The graphics card is the life blood of an immersive gaming experience, and the battle between brands is stronger than ever. Every enthusiast that plays PC games is all too familiar with the perpetual debate between NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards. Though the decision between the two is simple for some, most gaming enthusiasts find it difficult to decide which brand suits their needs. Today, we compare NVIDIA vs. AMD graphics cards to help you determine which GPU solution is right for you and the kinds of games you play most often.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and NVIDIA have always been at each other’s throats, but 2018 is proving to be a more action-packed battle than gamers might have expected. It wasn’t until 2006 that AMD entered the GPU market, when it acquired the leading video card manufacturer. NVIDIA invented and popularized the GPU back in 1999, with the GeForce 256. In 2016 alone, the PC gaming market recorded more than $30 billion in revenue, and both brands have profited from this industry growth. Although NVIDIA’s market share dropped significantly in 2017, AMD’s failure to come up with an inspiring Vega GPU lineup helped them stand their ground.
At the beginning of the year, NVIDIA surprised everyone with the TITAN V GPU, the most powerful graphics card that has ever been created for the PC gaming sector. This GPU is powerful for cryptocurrency mining, gaming, and more. AMD’s recently released AMD Vega line is proving to be a worthy competitor, leaving much to be compared in terms of price, performance, software, and other features.
Price: AMD is widely known for affordable products, whereas NVIDIA is known for high-end performance and prices to match. AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 is available on third-party websites for around $1,200 and it can outperform NVIDIA’s $650 GeForce GTX 1070. NVIDIA’s flagship GeForce GTX 1080 GPU can directly compete with AMD’s Radeon Vega 64. At the MSRP level, both GPU brands are pretty competitive. Ultimately, the best price will depend on what discounts you can find.
Performance: The process of choosing a graphics card has much more to do with performance than price. NVIDIA is the clear winner in terms of price-to-performance ratios in the cryptocurrency market. AMD has yet to produce a true contender to the GTX 1080 TI, but the competition boils down to model vs. model. AMD’s RX 470 outperforms when it comes to frame rates in most games, but NVIDIA has the upper hand in architecture efficiency.
Software: One major advantage to choosing NVIDIA graphics is the GeForce software, which delivers driver updates and optimizes games. You can also broadcast gameplay and capture screenshots or videos. AMD’s Radeon lineup is stacked with all the features you know and love, except with more consistent driver updates to account for new game releases. NVIDIA also has the advantage in streaming and cloud-based gaming.
In terms of budget gaming, AMD takes the cake. Their GPU lineup offers a wider selection of budget-friendly units that gamers can afford at all levels of play. Even as an entry-level graphics card, the Radeon RX 500 starts at $80, and the faster version, the Radeon RX 560, starts at only $120. In terms of the 4K market, NVIDIA reigns supreme. Gaming or working on an ultra-HD display? We recommend going with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 TI.