After taking half a decade's worth of DirectX 11-capable GeForce graphics cards, it's time to look at things from the opposite side as we compare five generations of Radeon cards with the latest Catalyst driver to see when and where AMD has made its biggest performance leaps and which GPUs have aged the best.
It's been an eventful year for GPU releases with updated models and prices across all budgets from both AMD and Nvidia. With no more releases from either camp for the remainder of the year the competition will likely center on price. That's exciting news for those of you who have a shiny new GPU at the top of your Christmas list. Let's break down each price bracket to determine which company offers the best value product.
AMD surprised everyone last month by delivering Titan-like performance for nearly half the price with the R9 290X. However before Nvidia can strike back, it'll have to eat another blow in the form of the new Radeon R9 290. At $400, the R9 290 offers fantastic value when you consider it still packs much of what made the R9 290X a GeForce killer.
In 2012, AMD began shipping its mobile line-up of Radeon HD 8000M-series just in time for the arrival of 2013. AMD unveiled today its latest addition to that mobile GPU line-up, its upcoming series of Radeon HD 8900M chips. The Radeon 8900M-series flagship, the 8970M, packs twice the number...
With DX10's arrival, vertex and pixel shaders maintained a large level of common function, so moving to a unified shader arch eliminated a lot of unnecessary duplication of processing blocks. The first GPU to utilize this architecture was Nvidia's iconic G80.
Four years in development and $475 million produced a 681 million-transistor, 484mm² behemoth -- first as the 8800 GTX flagship and then with cards aimed at several segments. Aided by the new Coverage Sample anti-aliasing (CSAA) algorithm, Nvidia saw its GTX demolish every single competitor in outright performance.
With the turn of the century the graphics industry bore witness to further consolidation. Where 3dfx was once a byword for raw performance, its strengths before its dismissal laid in its full screen antialiasing image quality. By the time 2001 dawned, the PC graphics market consisted of a discrete card duopoly (Nvidia and ATI), with both of them in addition to Intel supplying the vast majority of integrated graphics chipsets.
Prior to the Voodoo 5’s arrival, ATI had announced the Radeon DDR as “the most powerful graphics processor ever designed for desktop PCs.” Previews of the card had already gone public on April 25, and only twenty-four hours later Nvidia countered with the announcement of the GeForce 2 GTS (GigaTexel Shader).
After a busy year with numerous GPU releases by mid-September things had settled down for good. And then, AMD threw us a curve ball. Their Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers delivered major performance gains in many popular games such as Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Civilization V, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II. Around the same time, Nvidia released a new beta driver of its own which claimed gains in several titles, and this driver has since been replaced by the GeForce 310.61 update, which made further performance enhancements.
With updated pricing and performance across the board, we figured it would be worth revisiting both company's offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.
A powerful graphics card is likely the most expensive component in your PC if you're a gamer, but with all current and past-gen GPUs available in the range of $100 to $500, it can be tough to pick the right solution for your needs.
In an effort to narrow things down, we're about to compare today's most relevant gaming cards that sell for $200 or more, testing them in a slew of games to see how it breaks down as we look for the best graphics cards for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.