’s Arc and Nvidia’s RTX 40-series, but the GPU can also run simultaneous encode and decode for HEVC or AVC video. Accelerating the media engine’s frequency also helps it deliver up to 1.8x the performance of RDNA 2, Naffziger said, reducing export times. AMD’s new AI cores also come to bear here, with Naffziger promising improved video encoding and conference call quality thanks to their help.
A brewing battle
Adam Patrick Murray / IDG
After several disheartening years of shortages and sky-high prices, PC gamers finally have something to look forward to. The GeForce RTX 4090 rocked our socks, but its $1,600 price tag makes it a luxury toy for the 0.1 percent. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT definitely aren’t cheap, at $999 and $899 respectively, but they’re a whole lot less than Nvidia’s initial offerings—and they appear primed to deliver an enthralling 4K+ gaming experience of their own on the back of several exciting innovations and beefed-up ray tracing capabilities.
AMD’s otherwise exciting presentation left us with plenty of questions, however. How will the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT stack up against the GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080, if not their own RDNA 2 predecessors? Does switching to multiple dies create any performance oddities? Will RDNA 3 finally deliver a compelling ray tracing experience? We’ll need to wait for independent benchmarks when these new-breed graphics cards hit the streets on December 13 to find out the answers.
We’d expected the Cyber Monday deal to have gone by now, but it’s still going strong today. It isn’t clear how long it’ll be available for, though, so if you need a dash cam that just does the basics and shoots good-quality 1080p video, we’d suggest picking it up sooner rather than later.
In our review of Garmin’s tiny dash cam, which is about the size of a key fob, we praised its “focus on simplicity”, along with its “high-quality HD footage and useful set of voice control commands”.
Today’s best dash cam deal
While the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 lacks premium features like 4K video recording or a rear screen, we think it nails the basics and offers great value, particularly in this post-Cyber Monday deal.
Because it’s tiny and weighs only 35g, it can hide away discreetly behind your rear-view mirror, which makes it particularly suitable for small cars. In our tests, we were also impressed with the quality of its 1080p video and 140-degree field of view, plus the handy voice controls.
And while the Dash Cam Mini 2 does also lack GPS, we found the Garmin Drive app – which is an important part of the dash cam experience – to be very polished and user-friendly. We had no issues with connecting it to the dash cam, which is where some models can slip up, and it’s free for iOS and Android phones.
Looking for a more traditional camera to help shoot photos and video outside your car? Check out our broader round-up of the best Cyber Monday camera deals that are still going.
More dash cam deals
No matter where you live, you’ll find all the lowest prices for dash cams from around the web right here, with offers available in your region.
Mark is the Cameras Editor at TechRadar. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he’s contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph’s Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London’s Square Mile.
Apple has announced the winners of the App Store Awards 2022, with BeReal – the new social platform that has you snapping and sharing a pair of photos (one from your phone’s front and one from the back camera) each day, took the App of the Year award this year.
The App Store Awards (opens in new tab) is a yearly event where Apple recognizes developers and the apps they’ve created that have made the biggest impact on its users and the company. Whether that’s in social media, games or sport, they take advantage of the hardware and software that Apple’s recently brought out.
There were a bunch of games that were highlighted this year, such as Wilde Flowers (opens in new tab) and Inua (opens in new tab) winning the Apple Arcade game of the year and Cultural Impact award respectively, while GoodNotes 5 (opens in new tab), developed Time Base Technology Limited, took the iPad App of the Year award.
It’s interesting to spot that there’s 16 winners here, rather than 15 of the previous years – that’s because there’s a new ‘China Game of the Year’ added to the roster, which only shows the breadth of how one country is making an impact on the App Store.
With this in mind, TechRadar reached out to the developers of Wylde Flowers, Gentler Streak and Inua about plans for their apps in the near future, after winning these awards from Apple.
Apple’s App Store shows no sign of slowing down
Available on Apple Arcade (opens in new tab), Wylde Flowers is a game reminiscent of Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, where you control the protagonist – Tara, building and running a farm during the day while also moonlighting as a witch during the night.
Developed by Studio Drydock, the developers told us that they were proud to receive the Apple Arcade game of the year, but that there’s also an upcoming update called ‘Endless Seasons and Romance’ – due for a December release – which will feature different weather effects and new content that players will be able to enjoy.
We asked the team if they would also include the ability to finally customize Tara, and while they said that they were aware of this request from many players, it wasn’t something that they were considering for the time being.
Inua (opens in new tab) is a time-traveling adventure game that makes for an immersive time on iPhone and iPad, and while developers Arte Experience told us that a version of the game appearing on Apple TV would make for a good next step when we suggested it, they didn’t confirm whether this is expansion would be in the game’s future.
Alongside this, Gentler Streak (opens in new tab) achieves the unique task of encouraging you to work out in a calm and concise way, with useful information inside a well-designed app. The team also confirmed that Live Activities – a feature from iOS 16.1 that allows widgets to show live updates on the Lock Screen – is coming to a future update of the app, alongside adding photos to workouts and more complications to the watchOS app.
Overall, it’s encouraging to see so many varied apps earning awards this year, although it would be nice to see another award that highlights accessibility; either as a separate award or included as a mention as part of other awards.
Regardless, with rumors of an Apple VR headset allegedly debuting in 2023, we could see a completely different App Store Awards next year. It’s a good time to be an Apple user, with the innovation that these independent developers are still bringing to the table, almost 15 years since the App Store debuted, alongside the iPhone 3G, back in 2008.
Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he’s written a book, ‘The Making of Tomb Raider’, alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that’s about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.
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Leading through turbulent times has become far too familiar for leaders; PwC’s new report found 90% of executives are concerned about macroeconomic conditions, including the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle, higher cost of capital, and wages not keeping up with inflation. However, 82% remain confident about their ability to execute on digital transformation initiatives and 77% are confident they can achieve near-term growth goals.
Inflation is a looming threat, but large budget cuts can formulate the exact precarious situation companies hope to avoid. Rather than acting swiftly, the survey found executives are focused on planning for the potential timing and severity of a recession.
Executives are thinking about how to cut costs without reducing headcount, such as using automation and managed services for efficiency. CIOs still plan to invest in digital transformation.
Implementing strategies for recession-proofing
Along with inflation fears, executives are worried about wage growth not keeping up with rising costs, and plan to reduce the number of full-time employees as a result. In fact, 81% of CHROs plan to implement at least one tactic to reduce their workforce, such as layoffs, voluntary retirement or not replacing people who leave on hiring freezes.
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The state of hybrid work remains a topic among executives. Two-thirds are concerned with a slower-than-expected returns to work. Many seek to implement on-site training, coaching and mentoring opportunities to attract employees. Executives are challenged to rethink the role of the office by creating a culture that fosters in-office participation.
While fears of a recession loom, not all hope is lost. Leaders are focused on growth and looking to enter a possible recession healthy and exit healthier. While conscious of their cost structure, it’s part of a bigger conversation about how they will transform their businesses for the future, rather than a knee-jerk reaction to current economic conditions. How well and how quickly they are able to execute will determine the outcome.
Effective strategic planning, investment in growth and continuous flexibility will see companies through growing concerns.
PwC’s report surveyed more than 650 business executives, including 91 CFOs and 94 CHROs.