Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1060 – which graphics card to choose?

This comparison includes two new graphics cards that premiered just a few months ago. We are dealing with the strongest Polaris in the form of Radeon RX 480 and (so far) the weakest GeForce GTX 1060. Which of these cards is more profitable? I invite you to read.

Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1060 – specification:

Role models Radeon RX 480 GeForce GTX 1060
    GeForce GTX 1060
  Parametry GPU
GPU name Polaris 10 Pascal
Technological process 14 nm 16 nm
Core frequency 1120 MHz 1506 MHz
  Memory parameters
Memory type GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory capacity 8192 MB 6144 MB
Memory clock 2000 MHz
8000 MHz (effective)
2000 MHz
8000 MHz (effective)
Rail width 256 bit 192 bit
Memory bandwidth 256 GB/s 192 GB/s
  Processor parameters
Shading units 2304 1280
Render Pipes (ROP) 32 48
Number of texturing units (TMUs) 144 80
  Additional information
TDP 150 W 120 W
Release date June 29, 2016 July 10, 2016

Summary

As you can see, in the case of both cards, we cannot talk about very big differences in terms of parameters. The higher clock speed of the GTX 1060 means that it often performs better than the competing AMD product. The RX 480, in turn, makes up for in games using DirectX 12, and this is its greatest asset that could make it a much more efficient chip than the GTX in the future. Meanwhile, the “green” card can already boast of very good performance, and in the long run it will still be an efficient unit, supporting all the latest titles in the highest detail.

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Reasons in favor of buying the Radeon RX 480

Radeon RX 480
  • Better performance in games that use DirectX 12.
  • Supports Direct3D 12.
  • Supports FreeSync.
  • Supports GameDVR (game streaming with minimal performance degradation).
  • TrueAudio support.

Reasons to buy a GeForce GTX 1060

GeForce GTX 1060
  • Better performance in most games.
  • Better energy consumption ratio.
  • Supports PhysX.
  • Wspiera G-Sync.
  • Supports ShadowPlay (streaming games with minimal performance degradation).

Featured Graphics Cards

Both cards cost over PLN 1,000 – the average price of the most popular models ranges from PLN 1,300 to PLN 1,500, which immediately indicates that these products are intended primarily for fans of games and people using demanding photo, audio and video processing programs. .

GTX 1060 – which version is the best?

The GeForce card was prepared in the Pascal generation, which offers, among other things, support for 1440p resolution and VR technology related to virtual reality. They analyze individual models available on the market, the most you can expect from a configuration with the following parameters:

  • Core Clock – from 1.7 to 2.0 GHz in Boost mode,
  • Amount of RAM – 6 GB,
  • Memory Type – GDDR5,
  • Memory clock – 8 GHz,
  • Standards – DirectX 12, OpenGL 4,5, Vertex Shader 5.0, Pixel Shader 5.0,
  • Number of CUDA cores – 1280,
  • Technology – Adaptive V-Sync, GPU Tweak II, HDMI, CUDA, GPU Boost, PhysX, VR Ready.
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This version is able to handle a resolution of 7680×4320, as well as the increasingly popular VR Ready virtual reality technology. However, it should be remembered that the prices of this type of sets may significantly exceed the aforementioned threshold of PLN 1,000. Usually these cards are closer to the limit of PLN 2,000.

RX 480 – which version is the best?

On the other side of the barricade there is a card that offers slightly weaker parameters, but you have to pay a little less for it. The Radeon RX 480 unit was prepared in the Polaris architecture and uses a technological process equal to 14 nanometers. There are many card configurations on the market, the parameters of the most powerful one are as follows:

  • Core Clock – from 1.1 to 1.3 GHz in Boost mode,
  • Amount of RAM – 8 GB,
  • Memory Type – GDDR5,
  • Memory clock – 8 GHz,
  • Standards – DirectX 12, OpenGL 4,5, Vertex Shader 5.0, Pixel Shader 5.0,
  • Stream processors – 2304,
  • Technology – Adaptibe V-Sync, Eyefinity, FreeSync, Liquid VR, Virtual Super Resolution, HDMI.
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In terms of the presented parameters, the differences are not big. The Radeon card loses in terms of core clock speed, but has more RAM. It should also be mentioned that the most expensive configuration costs about PLN 1,600 – so it is about PLN 300 cheaper than the GTX 1060.

DirectX 11 or DirectX 12?

One of the biggest changes introduced by the new graphics cards (also those from the middle-quality shelf) is the support for the latest DirectX 12 library, which improves the graphics and sound generation process. However, do computers equipped with the above cards allow more than sets using the version 11 library?

The burdening issues seem to be decisive in this case. DirectX 12 is much less demanding on hardware than its predecessor. This is especially important when comparing slightly weaker configurations.

Among other things, it influences better handling of computer games. DirectX 12 units guarantee performance from a few to several frames per second compared to DirectX 11 models. All this means that the latest API library will soon be dominant, especially since game producers have already announced that their new titles will primarily support DirectX 12 for all.

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Performance comparison

Returning to the GTX 1060 and RX 480 combination, it is worth checking how individual card configurations cope with the support of test programs and games.

First, we present the test results in 3D Mark Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme software. The discussed units obtained the following results:

  • AMD Radeon RX 480 – 10,010 and 5030 points,
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 11,680 and 5,810 points.

The card is slightly better than its competitor. It is similar in the newest games:

The Witcher 3 – uber settings:

  • AMD Radeon RX 480 – 57 fps,
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 70 fps.

GTA V – maximum settings:

  • AMD Radeon RX 480 – 50 fps,
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 61 fps.

Temperature

However, the increased capabilities of the GeForce GTX 1060 did not affect the temperatures it generated. These are smaller compared to the RX 480. In the event of maximum overload, the Nvidia unit reached temperatures of 70 degrees Celsius, while the Radeon over 80.

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work culture

The differences are also visible in the tests related to the power consumption. The TDP in the case of the GeForce GTX 1060 is 120 W, while the RX 480 reaches the value of 150 W. Considering the power consumption, it is 42 W when idle for both cards. When it comes to maximum load, the GTX 1060 wins again with its competitor, consuming 263 W (RX 480 consumes 314 W).

OC

Both cards withstand all overclocking attempts very well. In the case of GTX 1060, the nominal clock speed can be increased up to 2 GHz, and the maximum clock speed even up to 2.22 GHz. The RX 480 achieves almost identical coefficients.

Value for money

As already said, the average prices of the GTX 1060 are higher compared to the AMD card. After all, taking into account the increased performance and better parameters, the card is worth the price. In this respect, the prices very well reflect the differences between the two units.

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Verdict – time will tell?

At the moment, it is safe to say that the GTX 1060 is a better card than its competitor. This is confirmed not only by individual parameters, but also by the behavior of the unit in everyday use. It guarantees faster and smoother operation in popular computer games, and consumes less energy.

All this indicates that today it seems more profitable to invest a few hundred zlotys more in a GeForce card. However, the future may change this verdict, especially taking into account new computer games that will use the DirectX 12 library.