Graphics card purchase advice: Graphics card ranking 2022: These are the models from Nvidia and AMD


    Nvidia or AMD, top model or middle class? The graphics card ranking reveals which cards best meet the needs and demands of different gamers.

    It is and remains a nightmare to buy a graphics card in 2021. The models that are available cost exorbitant sums – no matter what price range they are in. A new purchase is therefore only worthwhile if your own card has given up the ghost and there is really no other choice but to buy a new one now. In the current exceptional situation, when it comes to graphics cards, gamers should take what they can get at a reasonable price – brand-dependent sentimentalism for AMD or Nvidia is currently out of place.

    Everyone else is better off waiting a little longer and being content with a little fewer frames per second or reduced graphics settings. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to foresee how long the dry spell on the graphics card market will last. But it looks bad. When the Nvidia RTX 3060 was launched, it sold out within hours. Those willing to buy sense a new opportunity in the Radeon RX 6700, which is expected to be launched in the next few months. However, AMD has not yet announced an exact date.

    Nvidia and AMD: when are new graphics cards coming?

    At the end of 2020, Nvidia and AMD launched a veritable firework of new graphics cards onto the market. RTX 3060 Ti, 3070 and 3080 entered the race for Nvidia. AMD relied on its RX 5700 and 5700 XT. The RX 6800, 6800 XT, 6900 and 6900 XT followed in December 2020. Of course, the tickets from both manufacturers were sold out immediately. And new models will be a rarity in 2021. This is still due to the tense situation on the chip market. Nvidia launched its RTX 3060 in February 2021. A month later, AMD followed suit and released its RX 6700 in March.

    However, the rumor mill is churning and soon PC gamers will supposedly be able to look forward to new supplies. As wants to know, the RTX 3080 Ti and the RTX 3070 Ti from Nvidia are in the starting blocks. The RTX 3080 Ti should be on the market at the end of May or beginning of June. The RTX 3070 Ti will follow a little later (around June 10th). The rumor is not entirely far-fetched, since Nvidia will be holding a keynote at Computex 2021 on May 31st. Incidentally, AMD fans can also look forward to the Asian IT trade fair. The reds are said to be introducing their RX 6600 and 6600 XT.

    1. Graphics card ranking: The overview

    The following table compares the various graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia in their respective classes. The article then goes into the individual models of the manufacturers and explains which graphics card is suitable for which users. Within the different classes, both manufacturers also differentiate between the cards:

    If you buy a graphics card, you should briefly think about the resolution in which games you play. E-sport titles like “Fortnite”, “Dota 2” or “Counter Strike – Global Offensive” are not really performance-hungry when it comes to their graphics. In Full HD resolution, the new entry-level graphics cards already bring enough frames per second to a 144 Hertz monitor. On the other hand, if you want to play the latest AAA titles like “Hitman 3” in 4K resolution with full details, you have to dig much deeper into your pocket (if you get one of the few cards).

    In addition, more and more games use the integrated graphics memory (VRAM) of the chips. Cards with 4 gigabytes of VRAM should no longer be bought in 2021. 6 gigabytes are currently sufficient, but it is better to know that at least 8 gigabytes are on the card. The rule here is: more is better – but not at any price, because the graphics card is nothing more than a processor for images. And like the “normal” processor, the graphics card also needs the VRAM in order to store its tasks there and to access them when necessary. The memory is the short-term memory of the graphics processor and the larger it is, the more tasks can be cached there.

    How fast a card is depends largely on the built-in computing units (stream processors or shaders) and their clock rates. Logical: A graphics card with a lot of fast processing units and little VRAM usually brings more frames per second to the screen than a chip with a lot of VRAM and a few slow processing units. This is the case, for example, with the AMD RX 5600 XT with 6 gigabytes of VRAM and the RX 5500 XT with 8 gigabytes of VRAM.

    2. Purchase advice entry-level class

    The entry-level class includes – how could it be otherwise – the cheaper models of the respective product generations from Nvidia and AMD. In general, the gaming graphics cards are more suitable for gamers who play on Full HD resolution.

    Manufacturer Nvidia trumps in this segment with an RTX 3060, which followed an RTX 2060. In terms of performance, the Nvidia RTX 3060 is about 20 percent higher than the RTX 2060. In terms of price, however, both cards are currently at the same level. But because it’s almost impossible to get hold of an RTX 3060, it makes sense to also look towards the previous generation. However, the RTX 2060 has a catch: It only offers 6 gigabytes of VRAM as integrated memory for the graphics chip – the RTX 3060 doubles that.

    6 gigabytes are just about enough for modern games. Those who can access the RTX 3060 because Nvidia equips this card with 12 gigabytes of VRAM. Alternatively, gamers can look for an RTX 2060 “Super”. Compared to the normal version of the 2060s, it has at least 8 gigabytes of RAM and is a bit more future-proof.

    The memory size of the Radeon 5600 XT from AMD is only 6 gigabytes. However, it calculates graphics tasks much faster than the 5500 XT, but is still far (about 40 percent) below the RTX 3060 in terms of performance.

    In the entry-level class, the RTX 3060 offers everything gamers want in Full HD resolution. Alternatively, if you get your hands on an RTX 2060 Super, you should grab it here for a reasonable price. This is followed by the AMD RX 5600 XT because it is faster than the RTX 2060 in the regular version. The Radeon 5500 XT is significantly underperforming in comparison and should only be bought if no other card is available for a remotely normal price.

    3. Graphics card tips for WQHD

    The middle class usually interests most gamers because the gaming graphics cards cost between 500 and 800 euros. However, these days gamers can only dream of it – if the cards are available at all, then for prices from 900 euros and up. After all, the cards offer excellent performance for WQHD resolution. The high-resolution monitors are very popular among gamers.

    At Nvidia, the RTX 3070 marks the middle class of the current generation. With the RTX 3070, Nvidia launched a real hit last year: The card works even faster than the top-class model of the previous generation (RTX 2080 Ti).

    The direct predecessor of the 3070 is the RTX 2070. However, none of the well-known retailers (Alternate, Mindfactory, cheaper notebooks) currently (as of April 9) offer it. However, the RTX 3060 Ti is only 20 percent slower than the RTX 3070. If you are looking for a potent mid-range card, you can also access this model. Both the RTX 3070 and 3060 Ti can handle games in WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440) and are future-proofed with 8 gigabytes of VRAM.

    At AMD, the mid-range segment is divided between two cards: The Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700. Both are about ten percent apart in terms of performance and below the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3060 Ti. For WQHD resolution, their performance is sufficient for most new games anyway.

    In terms of price and performance, both cards are between entry-level and mid-range. Anyone who gambles in Full HD will be happy with the cards. The middle class will become more interesting for AMD fans when the manufacturer launches its RX 6700. It is said to be on sale in April 2021.

    In the middle class, Nvidia has the edge over AMD. If you can, grab the RTX 3070 or the 3060 Ti – at least if you want to play in WQHD. Full HD gamers will also be happy with the AMD cards. It’s also important to be on the lookout because AMD is launching its RX 6700 soon. With a bit of luck, gamblers can get hold of a card at the manufacturer’s recommended retail price – before they start waiting for a new one.

    4. The best high-end graphics cards

    High-end graphics cards are only interesting for high-end gamers and professional gamers who want to enjoy full details in 4K resolution or professional users who need a lot of performance for their job. In any case, if you are in one of the categories, you don’t have to worry about the price as much as hobby gamers.

    Nvidia has two high-end gaming graphics cards on offer: the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090. The performance of an RTX 3080 is usually sufficient for demanding gamers.

    The RTX 3090 replaces the previous generation Titan RTX and is aimed at professional users. These are usually editors, engineers or graphic designers who work with programs that use the power of the graphics chip to create 3D models or visual effects.

    With AMD, the selection is one card more extensive: In addition to a Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT, the manufacturer also offers the 6900 XT. In terms of performance, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is on par with the RTX 3090. It is therefore also aimed more at professional users.

    The performance of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 is slightly below that of the RTX 3080 from Nvidia. The performance of the RX 6800 XT is slightly better than the RTX 3080 – however, the differences are so marginal that gamers should take what they can get their hands on. Regardless of whether it is a Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT or RTX 3080.

    In the high-end sector, the Nvidia RTX 3090 and AMD RX 6900 XT don’t take much from each other. Those who have a Ryzen processor of the latest generation prefer to use the AMD card because AMD’s Smart Access technology ensures that the processor has access to the graphics card memory. And that ensures a performance plus in the system. However, Nvidia graphics cards offer better ray tracing performance. So if you want the nicer graphics, go to Team Green.

    5. Raytracing: Better to use Nvidia

    More and more games offer the graphic feature ray tracing, which makes games look even more realistic. However, ray tracing comes at a high price because the technology costs a lot of power. In addition to the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, modern graphics cards also calculate games with ray tracing. At Nvidia, cards of the current and previous generations can do this – i.e. chips with Turing and Ampere architecture. At AMD, the choice is sparser: only cards with RDNA2 architecture offer ray tracing. And that’s all AMD chips from the Radeon RX 6000 series.

    Those who cannot do without ray tracing are better off with Nvidia. The manufacturer’s graphics cards offer more performance when the feature is activated. On the one hand, this is due to the architecture of the Nvida chips and, on the other hand, to an artificial intelligence that Nvidia developed specifically for its graphics cards so that they can calculate the ray tracing effects faster. AMD is also working on an AI solution for its cards. But it hasn’t been published yet.


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