AMD could defeat Nvidia in first battle of next-gen GPU wars, if launch rumors are right

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Nvidia and AMD’s next-gen graphics cards are due later this year, and we’ve just heard more from the rumor mill about exactly when these Lovelace and RDNA 3 products might arrive, giving us a hint of how the next-gen GPU wars could pan out as a result.

This comes from German tech site 3DCenter.org which presented us with a roundup of all the rumored tape out, testing and purported release dates for Nvidia and AMD’s next graphics cards, put together using the most recent info from two major Twitter leakers, namely Kopite7kimi and Greymon55.

Of course, this is just a summary of rumors and guesswork, and as 3DCenter makes clear there are big caveats regarding the accuracy here, but nonetheless it’s interesting to see how the speculation is shaping up regarding which GPUs might come first (and this ties up with what we’ve heard elsewhere, too, lending it all a bit more weight – we’ll come back to that later).

So, going by the prediction made here, the initial products for both Nvidia and AMD – for what will presumably be the RTX 4000 and RX 7000 series respectively – will be the top-end AD102 for the former and Navi 33 for the latter, possibly arriving in September or October 2022.

That means the first product out from Nvidia could be the flagship RTX 4090, and that alone, perhaps, as the most recent rumor from Kopite7kimi is that the RTX 4080 will not use the AD102 chip, and will actually be built around AD103 (help yourself to some condiments with that assertion, of course).

AMD, on the other hand, is going to be pushing out Navi 33 products which are midrange GPUs, not high-end. There’s some confusion as to exactly where the boundaries for Navi 33 will lie, going by the latest from another high-profile leaker, Moore’s Law is Dead, but these GPUs might be RX 7600 or even 7700 models.

Nvidia’s next Lovelace graphics cards purportedly won’t be too far behind, though, with AD103 and AD104, which could represent the RTX 4080, 4070 and 4060, going into testing a month or two after the RTX 4090, meaning that all these GPUs should debut at some point in Q4 2022 (and perhaps in November as a vague best guess from what we see here).

AMD, on the other hand, will keep gamers waiting until 2023 for the rest of its line-up if this rumor roundup is correct, theorizing that the flagship RX 7900 (Navi 31) offering will turn up at the start of the year (presumably January), and the rest of the RDNA 3 range (including RX 7800 products) may not arrive until the spring of 2023 (that’s Navi 32).


Analysis: Advantage AMD, at least initially?

The most important thing to remember here is that even if this is the intended release schedule for Nvidia and AMD right now, there’s still a fair bit of road to go in the testing process, so things may change anyway. When you consider that these are just rumors, it’s clear we need to be very cautious about putting too much stock in these supposed release timeframes.

What’s interesting, though, is that on the AMD side this does marry with what we’ve heard from YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead, who believes that Navi 32 won’t arrive until the first half of 2023, so spring of next year would seem about right. He also reckons that Navi 33 products are going to be out of the door first for AMD, so that’s a trio of leakers making that prediction – which does lend the rumor a bit more weight.

Where things differ for Moore’s Law is Dead is that he asserts that the flagship RDNA 3 product won’t be far behind Navi 33 at all, whereas 3DCenter’s summary predicts a much larger gap.

At any rate, going by what’s floated here, the initial battle of the next-gen GPU wars could be Nvidia’s top-end vs AMD’s mid-range, and that should give Team Red the advantage, at least in terms of getting traction with adoption going out of the gate.

Nvidia’s problem will be if it only has the RTX 4090 on sale to begin with, that’s a niche proposition which is invariably going to have a towering price tag, and what’s more its rumored power demands could force gamers into a PSU upgrade, making it an even more difficult sell (in terms of the hassle and extra cost of switching out your power supply).

So, AMD’s RDNA 3 range could get the jump on Nvidia at the outset, if this turns out to be on the money – assuming, that is, that Team Red can get production cranked up so supply meets demand.

However, Nvidia should not be too far behind with the rest of its RTX 4000 line-up, bringing all those cards in before AMD gets anything else released, at least in theory. So the situation could swing back in Team Green’s favor fairly swiftly, depending on how the relative merits and pricing of these GPUs pans out (and stock levels, too).

As a final note, we should also bear in mind that later in 2023, the GPU world won’t be a two-horse race, and we don’t know what kind of impact Intel’s desktop Arc graphics cards will have (they should be out next month, and likely on shelves in fairly hefty quantities later in 2022).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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