AMD vs Nvidia
In 1998 my first GPU was an ATI 3D Rage Pro PCI card with a whopping 8MB of memory which I later paired with 2 x 3DFX Voodoo II (SLI) with a pass-through cable. Since then, I’ve bought numerous ATI/AMD and Nvidia video cards and if I’m honest, I’ve never had a particular preference for either brand.
Having said that, AMD has recently become my GPU of choice purely for reasons of price. Not only that, but what are known as custom cards — as opposed to reference cards from AMD or Nvidia — made by Asus, Sapphire, and others, have always been absolutely top quality.
Are You A Fanboy?
In the tech world, there is a very real war of the fanboys, whether that be Intel vs AMD, Android vs iOS, Windows vs Mac, etc, and the battles still rage on, with AMD fighting on two fronts. First to gain the upper hand against their arch-rival, Intel– a job which recently they appear to be winning with their impressive line of Ryzen processors and second, to catch up with Nvidia in the GPU market. It’s been a frustrating time for AMD fanboys, especially since the 5000 series didn’t really bridge the gap against Nvidia’s RTX 20 series with AMD still not producing a killer GPU to match. Not only that, but the 5000 series was plagued by driver issues leading many to rush back to GeForce.
Nvidia Announces GeForce RTX 3000 (Ampere) Series
This has been in the rumour mill for months, with leaked pictures, many whispers and now Nvidia has really stolen a march on AMD who are currently working on their own Nvidia killer, at the moment only known colloquially as ‘Big Navi’. AMD CEO, Lisa Su has said several times that their new GPUs based on RDNA 2 will appear towards the end of 2020. For many fans, that meant September, however, the more realistic and commercially minded would point to this November when the market will have had time to see exactly how RTX 3000 from Nvidia has performed. And perform it will, judging from the specifications and the benchmarks now available on YouTube. It’s explosive stuff, believe me, and Nvidia has just hit the ball out of the park.
I never thought I’d see a GPU with 24GB of VRAM or one with a colossal 10496 shader cores. I thought my RX 580 with 8GB and 2304 shaders was pretty respectable, but tech never stands still and what’s good today will soon be superseded. Clearly Nvidia has thrown down the gauntlet for AMD and it seems that Big Red will be targeting the RTX 3070/3080 markets with what’s rumoured to be Radeon 6000 series cards with 12 and 16GB of VRAM and this is where the real battle lines are drawn.
What Next For AMD?
Nvidia RTX 3080 is said to be 50% faster than its predecessor, the RTX 2080Ti, and twice as fast as the RTX 2080, but the big issue for AMD is that they don’t yet have a GPU which can compete with even the 2080 Ti, with their nearest offering being the RX5700 XT which is similar in performance to the RTX 2070 Super. This leaves a significant gap for AMD to fill, now that Nvidia has put the icing on the cake. And let’s not even think about the RTX 3090 which is going to require a monster AMD GPU to make any dent in that mega card.
It’s an exciting time for GPU development and although I’m not an AMD fanboy per se, I do run two all-AMD systems and am delighted with my Ryzen gaming PC which wipes the floor with my previous FX8350 CPU. AMD has made massive strides in the CPU market in the last few years and has certainly taken the game to Intel. If AMD could be considered an underdog in the race with Nvidia — as they have often been referred to against Intel — I’ll be betting on them. Not simply because I always bet on the underdog, but because either way, the benefits will be shared by all. It’s called competition.
AMD has just announced that Ryzen 4000 CPUs will be launched on October 8th and the new line of Radeon RX 6000 GPUs on the 28th of October in what promises to be a Red October. The plot thickens!
A new era of leadership performance across computing and graphics is coming. The journey begins on October 8.
FURTHER READING: AMD Ryzen 2600X – An Essential Gaming Upgrade 2