AMD Big Navi might not beat Nvidia RTX 3080, but it could come close

(Image credit: AMD)

New rumors suggest that the upcoming AMD Big Navi graphics card will come close to challenging Nvidia’s brand-new GeForce RTX 3080 card, which will excite some people and disappoint others.

It’s exciting because the new RTX 3080 is shaping up to be a formidable flagship graphics card – our RTX 3080 review will be coming soon to explain more – so the idea that AMD is building a GPU that can compete with one of the most powerful cards Nvidia has made is exciting stuff.

According to Moore’s Law is Dead, the RDNA 2 Big Navi GPU will be within “spitting distance of the RTX 3080 in rasterization performance. If AMD doesn't 'beat' the 3080, they will assuredly crush the RTX 3070.”

Nvidia has  dominated the high-end GPU market for a while now, so it'll be good to see AMD come out with a graphics card that competes with Nvidia’s flagship RTX 3080.

Anyone who was hoping that AMD would release an ‘Nvidia killer’ GPU could be disappointed, as the rumor hints that while Big Navi will come close to the RTX 3080’s performance, it won’t beat it.

Meanwhile, Nvidia also has the much more powerful RTX 3090 GPU as well, so it looks like Team Green will continue to dominate the high end and enthusiast market unopposed.

More Big Navi details

As Tweaktown reports, Moore’s Law is Dead claims that it has more details on Big Navi. Apparently, it will be ‘substantially’ more power efficient than Nvidia’s Ampere cards, like the RTX 3080. This could be good news, as the power-hungry RTX 3080 and 3090 could mean some upgraders need new power supply units to run.

It could also be smaller than Ampere cards, thanks to “incredible improvements to how RDNA manages memory and bandwidth”. Again, this could make the GPU easier to install.

Big Navi will also apparently offer ray tracing lighting effects that beat Nvidia’s last gen Turing graphics cards (like the RTX 2080), but won’t quite match Ampere cards.

Also, while AMD is taking Nvidia’s DLSS tech seriously, which offers big performance gains at ultra high resolutions, there’s no confirmation if AMD has an alternative.

Hopefully we’ll find out more about Big Navi at AMD’s launch event on October 28

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.