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AMD Upswing

For decades, Advanced Micro Devices, commonly referred to as AMD, has been up against not only Intel in the CPU market but also Nvidia in the market of Graphics Processing Units.

As of late, it had always seemed as if AMD’s rival companies had fashioned a form of monopoly over their respective markets.

Now, AMD’s consistency is finally starting to pay off. Its recent Ryzen CPUs have been more affordable than Intel. In addition to that, the latest AMD CPUs are beginning to show equivalent results in their performance and efficiency, as well. Granted, AMD has to go a long way yet to gain equivalency to the Nvidia GPUs, in the race between the two, AMD is certainly gaining ground at a faster pace than expected.

These trends similarly reflect the growth potential stats of the two companies. Even if the growth potential of Nvidia is alluring, AMD is bound to offer far more.

Over the last three years, the world has witnessed a 56 % increase in the annual revenue collection compared to Nvidia’s 39% [1]. Also, it is prospective that for the next fiscal year, AMD will outgrow its rival with income growth of 27% compared to Nvidia’s 20% [1].

The better prospects of AMD are on account of AMD making giant strides in the CPU market as well, while Nvidia is known mostly for its GPU manufacturing. It is worth mentioning Nvidia moreover makes SOC for mobile computing units.

AMD FreeSync against Nvidia G-Sync

Lagging and screen tearing is one of the prime annoyances that are faced by the present-day PC gamer. To tackle this problem, GPU manufacturers have had to join hands with monitor makers.

This jam has led to FreeSync and G-Sync adaptive synchronization technologies introduced by AMD and Nvidia, respectively. Although the result of both adaptive techs is to provide smooth gameplay, the way these two achieve this is different. Another prime difference is between the cost of monitors supporting G-Sync and FreeSync.

Advantage of G-Sync/FreeSync

Screen Tearing is faced when a graphics card’s speed of drawing a frame is not in sync with the refresh rate of a monitor. Lagging occurs if a graphics card is not able to keep up with the refresh rate of a monitor.

FreeSync and G-Sync solve these problems by synchronizing and enabling the GPUs to adjust the refresh rates of the screens themselves dynamically.

Why Choose FreeSync?

FreeSync monitors are way cheaper when compared to the G-Sync monitors because of G-Sync being proprietary Nvidia technology, while FreeSync is free to implement.

Moreover, AMD + FreeSync monitors offer Higher FPS for money compared to Nvidia + Gsync monitors. The difference between the prices is so substantial that users can save more than 40 percent for akin performance by working with a FreeSync monitor + AMD GPU. Moreover, AMD started releasing RX 5000 GPUs in July, and it will take at least a year for its next-generation products to touch the market.

Hence it is ripe time to decide on one of them if you are planning to buy a GPU right now.

Choosing Among Different Brands

Different brands like Asus, Saphire, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, and so onwards make their versions of graphic cards called ‘custom cards,’ which make use of the same GPUs by AMD and Nvidia.

The differences in their performance can arise from different cooling systems, factory overclock, extra VRAM, extra connectivity, or size. Another big difference can be the support, warranties, and programs that come with these brands. EVGA cards are known to have exceptional customer support, and the setup program is a bonus.

ASUS has got better cooling (quieter fans), but their support is not up to mark. MSI and Gigabyte have got excellent support and parts, as well. Saphire is also a brand worth considering.

Factory Overclocked card indicates that it has been tested for performance at higher clock rates by the manufacturing brand while passing all tests. These cards are guaranteed to work at these clocks.
ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
AMD RX 5500 XT
AMD RX 5500 XTSpecs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM type GDDR6, Bus Width 128 bits, Clock 1685 MHz, 3 x Display Ports, 1 x HDMI
Benefits: Price, Fast VRAM, Power Efficient, Quiet
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AMD Radeon VII
AMD Radeon VIISpecs:  Price, Fast VRAM, Power Efficient, Quiet
Benefits: 7nm Tech, VRAM, Compact
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AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XTSpecs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR6, Bus Width 256 bits, Memory Clock Speed 1,770 MHz, Display Outputs 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Benefits: eature Rich, Power Efficient, Great Performance
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AMD Radeon RX 5700
AMD Radeon RX 5700Specs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR6, Bus Width 256 bits, Memory Clock Speed 1400 MHz, Display Outputs 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Benefits: Low Power Consumption, Best performance at 1440p, Way Ahead of Nvidia 2060
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AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64Specs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR5, Bus Width 2048 bits, Memory Clock Speed 1590 MHz, Display Outputs 1 x DVI-D 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort
Benefits: Superb Performance, Beats GTX 1080
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AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (Vega10 XL)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (Vega10 XL)Specs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR5, Bus Width 2048 bits, Memory Clock Speed 1156 MHz, Display Outputs 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Benefits: Best Value for Price, Way Ahead of GTX 1070, FreeSync
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AMD Radeon RX 590 (Polaris30 XT)
AMD Radeon RX 590 (Polaris30 XT)Specs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR5, Bus Width 256 bits, Memory Clock Speed 8000 MHz, Display Outputs 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Benefits: Best for 1080P, Better Overclocking than before, Well Priced
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AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GBSpecs:  Graphics RAM 8 GB, RAM Type GDDR5, Bus Width 256 bits, Memory Clock Speed 1291 MHz, Display 1 x DVI-D 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort
Benefits: Optimal Performance at 1080P, Affordable, Less Noisy Fans
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1. AMD RX 5500 XT

AMD RX 5500 XT is the most recent release by Advanced Micro Devices. It got released on 12th December 2019. AMD concentrated on making it more affordable. As a result, 5500 XT is not a high budget GPU. Hence aimed at the entry-level market, the card is most useful for users running 1080 60Hz monitors.

Features

The card brings with it the new RDNA architecture. The 7nm design process is increasingly energy-efficient. You can buy two versions of the graphics card, one having 4GB RAM and the other with a higher memory of 8GB. Other than the RAM, both versions are identical.

Its immersive gaming dynamics are poised to provide lag and stutter-free gaming experience utilizing FreeSync tech.

The software also seems improved, with it, you’ll be able to do game management, overclock, and even stream yourself. The ‘chill’ feature is the best as it lets the GPU rest in between throughputs. It is responsible for the card’s cooler temperatures and noiseless function.

Performance

While playing all the modern games, the card shows optimum performance at 1080P. Stretching the resolution further is not recommended for most modern games. Overwatch, on average, gives 65 fps on max settings, while Middle Earth: Shadow of War shows smooth gameplay with 61 fps at 1080P. If we compare it with Nvidia’s similarly priced GTX 1660, both of the cards trade blows. In a 3DMark test, 5500 XT is ahead of the GTX by only 200 points; however, in Time Spy, XT lags by a margin of 800 points. Among these two, the AMD card provides better value for money.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR6
  • Memory Bus Width: 128 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 1685 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 3 x Display Ports, 1 x HDMI
OUR TAKE
The card is all right as long as you want to play at 1080P for most games. It shows equivalent performance to the akin Nvidia cards while being priced lower. If you are thinking about gaming at 1080P, then this card is perfect for you. It provides a very excellent value for money. Additionally, the VRAM is quite fast, so going with the 8GB version would be more pertinent. That said, the card shows meager performance for high-end titles; for them, there are better options in the list to consider.
PROS

  • Price
  • Power Efficient
  • Quiet
CONS

  • Budget 1080P Gaming
  • Trifling frame effect if Overclocked
 

2. AMD Radeon VII

After being released on February 7, 2019, the AMD Radeon (Vega 20) became the most powerful GPU released by AMD so far. The company focused on providing vast amounts of memory and power to deliver its best-ever high-end desktop Radeon graphics card.

Features

When it arrived earlier this year, Radeon VII became the world’s first seven nano-meter GPU for gaming. It is an extraordinary piece of hardware only meant for extreme gaming.

According to the manufacturers, thanks to the 7nm tech, the card boasts of a 30 percent increased performance than the previous Vega 64 cards. It has a massive 16 gigs of HBM2 VRAM and bandwidth of 1TB/s. The card also supports the AMD FreeSync screen adaptive tech to deliver a seamless gaming experience. The zero core power tech featured GPU has 3840 GCN cores. Although the GPU features a base frequency of 1500 MHz, the peak frequency can reach up to 1800 MHz.

Performance

Performance-wise the AMD Radeon VII is among the best out there. This card finds itself in direct competition with Nvidia GTX 2080. Unexpectedly it does leave the GTX behind in some areas. The VRAM does seem extra with the graphics card, but games need to be run at 4K resolution these days. In this, the 16Gb VRAM helps a lot. Games like Battlefield V and Resident Evil 2 devour memories from 14 GB to 20 GB at 4K. The card can run these games at smooth frames of 50-60 FPS.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 16 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: HBM2
  • Memory Bus Width: 4,096 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 4 GHz
  • Display Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
Being a top-notch AMD GPU, Radeon VII did register itself as serious competition to its rivals. The 7nm card is one of the best cards out there to buy. Although priced a little higher than its competitors with similar performance, AMD is on an ascent. The specs of the GPU are great, but the GPU consumes a tad more power than its competitors with parallel performance.
PROS

  • 7nm Tech
  • Extra VRAM
  • Compact Design
CONS

  • High Power Consumption
  • Loud
 

3. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

The AMD Radeon 5700 XT came out on the same day as the AMD Radeon RX 5700. Being one of the greats among similarly priced cards, this release by AMD stands out from the rest. 5700 XT also boasts of the all-new Navi Architecture.

Features

Similar to almost every card released by AMD nowadays, this card also features rich. It came into the market at a time when AMD is already on its way to outclass Intel in the CPU market. With their success in the CPU market, AMD has been hoping to simulate the same results in the GPU market as well. Featuring the RDNA GFX architecture, AMD has been trying to achieve just that. The performance has increased by a factor of 1.25 while being power efficient thanks to the 7nm tech. It also includes the Radeon Image Sharpening feature. With the card, AMD provides the anti-lag functionality, as well. The feature helps with lower latency for gamers.

Performance

Performance-wise AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT competes for head to head with the Nvidia RTX 2070. It also does reasonably well when compared to the RTX 2060 Super. AMD leaves it behind in some aspects while underperforms in others. It works excellent playing Metro Exodus. In a 3D Mark test, both 5700 XT and RTX 2070 show equivalent results. Total War: Warhammer II, when played at a resolution of 1080P, showed an impressive 86 FPS. Meanwhile, its Nvidia competitors also show similar performance, with a slightly lower price.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR6
  • Memory Bus Width: 256 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 1,770 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
With this card, we have concluded that although it is excellent in performance, its competitors are great as well. The drawback of Radeon 5700 XT could be its price. The cards with parallel results are buyable for less money. Given its 7nm architecture, Radeon 5700 XT is more power-efficient than other cards in the market. It also worth mentioning that the card is not responsible for giving impeccable results when gaming at 4K. Unless the manufacturers cut the price a little, 5700 XT can be a bit tough to buy.
PROS

  • Feature Rich
  • Power Efficient
  • Great Performance
CONS

  • Missing Ray Tracing
  • A Bit Expensive
 

4. AMD Radeon RX 5700

AMD Radeon RX 5700 has been available in the market for us to buy since July 7, 2019. It belongs to the Navi 10 XL family. Given its price and performance stats, the card is most appropriate for gaming at 1440p. AMD has tried to balance price and performance with this card and has succeeded in making the best GPU for 1440p.

Features

AMD designed the GPU, making use of the all-new 7nm RDNA graphics architecture. The card has got a large number of stream processors, making it better than its predecessors released by AMD.

The manufacturers have also been boasting of their intelligent image sharpening tech that joins contrast-adaptive with graphic upscaling, resulting in sharp and crisp video results.

All that, with nearly zero effect on the performance of the card. Other technologies like Game Fidelity Acceleration and VR techs also come packed with the graphic card. In addition to the software, of course, the FreeSync technology is also present, to make your games tear and lag-free.

Performance

The performance of this card is phenomenal when playing at 1080p and exceptional at 1440p. Virtually every game tried at 1440p with max settings delivered outstanding results. When putting up against Nvidia’s RTX 2060, Radeon RX 5700 beat it every time. In a TimeSpy extreme test, it gained ground over its rival with a lead of more than 300 points. In high demanding games like the Metro Exodus, Radeon RX 5700 delivered an average of sixty frames, at 1080P. Meanwhile, the Nvidia competitor fell way behind at a 52 FPS result. Keeping in sight the performance of this AMD card, the price of this card seems very apposite.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR6
  • Memory Bus Width: 256 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 14 GHz
  • Display Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
For those gamers who are determined to play games at 1440p, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 is the best gaming card that you can select to spend your money. The gfx card is not as expensive than most of the other GPUs with comparable performance. That said, stretching it further than the 1440P resolution is not going to sit well with it. With a power consumption of 179 Watts, it is quite energy efficient as well. Thus, the card is a definite buy for gamers comfortable with playing at 1440p.
PROS

  • Low Power Consumption
  • Best performance at 1440p
  • Way Ahead of Nvidia 2060
CONS

  • Gets Hot Fast
  • Missing Ray Tracing
 

5. AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 got released in 2017. It is perhaps the latest GPU released by AMD with 14 nm FinFet tech. In the previous year, much has changed in the GPU arena. One thing that hasn’t changed much is the performance to price ratio of AMD when compared to Nvidia. AMD believes in providing cheaper options than its rivals.

Features

When we look at the features of the AMD card, we find that the Vega 64 is in direct rivalry with the Nvidia’s GTX 1080 and 70. Vega 64 boasts of the latest GCN Compute unit architecture made available by AMD. Vega 64 has a clock speed of almost 1600 MHz. Its memory bus-width is also quite substantial, with a width of 2048 bits. The Asus ROG card features a three fan cooling system. Although marketed by the manufacturers as absolutely noiseless function, the fans do seem loud when strained. Additionally, the release is also dust resistant with a rating of IP5X. The card comes with five ports present at its back.

Performance

When compared with other akin cards, the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 does quite well in benchmark results. Testing it with Firestike gave a result of 19000, while when tested with 3DMark extreme, it scored two hundred points less than 11000. These results conveyed that the card does not perform in line with the Nvidia 1080Ti, but it leaves GTX 1080 far behind. At 1080p in Gears of War 4, it showed smooth gameplay of 100 fps. Meanwhile, Hitman showed an impressive rate of 120 frames. These results seem right, but they come with high temperatures and more significant power consumption stats.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Bus Width: 2,048 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 1,590 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 1 x DVI-D 2 x HDMI 2.0 2 x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
The card performs great under all tests and also while running most games. It proves to be a better substitute of its close competitors, by standing out feature-wise. There are a few downsides to this card as well. Temperature surge to 91 degrees when under stress. Moreover, the power consumption of the card likewise peaks at 439 watts. If you are planning to buy this card, these things need to be kept in mind.
PROS

  • Superb Performance
  • Beats GTX 1080
CONS

  • Power-Hungry
  • High Temperatures Under Duress
 

6. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (Vega10 XL)

Advanced Micro Devices launched its more affordable vega 10 GPU on August 28th, 2017. Launched just two weeks after the Vega 64, Vega 56 seems a GTX 1070 contender. It is worth noting that the Vegas arrived almost a year after their Nvidia counterparts, but with lower price tags. Vega architecture is the underlying foundation of the video card. The number 56 indicates the count of compute-units.

Features

The video card has got two High Bandwidth Memory stacks, that hold the 8GB memory. The memory is HBM2 type. It also has fifty-six NGCUs. These next Generation Compute Units bring the processor count to 3584. There’s a 2048 bit wide memory bus, to supplement its 8GB VRAM. The speed is toned down a little than its sister Vega 64. Its core clocks at about 1156 MHz. It has lowered down power consumption and has affected the temperature likewise. Vega 56 also features the AMD FreeSync technology, making games stutter-free. Three display ports and one HDMI port is present on the video card. Like Vega 64, the HDMI port is 2.0.

Performance

The Vega 56 keeps up with the GTX 1080 in every test we saw. Running Battlefield 1 at 1080P Vega 56 kept ahead of its rival GTX 1070 by providing 134 frames compared to 113 of its competitor. The GTX 1080 showed identical performance to the Vega 56. When playing GTA V, Vega falls behind the GTX 1080 by a difference of 20 frames. Still, Vega 56’s 140 screen frames were impressive at 1080P. Power consumption has been an issue with the AMD video cards. Vega 56 consumes 14 watts of power when idle. Under test with multi-monitors, it consumed 16W. While gaming, the power consumption of the Vega maxed at 230 Watts. That is way ahead of its rival GTX 1080’s 167 Watt consumption.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Bus Width: 2,048 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 1156 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
Vega 56 does quite well performance-wise, but it is not very energy efficient. The power consumption is less than the Vega 64, but it is still more than Nvidia’s 1070 and 1080 with comparable performance. High power consumption correspondingly leads to the heat problem in the Vega cards. Under stress, the fans also tend to be quite loud. Looking at its price, we can still recommend the card to users. In this price tag, finding a video card with parallel performance isn’t easy.
PROS

  • Best Value for Price
  • Way Ahead of GTX 1070
  • FreeSync
CONS

  • More Power Consumption than its competitors
  • Noisy Fans
  • Heat Problem
 

7. AMD Radeon RX 590 (Polaris30 XT)

Radeon RX 590 came into the market on November 15, 2018. The video card is not an upscaled version of the RX 580 card. AMD has made use of the 12 nm process for fashioning this card. This technology has led to faster performance than RX 590’s predecessors and lesser power consumption as well. Altogether AMD concentrated on efficiency while realizing this video card.

Features

The 12nm process lays the foundation of Radeon RX 590 while being marketed as a performance video card. It likewise supports the DX 12.0. The GPU houses about fifty-seven billion transistors. On the memory side, AMD has delivered the usual 8 GB of VRAM with this card, as well. The memory type is the good old GDDR5. The GPU clocks at 1.4 GHz. According to the manufacturers, the release should draw a maximum power of 175 Watts. The display ports, like most of the AMD releases, are in the format of three DisplayPort and a single HDMI. Adding a feature of dual-slot cooling the video card exemplifies a very suitable price to feature ratio.

Performance

Unlike the previous 470 and 480 versions, RX 590 does quite well when overclocked. A stable overclock of about 1.65 GHz can be achieved when the stretched to its limit. The memory clock also has a max value of 2.25 GHz. Power consumption remains reasonable overall, but overclocking the card increases it up to 335 Watts. It performs best when used for 1080P gaming. Starting with Assasin’s Creed Origins, 590 gave about 67 frames at 1080P without overclocking. You can play Far Cry 5 at an impressive 95 frames per sec. To get playable frames at 1440P, you will need to pull down the game settings from ultra. The RX 590 is not suitable for 4K gaming unless you want to play low-stress games like CS: GO and Overwatch.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Bus Width: 256 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 8,000 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
OUR TAKE
As typical with AMD, RX 590 provides better value for money than its other counterparts. The power consumption is manageable without overclocking. If overclocking, the power guzzling increases to about 340 Watts. 590 is seemly for those of you who like to play games at 1080P. 1440P is correspondingly manageable with game settings tweaked down a tad. If you are considering gaming at 4K, there are better options on this list.
PROS

  • Best for 1080P
  • Better Overclocking than before
  • Well Priced
CONS

  • Guzzles much Power when Overclocked
  • Inadequate Cooling
 

8. AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB

Available to buy since April 2017, the RX 580 comes in two versions. One of them is a 4GB, and the other is the 8GB version. Apart from the difference in their VRAMS, the only other difference between them is the price. The card has not any meaningful improvements than its predecessors. It comes off more like a re-badge.

Features

The clock of the GPU has increased, a bit over the RX 560, to 1257 MHz. The GPU has 36 Compute Units. The graphics ram is the same old GDDR5 type. The memory bus of the RX 580 is 256 bits wide, which helps the memory modules to clock at almost 1.3 GHz. The card boasts of the GCN 4.0 architecture, not very different from the RX 480 releases a year earlier. An unwelcome difference between the two is power consumption. 580 requires 35 watts of more power than the RX 480.

Performance

Even though the clock has improved slightly. A difference of a hundred MHz can make a difference in the production of a video card. In a 3DMARK test, the RX 580 scores two hundred points more than the RX 480. Similarly, while playing Total War at 4K, 580 resulted in 37 FPS compared to 480s 31 FPS.

In case you are wondering about replacing your 480 with this card, then don’t. You can achieve these results by overclocking your RX 480.

The fans have become less noisy in the Sapphire’s Radeon 580 version. MSI has improved the fans as well.

Tech Specs

  • Graphics RAM Size: 8 GB
  • Graphics Ram Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Bus Width: 256 bits
  • Base Clock Speed: 1,291 MHz
  • Display Outputs: 2 x HDMI & Display Ports 1 X DVI-D
OUR TAKE
Few improvements have been made to the GPU by AMD. Except for a small increase in performance, the video card is almost identical to the RX 480 released a year earlier. There is no need to replace the 480 with this. The function is excellent at 1080P. 1440P games are also playable sacrificing a little on the image quality settings. Power Efficiency is still an issue. We would recommend buying this card only if replacing your older 300 series AMD or the 700 Nvidia.
PROS

  • Optimal Performance at 1080P
  • Affordable
  • Less Noisy Fans
CONS

  • Not Power Efficient
  • Very Few Changes
 

References

Categories: Reviews