AMD RX 6000 Series GPUs To Support the AV1 Codec

Microsoft confirmed that the new Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs from AMD would support the all-new AV1 codec designed by Alliance for Open Media (AOM). This marks the point where all three graphics manufacturers, AMD, Nvidia, and Intel, support the encoder. Naturally, that should accelerate its popularity and support and seemingly indicates that the rival H.266 spec isn’t receiving as much uptake. However, whether AMD’s integrated graphics in it’s desktop and mobile APUs will get AV1 encode and decode capabilities remains to be seen.

AMD RX 6000 Series GPU

Regarding the encoder, AV1 is 50% more efficient than H.264 and 20% better than VP9, which means AV1 video sizes are cut in half compared to H.264 encoding, but they still have the same level of quality. This is great news as more people continue to shift away from smaller resolutions like 1080P and upgrade to 4k and even 4k 60FPS, which can be expensive to store and stream on slower internet connections.

If you have an AV1-supported GPU, you can check out videos running on AV1 already with YouTube. All you need to do is select a video, right-click on the video and select “Stats for nerds’ to check out whether YouTube is running AV1 or not.

Related: View these BAD BOY Graphics cards from our online shop.

AMD Teases RX 6000 Performance

AMD just spilled the beans on its Zen 3 microarchitecture, providing the largest IPC uplift we’ve yet to see in the post-Zen AMD era. Nineteen percent higher IPC at the same power levels means AMD may finally lay claim to being the best CPU for gaming — it already owns the title for best-multithreaded performance. That’s all well and good, but Team Red isn’t done yet. We know Big Navi is coming, and AMD provided some limited benchmarks at the end of its Zen 3 stream. We don’t have detailed specs yet, though we have plenty of informed guesses and leaks. But now we have some official benchmarks of RDNA 2, running on AMD’s new Zen 3 Ryzen 9 5900X.

There’s a catch, of course: AMD didn’t even say which Big Navi it’s using. Theoretically, it could be the RX 6800 XT, but that seems dubious at best. This is almost certainly the RX 6900 XT, because just like AMD is leading the Zen 3 launch with 5950X and 5900X performance details, we expect it will show off the top part for Navi 21. We also don’t know pricing on Big Navi, and AMD isn’t demonstrating ray tracing performance (even though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare supports ray traced shadows).

AMD let us know in advance what games and settings it would be showing, so we’ve got some comparison points for the tests. Borderlands 3 was running at 4K using the badass preset and DX12, Gears 5 is also using DX12 and running at 4K ultra, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was running at ‘ultra’ (maxed out, except for ray tracing) settings at 4K. There’s no built-in benchmark for Call of Duty, however, so we’ll confine our comparisons to the first two.

Note that we’re testing with our standard Core i9-9900K test PC. That shouldn’t matter too much, since the benchmarks are at settings that will be largely GPU limited, even on more modest CPUs. Still, AMD’s numbers are from a Ryzen 9 5900X test system, which likely puts the new card in the best light possible.

Credit to Tom’s Hardware for a great informative piece.

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