Just post a simple status on FB i.e. “Which one is better AMD or Nvidia” and boom! RIP your notifications. You will receive loads of notifications each and every second. Tada! simply you have started a flame war between fan boys on both sides. But there is a big question. Aside from fanboysim which graphics adapter maker actually is better and provides more to their consumers. Nvidia or AMD? Green team or Red team.

Here we have tried a bit to put light on this never ending war. Let the battle begin!

AMD vs Nvidia which one is better? Part 1 – Performance head to head

A quick intro:

Advanced Micro Devices or AMD is an American worldwide semiconductor maker based in Sunnyvale, California, United States, that crafts computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets.

Nvidia Corporation is an American worldwide technology company based in Santa Clara, California. Nvidia manufactures GPU, as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing market.

ATI HD 5000 Series vs Nvidia Geforce 400 Series:

AMD acquired ATI in 2006. Back in 2009 and 2010 ATI announced HD 5000 series and they sold like hot cakes. Demand so greatly outweighed supply that just after two months from launch, many retailers were having trouble keeping the 5800 and 5900 series in stock. Nvidia attacked ATI’s HD 5000 series with 400 series, with GTX 480 killing each and every single GPU on ATI’s side. But still AMD HD 5970 (dual GPU) was there in super cheap price tag and the performance was way higher than GTX 480. HD 5000 series struggled with some newly released DX 11 games of that time, like Metro 2033. Although Nvidia 400 series was released later but high end GPUs from HD 5000 series like HD 5870 and HD 5970 etc. From Nvidia 400 series only GTX 480 series made a whole lot of market. Another great thing about high end tiers from HD 5000 series (eye infinity editions) were their ability to support eye infinity up to 6 monitors. On the other hand GTX 400 series was unable to back more than 2 displays.

So here clear cut winner is ATI, I mean AMD. HD 5000 series emerged victorious over Nvidia’s 400 series.

HD 5970 > GTX 480 > HD 5870 > GTX 470 > HD 5850 > GTX 460 > HD 5770 and so on…..

Single GPU crown: GTX 480

Dual GPU crown: HD 5970

AMD’s hi-fi tech for HD 5000 series: Eye infinity

Nvidia’s hi-fi tech for Geforce 400 series: Nvidia PhysX ( advance simulated particles and effects in game).

AMD HD 6000 series vs Nvidia Geforce 500 series: 

After the domination of AMD in 5000 series here comes HD 6000 series but unfortunately, this time story was something else. The fastest single GPU in HD 6000 series was HD 6970 but even the previous generation Nvidia’s GTX 480 series bested it. The single GPU equation was like this: GTX 580 > GTX 570 > GTX 480 > HD 6970. GTX 580 thrashed each and everything on its way. Although HD 5970 was a bit faster but the bottleneck and slower DX 11 made GTX 580 to snatch crown from AMD even being single GPU. But it wasn’t all over for AMD. AMD kicked out HD 6990 beast which was a dual HD 6970. The performance was wow. AMD was following the same plan of taking lead with dual GPU. But this time there was a plot twist in the story. Nvidia unveiled GTX 590 a dual GTX 580. So GTX 590 was the very first DX 11 GPU from Nvidia. Although GTX 580 was way way better than HD 6970 but the dual GTX 580 aka GTX 590 was not very much faster than HD 6990. But yes, Nvidia clearly dominated in both single and dual GPU fields here.

GTX 590 > HD 6990 > GTX 580 > GTX 570 > HD 6970 > HD 6950 = GTX 560 Ti > HD 6850 = GTX 560 > HD 6790 > GTX 550 Ti > HD 6770 and so on….

Single GPU crown: GTX 580

Dual GPU crown: GTX 590

AMD’s hi-fi tech for HD 6000 series: Eye infinity

Nvidia’s hi-fi tech for Geforce 500 series: Nvidia PhysX ( advance simulated particles and effects in game).

AMD HD 7000 series vs Nvidia Geforce 600 series: 

The complete victory of Nvidia’s Geforce 500 series over AMD’s HD 6000 series, AMD have to do something. Thus, AMD unveiled HD 7970. HD 7970 was a very fast single GPU which snatched the ultimate single GPU crown from Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 580. The performance of HD 7970 was barely slower than HD 6990 and was significantly better than GTX 580. AMD was on lead but Tada! Nvidia throwed its master piece in the market. Meet the GTX 680. Not just this Nvidia introduced GTX 670 to push back AMD’s HD 7970 even further back. In the beginning GTX 670 was a bit faster than HD 7970 but after driver optimization from Red team HD 7970 appeared to be 1% faster than GTX 670 which was 5% slower before. GTX 680 was still 7-8% better in performance than HD 7970. So AMD needed a change of plan. Therefore AMD uncovered HD 7970 GHz edition, which was 3% faster than GTX 680 still both the GPUs were slower than GTX 590 and HD 6990. Story doesn’t ends here. Nvidia launched its beasty Dual GPU (2 x GTX 680) GTX 690. On this AMD was response less. GTX 690 was so powerful that even HD 6990 crossfire (4 GPUs) and GTX 590 SLi (4 GPUs) were slower. After an year AMD unveiled HD 7990 to counter attack GTX 690 but it was too late. GTX 690 totally dominated the market and people preferred GTX 680 over HD 7970 GHz because of better Overclocking potential and lesser TDP. HD 7990 was suffering from stutter and bottleneck issues, in some games like Assassin Creed III even a single GTX 680 bested HD 7990. And in Nvidia titles like Batman Arkham City, GTX 690 was on significant lead.  After fixing all issues via drivers AMD HD 7990 appeared a faster GPU than GTX 690 but it was too late. AMD need to regain market so AMD reduced prices of HD 7990 by a lot. (We will discuss pricing in upcoming 2nd part of this article). In this article we are just discussing performance head to head.

HD 7990 (current drivers) > GTX 690 > HD 7970 GHz > GTX 680 > HD 7970 > GTX 670 > HD 7950 > GTX 660 Ti > HD 7870 > GTX 660 > HD 7850 = GTX 650 Ti boost > HD 7790 > GTX 650 Ti > HD 7770 > GTX 650 > HD 7750 and so on.

Single GPU crown: HD 7970 GHz

Dual GPU crown: GTX 690

AMD’s hi-fi tech for HD 6000 series: Eye infinity, HD3D.

Nvidia’s hi-fi tech for Geforce 400 series: Nvidia PhysX ( advance simulated particles and effects in game), Shadowplay, Nvidia Surround, Nvidia 3D vision, Nvidia TXAA, G-Sync.

AMD R-200 series vs Nvidia Geforce 700 series:

After that 50-50 in previous gen. This time the war is going to be incredibly tough for both Red and Green team. Take a look to simplified equation below for a quick estimate.

R9 295X2 > GTX Titan Z> GTX Titan Black > GTX 780Ti > R9 290X > GTX 780 = R9 290 > R9 280X (re-branded HD 7970) > GTX 770 (re-branded GTX 680) > R9 280 > GTX 760 > R9 270X > R9 270 > GTX 750 Ti > R7 260X > GTX 750 > R7 250X and so on…..

From the above equation it is clearly visible that Nvidia did a whole lot of damage to AMD. But the dual GPU crown rests with AMD.

Single GPU crown: GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti

Dual GPU crown: R9 295X2 (dual R9 290X)

AMD’s hi-fi tech for HD 6000 series: Eye infinity, HD3D, Mantle, Free Sync.

Nvidia’s hi-fi tech for Geforce 400 series: Nvidia PhysX ( advance simulated particles and effects in game), Shadowplay, Nvidia Surround, Nvidia 3D vision, Nvidia TXAA, G-Sync.


Now from above facts its up to you whom you see winner whether the Red Team or Green Team. This article was just based on head to head performance not pricing. GTX 900 series vs R-300 series coming soon with price based comparison of Nvidia vs AMD.

Tell us in comments which  one is your choice and why?


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Hardware enthusiast, Gamer, Writer. I enjoy picking up games, putting them back down, and then writing about it.