AMD: Next-gen Radeon 'Navi' GPUs won't have a multi-chip design like Ryzen

There's a reason CrossFire is dead.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

A lot of rumors have been flying around lately about AMD’s next-generation “Navi” graphics architecture. But one concrete bit of information places some long-standing speculation to rest: Navi for consumer graphics cards will be built using a traditional, singular GPU, rather than switching to an exotic multi-chip setup.

David Wang, Radeon’s new graphics chief, told PCGamesN, “We are looking at the [multi-chip module] type of approach, but we’ve yet to conclude that this is something that can be used for traditional gaming graphics type of application.” PCGamesN reports that an MCM design “definitely” won’t be included in Navi graphics cards.

The stars seemed to be aligning for Radeon to switch to a multi-chip module design. AMD’s Ryzen CPUs adopted MCM to great success, and former Radeon head Raja Koduri spoke approvingly of how the Infinity Fabric technology that made Ryzen possible could be adapted to graphics technology as well. AMD dropping the CrossFire multi-GPU brand in late 2017 seemed to be preparing for a future when a single Radeon graphics card could have several chips inside.

amd radeon graphics roadmap AMD

AMD's Radeon graphics architecture roadmap.

As it turns out, CrossFire’s trials and tribulations are part of the reason Navi graphics cards will stick to a singular die. Making sure games run smoothly on multiple graphics cards is an immense technological headache. AMD and Nvidia both halved multi-GPU support from four to two cards in their newest hardware, and far fewer games even bothering to support the technology. The experience often disappoints even in games that do, to be frank.

Modern software views the multiple chips on Ryzen CPUs as a single processor. Games aren’t set up like that. “To some extent you’re talking about doing CrossFire on a single package,” Wang told PCGamesN. “The challenge is that unless we make it invisible to the [independent software vendors] you’re going to see the same sort of reluctance.” Again: Fewer and fewer games even bother supporting multi-GPU setups these days, and Nvidia dominates graphics card market share. A multi-chip Navi design by AMD would be paddling against the current.

AMD executives said that MCM designs are more widely accepted in professional and data center tasks, and we could see Radeon’s now-unified graphics designs diverge in the future to offer a singular die to gamers, and multi-chip modules to pros. But for now, one thing seems certain: Radeon Navi graphics cards won’t follow in Ryzen's technological footsteps.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?