AMD vs Nvidia: Who Makes the Best GPUs?

Back September 01,2022

When it comes to GPUs, there are only two names that come to mind: Nvidia and AMD. The two companies have been manufacturing GPUs since forever and have earned a formidable reputation for themselves. If you are planning on building a pc or getting yourself an upgrade, it is highly likely that you would have to choose between the two. Following is an in-depth analysis that explores all the similarities and differences between Nvidia and AMD so that you can make the best decision.

Gaming Performance

For the longest time, there has been a tough competition between AMD and Nvidia for providing the best in game performance and graphic processing power to end users. Over the past few years, games have progressed so much that faster GPUs have become the need of the hour. Nvidia has a slight edge when it comes to faster GPUs. This is because among the top 10 fastest GPUs, Nvidia manufactures six of them whereas AMD only produces fours of these.

GeForce RTX3090

However, if we compare the two top end models, AMD’s RX 6950 XT and GeForce RTX3090 Ti both of them have very similar performance ratings. Nvidia only gets a slight edge over AMD at 4k resolution or in games that use ray tracing. So, unless or until you plan on playing games at a 4k resolution, Nvidia and AMD would work equally good providing you with similar if not the exact performance.

Power Consumption and Efficiency

Power consumption and efficiency was always a concern for AMD GPUs and Nvidia had a clear lead on this one. People from all over the world used to face this issue especially in areas with a hotter climate. However, ever since AMD released Navi, it has allowed them to substantially increase the efficiency of and power consumption of their GPUs. AMD now designs their cards using TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process and a new architecture that has allowed them to increase the power efficiency of their cards and bridge up the gap between AMD and Nvidia processors.

Nvidia’s Ampere architecture allowed the card to push higher clocks but also led to a decrease in efficiency. On the other hand, AMD’s efficiency was also increased by the infinity cache. Therefore, more recently, power and efficiency is no longer a concern for both the cards as there is a close call between the two for this one as well.

Drivers and Software

When it comes to software and drivers, there is no clear winner. In fact, this is an area where both of the companies have their own drawbacks. Neither Nvidia or AMD have foolproof drivers and end users experience some sort of issue from time to time. AMD has always been big on its drivers and the yearly driver overhaul it offers. Radeon Adrenalin 2020 drivers was a one for all package that could be used for almost every AMD card. However, the issue with AMD is that they skip Windows Hardware Quality Labs which leads to bugs and other issues.

Nvidia is no different! It also has a similar driver update schedule and releases new drivers from time to time. A major issue with Nvidia drivers is that you need to interact with two different interfaces, the Nvidia Control Panel and Geforce Experience for a complete experience.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that both companies need to improve their drivers and softwares.

Pricing and Availability

Over the past few years, GPU prices have gone through the roof and availability has also been a major concern. This was majorly because of the disruption in the global supply chain due to the pandemic and a global chip shortage. However, as things are getting back to normal, GPU prices are seeing a downward trend and availability has also been increased.

AMD has always been in competition with Nvidia by offering similar performance at a lower price. But now, the pricing structure both the companies follow is very similar as high end cards from both the companies fall under the same price bracket.

Which is better?

No to address the elephant in the room, which one is better? It all boils down to personal preference and the kind of performance you want to achieve. If you want 4k resolution and want to play games that use ray tracing, Nvidia is a better option. Otherwise, AMD cards are good to go.

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