NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards: 2020 equivalency guide

Three weeks ago we updated our processor equivalencies guide, and today we are going to do the same with our NVIDIA AND AMD graphics card equivalencies guide. We will include the latest graphics cards Both companies have launched, and we will keep previous generation models to a reasonable level.

We could limit ourselves to those generations of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards that are still commercially available, but if we did this guide I would lose a lot of utility. The interesting thing about an equivalency guide is that it allows us to be clear about what model, approximately, our graphic card is equivalent to, and to take that criterion as the basis for changing a graphics card or to better understand the requirements of a game.

Many users still use fairly old generations, so taking a broad approach will allow us to reach more readers with this guide and make it useful to everyone, even for those who have NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards that are more than ten years old.

Please note that before changing a graphics card we must be clear about a series of important keys. We already talked about that in this guide, so I invite you to take a look at it if you are considering updating this component but you have doubts about it, both about whether you should really update and about the model for which you should change your current graphics card.

With this simple introduction, I think we are ready to enter, to fully enter to see the different equivalents of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, although before we will review an important topic: the APIs support and advanced technologies.

DirectX 12, Vulkan and ray tracing on NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards

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The support that a graphics card has at the level of APIs and advanced technologies is essential not only when determining your current games compatibility, but also performance that you will be able to offer by working with them.

For example, there are graphics cards that have DirectX 12 support and that still offer good performance working in 1080p resolutions, such as the GTX 480 and GTX 580, but they are not prepared to work with said API optimally and lose a lot of performance. They give their best in DirectX 11, even if they have support, on paper, of DirectX 12.

The same could be said of the series NVIDIA GTX 600 and 700, which support DirectX 12 and Vulkan, but for architectural reasons they perform worse under these APIs and show their best side working with DirectX 11.

Remember that if we have a graphics card that is not compatible with the API that a game needs we won't be able to run it. There are cases where it is possible to get around that limitation, but the performance and user experience is terribly bad.

Then I leave you a list of the most important APIs and advanced technologies that currently exist, and specific references to graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD that are compatible with them.

  • DirectX 9: It is maintained as a basic level that fell into disuse with the arrival of PS4 and Xbox One. It was launched in 2002, which means that it is very old and any graphics card released in the last fifteen years supports it.
  • DirectX 10: It was launched in 2006 and promised a revolution, but in the end its use was minority. All graphics cards released from the GeForce 8000 series and Radeon HD 2000 support this API.
  • DirectX 11: It hit the market in 2009, although its use did not become widespread until the launch of PS4 and Xbox One. It remains the most popular API for PC game development. NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards released from the GTX 400 and Radeon HD 5000 series are supported.
  • DirectX 12: It debuted in 2015 and represents a significant advance in terms of optimization compared to DirectX 11, although it is not being properly exploited. It has entry-level support starting with NVIDIA's GTX 400 series and AMD's Radeon HD 7000, but only the most advanced models such as the GTX 10 and Radeon RX 400-500 and Radeon RX Vega make a truly optimal use of its capabilities. .
  • Vulkan: Mantle's spiritual successor. A low-level API full of potential that has proven its good work in various games, thanks to its ability to make good use of resources. It is supported on NVIDIA GTX 600 and higher graphics cards and AMD Radeon HD 7000 and higher.
  • Ray tracing: It is a rendering technique that recreates realistic effects of lights, shadows, reflections and refractions. Microsoft has integrated it through DXR (DirectX 12), which means that in theory any graphics card compatible with DirectX 12 has support, but it is a very demanding technique that consumes many resources, so only models with dedicated hardware are capable of offering "acceptable" performance.
  • Variable rate shader: unlike the previous case, it is a rendering technique that seeks to improve performance through the intelligent use of shading engines, which will reduce the workload in those areas with less visibility. This improves lossless performance at the image quality level. Right now only RTX 20 series and GTX 16 series graphics cards are compatible with this technology.

Obsolete NVIDIA and AMD graphics card equivalents

As we said at the beginning, we are going to give the most comprehensive guide possible, although without going to ridiculous extremes. To do this, we are going to cover the entire spectrum of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards that have hit the market from 2006 to now, and we are going to differentiate them into two main groups: those that have become obsolete and those that, even though they are several years old, we can consider as "current".

In this section you will find graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD located in the series GeForce 8000, Radeon HD 3000 and higher. The cut that differentiates to the next level has been marked in the Kepler and GCN architectures, used respectively in the GTX 600 series and Radeon HD 7000.

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Obsolete NVIDIA graphics cards: equivalences

  • GeForce 8800 GT-9800 GT: Its closest equivalence is in the GeForce GT 630-GT730 and GT 640, although its support is limited to DirectX 10.
  • GeForce GTX 260: They are more or less at the level of a GTX 650, although they only support DirectX 10.
  • GeForce GTX 285: In gross performance it is between a GTX 650 and a GTX 650 Ti-GTX 750, but it only supports DirectX 10.
  • GeForce GTX 460 and 560: In general they perform almost at the same level as a GTX 650 Ti-GTX 750. They support DirectX 11 and DirectX 12.
  • GeForce GTX 470-480 and 570-580: They have a performance superior to that of a GTX 660-GTX 750 Ti, being those their closest equivalents.
  • GeForce GTX 590: It is a dual GPU solution, and therefore it has a highly variable performance depending on each game and its SLI mode support. It ranks roughly at the level of a NVIDIA and AMD GTX 680-Radeon 7970, respectively.

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AMD graphics cards obsolete: equivalences

  • Radeon HD 3870: its performance is somewhat lower than that offered by the R7 240 in general, always talking about versions with DDR3 memory. They only support DirectX 10 and are less efficient. Limited to DirectX 10.1.
  • Radeon HD 4870– Performs similarly to the Radeon HD 7770-R7 250X, although they do lag a bit lower in some games. They only have DirectX 10.1 support.
  • Radeon HD 5770: Position yourself between the Radeon HD 7750 and HD 7770-R7 250X. DirectX 11 is supported.
  • Radeon HD 5870– Performs at almost the same level as the Radeon HD 7850-R7 265-R7 360. Supports DirectX 11.
  • Radeon HD 6850-6870: its performance that falls between a Radeon HD 7790-R7 260X and a Radeon HD 7850-R7 265-R7 360. They support DirectX 11.
  • Radeon HD 6950-6970– performs almost the same as the Radeon HD 7870-R9 270. Supports DirectX 11.
  • Radeon HD 6990: It is a dual GPU solution, which means that its performance, as in the case of the GTX 590, depends on taking advantage of the CrossFire mode of each specific game. In general it can reach the level of a GTX 680-Radeon HD 7970. It supports DirectX 11.

NVIDIA and AMD graphics card equivalents: GeForce GTX 600, 700, and 900 series

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We now turn to review the equivalents of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards focusing on the models of the green giant that are located in the series GTX 600, GTX 700 and GTX 900.

Before entering the subject I want to remind you that the GTX 600 and GTX 700 use the Kepler architecture (except for the GTX 750 and 750 Ti, which use the first generation Maxwell), known for offering very poor performance in DirectX 12 and Vulkan. They have aged really badly, so the equivalences that we are going to see can change a lot in certain games that use those APIs.

For their part, the GTX 900 use the second-generation Maxwell architecture and have aged much better, so its performance is more consistent even when working with such APIs, although it is not perfect.

  • GTX 650: its closest match is a GT 740 with GDDR5 memory. If we look for its equivalence in AMD solutions it performs almost the same as an HD 7750.
  • GTX 650 TI: It performs a little less than a GTX 750. In graphics solutions from AMD it is a little above a HD 7770.
  • GTX 650 TI Boost: It is almost at the level of a GTX 750 TI. Comparing with AMD it is between a Radeon HD 7790 and an HD 7850.
  • GTX 660: The closest is a GTX 950, but it is well below that. On AMD graphics cards it is practically equivalent to a Radeon HD 7850.
  • GTX 660 TI: It offers a performance very similar to that of a GTX 950. In the case of AMD, it falls between a Radeon HD 7870 and a Radeon HD 7950.
  • GTX 670: It is somewhat below a GTX 960. It has a performance very similar to that of an AMD Radeon HD 7950.
  • GTX 680: It is almost at the same level as a GTX 960. In the case of AMD solutions it offers a performance similar to that of a Radeon HD 7970.
  • GTX 690: It is a dual GPU solution so its performance is highly variable. At best it falls between a GTX 970 and a GTX 980. Equivalent to a Radeon HD 7990.
  • GTX 750: It performs a little better than a GT 1030. In the case of AMD it offers a performance similar to that of the AMD RX 550.
  • GTX 750 TI: It beats the GT 1030 but has no direct equivalence. It also performs better than an RX 550 and has no direct match in new AMD generations.
  • GTX 760: It performs less than the GTX 960 but it is its closest equivalent. It lags behind an AMD Radeon R9 285 but is also the closest equivalent model.
  • GTX 770– Outperforms a GTX 960 and also ranks above an AMD Radeon R9 285, which are its closest equivalents.
  • GTX 780: It is between the GTX 960 and the GTX 970. In the case of AMD it is between a Radeon R9 285 and an R9 290.
  • GTX 780 TI: It is practically equivalent to a GTX 970. In the case of AMD its performance is similar to that of a Radeon R9 290.
  • GTX 950: Its closest equivalence is the GTX 1050, although it lags behind that one. The closest AMD model in performance is the Radeon RX 460.
  • GTX 960– The GTX 1050 TI is its closest match, but it still performs less than this.
  • GTX 970– It falls between a 3GB GTX 1060 and a 6GB GTX 1060. Its equivalent on AMD graphics cards would be the 4GB Radeon RX 480.
  • GTX 980: It is practically at the same level as a 6 GB GTX 1060. The closest thing AMD has is the 8GB RX 580.
  • GTX 980 TI: It is equivalent to a GTX 1070, although with overclock you can overcome it without problem. In the case of AMD graphics cards, it is close to a Radeon RX Vega 56.

NVIDIA and AMD graphics card equivalents: GeForce GTX 10, GTX 16, and RTX 20 series

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Now we have to review the equivalences most current. We maintain the previous format, which means that we will see equivalent NVIDIA and AMD graphics card models to have a broader view.

If you cannot find equivalencies of both companies at a certain level, it is because there is no relatively close equivalent, and therefore it is not worth quoting. In any case we will indicate it, so you have no doubts.

The GTX 10 series graphics cards marked an important advance by NVIDIA, both in performance and in terms of efficiency, thanks to the use of the Pascal architecture. With the GTX 16 and RTX 20 that jump was much less, but both support variable rate shader and the latter also have Dedicated hardware to speed ray tracing.

NVIDIA and AMD have followed different strategies, and the RTX 20 series are a clear example of this, since AMD has no direct equivalents if we consider the issue of ray tracing acceleration. However, we will only take into account the gross power without evaluating the weight of said technology so that you have an accurate reference.

  • GTX 1050– Performs roughly like a GTX 960. On AMD it equates to an RTX 460-560.
  • GTX 1050 TI: Its performance is between the GTX 960 and the GTX 970. It performs less than the RX 470.
  • 3GB GTX 1060: Its performance is similar to that of a GTX 970. It performs slightly less than the RX 570.
  • GTX 1060 6GB: It has a performance almost identical to that of a GTX 980. It is similar to the RX 580.
  • GTX 1070: Overall it performs almost the same as a GTX 980 TI. It is slightly below the RX Vega 56.
  • GTX 1070 TI– Outperforms a GTX 980 TI. Its performance is more or less at the level of the Radeon RX Vega 56.
  • GTX 1080: It performs a little more than an RTX 2060. Similar to a Radeon RX Vega 64.
  • GTX 1080 TI– It's roughly level with the RTX 2070 Super. It performs a little more than Radeon VII.
  • GTX 1650: It performs better than the GTX 1050 Ti and the Radeon RX 560, but less than the 3GB GTX 1060 and RX 470.
  • GTX 1650 Super: overall it offers almost the same performance as the 6GB GTX 1060 and the Radeon RX 580.
  • GTX 1660: It performs more than the Radeon RX 590, but less than the GTX 980 Ti-GTX 1070.
  • GTX 1660 Super: an upgraded version of the previous one that performs almost like the GTX 1070. It performs slightly less than the RX Vega 56.
  • GTX 1660 Ti: This model performs at the level of a GTX 1070, and slightly less than the RX Vega 56.
  • RTX 2060: It performs slightly less than the GTX 1080. Its performance is similar to that of a Radeon RX Vega 64.
  • RTX 2060 Super– This model outperforms the GTX 1080 and is more powerful than the Radeon RX 5700.
  • RTX 2070– falls between GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 TI. It performs slightly less than the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
  • RTX 2070 Super– It is at the level of a GTX 1080 TI, and outperforms the Radeon VII.
  • RTX 2080: Outperforms the GTX 1080 TI and Radeon VII with ease.
  • RTX 2080 Super: a version of the previous one that marks a greater distance compared to the previous ones. It has no direct equivalency on other NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards.
  • RTX 2080 TI: It has no direct equivalence, at least for the moment, in other NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards.

NVIDIA and AMD graphics card equivalents: Radeon HD 7000, RX 200, RX 300, and RX Fury series

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We are done with the NVIDIA-centric graphics card equivalences, and now we have to go to see the equivalences of the Radeon HD 7000, RX 200, RX 300 and RX Fury models, based on the GCN architecture.

Those series still offer good performance, especially in games based on DirectX 12 and Vulkan, thanks to the bet that AMD made to integrate a good support of both APIs in those generations, although its performance in DirectX 11 is not so good if we compare it with its NVIDIA equivalents.

  • Radeon HD 7750– It has no direct equivalent in the latest generation of AMD. The closest is an R7 250 and a GTX 650.
  • Radeon HD 7770: It performs almost at the same level as a Radeon RX 550. In the case of NVIDIA graphics cards it lags behind a GTX 650 TI and a GTX 750.
  • Radeon HD 7790: It is between an RX 550 and an RX 460. It is lower than the GTX 650 TI Boost, but it is its closest equivalent (GTX 750 TI).
  • Radeon HD 7850: It is at a level very similar to that of a Radeon 7 370 and below an RX 460. Its closest NVIDIA equivalent is the GTX 950.
  • Radeon HD 7870: It performs almost at the same level as a Radeon R9 270 and an RX 560. In the case of NVIDIA, the closest thing is a GTX 1050.
  • Radeon HD 7950: It offers a performance similar to that of the Radeon R9 285 and is slightly below the R9 380. In NVIDIA it is between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 TI.
  • Radeon HD 7970– Offers performance close to that of a Radeon R9 380X. Comparing with NVIDIA its closest equivalent is the GTX 1050 TI.
  • Radeon HD 7990: Being a dual GPU solution, its performance is highly variable, but on average it performs at the level of a Radeon R9 290-R9 390. In the case of NVIDIA, it is similar to a GTX 970.
  • Radeon R7 260X: halfway between the GTX 750 and the GTX 750 Ti. It performs much less than an RX 460.
  • Radeon R7 265: It is almost at the same level as a Radeon 7 370 and below a RX 460. Its closest NVIDIA equivalent is the GTX 950.
  • Radeon R9 270 and 270X– Perform at a level very similar to that of the RX 560. Its closest equivalent is the NVIDIA GTX 1050.
  • Radeon R9 280 and 285: They are slightly below the R9 380. Compared with NVIDIA models, they are between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 TI.
  • Radeon R9 280X: They have a performance close to that of a Radeon R9 380X. Comparing with NVIDIA graphics cards its closest equivalent is the GTX 1050 TI.
  • Radeon R9 290– Perform at almost the same level as a 4GB Radeon RX 470. It performs less than the NVIDIA GTX 970.
  • Radeon R9 290X– Offer performance equivalent to that of a 4GB RX 570. Comparing with NVIDIA it is at the level of a GTX 970.
  • Radeon R9 295X2: It depends a lot on scaling in CrossFire mode, since it mounts two GPUs, but it is below the Radeon RX Vega 56. Comparing with NVIDIA it performs at the level of a GTX 1070.
  • Radeon R7 370: It is almost at the same level as an RX 460. Its closest NVIDIA equivalent is the GTX 950.
  • Radeon R9 380: It is below the R9 380X and is much lower than the RX 470. It has no direct equivalence in the new generations of NVIDIA and AMD. It falls between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 TI.
  • Radeon R9 380X– It also has no direct equivalent in current AMD solutions. The closest thing is an RX 470, but it is far behind that one. Comparing with NVIDIA its closest equivalent is the GTX 1650.
  • Radeon R9 390– Performs at the same level as a 4GB Radeon RX 570. In the case of NVIDIA it is at the level of the GTX 970.
  • Radeon R9 390X– Offer performance equivalent to that of a 4GB RX 480. Compared to NVIDIA graphics cards, they offer slightly less performance than a 6GB GTX 1060.
  • Radeon R9 Fury: Its performance is slightly lower than that of the Radeon RX 590, and is at the level of the GTX 1650 Super.
  • Radeon R9 Fury X– They have no direct equivalent in the current generation of AMD. It is more or less at the level of the Radeon R9 295X2 but it performs a little less than the GTX 980 Ti.

NVIDIA and AMD graphics card equivalents: Radeon RX 400, RX 500, RX Vega, and RX 5000 series

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We finish by taking a look at the most advanced graphics cards from AMD. The RX 400, RX 500 and RX Vega use the architecture GCN, while the RX 5000 are based on architecture RDNA.

NVIDIA and AMD are expected to unveil their new graphics cards based on Ampere and in RDNA 2. We will be waiting to update this guide again.

  • Radeon RX 460-560– Equivalent to a GTX 1050-GTX 950.
  • Radeon RX 470-RX570– Offer performance similar to that of a 3GB GTX 1060-GTX 970-Radeon R9 390.
  • Radeon RX 480-RX 580: Its performance is very similar to that of the GTX 1060 6GB-GTX 980-Radeon R9 390X.
  • Radeon RX 590: It performs above a 6GB GTX 1060, but below a GTX 1070.
  • Radeon RX Vega 56: It has slightly less performance than the GTX 1070 TI.
  • Radeon RX Vega 64: positioned at a level very similar to that of the GTX 1080-RTX 2060,
  • Radeon VII: its performance is slightly lower than that of the RTX 2080.
  • Radeon RX 5500 XT: They perform at the level of an RX 580-GTX 980 or GTX 1650 Super.
  • Radeon RX 5600 XT: its performance is slightly above the Radeon RX Vega 56 and is almost at the level of a GTX 1070 Ti.
  • Radeon RX 5700: It performs above the GTX 1080-RTX 2060.
  • Radeon RX 5700 XT: its performance is superior to that of an RTX 2070 and is close to the Radeon VII.
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