A new leaked roadmap report from Wccftech shows us the timeline for the AMD Navi based GPUs and it is not great for PC gamers. A few days ago we saw the release of Nvidia's latest and greatest GPUs the GTX 2080 and 2080 ti, these new cards implemented a new feature not found in consumer cards before, ray tracing. However due to this new technology, Nvidia has jacked up the price considerably for this generation, the 1080ti launched at $699 RRP with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Reference costing $999.
The problem is that without any real competition, Nvidia can do what they want. Gamers were still buying the 1080ti even when the prices were inflated due to crypto mining, and they know that enthusiasts will pay whatever it takes to get the best performance possible. It is not unheard of for some gamers to buy Titan based cards even though they barely offer any improvement over the Ti cards but cost considerably more.
AMD has done exceptionally well in the past couple of years they have gone from reporting losses each quarter to making record profits thanks to their immensely successful Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs as well as the new Epyc server CPUs.
In terms of GPUs it appears they haven't given up, but rather focussing on custom GPU designs for corporations like Sony and Apple are in. This seems to fit in nicely with the rumour that AMD Navi is going to be designed with the Xbox Two and PS5 in mind. From a business point of view it is a sensible move, why compete in the relatively small PC gamer segment if you can be the sole GPU manufacturer in the console market. Even if the profit margins are smaller, it is a guaranteed win for AMD.
It is believed the PS5 will launch in 2020 and due to the scale of this project, AMD will likely be putting most of their effort into that. It is also believed that the updated Vega architecture using 7nm fabrication process will not arrive for the PC market at all, so there is going to be no interim cards before Navi arrives.
Based on the roadmap and some statements from AMD it looks like we will see some form of Navi card released in the second half of next year but the rumour is that it will likely be a mid-range card. Meaning that Nvidia should have at least 1-year uncontended un the upper end of the GPU market. These Navi 10 cards should have the performance level of this part will be equivalent to Vega and it will be a small GPU based on 7nm.
Navi 14 is due to arrive shortly after but it is Navi 20 that should be the true high-end GPU built on the 7nm node and as things stand right now, you are tentatively looking at it landing sometime around 2020 – 2021.
While this is all very depressing for PC gamers if we look at how the Ryzen platform completely transformed the CPU market, it is possible with the increased time and better financial position that AMD will eventually be able to release a new generation of cards to transform the GPU market. You are just going to have to wait a while for it!