You realize the GPU wars are heating up when producers start to overtly discuss smack about their rivals. Such is the case with what looks as if a brand new advertising marketing campaign from AMD. The corporate’s advertising chief posted a chart on Twitter this week that exhibits Radeon GPUs ship higher efficiency than Nvidia in two classes: efficiency per watt, and per greenback. Earlier than you shut this tab and go purchase a Radeon card although, there’s some points with the chart and the way it’s offered.
The chart is titled Why Radeon and not using a query mark, which makes this editor’s eyeball twitch. The phrase has a trademark emblem on it, which makes us assume that is a part of a brand new marketing campaign from AMD. The chart shows every Radeon card within the product stack together with its Nvidia competitor. It then exhibits the worth of the cardboard, common FPS, and Whole Board Energy (TBP). Utilizing these quantity, it then exhibits how the Radeon card outperforms its competitors per-watt and per-dollar. The footnote on the tweet says the chart’s costs had been taken from Newegg on Might tenth.
To start with, taking all of your pricing info from Newegg is problematic for apparent causes. It’s only a single supply of knowledge and as everyone knows costs can fluctuate wildly from vendor-to-vendor. That stated, AMD doesn’t appear to have gone too loopy with the costs. Though the costs for its RDNA2 refresh playing cards are all MSRP within the chart, that does appear to be what they’re going for on Newegg. Positive there are some outliers, and the 6800 XT shouldn’t be averaging $850 on Newegg, however we’ll stipulate the costs are all shut sufficient. We may nitpick this level card-by-card however the costs are shut sufficient for presidency work.
The primary difficulty with the chart is AMD doesn’t say the way it acquired its efficiency numbers. We’re left to imagine these are the numbers AMD acquired in its inner testing. Clearly corporations attempt to be honest (normally) when presenting benchmark numbers, however it’s useful to know the precise parameters of the testing. What are the specs for every check system? What settings had been used for the video games? Which video games? Was ray tracing on, or off? There’s a litany of variables right here that may have an effect on efficiency, so having the precise settings used for every sport is vital. With out that info, it simply comes off as advertising BS. It’s particularly odd as a result of by all accounts, Radeon playing cards are actually aggressive with Nvidia’s, although not essentially in closely ray-traced titles. Even in rasterized video games, relative efficiency between the 2 distributors can fluctuate by 5-15 p.c relying on precisely which sport settings are chosen.
So far as efficiency per watt goes, we don’t actually see any downside with this argument. The times of Nvidia holding a serious perf-per-watt benefit over AMD are additionally lengthy gone. This isn’t the previous days of GCN, and AMD has made main strides with its RDNA structure. Curiously, AMD doesn’t embrace Nvidia’s flagship GPU in its comparability chart. We assume it’s too costly at $2,000 MSRP to warrant a comparability as AMD’s GPU is $1,100.
General although, this simply appears pointless. Players care extra about easy comparisons involving energy and pricing. Positive, pricing is necessary, however all issues being comparatively shut there’s way more necessary concerns. For instance, drivers are critically necessary, and AMD releases drivers much less steadily than Nvidia. The software program stack itself can also be a giant driver of gross sales, as each firm’s have radically totally different choices on that time. Numerous it comes right down to desire however software program performs a giant function, one would assume. There’s even issues similar to how a lot noise and warmth is generated by the GPU. All that is to say there’s a number of elements that separate one GPU from one other in a head-to-head grudge match. We get that AMD is taking part in to its strengths right here since it is a advertising factor, however leaving out key particulars doesn’t assist its trigger. To be honest to AMD that is removed from probably the most egregious PR spin we’ve seen from a GPU firm. Nvidia is infamous for its imprecise efficiency charts, in spite of everything.