It’s time for a new test under the heading «Games against video cards». In these reviews, we study the performance of a group of video cards in new games or in those projects that were previously deprived of attention. The main focus is on comparing budget models, but in this case, among the participants there will be video cards more expensive than $200.

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Let’s compare the performance of different solutions from AMD and NVIDIA in the main games of the spring — Resident Evil 3 Remake and DOOM Eternal, not forgetting other major releases and indie games of various genres.

The full list of test applications is as follows:

  • Deep Rock Galactic;
  • DOOM Eternal;
  • Gears Tactics;
  • Mafia II: Definitive Edition;
  • Operation: The Stolen Sun;
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps;
  • Resident Evil 3;
  • Saints Row: The Third Remastered;
  • SnowRunner;
  • Subnautica: Below Zero.

Test participants

ASUS ROG-STRIX-RX5600XT-O6G-GAMING graphics card is the most powerful model from AMD in our list of participants.

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In the first review of the Radeon RX 5600 XT, we noted the frequency confusion, with most manufacturers releasing updated BIOSes with higher frequencies and increased power limits after the release. At the same time, AMD has maintained the relevance of the initial specifications for a long time. In fact, the Radeon RX 5600 XT has massively switched to increased performance, and the availability of simpler versions on sale is explained by old deliveries.

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Therefore, the ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT video adapter was tested at the initial factory settings with a new BIOS and increased frequencies. This is the base core value of 1670 MHz with a Boost Clock of 1750 MHz, while the effective memory frequency is 14000 MHz.

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On the NVIDIA side, the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, namely ROG-STRIX-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING, will be the senior participant. Frequencies are lowered to standard values ​​for the series.

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Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5500 XT 4G will act as an ordinary representative of the Radeon RX 5500 XT series.

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In comparison, there are the most popular video cards of the past generation — GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580. There are more budget AMD models. Also added is the aged flagship GeForce GTX 780 Ti in the reference version — let’s see what it can do in new games.

Full list of test participants:

  • Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB;
  • Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB;
  • Radeon RX 580 8GB;
  • Radeon RX 480 8GB;
  • Radeon RX 570 4GB;
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB;
  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB;
  • GeForce GTX 780 Ti.

All video adapters were brought to standard frequencies to match the reference models of their series.

Full specifications are given in the table.

Video adapter ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 480 Radeon RX 570 GeForce GTX 1660 Super GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GeForce GTX 780 Ti
Core Navi 10 Navi 14 Polaris 20 Polaris 10 Polaris 20 TU116 GP106 GK110
Number of transistors, million pieces 10300 6400 5700 5700 5700 6600 4400 7100
Process technology, nm 7 7 14 14 14 12 16 28
Core area, sq. mm 251 158 232 232 232 284 200 561
Number of stream processors 2304 1408 2304 2304 2048 1408 1280 2880
Number of texture blocks 144 88 144 144 128 88 80 240
Number of render units 36 32 32 32 32 48 48 48
Core frequency, MHz 1130–1560 1607–1845 1257–1340 1120–1266 1168–1244 1530–1785 1506–1708 875–926
Memory bus, bit 192 128 256 256 256 192 192 384
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory frequency, MHz 12000 14000 8000 8000 7000 14000 8000 7000
Memory size, MB 6144 4096 8192 8192 4096 6144 6144 3072
Supported version of DirectX 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_0) 12 (12_0) 12 (12_0) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (11_1)
Interface PCI-E 4.0 PCI-E 4.0 (8x) PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 150 130 185 150 150 125 120 250

The table shows the official data on the average Boost Clock for the core, the graphs show the full range of frequencies, including peak Boost values.

test stand

The test bench configuration is as follows:

  • processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (3.0@4.2 GHz);
  • cooler: Noctua NH-D15 (two NF-A15 PWM fans, 140 mm, 1300 rpm);
  • motherboard: MSI X99S MPower;
  • memory: G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4×8 GB, DDR4-3200, CL14-14-14-35);
  • system disk: Kingston SSDNow KC400 (512 GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
  • secondary drive: WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX (3 TB, SATA 6Gb/s, 5400 rpm);
  • power supply: Raidmax Cobra RX-800AE;
  • monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
  • operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
  • Radeon video card driver: AMD Adrenalin Edition 20.5.1;
  • GeForce video card driver: NVIDIA GeForce 451.48/445.75.

A brief summary of the games and testing methodology are described below. The tests were carried out at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 resolutions. The second mode was used only for older video cards or in applications with low system requirements. Games are listed alphabetically. The graphs show the minimum and average fps.

Test Methodology

Deep Rock Galactic

A small original project from the Ghost Ship Games studio, which has gained high popularity among the players. A game about dwarves in space who are digging the bowels of planets, collecting valuable minerals and shooting back from hordes of bug-like monsters. In between this fun activity, the heroes rest at the base, drinking at the bar. Simple yet polished mechanics are backed up by fun styling.

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The game is based on the Unreal Engine 4. Due to a certain stylization with deliberately rough outlines, the game looks rustic, but captivates with complete destructibility inside the caves and bright effects. Only DirectX 11 is supported.

It is difficult to recreate the same order of actions in randomly generated locations. Therefore, for testing, we repeated a run along a fixed route at our base.

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DOOM Eternal

The main shooter of the first half of 2020. The hero beautifully and spectacularly deals with crowds of monsters, grinding them into bloody minced meat. The game has become larger, and many locations are more spacious. Detailing has grown a little, and in battle the game pleases with an abundance of bright effects with flashes and reflections on surfaces.

DOOM Eternal uses the Id Tech 7 engine and runs on the Vulkan API environment. For testing, a small dynamic episode in the prologue was replayed. A series of repetitions was performed on each video card. Performance monitoring was carried out by the NVIDIA FrameView utility.

The game limits the available quality profiles for different amounts of video memory. Therefore, testing was carried out in several modes.

Gears Tactics

A new game in the Gears of War series, which has turned from a brutal action movie into a tactic in the spirit of XCOM. The project retained the familiar brutality and atmosphere within the framework of a well-thought-out tactical system. A good quality offshoot that will delight fans of the genre and even fans of the original series.

Gears Tactics pleases with a detailed beautiful picture based on the Unreal Engine 4 engine, supports DirectX 12. As part of the tactical genre, the game looks great, not much inferior in graphics to last year’s action movie Gears 5.

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For testing, the built-in gaming benchmark was used, which was run several times on each video card.

The maximum graphics quality is set to Ultra. Testing was conducted with Async Compute technology disabled and enabled, which significantly affects the results of some video cards.

Mafia II: Definitive Edition

Re-release of Mafia II with visual improvements and all additional content included. Some textures have been improved in the game, the effect of volumetric light has been added in a number of places, and new anti-aliasing modes have appeared. This does not change the overall visual perception, but makes the picture more pleasant. An unexpected moment is the problem with PhysX effects — the flickering of fragments and incorrect tissue physics.

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For testing, the built-in gaming benchmark is used. Standard settings for high quality graphics.

Video cards tested in two resolutions without APEX PhysX effects. Additionally tested with APEX PhysX in Full HD resolution only.

Operation: The Stolen Sun

A turn-based RPG from Zen Studios in the vein of The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. An action-packed adventure with varied combat and puzzles set in a mythical world inspired by Hungarian folklore. Made on the Unreal Engine 4. It looks rustic, but sometimes it pleases with pretty landscapes.

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For testing, a certain sequence of actions was repeated with a short walk at the starting location and the beginning of the battle with the first opponents.

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The maximum graphics quality profile is selected.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Beautiful soulful platformer from Moon Studios and Xbox Game Studios. The game tells a new story about the adventures of the little forest spirit Ori. The game is based on the Unity engine and supports DirectX 11.

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For testing, a certain sequence of actions was repeated at the first location after the prologue. Due to weather effects in this location, a rather high load on the GPU is created.

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All participants are tested in two resolutions — 1920×1080 and 2560×1440.

Resident Evil 3

Another remake of the classic Resident Evil game. Familiar situations are played out in full 3D with excellent detailed graphics. Resident Evil 3 does not follow the original in everything, but it is played cheerfully and interestingly.

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For testing, a certain sequence of actions was repeated at the initial stage of the game. The test episode includes a walk through the ruined streets and part of a staged scene.

The maximum graphics quality profile was selected in DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. Only older video cards were tested in a high resolution of 2560×1440.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered

Reissue of the excellent action movie Saints Row: The Third in GTA-style. The game elevates madness to the absolute, turning what is happening into a crazy sandbox with an abundance of spectacular shootouts and explosions. In the Remastered version, the textures were tweaked and the lighting improved.

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A walk along the street with many sources of lighting was repeated, after which the car was shot.

Graphics quality set to maximum, v-sync disabled.

SnowRunner

Off-road driving simulator from Saber Interactive. The game offers challenging cross-country races where you will have to drive a car or deliver cargo on a powerful truck through ditches, mud and snowdrifts. The game showcases beautiful landscapes and complex physics of transformable mud, snow and water. Uses the Unreal Engine, works in the DirectX 11 environment.

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For testing, the race at the starting location was repeated several times.

The Ultra graphics quality profile is selected.

Subnautica: Below Zero

Continuation of the excellent atmospheric Subnautica game about survival in the sea depths of an alien planet. In Below Zero, we face new challenges in a colder climate zone. It is felt that the developers tweaked the draw distance, and the starting location looks very nice. Below Zero is still in development and is only available in Early Access. Therefore, visual improvements and optimization improvements in the future cannot be ruled out.

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For testing, the swim was repeated at the starting location.

For testing, the High graphics profile was selected. In this mode, some additional parameters remain in the middle position. Therefore, additional testing was carried out, where manually all the settings were set to the maximum (High +).

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