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NVIDIA vs Radeon (2021): Who Makes The Best Graphics Card?

Choosing the best graphics card is a daunting task. This one decision can make or break your rig as graphics cards deliver a much smoother and more immersive experience, making them a vital component of any PC. But thanks to the ongoing battle between NVIDIA and AMD, we have a smorgasbord of the best graphics cards in the market.

NVIDIA offers low-, mid- and high-end graphics, with the GeForce RTX 2080 series being one of the most popular. AMD, meanwhile, is much more popular with the mid-range buyers, with the RX 5600 and RX 5700 series, offering excellent value while challenging NVIDIA’s offerings. So whether you’ll be spending hours on newly-released PC games or you’re tackling the most GPU intensive tasks like creating content on Adobe Premiere Pro, we’ll help you find the ideal GPU brand for your specific needs. Read on more below because we’re comparing these heavyweights in the factors that matter the most.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti vs AMD Radeon VII Comparison Chart

ModelNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 TiAMD Radeon VII
 NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti Founders EditionXFX AMD Radeon VII 16GB HBM2, 1750 MHz Boost, 1801 MHz Peak, 3xDP 1xHDMI Pci-E 3.0
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Processor Cores4,352 CUDA cores3,840 stream processors
Transistor Count18.6 billion13.2 billion
Base Clock1,350MHz1,400MHz
Boost Clock1,545MHz1,750MHz
TFLOPS13.413.4
Memory11GB GDDR616GB HMB2
Memory Clock14 GT/s2 GT/s
Memory Interface352-bit4,096-bit
Memory Bandwidth616GB/s1024GB/s
ArchitectureTuring TU102Vega 20
Node Process12 nm7nm
Die Size754mm²331mm²
TDP260w300w

AMD and NVIDIA at a Glance

NVIDIA is crowned as the king of high-end graphics cards but AMD is rumored to be developing something new to shake things up.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (left) vs AMD Radeon VII (right)

NVIDIA’s latest RTX series offers the latest tech and support for ray tracing and DLSS. For the uninitiated, DLSS is the capability to upscale images with a bit more resolution but with less performance usage. One of NVIDIA’s top chip is the RTX 2080 Ti. It has a hefty price tag, to say the least, but it’s been dubbed as one of the most capable consumer graphics cards out there. It’s the perfect choice for high-end PC builders when the price is of no concern.

Then there’s the RTX 2070, the bang-for-your-buck graphics card that has superb 1080p performance at a lesser price. It’s just such good value, it has been sold out almost everywhere for a while now. Dropping down the line is the GTX 16 series. These graphics cards have lesser memory but still have superb 1080p performance for an even lower price. It’s a great beginner graphics card if you’re not into ray tracing or DLSS.

AMD, on the other hand, drives better on the budget-friendly route. They’re currently taking a backseat on creating high-end chips but there are rumors that AMD is cooking something new to match NVIDIA’s high-end graphics cards. We’ll be on the lookout for when that time comes.

RX 5700 XT is crowned as AMD’s top chip. It comes with a decent 8GB memory and has a similar core count and memory bandwidth with some of NVIDIA’s cards. RX 5700 is more affordable, having a lesser core count but is still superb in 1080p and 1440p performance. The last on our radar is Radeon VII (one of the hardest to find these days) which comes with a whopping 16GB HBM2 memory. It’s faster than NVIDIA’s RTX 2070 and can process 1440p even at 90fps on Ultra.

Performance

NVIDIA is the clear winner when you’re opting for high-end computer setups because their graphics cards can keep up with demanding processing performance.

NVIDIA GeForce 1650 (left) vs AMD Radeon 5500 XT (right)

For high-end performance, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti hits the ballpark of every other consumer-grade graphics card with its beastly 11GB of GDDR6 memory and high-end Tensor and RT cores. It also features AI-controlled supersampling and real-time ray tracing, a feature that is currently unavailable in any AMD graphics card. AMD’s Radeon VII was supposed to be the challenger for the RTX 2080 Ti but it’s more at par with the older RTX 2080. Nevertheless, it still packs a beefy 16GB of HBM2 memory and is the first 7nm gaming GPU — definitely a good choice when you need a chip for mid-range performance-intensive applications.

Speaking of mid-range performance, the award still goes back to NVIDIA. Comparing the NVIDIA RX 5500 XT and AMD Radeon GTX 1660, the RX550 XT is faster and more efficient for roughly the same price. This also rings true for the low-end cards. The Radeon RX 570 still falls behind GeForce GTX 1650 even when using roughly twice the power. It’s also 20% slower than the newer RX 5500 XT.

Overall, NVIDIA wins this round by a landslide. NVIDIA’s current lineup generally delivers superior performance than that of AMD’s, even at equivalent prices. They sealed the deal with the RTX series, most notably with their ray tracing feature. NVIDIA’s Turing architecture is also better and faster, which stomps the competition and makes them the more popular option for most PC builders.

Price

AMD offers exceptional value with its rDNA-powered GPUs that are brilliant for those with tighter budgets.

AMD Radeon 5700 XT (left) vs NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (right)

The GPU space is booming with competition. NVIDIA and AMD offer a wide range of graphics cards for every price range and every need. AMD’s current RX series offers great value, particularly at the low- and mid-range budgets. NVIDIA, meanwhile, dominates the high-end tiers, with their ampere technology racking up the awards.

Comparing GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and Radeon RX 5700 XT, there’s a significant price difference. The RTX 2080 SUPER is one of the most powerful GPUs in the mix. The power of DLSS and ray tracing really gives AMD a run for its money. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that still delivers, the RX 5700 XT is the best you can get for its tier. It can handle 1440p gaming and a little 4K gaming with some minor gaming settings adjustments.

AMD and NVIDIA dominate different price ranges but we’re giving this round to AMD. AMD produces some fantastic graphics cards that won’t cost you everything on your piggy bank, especially when you have just started exploring the GPU world. Ultimately, it depends on your computing needs but it’s reassuring to know that there’s something for everyone in the market.

Drivers, Software, and Additional Features

NVIDIA wins this round with its exceptional features, but AMD comes close with its wider compatibility.

Titan RTX – One of NVIDIA’s GPUs that supports ray tracing

First stop, the FreeSync vs. G-Sync. AMD’s FreeSync and NVIDIA’s G-Sync are kind of the same thing. Both are based on a tech called adaptive sync. Adaptive sync allows for the dynamic adjusting of a monitor’s vertical refresh rate to the frame rate of the graphics card. Without this, artifacts can happen due to wobbles in the frame rate or some screen tearing may occur. Screen tearing happens when mismatched screen halves display momentarily due to your frame rate exceeding your monitor’s refresh rate.

In the past, FreeSync was only compatible with AMD GPUs, and G-Sync was only compatible with NVIDIA GPUs. NVIDIA’s G-Sync requires dedicated hardware inside of the monitor to function, making G-Sync monitors quite expensive because of their extensive quality control. Aside from this, all G-Sync monitors need to meet the standards before being approved for release. AMD’s FreeSync on the other hand is much more accessible and budget-friendly since it doesn’t add to a monitor’s manufacturing cost.

However, just last year, NVIDIA announced a driver tweak that allows FreeSync-compatible monitors to use adaptive sync with late-model NVIDIA GeForce cards. Additionally, some FreeSync monitors have been certified by NVIDIA to be “G-Sync Compatible”, making the competition tighter than it already is.

Another key thing to note is NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software. Dubbed as the best PC gaming application to date, the GeForce Experience software delivers driver updates and optimizes games while allowing you to broadcast gameplay and capture screenshots and videos. They also have NVIDIA Ansel, which allows in-game photos at resolutions exceeding at a whopping 63K, and a cloud-based gaming service called GeForce Now, which is available to Windows 10 and macOS users.

Meanwhile, AMD has Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition. This software features automatic overclocking (that doesn’t need tensor cores) and can stream games to your mobile device. You can also stream VR games to your phone or standalone VR headsets without slowdown. AMD also has Raptr’s Gaming Evolved tool, an add-on that can optimize a user’s gaming experience.

All in all, NVIDIA tops this by a long shot. Their GeForce Experience can accomplish nearly everything from within, especially when you’re unsure of which settings to use when you’re gaming.

Lastly, ray tracing. The Turing line of NVIDIA’s graphics cards has certainly been the talk of the town since 2019. It undoubtedly revolutionized gaming with real-time ray tracing, an advanced and lifelike way of rendering light and shadows in a game scene. But it doesn’t come without a cost. While this feature can certainly optimize the game graphics, it also drains a card’s performance, even when it’s specifically designed for it. NVIDIA also has an upcoming 5G integration, which will allow users better connectivity in case there are problems with the software. AMD currently doesn’t have these features but there have been rumors that their GPUs will support ray tracing sometime in 2020 and for that, we are anxiously waiting.

Verdict

Overall, it’s a tough call and ultimately depends on your needs and budget.

The competition is really tough. NVIDIA might have come out as the winner in most of the categories but it ultimately depends on your individual needs. If you are looking for a high-end graphics card, one that allows for playing games at 4K, NVIDIA is the reigning champ in the 4K market right now. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is one of the best, especially when you need your PC to keep up with your UHD display. AMD’s Radeon VII is coming close to second with its 7nm-built video card, which also allows for 1440p/4K gaming. For the mid- and low-end graphics card, AMD tops the charts with a wider range that can cater to various budgets.

Both AMD and NVIDIA offer different notable features and it’s really hard to pin a clear winner unless you’re comparing models with the same features, specs, and price points. The AMD and NVIDIA GPU wars have never been this heated and each company is coming up with new features to outdo one another. But overall, this is good for us. More innovations mean more choices for better performance and better affordability in the future.

FAQs

📌 Which graphics card is best?

If you are looking for a high-end graphics card, one that allows for playing games at 4K, NVIDIA is the reigning champ in the 4K market right now. For the mid- and low-end graphics card, AMD tops the charts with a wider range that can cater to various budgets.

📌 What is the difference between AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards?

AMD GPUs tend to have more processing cores compared to their Nvidia counterparts. NVIDIA on the other hand provides better performance, especially on their high-end graphics cards.

📌 Is Radeon better than NVIDIA?

Both AMD and NVIDIA offer different notable features and it’s really hard to pin a clear winner unless you’re comparing models with the same features, specs, and price points.

📌 Why is AMD cheaper than NVIDIA?

AMD is cheaper as they currently don’t have higher-end graphics cards.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Erika Reyes