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Is this general belief true, regarding NVIDIA vs AMD?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 4, 2013 11:38:11 AM

I'm building my first gaming rig ever and I'm shooting for a budget, so I've hit the fork in the road known as the GPU.

In my own personal knowledge, I've always known Nvidia as the higher quality GPU maker, but I've learned recently that AMD can match this quality with better price at times.

Problem is, I constantly see computer games endorsing Nvidia as the prime choice to play with ("The Way its Meant to be Played"), I've seen other gamers go on about how most games are made with Nvidia GPUS, therefore they perform better using Nvidia GPU's.

I've seen other gamers complain that AMD graphics cards can match the power of Nvidia but they have shorter lifespans or they have little problems like shuttering frame rates and what not.

Point is, is there any weight behind any of these statements? I searched for an answer all around but most people are comparing a certain card to another card. I just want to know about the general opposition between the brands themselves.

Thanks for reading.
February 4, 2013 11:46:26 AM

it is just preference if you go AMD or nvidia. I always preferred nvidia. Amd and nvidia are always out doing each other that is good for us the consumers. Some games will run better on an nvidia gpu, and other games will run better on AMD card.
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February 4, 2013 11:49:38 AM

jcurry23 said:
it is just preference if you go AMD or nvidia. I always preferred nvidia. Amd and nvidia are always out doing each other that is good for us the consumers. Some games will run better on an nvidia gpu, and other games will run better on AMD card.


So it really sounds like a gamble. Are there better odds when choosing an Nvidia brand though?
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a c 127 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
February 4, 2013 12:00:55 PM

AMD and Nvidia are not manufacturers, all they do is design the GPU and reference boards. So if your comparing build quality, cooling performance, reliability or otherwise physical aspects of their cards, that comes down to blind luck and the board manufacturer like Gigabyte or ASUS.

If all your after is 1080p gaming, then both sides will serve equally well. If thats what you are after, it does just come down to comparing individual cards and whatever deal packages are tacked on (AMD just re-booted the Never Settle Deal, Nvidia still offer Borderlands 2 and AC3 on their higher end cards).
If your into more niche aspects, like multi-monitor or 3D gaming, or if the compute performance of the chip is a factor, then you can start to draw some rough generalizations.

Nvidia software and system for 3D gaming, is much better than AMD's current solution. They also have things like PhysX in games (though many dont care since its used in too few games). There is also CUDA to account for, which can help in Adobe CS software for rendering.
AMD have the superior multi-monitor utility and capability. Eyefinity is just a more mature software and AMD have been pushing multi-monitor gaming for a lot longer than Nvidia. If you get down to the benchmark level, you'l find AMD cards perform better at high resolutions than the equivalent Nvidia. The compute performance when it comes to GPGPU and OpenCL/GL is also much better than the current Nvidia lineup. So if your folding or bitcoining, thats a consideration.

So in short, there is no simple answer. Figure out what you want, and make the best decision off that.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 12:07:15 PM

If you are building a budget rig then you should better go with AMD /ATI Radeon cards since they offer much better graphics at same price range.
Another thing is that you can play any Nvidia endorsed game like GTA 4 or Spec ops the line on a AMD graphic cards buttery smooth.
AMD has occupied a better market in mid and low graphic cards and delivers a good price to performance ratio
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February 4, 2013 1:10:16 PM

There are a few applications that can only take advantage of nVidia GPUs. If you're only gaming then it doesn't matter.
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February 4, 2013 1:24:11 PM

TheMadFapper said:
There are a few applications that can only take advantage of nVidia GPUs. If you're only gaming then it doesn't matter.


Are you talking video editing applications and photoshop related things?
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 1:40:33 PM

Sounds like you are talking to the wrong people to be giving advice about this. You are thinking into it too much and I can tell already have a nvidia preference which is fine. The thing is it sounds like you have that preference for the wrong reasons. Nvidia is no better then amd and that's basically all there is to it. They both have their advantages and disadvantages but until you tell us exactly what you want to do we can't help you much more.
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February 4, 2013 1:45:19 PM

As people have already said, it comes down to personal preference, I have owned both AMD and Nvidia, both have served me very well.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 1:57:23 PM

basically, your friends dont know what theyre talking about
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February 4, 2013 2:19:30 PM

If you go amd get ready to deal with crappy drivers
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 2:20:13 PM

I'll reiterate what everyone else is saying -- your friends are wrong.

I'd go the other way and say at a given budget, AMD probably has a faster card since they're more aggressive with their pricing. But if you want to buy Nvidia, that's fine too.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 2:32:13 PM

amd drivers are fine
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 2:33:24 PM

pentiumradeon said:
If you go amd get ready to deal with crappy drivers


ignorant and a non substantiated comments are ALWAYS the best!!! keep them coming!

btw OP i have AMD right now and I LOVE the two 6950s i have but i will most likely go nvidia next time since i occasionally run Folding @ home which is dominated by nvidia right now. other then that reason there would be no reason for me to switch to nvidia.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
a c 81 Î Nvidia
February 4, 2013 2:52:30 PM

cbrunnem said:
ignorant and a non substantiated comments are ALWAYS the best!!! keep them coming!

btw OP i have AMD right now and I LOVE the two 6950s i have but i will most likely go nvidia next time since i occasionally run Folding @ home which is dominated by nvidia right now. other then that reason there would be no reason for me to switch to nvidia.


I'll help him out: http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

It is true, the latest beta drivers are attempting to resolve this issue, but for the past 2 years, Nvidia has dominated in this way and it is a driver issue as it turns out.

You may also notice when ever people come to this site problems with their AMD GPU's, people always have to steer them to the best drivers, which often are not the most recent. There are still a lot of AMD users who use drivers 12.10 because the newer drivers cause glitches.

It is true that you can usually find drivers that work, but they are still way behind on the latency/microstutter issue, which thankfully is finally getting some work done to it. Perhaps in a few months it may not be an issue anymore.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:14:12 PM

plenty of people coming here with nvidia driver issues as well
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February 4, 2013 3:24:47 PM

i've used many of both, however I prefer nvidia. That's mostly because I always preferred eVGA. Flip a coin, go with that, better way to decide , everyone here will have a different preference, sort of like asking if ford, chevy or dodge is better truck.
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February 4, 2013 3:24:51 PM

Nvidia cards consume way less power than AMD, and they usually perform better than the competing AMD cards.
However, AMD cards are a lot cheaper and they are better at OC.
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February 4, 2013 3:26:07 PM

Thank you Bystander, that post explains that the issues that I've heard about AMD gpu's are typically driver related and not hardware related. It makes me feel a bit safer and more informed when considering a GPU.

Btw, everything I've heard about the issues regarding AMD GPU's are from personal research involving, product reviews, benchmarking websites and forums. Not friends, i have no friends... :( 
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:32:51 PM

eomcaleb said:
Nvidia cards consume way less power than AMD, and they usually perform better than the competing AMD cards.
However, AMD cards are a lot cheaper and they are better at OC.


lol no, the 7970 is the best card on the market AND cheaper than the gtx680

nvidia got their ass kicked on this generation. end of story.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
a c 172 Î Nvidia
February 4, 2013 3:35:50 PM

neon neophyte said:
amd drivers are fine

I had to deal with them a couple of weeks ago and found to still be problematic, constant crashes after each reboot of a fresh W7 install. That's not a sign of "fine drivers" to me but if that's what you are used to then I can see why you might think its normal, it isn't but I can see why you think that way.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:38:58 PM

i think that way because i havent had problems with my drivers the whole 2 years ive owned my 6950

i also had problems with my drivers with my gtx 285 before that, and my 8800 gts before that.

now im not going to be foolish and go around saying amd has better drivers because of my experience, i am simply going to say that both companies have done well, and poorly with their drivers
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February 4, 2013 3:39:47 PM

neon neophyte said:
lol no, the 7970 is the best card on the market AND cheaper than the gtx680

nvidia got their ass kicked on this generation. end of story.


lol no, http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html The gtx 680 is the best card on the market.

Though it is expensive out the butt. And since I'm broke out the butt I'd have to go with the AMD.


...Out the butt.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:41:04 PM

nope, gtx 680 hasnt been the best card on the market since amd released 12.1.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
February 4, 2013 3:41:55 PM

I've used "recent" cards from both camps. I used a 5750 for awhile before I upgraded to my current GTX460. I had zero issues using either. There has been a big push recently to "slam" AMD cards with some odd microstutter thing because the frames take to long to generate. I used a 5750 (which uses the older VLIW5 arch and not GCN) and had no issues playing games on my 1080 monitor. There were no weird thing going on with the frames. Only issue I could have had is if I played games at launch. This is AMDs big issue. Because the developers work with Nvidia they have better drivers available when games launch, including working SLI drivers. But if you give it a bit AMD usually comes out with better drivers and CF drivers not too long after.

I know I'm only one person and you have no reason to believe me, but thats my experience. Even though I use a GTX460 I would go back to AMD the next time I upgrade my card if I find one I like/can afford. I'm likely to stay with Nvidia however because their six series supports not only Eyefinity, but a forth "helper" monitor all at once. This means I can go Eyefinity AND have my computer hooked up to my TV all at once. But as far as performance or reliability for me its not an issue as far as AMD goes.
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February 4, 2013 3:48:35 PM

neon neophyte said:
nope, gtx 680 hasnt been the best card on the market since amd released 12.1.


Though according to Anandtech's benchmarks they're kinda neck in neck.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/508?vs=555

Kinda just matters what software you're playing I guess.
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:49:26 PM

Retrowire said:
lol no, http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html The gtx 680 is the best card on the market.

Though it is expensive out the butt. And since I'm broke out the butt I'd have to go with the AMD.


...Out the butt.

Relook at your link........ It has the 680 well above the 690 in points. Hmmmm real accurate
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a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:49:28 PM

those benchmarks arent current
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February 4, 2013 3:56:08 PM

Well the benchmarks of Passmark are updated daily using the aggregate information of all users of their website. But since an aggregate score can be a little inaccurate at times I always cross reference this information with Anandtech's Benchmarking system.

That's why I reposted with Anandtech's data as well.
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February 4, 2013 4:02:31 PM

Best answer selected by Taplamp.
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