It's time to revisit the battle between two of the most popular current-gen GPUs, the Radeon RX 5700 XT and GeForce RTX 2060 Super, because, why not? We've actually been asked for an update, so we've gathered all-fresh data over the past few days using the latest drivers and game versions.
It’s been a little over six months since we last compared these two head to head in a wide range of games. In terms of pricing, nothing has changed, the RTX 2060 Super can still be had for $400 and above, with most cards selling for $420 or more. The 5700 XT also comes in at a $400 MSRP, but right now there are a few boards starting at $380 and up.
We've mentioned before that GeForce cards tend to sell better -- gathered from looking at our Amazon sales data for the past year, or by looking at the huge pool of users on Steam's hardware survey -- regardless of performance. That could partly explain why AMD seems to be a little more aggressive on pricing. It could also have to do with the stigma surrounding their drivers and recent stability issues, however we're happy to report AMD is mostly on top of the situation now.
For testing today we have 36 games lined up, a handful of which weren’t tested with last time. We’ll take a closer look at the results for a dozen of the games tested and then jump into the 36 game performance breakdown graphs. All testing was conducted using our Core i9-9900K GPU test system clocked at 5 GHz with 16GB of DDR4-3400 memory. We’re covering 1080p and 1440p resolutions, let’s get into the results…
First up we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and here the 5700 XT is almost 20% faster than the 2060 Super at 1440p. The Nvidia GPU still delivers a very acceptable level of performance, but for those rocking 144 Hz monitors, the 5700 XT will be a better choice.
We've tested Ghost Recon Breakpoint using the new Vulkan API implementation. Despite Turing’s architectural improvements, the 5700 XT was still 16% faster at 1440p. This allowed the Radeon GPU to push past the 60 fps barrier for what will be a slightly smoother experience.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider results see improvements from both GPUs since the original test, however it’s AMD that sees the biggest gains. At 1440p the 5700 XT enjoys a 12% boost whereas the 2060 Super is 4% faster.
It’s difficult to say without further testing if this is a result of driver updates or game optimization, but either way as it stands today the 5700 XT is 13% faster on average at 1440p.
Moving on to Gears 5 we find the Radeon GPU has a performance advantage at both tested resolutions, beating the 2060 Super by a 12% margin at 1440p. This saw it maintain over 60 fps for the entirety of the benchmark run.
Control is an Nvidia sponsored title and the green team has done a lot of optimization work here, mostly to raise the bar for ray tracing performance. As a result the RTX 2060 Super is able to close in, but even then the 5700 XT was still 8% faster at 1440p, and interestingly even faster at 1080p where the margin grew to 14%.
Metro Exodus is another Nvidia sponsored title that has been heavily optimized for GeForce GPUs, however AMD didn't sit duck and has also optimized performance here. As a result the 5700 XT was 16% faster at 1440p and this saw the Radeon GPU crack the 100 fps barrier.
Next up we have the newly released Resident Evil 3 and here the 5700 XT leads by a 14% margin at 1440p and a slimmer 9% margin at 1080p. The gain at 1440p saw the Radeon GPU almost hit 100 fps, though we're not sure how noticeable the difference will be for most gamers. It’s clear AMD offers the most bang for your buck in this title.
Doom Eternal is another new game and here we see very even performance between these two $400 GPUs. The 5700 XT came out a few frames ahead but we’re talking about a negligible difference, so it’s a tie. Both averaged well over 100 fps at 1440p, so performance was excellent.
The ever popular Fortnite is a struggle for the 5700 XT, at least relative to what we’ve seen so far. Overall we’re looking at the same gaming experience using either graphics card, but considering the Radeon GPU so far has been up to 30% faster in other titles, this is one of the weaker results.
PUBG is another popular battle royale title and while performance overall is very good from the 5700 XT, this is a rare instance where the RTX 2060 Super gets the better of the testing. The end result sees the Radeon GPU defeated at 1440p by a 7% margin.
Moving on to Borderlands 3, we’ll just note beforehand that since the original test a few months ago, the 5700 XT has seen an 8% increase in performance whereas the RTX 2060 Super has gone unchanged. With the 5700 XT already enjoying a commanding lead in Borderlands 3, the gap has widened which has AMD's lead blown out to a whopping 37% at 1440p.
Last up we have the Battlefield V results where the 5700 XT was 15% faster at 1440p, allowing the Radeon GPU to average 100 fps. Another solid result for AMD in a popular title.
As expected, the Radeon 5700 XT looks to still have the RTX 2060 Super’s number. If anything, the Radeon is fairing a little better today than it did six-plus months ago.
At 1080p the 5700 XT was 9% faster on average, enjoying its biggest win in Borderlands 3 while also making out well in Monster Hunter World, Metro Exodus, DiRT Rally 2 and half a dozen other titles. The only real upsets for AMD came in The Outer Worlds, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Warhammer Vermintide 2. Humorously, Vermintide 2 is an AMD sponsored title.
In our previous test we found the Radeon 5700 XT was on average 10% faster at 1440p and today we’re finding essentially the same thing. This time it’s 8% faster which is explained by the removal of F1 2019 which favors AMD GPUs quite heavily. We removed F1 2019 from our suite due to stability issues. The latest patch causes the game to crash frequently and performance appears to be all over the place.
The 5700 XT remains the superior performer for the most part. Though we have to say the Borderlands 3 result is somewhat of an outlier, we saw a strong performance advantage in favor of the Radeon GPU in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Call of Duty, For Honor, Monster Hunter World, World War Z, and a number of other games.
What to Buy
After looking at all the data, we've seen some improvements for the 5700 XT, but overall the comparison looks very similar in early 2020. Coming away from the match up last year we said, had Nvidia introduced the RTX 2060 Super at the same $350 price point as the RTX 2060, it’d be a clear win for the green team, but unless the 2060 Super fulfils a specific need for you, you’re just better off with a 5700-series graphics card.
The margins are not huge, but typically the 5700 XT costs a little less and it’s still a little faster overall. Both GPUs are supported by a range of quality AIB graphics cards that run cool and quiet, and availability is currently excellent.
What has changed since our last update is Nvidia’s DLSS. We used to mock this as an RTX selling point as the implementation was terrible and resolution scaling offered the same performance uplift with better image quality. As a result, Nvidia gave up on their initial DLSS plans and started over, and we believe Tim’s in-depth image quality analysis articles were largely to thank for that.
DLSS 2.0 is a significant do-over and it’s finally what Nvidia promised: it brings huge performance improvements while maintaining comparable image quality. But we need more games. Right now we’re talking about less than half a dozen games currently on the market. So while many of you probably think long term the 5700 XT will age better than the 2060 Super, that might not be the case if DLSS 2.0 game support improves in the future.
We're far less sold on ray tracing support, but we're more than happy to be wrong on that one. DLSS 2.0 has already proven itself, Nvidia just needs to prove to customers that they can get it in more games, like a lot more games. AMD has yet to come up with their own DLSS-like technology and it'd be interesting to see if that will require new hardware. Just getting on top of driver bugs appears to have been a challenge, but thankfully they now appear to have overcome the situation.
As it stands today, the Radeon RX 5700 XT is the better performing product in a majority of titles. Demanding games where ~10% more performance can mean the difference between 60+ fps at 1440p and dipping below 60 fps, it could matter. It’s also slightly more affordable. You can't go wrong with the RTX 2060 Super, but this is a narrow victory for AMD.