Last and least, at least insofar as resolution is concerned, we have our 1080p testing. Even at ultra settings, CPU bottlenecks become more of a factor and the overall spread from the fastest to the slowest GPU in our charts has shrunk from 89% at 4K to just 46% at 1080p. Meanwhile, AMD gets its biggest lead over Nvidia with the 6950 XT holding a 5% lead over the 3090 Ti and a similar 6% lead over the reference RX 6900 XT.
While some will point to the 1080p 360Hz monitors as being important for professional gamers, also note that of the eight games we tested — none of which are esport titles, granted — only five of the games broke 144 fps on average, and none of the games got above 200 fps. Even if we drop to 1080p medium, only three games broke 200 fps, and none got above 300 fps.
Flipping through the charts, Nvidia still maintained a lead in the same three games as at 1440p ultra. Forza Horizon 5 also skews quite heavily toward AMD, giving the 6950 XT a 22% lead, with Watch Dogs Legion being the only other game to show more than a 10% advantage to AMD — barely, at 11.5%. With most of the other games showing around a 5% difference between the top two cards, there's not much more to be said for the 1080p results.
DXR remains demanding, however, though we have both Ultra and Medium DXR results this time. At 1080p ultra, the RX 6950 XT averaged more than 60 fps overall, but four of the games still dropped below that mark. The only reason for the higher average is thanks to Control and Metro Exodus Enhanced, which came in at 85 fps and 77 fps, respectively.
1080p medium with medium DXR effects at least finally gets most of our DXR suite above 60, though Cyberpunk 2077 still fell to 53 fps. AMD's ray accelerators are basically around half as fast as the RT cores in Nvidia's Ampere GPUs, and while AMD enjoys much higher clock speeds, it also doesn't have BVH traversal acceleration hardware. Plenty of gamers still do just fine playing everything without ray tracing, but if you want to enable all the RT effects, Nvidia easily wins. AMD's fastest GPU lands between the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080, even with its VRAM advantage. There are even a few instances, like Minecraft, where the RTX 3070 came out ahead of the RX 6950 XT.
The big question is whether AMD will devote more hardware to ray tracing with RDNA 3. Unless Intel is hiding something, we don't expect Arc GPUs to offer much in the way of RT performance, considering even the top GPU will only have 32 RTUs compared to AMD's 80 ray accelerators. But perhaps Arc has similarities to Nvidia with the ability to compute more ray-triangle intersections per cycle and BVH hardware acceleration. We'll find out in a few months.