If you're after an inexpensive graphics card to play games, which way do you go? Currently $150 will get you either the Radeon RX 570 4GB or the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, both solid options that have been out for a long time, but not necessarily at this attractive price point.
Today we're revisiting this battle in clearer detail as we've been recommending AMD's RX 570 as the best budget graphics card for months, but have been doing so without a full comparison update to its nearest competitor, the GTX 1050 Ti, so let's address that.
We're not discussing specifications of each GPU as it's safe to assume you're all very familiar with them. We first reviewed the GTX 1050 Ti over two years ago, while the RX 570 has been tested several times. But to give you better context, the two times we ran shootouts with this particular Radeon, it was against the more expensive GTX 1060 3GB (currently $200), so you can already tell the RX 570 at this price bracket will offer tremendous value.
In total we tested 36 games at 1080p and 1440p, covering a vast number of game engines and genres. Out of those titles, we're going to discuss a portion of those results and then jump into our performance breakdown that includes all benchmark scores.
Our test rig consisted of a Core i9-9900K clocked at 5 GHz with 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory. Representing the green team is the MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G and for the red team, the MSI RX 570 Gaming X 4G. We used AMD's Adrenalin 2019 Edition drivers 19.1.1 and GeForce Game Ready 417.35 WHQL.
As a side note, if you want a breakdown of the best GPU options on every price bracket, check out our Best Graphics Card feature. We'll update that in the coming month or so, when we have our RTX 2060 and Radeon VII tests in place.
First up we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a super demanding title in terms of visuals and using the highest quality preset it was a bit overwhelming for the GTX 1050 Ti. While the GTX 1050 Ti was good for just 32 fps on average the RX 570 pumped out 52 fps making it 63% faster, that's obviously a massive win for AMD.
AMD enjoyed by far their biggest win in Strange Brigade (no surprise AMD included this title in their preliminar Radeon VII benchmarks). Here the RX 570 obliterates the 1050 Ti by almost doubling its performance at both resolutions. At 1080p the Radeon GPU was 93% faster and at 1440p almost averaged 60 fps, while the 1050 Ti struggled with around 30 fps. It's quite incredible that the performance margins can be this extreme.
The RX 570 also easily beat the GTX 1050 Ti when testing with Battlefield V, at either 1080p or 1440p. The 1050 Ti was barely able to provide playable performance at 1440p, while the RX 570 delivered the goods with over 50 fps at all times.
Admittedly, for a competitive first person shooter that's not enough, but these cards are intended for 1080p gaming and here the Radeon maintained over 60 fps at all times.
Sniper Elite 4 is another DX12 title that can take advantage of async compute, so unsurprisingly the 570 roasts the 1050 Ti once again. Here it was 75% faster at 1080p, resulting in a night and day difference for the gaming experience.
Monster Hunter World is a very demanding title but even so using the highest quality preset the RX 570 was able to provide playable frame rates at 1080p, the GTX 1050 Ti though, well not so much. Here the Radeon GPU was a whopping 62% faster.
Both GPUs performed well in Warframe at 1080p and although the RX 570 was 35% faster the 1050 Ti did just fine with 91 fps on average. The performance difference was more noticeable at 1440p, although the RX 570 was still 35% faster than margin was more impactful at the lower frame rates.
Just Cause 4 is not our favorite title when it comes to optimization, but still the RX 570 was able to provide very playable performance at 1080p. The same can't be said for the GTX 1050 Ti however.
We were going to discuss the Forza Horizon 4 results but you'll see the margins for that title in the breakdown graph at the end of the article. Instead we picked GTA V since this is a title where the GTX 1050 Ti previously bested the RX 470.
It appears that through driver development and a factory overclock, the 570 is able to stick it to the 1050 Ti, offering 10% more performance.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is typically a bad title for AMD cards, however the RX 570 is sufficiently faster than the GTX 1050 Ti that even here it manages comes out with a win, offering 17% more performance at 1080p.
Using the 'very high' quality preset the Radeon RX 570 was able to keep frame rates above 30 fps at all times and therefore provide what we call playable performance, the GTX 1050 Ti averaged 35 fps but with frequent dips below that mark, gameplay was very choppy.
Next up we have Hitman 2 and despite the lack of DX12 support for this most recent installment in the series the RX 570 storms home for an easy win, beating the GTX 1050 Ti by a 41% margin.
The previous version of Hitman did support DX12 and using it we find a pretty brutal result. Here the RX 570 crushed the GTX 1050 Ti by an incredible 64% margin.
The good news for Fortnite players is that either of these GPUs will allow for playable performance at 1080p. Fortnite uses the Unreal Engine 4 which heavily favors Nvidia hardware, yet the RX 570 was 23% faster when looking at average frame rates in this popular mainstream title.
Both the GTX 1050 Ti and RX 570 provide very playable performance at 1080p in Rainbow Six Siege, but with a 28% performance advantage the RX 570 enables a noticeably better gaming experience.
The last game we're going to discuss is World of Tanks. Here the Radeon offered 33% more frames at 1080p, though both cards provided excellent performance. At 1440p the RX 570 was noticeably better hitting 66 fps on average opposed to just 48 for the 1050 Ti.
Upon release the GTX 1050 Ti was not as popular as its more expensive sibling, the GTX 1060 which arguably offered a better performance vs price ratio. However as Radeon GPU prices got blown up by mining demand, the GTX 1050 series became very popular amongst gamers on a budget.
Radeon pricing has since fallen back down to regular levels, and in the case of the RX 570 it can often be had for less than its $170 MSRP. In the last few months we've seen pricing drop as low as $140. But before we get into that discussion, let's take a quick look at how these two GPUs compare overall, in all 36 titles we tested.
On average the Radeon RX 570 was an astounding 43% faster than the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti at 1080p. Clearly where AMD has not been able to deliver on the high-end, they are making up on budget and mainstream GPU solutions priced below $300.
The biggest AMD wins in this comparison were seen on DX12 titles supporting async compute, that said AMD did sponsor Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite 4. Meanwhile, the smallest wins were seen in Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Neither title has proven to be AMD friendly in the past, but even so the RX 570 as able to get up over the GTX 1050 Ti here.
Without a doubt, the RX 570 is a faster GPU and now that it's price matched to the 1050 Ti, or is generally a little cheaper, it's the obvious value choice for most gamers. We will note that the RX 570's power consumption is significantly higher that the GeForce, but you're looking at well under 300 watts for total system consumption. So while it is extreme relative to the 1050 Ti, it's not outrageous overall.