Which 1 is Better: NVIDIA OR ATI ?

The life of a PC gaming enthusiast is a constant battle between saving some moolah and buying the latest and the greatest graphics card. That card, from deep within its dark transistor-filled dungeon, would always hold the promise of squeezing out greater performance from the system. Nvidia and AMD (which acquired ATI in 2006) are the two super giants of the GPU world, and compete for the coveted space in your system’s casing. Both companies offer extremely powerful cards that are capable of handling cutting-edge innovations and data processing, to provide us with jaw- dropping visual candy. And both have been at each other’s throats for quite some time. Luckily, the years of friction have given us, the consumers, some drool-worthy products.

Why Nvidia?

Nvidia started its journey in 1993, but truly picked up steam after introducing the famous “GeForce” series. Since then, it has capitalized on its success and gobbled up many other smaller companies. Nvidia managed to secure a contract to develop the graphics hardware for Microsoft’s Xbox console, and later Sony’s PlayStation 3 made it the leading independent GPU manufacturer. Now, though Nvidia is much more than a GPU producer, its core remains the same. It has also stepped into the Smartphone and tablets market. providing processing power to a number of gadgets.

What about AMD?

AMD’s need to fuel its latest series, marketed as AMD Fusion, promised a one- die solution for both GPU and CPU. The final design of the Fusion lineup was a merger between AMD and ATI, which was bought out in a huge 5.6 billion US dollars deal. ATI was never a GPU manufacturer per se, as they always headed the research and development aspects of business, while third-party publishers mass produced the GPUs. So AMD’s takeover didn’t cause a major overhaul of the company. ATI’s venture into the gaming console resulted in powering Nintendo’s GameCube, Wii and most importantly Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

The difference?

This Is the section where I have to constantly look over my shoulder because PC fan boys will tear this issue (or me) apart if they find this article leaning over to any particular side (deep breath!). Comparing AMD and Nvidia is relatively hard, since they both take completely different approaches. AMD’s flagship is the Radeon lineup, a successor to its Rage series. Nvidia’s jewel in the crown is the GeForce series. Though both these companies offer mobility solutions as well, we will only talk about their discrete graphics cards. These cards vary in memory, clock speed, visual technologies, pixel pipelines, form factor (heat sinks), price and architecture.

Nvidia offers a cocktail of innovations in its cards; SLI (scalable link interface), which allows parallel processing by cramping two or more cards together, PhysX support, Pure Video, GPU Direct, 3D Vision Surround and CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture — Nvidia’s parallel computing architecture) have made significant impact in tilting the pivot. AMD, on the other hand, has its share of novelties such as Vision Engine, Crossfire X (in answer to Nvidia’s SLI capability), Dual Graphics, Eyefinity and HD3D technology. All of these remarkable advancements require in-depth analysis and stress tests. As a user you will find that some of these technologies will cater to your needs more than others.

The current lineup

Although it is not possible to announce either Nvidia or AMD as the overall winner, I have dared to compare a few of their cards, with respect to their pricing and ‘weight’.

Featherweight

ATI Radeon HD 5670 is a clear winner in this category, as it offers remarkable performance for a card in this price range. Add that to high definition audio bit streaming, multi-display support and, most importantly, DirectX 11 and you have a fizzy little worker on your hands. This baby will cost you approximately $85.

Lightweight

Radeon HD 5770 vs GeForce GTS 450 While Radeon HD 5770 (which costs you approximately $170) can drive up to three different displays with one single card, it lacks in terms of in-game graphical performance that the GTS 450 (which is slightly cheaper for approximately $120) can deliver. This is surprising, considering 5770 has a faster core clock. Both support multichannel HDMI audio output, so choosing between them is a trade-off between performance and display support.

Middleweight

Radeon HD 6870 vs GeForce GTX 560

Again, this is a close call as they both are neck-to­neck in terms of performance. Though the 560 is based on CUDA (codenamed Fermi) and offers PhysX support, it is limited to games that support this feature. On the other hand, the 6870 ($290) outperforms the 560 ($250) in some games, but ever so slightly. So again, personal preference is the tie-breaker.

Heavyweight

GeForce GTX 580

Capable of maxing out nearly every game out there, the GeForce 580 is a mammoth card (with a price-tag of around $560) of the Fermi series. Based on CUDA, running quieter, supporting better anti-aliasing and providing PhysX support, there is no match for this powerhouse in its price range.

Super heavyweight

Though the 580 is brilliant, the Radeon HD 6990 is in a league of its own, both in terms of pricing (a whopping $1000!) and performance. Though it is power hungry, the card can churn out insane amounts of detail and drool-inducing eye candy. Offering unmatched DirectX 11 graphical performance and enough features to put any other card out there to shame, this is one card that even Chuck Norris would be proud of.

What does the future hold?

Exciting times lay ahead of us, as both Nvidia and AMD are investing heavily into GPGPU (General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units), as well as mobile and discrete GPUs. Nvidia’s next-generation CUDA ­based GPUs, named Kepler, are set to be launched in 2012. These are speculated to showcase better power efficiency than Fermi, while improving on graphical output.

The HD 6000 series is nearing its end. and AMD has promised that the 7000 series will be launched soon. It will feature AMD’s Next Generation Cores (NGC), which aim to provide better in-game performance and better GPGPU rendering. AMD has also streamlined its Fusion APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit), and aims to bring the fight to Intel.

With no signs of slowing down from either camp, there is a good chance we will be witness to another round of “give-and-take” from both sides. As the display resolutions keep on increasing, the power to drive them will also have to keep up. Increased concentration on research and development on new ways to render data ensures that this awesome race drives better performance than ever.

47 thoughts on “Which 1 is Better: NVIDIA OR ATI ?

  1. well ATI leads,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Hi,

    Pretty good article man! Keep posting like this it was very informative.

  3. AMD is almost equal to Nvidia to performance but if you’re going to use high end GPU’s from AMD you better need some big PSU cause they consume power like hell. While Nvidia cards provide very satisfactory performance with lesser power consumption.

    • Nelson you are completely wrong. The newer Nvidia cards are the ones consuming very much power where the ATI cards use much less. Another thing is the ATI cards are really good with over-clocking. Using this feature beating the Nvidia cards are really easy and cheap. I am Nvidia user but want to get ATI.

      • wrong
        i say that if u can run minecraft at 200 fps with max settings on an nvidia card running an 240 or 330 watt psu
        old computer: 20 fps
        uses full watttage but still under 350 watt

  4. anil Reddy says:

    @jaco agree ! (ATI cards use much less. Another thing is the ATI cards are really good with over-clocking.) just ordered ATI radeon.

  5. ATI is a clear winner, Nvidia is falling apart now.

  6. You people are completely wrong.
    Ati is a powerful company.. Buy not as mighty as Nvidia.
    Ati’s cards die really soon.. Whereas Nvidia cards are solidly built and last for years without hiccups!
    PhyX, GPU Direct and CUDA are those things which Ati lacks big time…
    I have used both… ATI drivers a re a mess…. Total crap… And their lineup is also very confusing…
    Nvidia is several times better.

    • Agree, my radeon died after 2 years (random color artifacts). I switch to Nvidia and never had reliability issues.

      Side note: never OC my ATI

    • I totally disagree…i build computers for a living and I use ATI Radeons baby…every time i use nvidia i get dissapointed. Graphics on older even if they are 2 years older SUCK…where as if i get an ati radeon 4000 series or 5000 series i can still paly games pretty beasty like!!! and seriously come on 2 years??? you think you could save 150$ in 2 years to get a new GPU. I love my current gaming pc with an ati radeon 6870 2 gb gddr5 for only 140$ ATI ALL THE WAY

    • Physx and cuda is useless.

      I have compare it with ati and nvidia graphic
      Ati win… Nvidia graphic quality sucks (low FPS and shabby)

      • Nvidia User says:

        Hello… u used what model? Nvidia Riva?
        Nvidia currently like Intel. Intel leading in CPU. Nvidia leading in GPU.

        Already proven from time to time. I own both. Nvidia and ATI.
        Nvidia win down in performance. Ati win down on price per performance side. Don’t compare with the old model. please compare with new model like mine. GTX TITAN vs HD7970. Who win in performance? HD7970 feel like crap when compare with this TITAN.

        But for bang for buck? Yes ATI HD7970 is OK, but like what u will get is what u paid for. Performance wise Nvidia wins.

        • Hezekiah Enterina says:

          Hello Everyone…. the thing between ATI or Nvidia are the chips only it doesn’t count how reliable the lifetime on it because there are a lot of companies building their manufacturer/chips. If your card will blow for a months or bring dissatisfaction, blame the builder of that card like MSI, Shappire, Palit, Powercolor, ASUS etc… there are the one who built the board not the ATI (AMD) nor NVIDIA (Geforce) company.

          Thanks :)

  7. coolplayer6 says:

    2GB Nvidia was same as 1GB Ati lol

  8. coolplayer6 says:

    1GB Ati can beat 2GB Nvidia already lol………..

    • Holy shit, you’re retarded. VRAM only allows for more textures to be loaded. It has little to do with performance unless you’re playing a game with ultra high res textures

    • Clown. 1gb of VRAM is more then enought for 1080p or single monitor input. It has nothing to do with performance.

    • Girl if u compare a rs.3300 2gb nvidia with rs.7000 1gb ati then u r right
      but if i reverse the amount then u will find nvidia much more efficient then ati
      for your kind info two friends of mine r using sony vaio wrth 30000 rupees and hp worth
      rs.42000 vaio hs 512mb nvidia graphics and hp has 1gb ati radeon graphics….simply saying
      nvidia rocks

  9. Old nvidia card r shit ? lol

    man you r totally wrong, gtx 280,285 and gtx 295,your old ati can blow my wisthle :D

    take a hwcompare and than write smart things :P NVIDIA rule

    nvidia cards r expensive ,its ok,its true

    but as it says in my language (its not as good in english but hope you will understand at all) “how much money you pay that much music you got”

    • I don’t spend a dime on music, and I have all the music I want lol
      All my ati cards have beasted my friend’a nvidia cards by far with little to no overclocking , for a cheaper price too lol. Just gotta learn how to set your rig bro

  10. build computers for year,. through my experience Ati is a better solution
    when it comes to software that have more raw textures.
    While Nvdia is much better at compatibles for older games.
    They both are good and they have there own pros and cons.

    Nvidia is much more expensive when u need a powerful card with 128 bit memory interface compare to Ati solution.

  11. nvidia is more better then ati bcos nvidia can handul texture better then ati,ati cards has no cuda or phyx which make gameplay look real

  12. Hello Friends Please tell me Which one is Good ATI OR NAVIDIA I have Intel Core i3 3.20 Ghz Poss.. And DDR 3 Biostar Motherbord…??

  13. kindly plz help me out which one is better I’ve read the above comments about both ATI and Nvidia and got more confused which one to buy?? plz :(

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  17. I like Matrox (: So both fan STFU and GTFO….!

  18. i make some conclusion about ati and nvidia..nvidia only gain less fps than my ati hd 5450 during i play call of duty(black ops2)..SO YOU ALL better thinks about your money wll getting waste..i thinks ati is great better than nvidia..

  19. Nvidia for the win.. dont get me wrong ATI is also good but SLI and PhyX and CUBE just make Nvidia slightly better.

    ATI run at higher temps and require a lot of power.

    Nvidia runs smoother and require less power for the same performance.

    also 120hz 3d gaming with Vision 2 kit is dam good….

    Respect…

  20. I have to agree with person who said nvidia card last longer. I bought 4650 3 years ago and it died while i have 12(pentium 4) and 7 years old PCs with nvidia thats still working. To som.e people who dont have enough money durabillity is important

  21. the thing is still left that who is the winner well in my opinion nvidia is the winner because i have been using 430 and 520 gt plus i also have used ati 6670. the thing performance wise both were the same but the ati bursted out but nvidia they are always durable as i sold my 430 gt for quick buck after one year use. now i am looking for a upgrade so i am going for 650 gt according to my budget, any suggestions?

  22. Bro nvidia is best till now, don’t know about future…

  23. Nvidia always rocks

  24. Ha ha the trash claiming ATi is better, quite amusing really, ATi are barely holding the lead, sure they have some good shit, but hey anyone can take a good dump every once in a while, Nvidias been in the game 19 years, and ATi/AMD 1969 40+ years and its taken them this long to achieve a decent card, so i wouldn’t be so quick to jump into ATi’s cart, just wait for Nvidia to put out a new line then well see… better yet when Nvidia chomps on ATi with a merger hehehe!so givin the time frames Nvidia is clearly doing better, with a total equity of 4 billion+ dollars in equity as of the 2012 financial year, where as AMD/ATi is only just cracking 1 billion dollars in total equity, but never mind that, theyre both still at each others throats and not laying down in the next 10 years for sure. Happy Hunting!

  25. Well i suppose each brand has it’s own Advantages. So, like you chose between Mercedes and Toyota. Both is car. Both will drive you everywhere. Only the difference is Mercedes will cost you more dime than Toyota. But with more expense off course the experience is better. Me myself use ATI for my PC computer. And Nvidia at my laptop. And both give me satisfaction. If you only wanna play new game i suggest for ATI (cheaper, don’t waste more money cause in a few year you’re gonna upgrade new GPU). But if you are working in graphic designer or something like that, then i suggest Nvidia. Hope this would help :)

  26. Jihan Tamim says:

    Guys Nvidia is the Best…Ati is not good as Nvidia.

  27. Not on either side of the table. Just have preferences. They say:

    Intel does more calculations per MHz than AMD now, but I still buy AMD processors, because how it feels to me running.

    Older CPUs obviously were crap for Intel, which made me try AMD in the first place, and I never looked back.

    First, I had a Pentium 1, lasted a while, but was very sluggish(Can’t blame it, 333mhz isn’t much). However, I went PII and every month I was replacing the processor or ram because I fried them. Same with a PIII I had. Finally I got fed up with Intel CPUs constantly crashing and burning up after a month or two of uptime and grabbed an AMD Sempron. (Old I know. But for a socket 939, she was beast!) It out performed even the Quad core 2 duo(For me at least). Went AMD Athlon 64, slapped the Intels around even more with performance. It was an amazing computer for the time I had it. (Lasted 6 years) until I accidentally left a screw underneath the mobo and fried it.

    After that I built an AMD Athlon 64 x2 myself(AM2), over this time of learning to build PC, I upgraded once a year, never an issue CPU or ram wise, she was perfect, for a time.

    Then I build an AMD Phenom II x2, and an Phenom II x6, they both run flawlessly and contend with some of the high end Intel CPUs.

    Getting to the point of graphics cards, that’s all I’ve had to upgrade, really. The processors seem to run great and don’t have the issues I experienced with Intel(Which I hear has changed.)

    I initially purchased a Geforce 7200GS for my socket 939 PC. It worked decently well(Though really hot, the f*cker would burn you if you weren’t careful), odd crashes, though began to crash on Windows Vista a lot more. It just made it too hot. It ran okay until Unreal Tournament 2000 came out. Then I was lucky to get 11FPS in games.. haha.

    After having mostly issues pertaining to heat and stability with Nvidia, though the card still works today, I tried Ati. First Ati Rage 128Pro, Ati All-Wonder(something I can’t remember.) Great multi-purpose cards, that I still have and they work just fine, no stability issues.

    Having no issues with Ati or AMD, it seemed like a perfect relationship to have inside my PC cases. That’s the way my builds have been and will continue to be.

    Because: A) No hassles. B) No crashes unless I overclock too far. C) Equipment seems to last(For me at least.) D) Seems to perform better under my multi-tasking habits. Lastly E) Overall, any money I put into AMD/ATI seems to be most satisfactory for the money spent. I don’t have to replace hardware, only upgrade, and I can upgrade less with overclocking, saving even more money.

    AMD/ATi has made computing heaven for me, and my computer builds flawless. My Phenom II x6 1045t, 8GB DDR3 1333mhz, Ati Radeon HD 7750 seems happy with me too.

  28. jagie santiago says:

    Yes! that’s right! PhysX is a powerful physics engine that can utilize GPU acceleration to provide amazing real-time
    physics effects and you can selecting a GPU allows an increase in PhysX processing and may improve overall performance in games
    or programs that support PhysX. and you can choose GPU OR CPU to use the best processor for PhysX.

  29. The only thing nvidia has on amd is physx, which frankly isnt all that worth it. Also Nvidia disables physx on non nvidia cards WHILE saying that its impossible to run it on AMD cards when its only because they dont ALLOW it to happen because they know that its the only thing hanging on to customers. AMD is working with havok for a comparable physics engine and soon, there will be no reason to buy nvidia.

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