AMD Graphics Cards Are the Better Value at Every Price Point

Graphics card GPU group photos
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Cyber Monday graphics card deals are here, and there are many great values. They're also almost universally on the AMD side of the party, as Nvidia's RTX 30-series remains overpriced, relative to AMD's RX 6000-series. It feels like Nvidia's prices are still stuck in early 2022 and haven't adjusted to the new reality, and in fact Nvidia retail prices have increased compared to September.

In terms of bang for the buck, the only place AMD doesn't currently get the win is at the very top of the bang column. We'll have to wait for AMD RDNA 3 GPUs and the Radeon RX 7900-series to launch before we see a direct competitor to the RTX 4080, and maybe even the RTX 4090. But let's take the matchups on a relative performance basis and run through the categories, from highest to lowest performance and price.

We'll include overall performance results from our GPU benchmarks hierarchy for both the rasterization and ray tracing performance. Nvidia — and sometimes Intel — can stake a claim on the DXR (DirectX Raytracing) side of things, and if you feel ray tracing has lived up to the hype that's fine. In general, we still find RT effects drop performance far too much for their image fidelity gains, and upscaling algorithms like DLSS, FSR 2, and XeSS are often required.

TLDR: AMD's Best Radeon Values

We'll go into greater detail below, covering every segment of the GPU market and showing you exactly how many fps you get for each dollar spent compared to the competition. However, if you want to know the overall best AMD Radeon values, which are also the best graphics card values overall, these are the top three:

  • GeForce RTX 2060: now $179 at Amazon (opens in new tab) (was $279): One of the few actual deals on an Nvidia GPU, the nearly four years old RTX 2060 has finally dropped below $200. You still get better (relative) DXR performance as well as DLSS support, though the 6GB VRAM can at times prove limiting. It averaged 55.2 fps and 0.31 frames per dollar at 1080p ultra.
  • Radeon RX 6600: now $209 at Amazon (opens in new tab) (was $279): This card with 8GB of memory and a boost clock of 2,491 MHz delivers the best frame rate per dollar. It averaged 66.7 fps at 1080p ultra settings, which is about 0.32 frames per dollar.
  • Radeon RX 6650 XT: now $249 at Amazon (opens in new tab) (was $299): A step up from the RX 6600, the 6650 XT has 8GB of GDDR6 RAM and more GPU shaders running at a 2,635 MHz boost clock. On our 1080p ultra settings suite, it averaged 79.8 fps or about .32 frames per dollar. 
  • Radeon RX 6750 XT: now $369 at Newegg (opens in new tab) (was $549): A strong choice for 1440p gaming, the 6750 XT features 12GB of GDDR6 RAM and a 2,618 MHz boost clock. It averaged 78.2 fps on our 1440p Ultra settings test for a rate of 0.21 1440p frames per dollar — or if you want to stick with the 1080p comparisons, it got 105.3 fps and 0.29 frames per dollar.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards

(Image credit: Toms' Hardware)

Extreme GPUs: RTX 4090 and RTX 4080

AMD hasn't released its latest generation competing RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT yet, so Nvidia gets to win this one by default. Official MSRPs might actually favor the RTX 4090, but street pricing sits at 35% above the $1,599 launch price for the halo card, while the RTX 4080 can now be found starting at $1,269 (opens in new tab) — just 6% above the $1,199 MSRP. (Note: That card is now sold out.)

That's undoubtedly because RTX 4080 costs too much for the penultimate offering, and while the initial wave may have sold out, that's seemingly not happening as quickly with the subsequent waves. The result is that, at current prices, the RTX 4080 now represents the better value. Mind you, it's not a good value, but it's not hard to beat the value proposition offered by graphics cards that cost over two grand.

Note: The "Retail Price" column links to the best current prices that we're tracking, while the GPU names link to a more generic Amazon search.

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Extreme GPUsRetail Price4K Rast Ult FPS/$1440p Rast Ult FPS/$4K DXR Ult FPS/$1440p DXR Ult FPS/$
GeForce RTX 4080$1,3590.06720.09570.02730.0536
GeForce RTX 4090$2,3500.04950.06090.02230.0414

Graphics card GPU group photos

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Enthusiast GPUs: RX 6950 XT, RX 6900 XT, RTX 3090 Ti, and RTX 3080 Ti

Stepping down one level from the very top of the pecking order, we get both older and more recent options. There's the RX 6950 XT that launched earlier this year alongside the RTX 3090 Ti, while Nvidia's RTX 3080 Ti from 2021 goes up against the RX 6900 XT from two years back. We can also include the OG RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 12GB, though given prices on most of these are higher than the replacement RTX 4080, obviously they won't win any prizes.

We'll stick with the 4K and 1440p comparisons, since all of these cards at least average over 60 fps in our rasterization benchmarks. For DXR, even though Nvidia does offer higher ray tracing performance, the much higher prices still end up giving AMD the overall advantage — the sole exception to that being the RTX 3080 12GB.

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Enthusiast GPUsRetail Price4K Rast Ult FPS/$1440p Rast Ult FPS/$4K DXR Ult FPS/$1440p DXR Ult FPS/$
Radeon RX 6900 XT$6990.09270.15390.02380.0483
Radeon RX 6950 XT$7840.08970.14720.02440.0493
GeForce RTX 3080 12GB$7990.08300.13010.02970.0600
GeForce RTX 3080 Ti$1,1490.05780.09000.02150.0429
GeForce RTX 3090$1,2400.05550.08590.02050.0410
GeForce RTX 3090 Ti$1,4990.05240.07720.02050.0397

Graphics card GPU group photos

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

High-End GPUs: RX 6800 XT, RX 6800, RX 6750 XT, RX 6700 XT, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 Ti, and RTX 3070

The high-end category spans a pretty wide range of prices yet again. We've got cards that are two years old like the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, plus the more recent RTX 3070 Ti from last year. On AMD's side, there's the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, the RX 6700 XT, and the recent RX 6750 XT refresh.

While some of these cards can arguably still handle 4K gaming okay, we're going to drop our comparisons down to 1440p and 1080p ultra. That's the sweet spot for getting reasonably high fps out of these GPUs. Again, comparatively high prices mean AMD's GPUs take the top four spots for this category in terms of value.

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High-End GPUsRetail Price1440p Rast Ult FPS/$1080p Rast Ult FPS/$1440p DXR Ult FPS/$1080p DXR Ult FPS/$
Radeon RX 6700 XT$3390.21660.29440.06100.0988
Radeon RX 6750 XT$3690.21190.28540.06050.0975
Radeon RX 6800 XT$5540.18420.22990.05680.0892
Radeon RX 6800$4990.18210.23380.05390.0846
GeForce RTX 3070$4990.15530.19990.06290.0993
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti$6090.13560.17090.05560.0873
GeForce RTX 3080$7390.12930.15730.05910.0897

Graphics card GPU group photos

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Mainstream GPUs: RX 6700 10GB, RX 6650 XT, RX 6600 XT, RX 6600, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3050, Arc A770, Arc A750

We could potentially include previous generation cards in the mainstream category, but we'll confine our comparisons to the current generation offerings. Even then, we still have a lot of potential options: The relatively new RX 6700 10GB and RX 6650 XT join AMD's 2021 releases, RX 6600 XT and RX 6600. From Nvidia, we have the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, and RTX 3050. Finally, Intel joins the party with its Arc A770 and Arc A750. (Note that we don't have performance data from the A770 8GB yet, so we'll skip that one — and we think it's worth the extra $20 to get 16GB regardless.)

With these ostensibly mainstream offerings, we'll stick with 1440p and 1080p ultra for rasterization tests, and drop down to 1080p ultra for rasterization and 1080p medium for DXR — this is really the last category where it even makes any sense at all to mention ray tracing.

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Mainstream GPUsRetail Price1440p Rast Ult FPS/$1080p Rast Ult FPS/$1080p DXR Ult FPS/$1080p DXR Med FPS/$
Radeon RX 6650 XT$2490.22790.32060.10490.1564
Radeon RX 6600$2090.22070.31910.09920.1518
GeForce RTX 2060$1790.21630.30840.12560.2098
Radeon RX 6700 10GB$3190.19910.27490.09450.1399
Radeon RX 6600 XT$2890.19000.26990.08660.1308
Intel Arc A750$2740.20160.26070.10980.1773
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti$3890.17910.23520.11120.1678
Intel Arc A770 16GB$3490.17860.23010.10610.1721
GeForce RTX 3060$3150.16690.22280.10250.1548
GeForce RTX 3050$2640.14250.19480.08640.1317

Graphics card GPU group photos

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Budget GPUs: RX 6500 XT, RX 6400, GTX 1660 Super, GTX 1660, GTX 1650, Arc A380

Last and least, as far as prices go, we have the budget category. AMD and Intel GPUs in this price bracket still offer ray tracing hardware... but performance tends to be in the sub-20 fps range so it truly doesn't matter. We've included AMD's RX 6500 XT and RX 6400 Navi 24 GPUs, Nvidia's previous generation GTX 1660 Super, GTX 1660, and GTX 1650, and Intel's Arc A380.

We'll show fps/$ for 1080p ultra and medium this round — only 1080p medium for DXR — and as noted the Nvidia cards won't have DXR results. Some games can reasonably run at higher settings and 60 fps, at least on some of these GPUs, but we need to use the same metric for the comparisons.

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Budget GPUsRetail Price1080p Rast Ult FPS/$1080p Rast Med FPS/$1080p DXR Med FPS/$
Radeon RX 6500 XT$1490.20670.44150.0749
GeForce GTX 1660$1790.22480.4193 
GeForce GTX 1660 Super$1990.22770.4163 
Radeon RX 6400$1290.18340.40280.0697
Intel Arc A380$1390.20370.39380.1142
GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6$1590.18110.3564Row 5 - Cell 4
Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

  • Roland Of Gilead
    IMO, AMD GPUs are as fast as Nvidia, or sometimes faster - In general raster performance.

    Outside of that, and including RT goodness, and upscaling tech, AMD fall behind. My two cents. I know there will be some that don't agree with me.
    Reply
  • irateogle
    Looking around the used gpu market in my area, you get way better bang for your buck with AMD cards. 3060's were going for 400 or so and the 6600 xt I bought was 325 which comes with much better performance (prices in $CDN).
    Reply
  • blacknemesist
    Roland Of Gilead said:
    IMO, AMD GPUs are as fast as Nvidia, or sometimes faster - In general raster performance.

    Outside of that, and including RT goodness, and upscaling tech, AMD fall behind. My two cents. I know there will be some that don't agree with me.
    AMD needs to focus more on drivers and optimize them for games.
    NVidia drops drivers so often it is even annoying.
    DLSS and RT are still NVidia's win and the 4090 wins vs anything but AMD is ever so close, they just need to make the GPUs better with support, NVidia wins a lot in that department.
    Also AMD develops for all GPUs so even if inferior it still is a props for me, hate patented and gate keeping(not saying it is not fair to do so because it cost $ but as a consumer I want everything :) )
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    Amd gpus are better for old cpus and new ones. Nvidia drivers are bugged latency higher than amd. Kinda sucks for low ipc cpus (with amd your old computer fly, with nvidia you need a high end cpu).
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    blacknemesist said:
    AMD needs to focus more on drivers and optimize them for games.
    NVidia drops drivers so often it is even annoying.
    DLSS and RT are still NVidia's win and the 4090 wins vs anything but AMD is ever so close, they just need to make the GPUs better with support, NVidia wins a lot in that department.
    Also AMD develops for all GPUs so even if inferior it still is a props for me, hate patented and gate keeping(not saying it is not fair to do so because it cost $ but as a consumer I want everything :) )
    Radeon drivers are great now - Radeon drivers are poor still... what's the actual ratio of these claims?
    Radeon Software better than Nvidia Control Panel has been consistent though...

    With how much smaller(budget and resources) AMD is than Nvidia, how do you expect any of that to happen?
    "WTH AMD, your drivers are so crap. You gotta do better than that. Nvidia gpus all the way.

    /next gpu gen arrives
    "They were so close, but can do better next time. Meanwhile, I'll throw more money towards the more costly Nvidia options."

    /next gpu gen arrives
    "You've failed us again, AMD. Come on, try harder! Nvidia still offers the best - though pricing is higher - so I'll buy more Geforce."

    /next gen gpu arrives and the above has been rinsed and repeated for how many years now?

    Sometimes I think whether this is really a gpu duopoly...
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Amdlova said:
    Amd gpus are better for old cpus and new ones. Nvidia drivers are bugged latency higher than amd. Kinda sucks for low ipc cpus (with amd your old computer fly, with nvidia you need a high end cpu).
    WTAF?
    Reply
  • dalauder
    Okay, I was wrong before. Tom's does write pro AMD articles, they're just more pro Radeon and anti Ryzen.

    I do think this article needed writing--well done. Buyers tend to just think "GeForce is better" and that's mostly not true. I do have a game from 1999 that has trouble on my Radeon drivers though.
    Reply
  • The Historical Fidelity
    drivinfast247 said:
    WTAF?
    I think what Amdlova is talking about is that AMD has a dedicated hardware scheduler on its graphics cards which offloads a lot of CPU overhead meaning older/slower CPU’s aren’t as big of a bottleneck when paired with an AMD graphics card vs nvidia.

    Of course, it could just be Amdlova trolling nvidia fans and he was not talking about the hardware scheduler at all…
    Reply
  • shady28
    I agree with the article, bought a 6700 XT for $330 about a month ago. I haven't used an AMD card since, well, I think it was an ATi 9700XT or some such.

    I had always said it was worth an extra $50 or so for more stable drivers, but Nvidia cards are just way overpriced even after the recent price declines and it's by more than $50 - way more now. The 3060 Ti is still north of $400, and the 6700 XT marginally outperforms it.

    I've no overt issues at all with drivers, and the AMD control panel is simpler and easier to use. However, I've had a couple of instances in the last month where when my PC goes to sleep the monitor won't come back on. No idea if that's related or a coincidence.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    dalauder said:
    Okay, I was wrong before. Tom's does write pro AMD articles, they're just more pro Radeon and anti Ryzen.

    I do think this article needed writing--well done. Buyers tend to just think "GeForce is better" and that's mostly not true. I do have a game from 1999 that has trouble on my Radeon drivers though.
    We're not anti-AMD. Paul has written some good reviews of Ryzen CPUs. The issue with Ryzen right now is that the AM5 parts are relatively overpriced — not so much the CPU, but the motherboards are expensive. Given Intel's chips often still end up faster (13th Gen stuff), there's a reason AMD is putting the 7000-series on serious discount. And we've written those articles as well. You'll notice Intel CPUs aren't going on sale, other than maybe $10 of 12th gen parts.

    I've swapped and tested GPUs from both companies so many times that I've lost count. For the past year or more, I've really had nothing that I would quantify as an overtly negative experience on the AMD or Nvidia side. Sometimes, things can go a bit quirky, but often that's just because I change GPUs so darn often. Run DDU, clear out all the AMD, Intel, and Nvidia GPU drivers, do a clean install: It almost always works fine. And by "almost always" I mean I'm sure I've had the occasional hiccup with all brands at some point, but lately it's all gone about as well as could be expected.

    Nvidia's advantage right now is that it has DLSS support (still not totally sold on DLSS3 though), plus Reflex. Reflex is in more games than Anti-Lag and probably works better overall. And Nvidia does have better DXR hardware. How much extra are those items worth? That's the difficult thing to assess. For all the games that don't have any special Nvidia features (DXR, DLSS, Reflex), you might end up paying 25% to as much as 50% more than equivalently performing AMD hardware. But if you start factoring in DLSS2... well, it's still a bit of a nebulous target.

    Personally, I think spending 10% more for equivalent performance Nvidia could easily be justifiable, maybe even 20%. That's using my base level of performance (meaning no DXR or DLSS). So if you want a high-end card like an RTX 3080, even if we use the $700 price (which requires sketchier hardware brands), you're looking at that or the RX 6800 XT. AMD's card is $515, so Nvidia costs 36% more. That's just too big of a jump in my book.

    And looking at the upcoming cards, hypothetically the RX 7900 XT might outperform the RTX 4080 while costing $300 less. Like, it wouldn't surprise me to see AMD (in rasterization games) delivering 10% better performance. Which means the 4080 might end up at something like a 45% price premium, for getting DLSS, DLSS3, Reflex, and DXR boosts. It's becoming an awfully wide gap that favors AMD.
    Reply