AMD strikes Nvidia, claiming superiority in one key way

AMD’s Radeon RX graphics cards offer much better performance per dollar than Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series, according to a new chart prepared by AMD.

The chart compares the entire AMD Radeon RX 6000 series and pits it against Nvidia’s counterparts, showing that AMD GPUs can be the better option in terms of balancing performance and price. However, it may not be all that simple.

As a longtime gamer, I’m thankful for the renewed competition in high-end graphics, we’re all winning at it. like a @AMD employee I am very proud of what our @Radeon team has reached. #gamingpc

— Frank Azor (@AzorFrank) May 16, 2022

The comparison comes from an official AMD source: Frank Azor, the company’s chief architect of gaming solutions and marketing. The chart highlights AMD’s alleged superiority in two key ways: performance per dollar and performance per watt. In both areas, AMD seems to be a clear winner for any GPU comparison, ranging from the most budget options (RX 6400 vs the GTX 1050 Ti) to the top of the line (RX 6950 XT vs the RTX 3090). Nvidia’s best graphics card, the RTX 3090 Ti, was not on the card.

Let’s look at the equations in a little more detail. Comparing the flagship AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 reveals an advantage of 80% frames per second (fps) per dollar and 22% better fps per watt. In simpler terms, this means that AMD’s GPU is both cheaper and less power-hungry than Nvidia’s, while still delivering adequate performance.

The AMD superiority continues throughout the chart with fps gains galore, although the best and worst of the range are the massive numbers. Comparing the AMD Radeon RX 6400 to the outdated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti yields a gain of 89% fps per dollar and a whopping 123% fps per watt. The cards that fall in between the two, including budget, midrange, and high-end options, all fall within much more reasonable numbers, ranging from 6% to 54%.

AMD’s chart is very interesting for a number of reasons. First off, it’s not exactly news that AMD manages to make its graphics cards a little more conservative than Nvidia – that much is clear here, as the majority of the lineup has lower total board power (TBP). However, it gets trickier to judge when we look at the average fps and pricing.

Each card’s framerate performance can be quite situational. It depends on many things: the game in question, the rest of the system, and the type of benchmark being used (if any). It’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges, as both AMD and Nvidia have different architectures and can excel in different areas.

The price comparison is also situational. According to the disclaimer at the bottom of the chart, the prices were recorded on May 10 and come from only one store: Newegg. Given that GPU prices are dropping quite quickly at the moment, all this could still change, although it’s true that AMD cards are often cheaper than Nvidia’s.

What is the verdict then? Is AMD right to claim that it beats Nvidia on performance per dollar? It’s hard to really judge without independent testing done by neither company, but the fact that AMD made the chart in the first place is telling and it means good things for the market as a whole.

For the longest time, during the worst GPU shortage, neither AMD nor Nvidia had to compete – graphics cards sold out quickly, even if they were too expensive. If we see AMD again trying to gain a bigger market share from Nvidia, be it through this chart or the recently reintroduced game bundles, it shows that we may be heading for better days, cheaper GPUs and more cards in stock.

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