Radeon RX 570 vs. RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs. GTX 1060 6GB
Last Call: What's the Best Mainstream GPU?By
It’s time to evaluate the Radeon RX 570 all over again (we just did last week), because apparently we didn’t do it right the first time. Many were caught out by the fact that the RX 570 is cheaper than the GTX 1050 Ti right now. Admittedly, it’s very surprising considering the RX 570 walks all over the affordable GeForce, but that’s the current situation and maybe we should have brought up the comparison as soon as we detected this convenient anomaly.
During the mining craze, it was really hard to find even budget Radeons, so we turned to the 3GB GTX 1060 as its limited memory buffer made it useless for most mining operations. This meant pricing held steady and as a result it was the best value budget mid-range option for quite some time.
Today though, the GTX 1060 3GB is commonly found at $200. The RX 570 is around $150-170, which matches the GTX 1050 Ti (~$170) though it recently got destroyed in a head to head comparison with the RX 570. Perhaps the only real competition for the RX 570 is the RX 580. There’s an 8GB PowerColor model selling for just $180 right now with most models priced between $200 and $210. Finally, the fully fledged 6GB 1060’s typically cost $240 to $250.
We’re going to put all these mainstream GPUs head to head in 36 games at 1080p and 1440p to see which comes out on top in terms of performance and value. Our test rig for this benchmark session consisted of a Core i9-9900K clocked at 5 GHz with 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory. Drivers we used were Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.1 for the Radeon GPUs and Game Ready 417.35 WHQL for the GeForce GPUs.
Something to note across all graphs is that graphics cards aren’t ordered from fastest to slowest, instead we've kept the order static so they're easier to follow.
Starting with Shadow of the Tomb Raider we see that the RX 570 is able to edge out the GTX 1060 3GB, though the margin is small. Meanwhile the RX 580 is a good bit faster than the 6GB 1060, providing 9% more frames at 1080p.
Strange Brigade is a well optimized game and although it’s an AMD sponsored title it works very well with Nvidia hardware. Here the RX 570 outpaced the 3GB GTX 1060 as well as the 6GB model, meanwhile the 1050 Ti was left trailing by a mile. The RX 570 was just 6% slower than the 580.
Battlefield V is another title where these affordable Radeon GPUs stack up very well against the competition. The RX 580 blitzed the 6GB 1060, while the RX 570 just outpaced the 3GB 1060 at 1080p, but beat it quite comfortably at 1440p. The 570 was basically on par with the 6GB 1060 here.
Sniper Elite 4 is another game where the Radeon GPUs do very well. Here the RX 570 matched the 1% low performance of the 3GB 1060, while beating it for the average frame rate convincingly at 1080p.
The RX 580 also beat the 6GB 1060 by a comfortable margin and was even 18% faster than the 570 at 1080p.
Performance in Monster Hunter World is competitive between the RX 570, 580 and GTX 1060. The 3GB 1060 edges out the RX 570, while the RX 580 beats the 6GB 1060, but bang for your buck the RX 570 stacks up very well.
At 1080p we see that AMD GPUs enjoy slightly better frame time performance in Warframe, though the 1060’s did provide the best average frame rate performance. Frame time performance improves for the GeForce GPUs at 1440p and here the 3GB 1060 beats the RX 570 by a comfortable margin.
The Just Cause 4 performance was also close. Here the RX 570 and GTX 1060 3GB were neck and neck, while the RX 580 was 7% faster than the 6GB 1060 when looking at the average frame rate.
Grand Theft Auto V provided the RX 570 with its smallest win over the GTX 1050 Ti, so it’s no surprise to find the GTX 1060 pulling ahead here. The 3GB 1060 was able to beat the RX 580, though the frame time performance was nearly the same. Put in other words, GeForce cards are hands down the better choice for playing GTA V.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is another title that doesn’t work that well with AMD hardware, despite the fact that it’s an AMD sponsored title. The RX 580 gets trounced by the 6GB 1060, though the 3GB version of the card struggle with some pretty ugly frame time results at 1440p and 1080p.
The Hitman 2 results are quite competitive. Here the 3GB 1060 edged ahead of the RX 570 at 1080p, though it did fall behind at 1440p. The RX 580 was able to beat the 6GB 1060 at both resolutions.
Radeon GPUs have always done well in Rainbow Six Siege and here we see the RX 580 trashing the 6GB GTX 1060, though the 3GB model stacks up very well against the RX 570. Now, we should note that the ultra quality preset uses a default render scale of 50, not 50%, just 50, what this means is 1920x1080 becomes 1360x764. The game uses temporal upscaling, so you end up with an image that’s rescaled to the output resolution.
We used to test with these settings as this is the default mode, but many Rainbow Six Siege players complained that our frame rates were too high, not realizing that they had manually configured these options and that the maximum in-game preset actually sets the render scale almost 30% lower than the output resolution. So now we select the Ultra preset and also adjust the rendering scale to 100 every time.
This makes the game very VRAM hungry. At 1080p the game calls for at least 6.4 GB of memory, so the 3GB 1060 and 4GB RX 570 get hit pretty hard. It’s not often the 8GB RX 580 offers over 40% more performance than the 4GB RX 570 at 1080p, but that’s the situation using these settings. In the end, the RX 580 easily beats the 6GB 1060, while the 3GB 1060 and RX 570 are comparable across the two tested resolutions.
The last game we’re going to discuss the results for is World of Tanks and here all GPUs performed well at 1080p. Both GTX 1060 models easily beat the Radeon competition, particularly at 1080p. The 3GB 1060 for example was 22% faster than the RX 570. That margin was reduced at 1440p to 16% which is still a solid win for Nvidia.
In our recent Radeon RX 570 test, we found this budget GPU to be 43% faster than the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti on average. That metric was the result of calculating the percentage difference per game and then averaging those figures by the number of games tested.
Since we're comparing not two but five GPUs this time, we will do our math a bit differently. Instead we’re simply taking the fps data from all the games and then averaging those figures. This sees the RX 570 come out on top by a 41% margin agains t the GTX 1050 Ti, so as you can appreciate, there's a difference but the outcome should be the same.
The 3GB GTX 1060 was on average 4% faster than the RX 570 across the 36 games tested, giving it a 3 fps advantage. Then we see a further 14% jump in performance to the RX 580 8GB and GTX 1060 6GB, both of which averaged 82 fps across the 36 game sample.
This made the 8GB RX 580 on average 19% faster than the 4GB RX 570 and this makes sense given the 580 packs 13% more cores with an 8% core clock speed advantage, and we saw a few instances where having twice the VRAM was also advantageous.
Before moving on, here is a quick breakdown of how the RX 570 compares to the other GPUs tested on a per game basis. In our previous article, we saw how it dominated the GTX 1050 Ti across all 36 games, and as I said earlier when calculating the percentage difference per game we end up with a 43% performance advantage in favor of the RX 570 due to the rounding error.
Against the GTX 1060 3GB, the RX 570 was 4% slower on average and on the chart below you can clearly see where the Radeon GPU got the better of the 3GB 1060, and where the GeForce GPU came out on top.
The RX 570 enjoyed big wins in Forza Horizon 4 and Hitman, while it lost by a convincing margin in Total War Saga, GTA V and Fortnite.
As you might expect the performance deficit is extended when compared to the 6GB GTX 1060...
In a mainstream Radeon vs. Radeon comparison, the RX 580 against the RX 570, the latter was on average 14% slower.
Right so that’s how they stack up across a wide range of games and those are certainly the margins you can typically expect to see. The only question left to answer now is, how do they stack up in terms of value, and to answer that let’s check out the cost per frame figures.
Finding the Best Value: Cost Per Frame
To put together the cost per frame chart, we used all US dollar amounts taken from Newegg listings. We ignored the absolute lowest price if there was a single model available at that price which we hope is the most accurate and fair representation of current prices.
At a current retail price of $150 the Radeon RX 570 costs just $2.17 per frame, but even if we used the $170 MSRP it still only comes to $2.46 making it 11% cheaper than the 3GB GTX 1060.
The RX 580 is also exceptional value at the current $190 asking price. It’s just 6% more expensive per frame than the RX 570 and an impressive 21% cheaper than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. At the bottom of the graph we see that the GTX 1050 Ti does not offer good value at the current asking price. At $170 it's almost 60% more expensive per frame than the RX 570, so for that GPU to make sense it should be selling closer to $140.
Taking those figures into account (and the fact that good FreeSync monitors should prove very popular with gamers all of a sudden) we find that if you’re looking to spend less than $200 on a graphics card, it’s hard to go past the $150 RX 570.
Nvidia has said that GTX 10 series cards will be running out of stock soon (matter of weeks), but for that to happen at the mainstream, some form of drop-in replacement GPUs will have to be introduced. For now, we'd avoid the 3GB GTX 1060 given that the limited VRAM buffer is already a problem and will become more of an issue with many upcoming titles, even at 1080p. Even 4GB is right on the edge, so if you can stretch the budget, we recommend snapping up an 8GB RX 580.