AMD vs Nvidia, otherwise known as Team Red vs. Team Green, has always been one of the longest-standing feuds ever in the history of computer technology. Both are graphics card manufacturers that keep outdoing the other with each new model release. And this ongoing war is not about to see its end.
Because the longer it wages, the more consumers win. Competition is great for consumers, after all. But that does beg the question, which among AMD vs Nvidia is the better choice for a graphics card? This query applies to both desktop PCs and gaming laptops.
Consumers do have great choices; but it can be daunting or time-consuming for the average Joe who just wants the best bang for their buck. So in order to narrow down the search for that perfect price-to-performance ratio for a GPU whether in laptops or desktops, then here’s a rundown of what you want to consider and how these two GPU manufacturers outperform each other.
Price-to-performance 1080p (based on MSRP) – AMD wins
A disclaimer is in order here. Most of the current GPU prices (for desktop PCs) are still inflated at the time of writing due. This is all thanks to the aftermath of crypto miner hoarding and scalpers back in the quarantine time period. With that said, Nvidia typically offers better performance than AMD for a slightly higher price.
Nvidia GPUs tend to be slightly more expensive compared to their AMD counterparts in the mid-range to low-end segment, meaning 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080). Furthermore, Nvidia’s offerings in the low-end to mid-range segment are just discouraging, to say the least. AMD’s equivalent offerings in the same price bracket easily outclass the RTX 3060 and RTX 3050.
So for those gaming or working on a 1080p monitor, then you might want to take a look instead at AMD’s RX 6400, RX 6500 XT, RX 6600/XT, or RX 6650 XT GPUs. They also have laptop variants (e.g. 6600M) that similarly outperform Nvidia’s equivalent laptop variants.
Luckily for mid-range to low-end users, you don’t have to worry too much about the inflated GPU prices since the cards in this segment aren’t affected too much.
Price-to-performance 1440p (based on MSRP) – Nvidia wins
Again, GPU price inflation is to be considered here, but this is where things start to skew in Nvidia’s favor. When it comes to 1440p resolution (2560 x 1440) performance, Nvidia’s offerings easily beat AMDs with cards like the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and the RTX 3070 Ti giving slightly better performance compared to their AMD counterparts (usually the RX 6700 XT and RX 6750 XT).
The best argument to be made here is with Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti, which has an MSRP of 400 USD and easily ties with AMD’s RX 6700 XT’s performance which is priced at 480 USD. Meanwhile, the RX 6700 XT has difficulty keeping up with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti (its main competitor) priced at 500 USD.
Moving on to a higher tier, Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti slightly beats the AMD RX 6750 XT with both cards having an MSRP of 600 USD and 550 USD respectively. In certain games, the RX 6750 XT might be the better deal but seeing as it’s just a refresh of AMD’s current-generation card, it’s quite a hard sell considering the new GPUs on the horizon.
Price-to-performance 4K (based on MSRP) – AMD wins
Considering the price of 4K resoluton monitors these days, every bit of savings in the GPU department ought to help here. In this case, AMD is a clear winner when offering performance per dollar– even with AMDs best offering being a refresh.
For those who want the best 4k monitor (3840 x 2160) performance while still having some spare left for a 4K monitor, then the AMD RX 6950 XT at an MSRP of 1,099 USD easily trumps the RTX 3090 Ti which has an MSRP of around 1,500 USD (used to be 2,000 USD). The performance difference between the two in 4K is around three to four FPS average in Nvidia’s favor, which certainly doesn’t justify spending 300 to 400 USD more. No framerate is worth 100 USD per digit.
The same case applies to the RTX 3090, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3080 and their AMD competition. AMD’s RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT are just better valued without spending too much for a few framerate gains at 4K. We’re talking about ideal purchases here based on MSRP.
But as always, we’re currently not living in an ideal world, at least when talking about GPU pricing. When it comes to the mid-range to the ultra-high-end tier of laptops and PC graphics cards, the GPU price inflation can be seen at its worse. So it might be best to pick which one has the best price, depending on where you live. This recommendation also doesn’t take each brand’s proprietary tech into consideration.
Technology & features – Nvidia wins
Performance isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to choosing a graphics card. Some of you might consider proprietary tech as the selling point. In such a case, Nvidia would be the clear winner.
It has one of the most advanced proprietary techs available in computing and graphics at the moment. That would be Raytracing. This allows your graphics card to simulate light and reflections more naturally for a game. It’s so advanced, that not many games can utilize it properly.
Sure, AMD cards can still run Nvidia’s Raytracing tech in games, but they will definitely struggle with the performance. All in all, Nvidia’s Raytracing is what makes it preferable for some. Any Nvidia card with an RTX prefix can perform Raytracing.
Another tech also exists such as TAA or a more aggressive form of anti-aliasing. This reduces the jaggedness in images. DLSS is another good tech in favor of Nvidia as it keeps improving. It essentially gives players free performance over minimal or negligible image quality loss.
AMD also has its version of DLSS called FSR so that evens the playing ground. But it’s hard to beat Nvidia’s Raytracing, especially when it comes to games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Overall winner – Nvidia
This is a conditional win, of course. Nvidia only wins here if you value having Raytracing. It has overall better performance in both 1440p and 4K categories too. However, the price is slightly higher; it’s up to you whether Raytracing and extra frames justify the dozens or hundreds of dollars of extra cost.
Then again, if you don’t care much for Raytracing, then you still can’t go wrong with AMD, especially at 4K. Because at the moment, only a handful of games so far are able to utilize Raytracing in its full glory.
If you’re on a desktop PC, though, you might want to wait for Nvidia and AMD’s new lineup if you’re gaming high-end (1440p to 4K). They’re about to unveil them sometime late in the year. Laptop users might have to wait until next year before they start seeing these new cards in mobile versions. Still, at the moment, the current-generation GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD are still more than capable of their tasks.