AMD RDNA 4 graphics cards could be imminent, as huge driver-related hint is dropped

AMD has rolled out a massive Linux driver update with 24,000 lines of code for Team Red’s incoming RDNA 4 graphics cards.

As spotted by Phoronix.com (via TweakTown), a new Linux kernel driver has been implemented for ‘AMD GFX12 Mesa support.’ GFX12 is widely believed to be the codename for the upcoming Radeon RX 8000 GPUs based on the new RDNA 4 architecture.

This update adds GFX12 support for all manner of intricate technical bits and pieces, alongside a raft of optimizations (consisting of 23 patches in total). 

As well as video and encoding optimization, there’s also initial code for GFX12 which appears to be for Vulkan, too.

This news arrives mere weeks before Computex which is scheduled for early June, an event where we could see our first full look at RDNA 4 after months of rumors and speculation. 

From the current crop of rumors, it appears as though AMD’s RDNA 4 line-up could be more iterative than innovative as Team Red saves its sweeping improvements for RDNA 5. Recent speculation around performance hints that the Radeon RX 8000 series could be more of a “correction” of some of RDNA 3’s issues rather than a massive step up. 

This is corroborated by earlier rumors around the now-canceled Navi 4X / 4C GPU which could have been up to 50% more powerful than the RX 7900 XTX. It seems that Team Red was researching and developing ways to compete with Nvidia at the top-end, but that’s seemingly been abandoned because the costs would have been too high for consumers. 

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Interestingly, we’ve seen what could be the remnants of the Navi 4X / 4C die with a quad-slot cooler repurposed for the hulking XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX Phoenix Nirvana earlier this month. Requiring 3 x PCIe power connectors and 850W of total system power at a minimum, the RDNA 4 flagship could have been too hot to handle for manufacturers.  

All could be revealed in a couple of weeks 

There’s been a wealth of RDNA 4 rumors and speculation which have given the impression that AMD’s next-gen GPUs may not turn many heads performance-wise. However, the pricing and generational improvements will largely dictate whether what Team Red offers will sink or swim. It’s a pivotal moment considering AMD’s fiscal results show that its GPU division isn’t doing too well right now; a shot in the arm is needed. 

Computex 2024 is scheduled for June 4 to 7 with the Taipei show being the perfect environment to debut a new GPU range. While we’re sure to see more on Ryzen AI computing and laptops, this event marks the last big push for the year to get eyes on gaming consumer hardware. (Well, short of Team Red conducting a reveal itself as seen with the RDNA 3 Together We Advance Gaming announcement in November 2022).

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