In 2021, many users find themselves in a difficult situation. The shortage of new GPUs and high demand from miners has led to a shortage of video cards and inflated prices in the market. It’s easier to give up an upgrade for a while than to overpay for new models that are still hard to get. In this review, we decided to turn to old video cards in order to evaluate their capabilities in a number of new games. The comparison will be attended by representatives of the older segment of the previous generation in the face of the GeForce GTX 2070 Super and Radeon RX 5700 XT, to which the new GeForce GTX 3060 has been added for clarity. And once again we will bring together the legendary GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 video cards that remained the most popular budget models for several generations.
Testing will take place under the heading «Games against video cards», where we do not pay attention to specific models, but make a general comparison in a series of games. In addition to traditional test applications, in this comparison we include games that have received little attention in other reviews.
The full list of test applications is as follows:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Call of the Sea
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Death Stranding
- Destroy All Humans!
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Mafia: Definitive Edition
- Nioh 2: The Complete Edition
- Paradise Lost
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Subnautica: Below Zero
- The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
- The Medium
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
List of video cards that participated in testing:
- GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB;
- GeForce RTX 3060 12GB;
- GeForce GTX 1060 6GB;
- Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB;
- Radeon RX 580 8GB.
All video cards were brought to the standard frequencies for their series, overclocking was not involved.
Full specifications are given in the table.
|Video adapter||GeForce RTX 2070 Super||GeForce RTX 3060||GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 580|
|Core||TU104||GA106||GP106||Navi 10||Polaris 20|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||13600||13250||4400||10300||5700|
|Process technology, nm||12||12||16||7||14|
|Core area, sq. mm||545||276||200||251||232|
|Number of stream processors||2560||3584||1280||2560||2304|
|Number of tensor cores||320||112||—||—||—|
|Number of RT cores||40||28||—||—||—|
|Number of texture blocks||160||112||80||160||144|
|Number of render units||64||48||48||64||32|
|Base core frequency, MHz||1605||1320||1506||1605||1257|
|Boost Clock, MHz||1770||1777||1708||1905||1340|
|Memory bus, bit||256||192||192||256||256|
|Memory frequency, MHz||14000||15000||8000||14000||8000|
|Memory size, GB||8||12||6||8||8|
|Supported version of DirectX||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 (12_1)||12 (12_1)||12 (12_0)|
|Interface||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 3.0|
The table shows the official data on the average Boost Clock for the core. The graphs show the full range of frequencies — from base to peak Boost values.
The test bench configuration is as follows:
- Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K;
- cooling system: be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm;
- motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula;
- Memory: Kingston HyperX HX434C16FB3K2/32 (DDR4-3466@3600);
- system disk: Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB;
- Optional Drive #1: Kingston A2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
- Optional Drive #2: Kingston KC2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
- case: Antec NX800;
- power supply: Antec HCG850 Gold;
- monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
- operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
- AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition driver 21.3.2/21.3.1;
- NVIDIA GeForce 466.11/461.72 driver.
The tests were carried out at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 resolutions. The second mode was used for older video cards or in applications with low system requirements. The games are listed alphabetically.
The graphs show 1% low, minimum fps, average fps.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The built-in game benchmark is involved, several repetitions for each mode.
Standard Ultra graphics profile.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
The introduction to the third mission was repeated.
Maximum graphics settings in two resolutions. Additionally, tests were carried out with active mid-level tracing and DLSS quality mode for compatible video cards.
Call of the Sea
Walk along the beach after arriving on the island. Several repetitions.
Graphics settings set to max. Budget models are additionally tested with a medium quality profile. High-end NVIDIA graphics cards tested with high-resolution mid-level tracing.
A test walk around the city was carried out. Several repetitions.
Maximum graphics settings. Budget models tested at medium settings. High-end models tested at 1440p and with the mid-range tracing profile enabled.
A test run was carried out in the first location in the rain. Severe weather conditions create an increased load.
Maximum graphics quality Very High for two resolutions
Destroy All Humans!
Run through the first game location during the introductory mission.
Maximum graphics quality.
Horizon Zero Dawn
The built-in benchmark was run at least five times.
Graphics quality set to maximum.
Mafia: Definitive Edition
Replayed the opening chase in the first chapter, which includes a staged crash scene.
Highest graphics quality High for two resolutions.
Nioh 2: The Complete Edition
Test run in the first arena after the tutorial prologue.
All settings are at their maximum. Due to the 60 fps limit, older video cards cannot open up at low resolutions, so they are tested in 4K. Compatible graphics cards tested in 4K with DLSS Quality.
Testing was carried out in a demo version. A lengthy test sequence was repeated with an opening production scene. In combat scenes, performance will noticeably drop, so when evaluating the results, we will pay attention to the minimum performance.
All resolutions use the maximum graphics quality profile.
Performed a test walk around an abandoned hangar at the beginning of the game. Several repetitions.
Maximum graphics quality.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The built-in benchmark is used, the measurements were taken in the last test scene using MSI Afterburner.
Standard Ultra quality profile selected for two resolutions.
Subnautica: Below Zero
The test sequence consisted of a short dry run and a swim along a specific route at the starting location. Several repetitions.
High graphics quality profile selected.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
The beginning of the game, the opening scene with the bus was repeated.
Maximum graphics quality.
Test scene — arrival at the Niva rest house, a walk around the gatehouse and the surrounding area. A heavy moment, comparable in load to the scenes of double reality.
First, all video cards are tested in Full HD at the same maximum settings in DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. Older participants are tested in high resolution only in DirectX 12, compatible video cards are additionally tested with tracing.
The game has a dynamic change of time of day, plus the possibility of fog and other weather conditions. It is impossible to select identical conditions for testing. Therefore, we tried to follow certain criteria during the test run: daylight hours, excluding fog and other unusual conditions. In a number of moments, a rough rounding of the total data to integer values was used. The possibility of error must be taken into account.
The highest quality graphics.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Several runs of the built-in benchmark.
Maximum graphics quality for the main modes with HD textures. Junior models are additionally tested at Very High settings. High-end NVIDIA graphics cards tested with mid-level tracing and high quality DLSS at 1440p.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
Test run on the first location.
Maximum quality of all graphics settings.