Discussion Thinking about switching to an AMD gpu and I would like the opinion of AMD and Nvidia users

eli150

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Hey guys,

I've had a Nvidia gpu for as long as I can remember but this time I think I'm going to get an AMD gpu. Specifically the 6800XT.
I don't really see a reason to wait for reviews because I'm pretty sure the performance is going to be about the same as the RTX 3080. Might be worse in cases, might be better but overall I guess there probably won't be much of a difference in raw performance.
If I'm being completely honest, the main reason I want to switch over to AMD is the fact that AMD's 6800XT comes with 16gb of gddr6 while the RTX 3080 comes with 10gb gddr6x. I really believe the 3080's memory capacity is going to hold it back at some point in the future. Maybe it will even happen next year. There are already a few examples of games using a lot of vram like Watch Dogs Legion and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

That said, there are a few things holding me back from switching to AMD like bad drives - I've heard of people running into a lot of issues with AMD's drivers with 5700XT. I also had a laptop with an AMD gpu and installing amd drivers on that thing was a nightmare.
I also fear I might miss out on some new and old Nvidia features like RTX, HBAO+, TXAA, DSR etc.

So.. what do you guys think? Have you run into any troubles with AMD drivers? Have you switched to AMD from Nvidia and missed the features?
I know there arent any reviews for the amd gpus yet but I would like your opinion based on what we've seen so far
 

RRichards

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I'm in the same boat as you right now, looking at either getting a 3080 or 6800xt. In the current situation It's looking like the 6800xt will be easier as where I'm at the 3080s are so backordered that they're not expecting to deliver until mid January. I believe reviewer benchmarks are going to be released the day before they launch, so I'll just make a decision based on that. I don't really have any worries about drivers or features. Even if things were to be rocky at launch I'm sure they'd have it running smoothly asap. The only thing that has me questioning the AMD route is the possibility of a 3080ti. I don't have any reason to prefer Nvidia over AMD, but for some reason the Nvidia cards are just more appealing to me and I think a lot of people think that way. Sadly at the end of the day it comes down to what you can manage to get your hands on. I have spent the past two weeks trying to get a 3080 and been outbid on the way to collect one twice so lets hope the 6800xt is the winner.
 
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RTX 2080

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Hey guys,

I've had a Nvidia gpu for as long as I can remember but this time I think I'm going to get an AMD gpu. Specifically the 6800XT.
I don't really see a reason to wait for reviews because I'm pretty sure the performance is going to be about the same as the RTX 3080. Might be worse in cases, might be better but overall I guess there probably won't be much of a difference in raw performance.
If I'm being completely honest, the main reason I want to switch over to AMD is the fact that AMD's 6800XT comes with 16gb of gddr6 while the RTX 3080 comes with 10gb gddr6x. I really believe the 3080's memory capacity is going to hold it back at some point in the future. Maybe it will even happen next year. There are already a few examples of games using a lot of vram like Watch Dogs Legion and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

That said, there are a few things holding me back from switching to AMD like bad drives - I've heard of people running into a lot of issues with AMD's drivers with 5700XT. I also had a laptop with an AMD gpu and installing amd drivers on that thing was a nightmare.
I also fear I might miss out on some new and old Nvidia features like RTX, HBAO+, TXAA, DSR etc.

So.. what do you guys think? Have you run into any troubles with AMD drivers? Have you switched to AMD from Nvidia and missed the features?
I know there arent any reviews for the amd gpus yet but I would like your opinion based on what we've seen so far
I feel what you are saying. I prefer Nvidia cards for their superior drivers as well as several features which have better implementation than AMD does. It was always an easy choice for me, but with the RTX 3000 series GPUs being sold out all the time and only 10 GB of VRAM on the 3080 (I play MSFS), the AMD cards are tempting. I'm going to wait, because I'm counting on Nvidia's need to be perceived as the best forcing them to counter with something with more VRAM (like a 3080 Super/Ti) or lower prices, or something like that. I'm sure they won't leave things the way they are, so I'm going to be patient and wait for a GPU that I don't have to make any excuses for.
 
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Wolfshadw

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Graphic cards I've owned and used:

S3-Virge
ATI Radeon 9200
NVidia Geforce 7800GTS
ATI Radeon AIW X1800XL
ATI Radeon HD2600
ATI Radeon HD4350
NVidia Geforce FX-5300
NVidia Geforce 8800 GTS 640
AMD Radeon RX-560
NVidia Geforce GTX 1060 6GB

I can say that I have NEVER had any issues with drivers for ANY of the cards I've owned and used.

-Wolf sends
 
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Long time ago, I had trouble with radeon drivers,
It is a moot point since all has changed.

Where I might argue is the issue of vram.
First of all, amd/nvidia graphics drivers use vram differently.
Do not buy on specs such as vram or ddr6 ram.
Base your choice on performance in the games YOU run.
The amount of vram will be appropriate to the card you buy.
 
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eli150

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Long time ago, I had trouble with radeon drivers,
It is a moot point since all has changed.

Where I might argue is the issue of vram.
First of all, amd/nvidia graphics drivers use vram differently.
Do not buy on specs such as vram or ddr6 ram.
Base your choice on performance in the games YOU run.
The amount of vram will be appropriate to the card you buy.
Glad to hear drivers are better now.

About the vram.. I really think 10gb isn't enough for the 3080. Maybe I didn't explain myself well enough. It happened to me before. My GTX 970 was doing great until games started to require more vram.. then I had to reduce settings, mostly shadows and textures, not because the gpu wasn't powerful enough but because it didn't have the necessary vram.
 
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It's tricky! Will a 16gb card of today be up to the job of running games that require 16gb vram a year down the line or will it be obsolete?

I play 4k with all settings maxed. 8gb vram around 90% used in most titles. Only one I've had problems with is warzone but that games is just ridiculously resource hungry.
 
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VRAM has become a marketing issue.
My understanding is that vram is more of a performance issue than a functional issue.
A game needs to have most of the data in vram that it uses most of the time.
Somewhat like real ram.
If a game needs something not in vram, it needs to get it across the pcie boundary
hopefully from real ram and hopefully not from a hard drive.
It is not informative to know to what level the available vram is filled.
Possibly much of what is there is not needed.
What is not known is the rate of vram exchange.
Vram is managed by the Graphics card driver, and by the game. There may be differences in effectiveness between amd and nvidia cards.
And differences between games.
Here is an older performance test comparing 2gb with 4gb vram.
Spoiler... not a significant difference.
A more current set of tests shows the same results:
http://www.techspot.com/review/1114-vram-comparison-test/page5.html

And... no game maker wants to limit their market by
requiring huge amounts of vram. The vram you see will be appropriate to the particular card.

Today, several things change vram performance.
With larger ram sizes available and prevalent, A game can preload much content into ram in anticipation of quick use.

pcie4.0 will be able to transfer vram needs more quickly.
I can't recall if it is the big navi or 3000 series, but one of them will have the ability to transfer vram contents directly from a drive.

SSD devices are now standard which makes the transfer of vram needs some 40x faster than from a HDD.

I do not know of a current study that evaluates vram that does not involve different graphics cards.
The gtx1060 3gb vs. GTX1060 6gb might have been a candidate, but the 3gb version is not the same with fewer CUDA cores.

I think the graphics card designers probably have a better handle on balancing the need for vram vs other specs.

Bottom line to me is to look at benchmarks for the games you play.
 
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agree with what being said by geofelt especially on the part how AMD and nvidia handles memory. and this is one an interesting thing to look at:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=693NBRwk8z4&t=74s


all card are 4GB. and look the texture on AMD card vs both nvidia card.

you can also look for techpowerup article on horizon zero dawn and watchdog legion performance test. in this two game TPU also saw how nvidia 3GB/4GB cards ends up in better situation than AMD 4GB cards.
 

eli150

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I'm in the same boat as you right now, looking at either getting a 3080 or 6800xt. In the current situation It's looking like the 6800xt will be easier as where I'm at the 3080s are so backordered that they're not expecting to deliver until mid January. I believe reviewer benchmarks are going to be released the day before they launch, so I'll just make a decision based on that. I don't really have any worries about drivers or features. Even if things were to be rocky at launch I'm sure they'd have it running smoothly asap. The only thing that has me questioning the AMD route is the possibility of a 3080ti. I don't have any reason to prefer Nvidia over AMD, but for some reason the Nvidia cards are just more appealing to me and I think a lot of people think that way. Sadly at the end of the day it comes down to what you can manage to get your hands on. I have spent the past two weeks trying to get a 3080 and been outbid on the way to collect one twice so lets hope the 6800xt is the winner.
Yeah supply is really bad. I tried to order a 5900x for a cpu upgrade with the 6800xt and it was cancelled. I really hope I can get my hands on a 6800XT
 

eli150

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I feel what you are saying. I prefer Nvidia cards for their superior drivers as well as several features which have better implementation than AMD does. It was always an easy choice for me, but with the RTX 3000 series GPUs being sold out all the time and only 10 GB of VRAM on the 3080 (I play MSFS), the AMD cards are tempting. I'm going to wait, because I'm counting on Nvidia's need to be perceived as the best forcing them to counter with something with more VRAM (like a 3080 Super/Ti) or lower prices, or something like that. I'm sure they won't leave things the way they are, so I'm going to be patient and wait for a GPU that I don't have to make any excuses for.
Nvidia is probably going to respond with a RTX 3080 Ti 20gb because I'm pretty sure the 6900XT is going to make Nvidia's 3090 look really bad. Honestly, I don't think a 3080 Ti is going to be worth the money. It's probably not going to cost less than a 1000$ and the performance isn't going to be better than the 3090. In my opinion, 6800XT is looking more and more like the best available option, especially for games like MSFS
 

eli150

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VRAM has become a marketing issue.
My understanding is that vram is more of a performance issue than a functional issue.
A game needs to have most of the data in vram that it uses most of the time.
Somewhat like real ram.
If a game needs something not in vram, it needs to get it across the pcie boundary
hopefully from real ram and hopefully not from a hard drive.
It is not informative to know to what level the available vram is filled.
Possibly much of what is there is not needed.
What is not known is the rate of vram exchange.
Vram is managed by the Graphics card driver, and by the game. There may be differences in effectiveness between amd and nvidia cards.
And differences between games.
Here is an older performance test comparing 2gb with 4gb vram.
Spoiler... not a significant difference.
A more current set of tests shows the same results:
http://www.techspot.com/review/1114-vram-comparison-test/page5.html

And... no game maker wants to limit their market by
requiring huge amounts of vram. The vram you see will be appropriate to the particular card.

Today, several things change vram performance.
With larger ram sizes available and prevalent, A game can preload much content into ram in anticipation of quick use.

pcie4.0 will be able to transfer vram needs more quickly.
I can't recall if it is the big navi or 3000 series, but one of them will have the ability to transfer vram contents directly from a drive.

SSD devices are now standard which makes the transfer of vram needs some 40x faster than from a HDD.

I do not know of a current study that evaluates vram that does not involve different graphics cards.
The gtx1060 3gb vs. GTX1060 6gb might have been a candidate, but the 3gb version is not the same with fewer CUDA cores.

I think the graphics card designers probably have a better handle on balancing the need for vram vs other specs.

Bottom line to me is to look at benchmarks for the games you play.
I agree that devs probably want to get their games to as many people as possible but if you want to play on the best settings 10gb might not be enough. Even the new consoles have 16gb of vram.
I really hope you are right and there is more to this but you only need to look at recent titles like Watch Dogs Legion and MSFS to see that there is a growing need for more memory on gpus. Check this for example:
https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/watch_dogs_legion_pc_graphics_performance_benchmark_review,9.html

They ran their tests on the RTX 3090! That gpu has 24gb of gddr6x so It has more than enough capacity and it's faster than the gddr6 memory on consoles. They still managed to hit 8gb with DLSS enabled.. Isn't that supposed to use less memory than running full 4k resolution?
 
I agree that devs probably want to get their games to as many people as possible but if you want to play on the best settings 10gb might not be enough. Even the new consoles have 16gb of vram.
I really hope you are right and there is more to this but you only need to look at recent titles like Watch Dogs Legion and MSFS to see that there is a growing need for more memory on gpus. Check this for example:
https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/watch_dogs_legion_pc_graphics_performance_benchmark_review,9.html

They ran their tests on the RTX 3090! That gpu has 24gb of gddr6x so It has more than enough capacity and it's faster than the gddr6 memory on consoles. They still managed to hit 8gb with DLSS enabled.. Isn't that supposed to use less memory than running full 4k resolution?
the upcoming console have total RAM of 16GB. and not all of them going to be used as VRAM. with Xbox series X i heard 10GB will be reserved as VRAM while 6GB for everything else. PS5 have no definite segmentation on how much will be allocated to VRAM but since it has 16GB like series x all of them are not being dedicated towards VRAM as well.

there might be concerned that 10GB might not be enough but sometimes the problem is i think people have this issue that they need to put all the setting to the max or else they think they will going to miss something. most often lowering the graphic down one notch (from ultra to very high) still pretty much retain the same look as ultra and yet it might reduce memory usage significantly. this is why VRAM end up being a marketing.

also from nvidia technical standpoint at certain point adding more VRAM will only add more cost rather than having technical benefit while on AMD side not having that extra VRAM will hurt their performance. we already see this with several 4GB cards out there.
 
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eli150

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the upcoming console have total RAM of 16GB. and not all of them going to be used as VRAM. with Xbox series X i heard 10GB will be reserved as VRAM while 6GB for everything else. PS5 have no definite segmentation on how much will be allocated to VRAM but since it has 16GB like series x all of them are not being dedicated towards VRAM as well.

there might be concerned that 10GB might not be enough but sometimes the problem is i think people have this issue that they need to put all the setting to the max or else they think they will going to miss something. most often lowering the graphic down one notch (from ultra to very high) still pretty much retain the same look as ultra and yet it might reduce memory usage significantly. this is why VRAM end up being a marketing.

also from nvidia technical standpoint at certain point adding more VRAM will only add more cost rather than having technical benefit while on AMD side not having that extra VRAM will hurt their performance. we already see this with several 4GB cards out there.
Yeah I agree with what you said about ultra settings.. not everything needs to be set to ultra and many time it's not even worth the performance hit. My argument here is that 10gb will be a problem in settings the 3080 can manage but won't because of lack of vram. Take RDR2 for example, Ultra textures is the only kind of textures you would want to use. This game specifically isn't demanding too much memory but what about other games in the near future? Why would I reduce settings like textures or shadows? This is why I didn't rush to buy the 3080..

I just read about a 3080 ti being released in January with 20gb but that will probably cost like 1000$+ so.. best option might be the 6800XT

Also true what you said about the consoles and it does give hope for the 3080 but devs always know how to use the resources the console has and tweak the settings accordingly. Console settings aren't always available on PC and in a lot of games the you'll need extra power to make up for bad ports
 
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Similar to @Wolfshadw , I've had my share of new and used cards, from S3, Riva 128, ATI Rage, etc., all the way up through Nvidia GTX 1080, and my son's RX 5700.

I can say the only dead cards I've encountered were Nvidia, BUT, those were dead by the time I acquired the PCs that contained them, so, I'm hesitant to say anything negative about that. On the other hand, I've had far more used cards than new.

New Nvidia, I've only had the Riva 128, the GTX 1080, and very recently, the GTX 1650 GDDR6.

New AMD/ATI I've had the Radeon 9550, R9 285, RX 580 8GB, and RX 5700.

I've had no problems with any drivers, EXCEPT for the GTX 1080 and GTX 1650, where I had a problem with the driver installation. For each, the starting window to choose options and proceed with install would white-out, and the next/cancel buttons wouldn't be there, so I'd have to use the task manager to kill it and try again. The second attempt would succeed. I will definitely gripe about the clunkiness and turn-of-the-century look and feel of the UI for the drivers, though. But, that didn't affect the functionality.


Honestly, I'd have no qualms going with AMD, and am encouraged that, generally, you get far better price/performance with AMD. Usually. (more recently, Nvidia's been better in the low-end, bizarrely).
 
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My argument here is that 10gb will be a problem in settings the 3080 can manage but won't because of lack of vram. Take RDR2 for example, Ultra textures is the only kind of textures you would want to use. This game specifically isn't demanding too much memory but what about other games in the near future? Why would I reduce settings like textures or shadows? This is why I didn't rush to buy the 3080..
yeah it is normal to have concern like this. but consumer most often only look at the surface when the actual thing might not as clear black and white as they think it should be. the most common idea that people had is when the card are out of VRAM it will hamper performance. in the past that might be true but with various improvement on all front that's no longer accurate. take this as an example:



this test is done using the highest setting. even at 1080p VRAM usage is over 6GB. since the game use more than 6GB then cards with 6GB or less should fall apart in performance. let's see how various cards perform at 1080p:



4GB cards like 1650 super still able to keep up with 8GB cards like RX580 just fine. in general all of the card with 6GB or less VRAM in the chart still able to perform to it's expected performance even if VRAM usage should already go beyond 6GB. even 3GB and 4GB cards are doing just fine. this is true to both AMD and nvidia cards.

now we then look at 4k. at 4k the memory usage is roughly 8GB.



this is when we start seeing how AMD and nvidia handle "VRAM and bandwidth pressure" as TPU called it. RX5600 for example faster than 2060 at 1080p to being slightly slower that 2060 at 4k. Radeon 7 are slower than RX5700 XT at 1080p end up being much faster than RX5700 XT at 4k most likely because it has significantly more bandwidth. and lastly the most glaring one on the chart above AMD 4GB card simply failed to run the game at 4k while on nvidia side even 1060 3GB still able to run the game.
 
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eli150

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yeah it is normal to have concern like this. but consumer most often only look at the surface when the actual thing might not as clear black and white as they think it should be. the most common idea that people had is when the card are out of VRAM it will hamper performance. in the past that might be true but with various improvement on all front that's no longer accurate. take this as an example:



this test is done using the highest setting. even at 1080p VRAM usage is over 6GB. since the game use more than 6GB then cards with 6GB or less should fall apart in performance. let's see how various cards perform at 1080p:



4GB cards like 1650 super still able to keep up with 8GB cards like RX580 just fine. in general all of the card with 6GB or less VRAM in the chart still able to perform to it's expected performance even if VRAM usage should already go beyond 6GB. even 3GB and 4GB cards are doing just fine. this is true to both AMD and nvidia cards.

now we then look at 4k. at 4k the memory usage is roughly 8GB.



this is when we start seeing how AMD and nvidia handle "VRAM and bandwidth pressure" as TPU called it. RX5600 for example faster than 2060 at 1080p to being slightly slower that 2060 at 4k. Radeon 7 are slower than RX5700 XT at 1080p end up being much faster than RX5700 XT at 4k most likely because it has significantly more bandwidth. and lastly the most glaring one on the chart above AMD 4GB card simply failed to run the game at 4k while on nvidia side even 1060 3GB still able to run the game.
Thanks for showing this. I guess this issue is more complicated then just looking at vram capacities. It is really hard to tell when a gpu really hits a "vram wall" it can't get past.
I think I made the right call waiting for AMD's gpus.. we will soon see how they perform and then I can make a more informed decision before buying. Still betting on the 6800XT being the best option though
 

eli150

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Similar to @Wolfshadw , I've had my share of new and used cards, from S3, Riva 128, ATI Rage, etc., all the way up through Nvidia GTX 1080, and my son's RX 5700.

I can say the only dead cards I've encountered were Nvidia, BUT, those were dead by the time I acquired the PCs that contained them, so, I'm hesitant to say anything negative about that. On the other hand, I've had far more used cards than new.

New Nvidia, I've only had the Riva 128, the GTX 1080, and very recently, the GTX 1650 GDDR6.

New AMD/ATI I've had the Radeon 9550, R9 285, RX 580 8GB, and RX 5700.

I've had no problems with any drivers, EXCEPT for the GTX 1080 and GTX 1650, where I had a problem with the driver installation. For each, the starting window to choose options and proceed with install would white-out, and the next/cancel buttons wouldn't be there, so I'd have to use the task manager to kill it and try again. The second attempt would succeed. I will definitely gripe about the clunkiness and turn-of-the-century look and feel of the UI for the drivers, though. But, that didn't affect the functionality.


Honestly, I'd have no qualms going with AMD, and am encouraged that, generally, you get far better price/performance with AMD. Usually. (more recently, Nvidia's been better in the low-end, bizarrely).
That is actually good to know!
If I do end up buying an AMD gpu, I guess all is left is just to accept loosing Nvidia's exclusive features. Not that bad if the new AMD gpus are worth it
 
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I go with nvidia and intel just because I know the brands.
Never had an issue with any of the performance and or parts.
Tempted to go for AMD GPU on account of not being able to get a 3xxx, but not really because of the ray tracing and DLSS features that nvidia carries. Dunno if AMD has worse performance regarding those.
 

eli150

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I go with nvidia and intel just because I know the brands.
Never had an issue with any of the performance and or parts.
Tempted to go for AMD GPU on account of not being able to get a 3xxx, but not really because of the ray tracing and DLSS features that nvidia carries. Dunno if AMD has worse performance regarding those.
Yeah gpus are in short supply right now. I think that I'll get the 6800XT if I can get my hands on one. I also have a 1070 ti and I really want to upgrade but if you can hold on a bit longer maybe it's best to go with the brands you trust. For me, brands don't mean much.. sure you can expect a quality gpu from Nvidia but I think going AMD is worth it this time around. Reviews should be out soon.. We'll see how good big navi really is
 

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