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NVIDIA vs AMD
Is AMD or NVIDIA Better?
AMD (formerly ATI) and NVIDIA are the undisputed leaders of the GPU market. When you upgrade your graphics card or buy a new computer, you usually have to choose between similarly priced and positioned products from these two companies. Both of them offer some powerful discrete graphics solutions for both gaming and professional work, but how do you know if Radeon or GeForce cards are better?
You will find more information about the two GPU manufacturers, as well as some useful links to AMD and NVIDIA benchmarks and performance comparisons below. Don't forget to check out the ongoing discussion with hundreds of user opinions, and vote in the poll.
NVIDIA is a GPU (graphics processing unit) and motherboard chipset manufacturer based in Santa Clara, California (US). It was founded in 1993 and since then became one of the leaders in gaming and professional graphics. NVIDIA was the first to introduce a graphics card with on-board transform and lighting (T&L) - the famous Geforce 256 - back in 1999. The GeForce brand became highly popular and with the exception of FX series these cards have always been some of the best on the home graphics market. The popular gaming console Playstation 3 also uses NVIDIA graphics.
In February 2008 NVIDIA acquired Ageia Technologies and started integrating their physics engine, the PhysX into Geforce cards. All Geforce 8 cards and above now support PhysX hardware acceleration for PhysX-enabled games.
One of the latest innovations by this company is G-SYNC, a technology which solves screen tearing and stuttering prevalent on LCD monitors by synchronizing the monitor's refresh and GPU's render rates, as well as using a strobing backlight to eliminate motion blur, resulting in CRT-like low persistance.
About AMD Graphics (Formerly ATI)
ATI was a major designer and manufacturer of GPUs and motherboard chipsets until 2006 when it was acquired by AMD. Even though ATI no longer exists as a company, and the popular brand is no longer used for graphics cards as of 2011, many of people still refer to Radeon cards as "ATI" out of habit. (As this page was created back in 2009, the comments still have some references to the brand).
ATI was founded in 1985, producing graphics cards for PC makers like IBM. They launched a highly popular Radeon GPU line in year 2000. After ATI's acquisition by AMD in 2006 the newly renamed AMD Graphics Product Group continued making high-end graphics cards for gamers and professionals. The popular Xbox 360 console also uses an AMD graphics chip. Next-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) use AMD hardware as well.
AMD recently released Mantle, a graphics API which promises to make things easier for developers, and bring faster and better games to the PC platform. They also came up with AMD TrueAudio, adding hardware audio acceleration capabilities to their graphics cards. This allows games and applications to offload audio processing from the CPU, freeing it for other tasks.
NVIDIA vs AMD Discussion
Are NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards better overall?
Links to NVIDIA vs AMD Benchmarks
When it comes to choosing between Radeon and GeForce, or even between two different models of the same video card, your best bet is to check the different benchmarks online. Don't rely on the hardware specifications alone, because if a graphics card has faster memory and a higher GPU clock it doesn't necessarily mean it will also result in more FPS in that newest shooter game.
- Tom's Hardware always has a lot of detailed reviews and benchmarks of the newest and most powerful graphics cards available.Their charts provide a quick and easy comparison of the most powerful gaming hardware available.
- Passmark Software offers charts showing the performance of thousands of different graphics cards. Just note that the synthetic benchmark they use doesn't necessarily indicate the "real life" performance in video games. They boast a database of over half a million different video cards.
- 3DMark is the most popular video card benchmark software. You can test the performance of your system yourself, share it online, and see the benchmark results of other users. If your system does poorly compared to other similar ones, you might need to check whether your drivers are up to date; you might also want to look into overclocking.
- Newegg is one of the best places to buy computer hardware online. More importantly, you can read hundreds of graphics card reviews and see ratings from real users there.