New GPUs: Current Market Status

Get an overview of the current state of desktop and mobile GPUs, as well as everything you need to know about upcoming GPUs and graphics cards here.

A couple of years ago, before AMD’s comeback in 2020, the general consensus was that NVIDIA GPUs were the faster and better cards.

But, with AMD’s RDNA (RX 5000) and RDNA 2 (RX 6000) GPUs, buying the right graphics card is no longer straightforward.

Things get even more complicated once you consider how many GPUs are out there, and they don’t stop coming.

So, if you want to find the right new GPU for your system while staying within budget, this is the guide you need.

Let’s check out the current GPU market status!

Updates +

  • June 17, 2022: Initial release of the article.

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AMD had trouble over the past couple of years competing against NVIDIA, especially in the high-end sector. Before RDNA 2, AMD’s best card was the RX 5700XT which competed against the RTX 2070 without having any answer for the RTX 2080 or 2080 Super.

Today, thanks to the new RDNA 2 architecture, AMD is finally showing teeth in the GPU market. Not only are their new GPUs very competitive, but the RX 6950 XT is the fastest GPU in the world at 1080p. Any resolution above that, like 1440p or 4K, NVIDIA’s RTX 3090 Ti dominates.

However, the RX 6950 XT has an MSRP of $1,099, while NVIDIA’s flagship is $2,000. That’s about 80% more expensive for a few FPS differences.

Although the NVIDIA counterpart has some other advantages, more on that later.

Performance

Now, let’s get to what you’ve all been looking for. The performance of this GPU.

To help you understand the difference between the two flagship GPUs from team red and team green, we will use Hardware Unboxed’s 12-game average benchmark.

Looking at the first (left) image, we can see that the RX 6950 XT is the fastest GPU on the chart, but the difference in FPS is only about 3%.

When increasing the resolution to 1440p (right image), the higher memory size and bandwidth help the RTX 3090 Ti match the RX 6950 XT in average FPS and surpass it in minimum FPS by a small margin. However, at 4K resolution, the gap between the two GPUs gets a bit bigger.

In terms of power consumption, the RX 6950 XT is a big card, so a high power draw is expected.

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT power draw
Image credit: Gamers Nexus

Looking at this image above, we can see that the Sapphire RX 6950 XT Nitro draws 377 W in stock. The RTX 3090 Ti, on the other hand, draws over 500 watts. That’s 30% more power for minimal advantages in performance at higher resolution.

However, we should also mention that AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs are considerably slower in ray tracing performance and lack NVIDIA’s upscaling technology, DLSS. Although, FSR 2.0 nowadays is almost as good as DLSS.

Specifications

Base Frequency1890 MHz
Boost Frequency2310 MHz
Memory Size16GB GDDR6
Memory Interface256-bit
Memory Speed18 Gbps
TDP335W
Process SizeTSMC 7nm

We already mentioned that NVIDIA has been on top of the GPU benchmarks for years. The GTX 980, GTX 1080 Ti, and RTX 2080 Super were miles away from AMD’s offerings.

However, with GPUs like the RX 6900 XT and RX 6950 XT, NVIDIA had to up their game to release the RTX 3090 Ti. This is the world’s fastest 4K GPU in the world.

It may lose out in terms of raw rasterization at 1080p, but once the resolution is increased and you enable ray tracing, NVIDIA’s flagship becomes a 500W beast of a GPU.

This GPU costs $2000, making it $500 more expensive than the RTX 3090 and $900 more than the RX 6950 XT. Is this kind of price difference worth it? Let’s find out by looking at the performance!

Performance

You’ve already seen the 1080p and 1440p charts, so let’s look at some 4K benchmarks and see how the 3090 Ti fares.

12 Game Average 4K Performance
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

With the same 12 games tested (by Hardware Unboxed), the RTX 3090 Ti scales a bit more, surpassing the RX 6950 XT by about 7% and the RTX 3090 by 11%.

So, is a 7% difference really worth almost $1000 more?

Well, let’s look at some other benchmarks like DLSS or ray tracing (RT) before we come to a conclusion.

So, in F1 2021, with RT enabled, the RTX 3090 Ti stomps the competition simply because RDNA 2 does not have the necessary hardware to process ray tracing.

Additionally, DLSS 2.0 is a great way to boost more FPS if you have an RTX GPU, leaving the RX 6950 XT in the dust. Well, only if FSR 2.0 isn’t available in the game.

Specifications

Base Frequency1560 MHz
Boost Frequency1860 MHz
Memory Size24GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface384-bit
Memory Speed21 Gbps
TDP450W
Process SizeSamsung 8nm

For the people looking to get one of the best-performing GPUs on the market right now but don’t want to throw $1000+ in the drain, the RX 6800 XT is what you are looking for.

With a price of $650, this is the essential choice, especially if you’re into AMD. Alternatively, you could go for the RTX 3080, which is $50 more expensive.

Performance

Similar to the rivalry between the two flagships, the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 also trade blows. With the AMD GPU overtaking at 1080p and the 3080 taking the lead at higher resolution.

Here is a substantial 50-game average chart from Hardware Unboxed:

RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

So, after averaging the FPS of 50 games, the RX 6800 XT comes out 3% faster than the RTX 3080. That kind of performance difference is almost negligible, but consider that it is also $50 cheaper.

However, you can use this chart to determine which GPU is better for you. For example, if you’re more into the games from the chart’s upper half, consider getting the 3080. On the other hand, if you play more games in the lower half of the chart, the RX 6800 XT is the better choice.

Power consumption is also a bit similar, with the RX 6800 XT pulling just below 300W and the 3080 drawing just under 330W.

In terms of thermals, they match each other, so you won’t have to worry about which one is louder.

Specifications

Base Frequency1825 MHz
Boost Frequency2250 MHz
Memory Size16GB GDDR6
Memory Interface256-bit
Memory Speed16 Gbps
TDP300W
Process SizeTSMC 7nm

We already covered quite a bit about the RTX 3080 in the RX 6800 XT segment above, but if you’re more interested in an NVIDIA GPU, here’s some information.

The price of this GPU is $700.

Performance

At 1080p, the RX 6800 XT is only marginally faster, but if we increase the resolution to 4K, the RTX 3080 comes out on top.

Here are the benchmarks:

RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT 4K
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

Even without Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition from the chart, the RTX 3080 is still 6% faster on average.

Here is how they compare with ray tracing enabled in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1440p GPU Performance
Image Source: Hardware Unboxed

As we said previously, AMD still has to catch up regarding ray tracing performance. Here, the RTX 3080 is a clear winner.

Specifications

Base Frequency1440 MHz
Boost Frequency1710 MHz
Memory Size10GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface320-bit
Memory Speed19 Gbps
TDP320W
Process SizeSamsung 8nm

We looked at the fastest, most expensive, and the high-end GPUs of both the team red and team green.

But now, let’s look at the more sensible offers, or more specifically, the best value high-end GPU, the RTX 3070.

For just $500, the RTX 3070 can bring near-RTX 3080 performance while drawing considerably less power. Don’t believe it? Here are the performance numbers.

Performance

The two AMD contenders against the RTX 3070 are the RX 6800 and RX 6700 XT. But, whichever way you look at it, the RTX 3070 comes out on top.

In the Cyberpunk 2077 @1080p/High (left image) benchmark, the RTX 3070 is 15% faster than the RX 6700 XT and less than 2% slower than the RX 6800. In GTA V, on the other hand, the RX 6700 XT comes out 6% faster than the 3070.

However, even with this back and forth, with a larger game library, the RTX 3070 is around 10% faster on average vs. RX 6700 XT.

Ray tracing further widens the gap between the two GPUs.

Specifications

Base Frequency1500 MHz
Boost Frequency1725 MHz
Memory Size8GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface256-bit
Memory Speed14 Gbps
TDP220W
Process SizeSamsung 8nm

Now we’re finally getting into the budget-friendly territory. The RTX 3070 is a great buy, but there’s no contender for the RTX 3060 Ti’s impeccable price-per-performance value.

Hardware Unboxed claims that the RTX 3060 Ti has a $3.70 cost per frame, beating the RTX 3070’s $4.20 cost per frame.

Here’s the chart for further info:

14 Game Average Cost Per Frame GPU Comparison 1440p
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

A pretty good deal for just $400 (MSRP).

Performance

Performance-wise, this $400 GPU outperforms NVIDIA’s previous generation flagship, like the RTX 2080 Super, and even closes in on the RX 6700 XT and RTX 2080 Ti.

14 Game Average Cost Per Frame GPU Comparison 1080p
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

So, if you’re looking to max out games at 1080P, the RTX 3060 Ti is the go-to buy. With DLSS, you could even enable Ray Tracing or go 1440P while staying above 60 FPS.

Specifications

Base Frequency1410 MHz
Boost Frequency1665 MHz
Memory Size8GB GDDR6
Memory Interface256-bit
Memory Speed14 Gbps
TDP200W
Process SizeSamsung 8nm

The budget segment of the current GPU market status isn’t doing too good. With disappointing offers like the RX 6500 XT, RTX 3050, and RX 6600 XT, either because they’re priced too high or perform too slow, it’s hard to justify a budget GPU.

The RTX 3050 is marginally better as a budget GPU than AMD’s offering at $250 MSRP, but it still isn’t as good as we would like. Below, you’ll see why.

Performance

Again, we’ll use one of Hardware Unboxed’s charts as an insight into performance.

12 Game Average 1080p Performance
Image credit: Hardware Unboxed

With a 12-game average, the RTX 3050 is only 5% faster than the GTX 1660 Super and considerably faster than the $200 RX 6500 XT.

While this might seem impressive, consider that the GTX 1660 Super is two and a half years older and $30 cheaper (at MSRP).

You could argue that the RTX 3050 has other benefits like ray tracing capabilities and DLSS, but we simply don’t think that’s enough to justify the $250 price tag.

Unfortunately, there is no other contender at this price point, so it is the best budget pick, for now.

Specifications

Base Frequency1552 MHz
Boost Frequency1777 MHz
Memory Size8GB GDDR6
Memory Interface128-bit
Memory Speed14 Gbps
TDP130W
Process SizeSamsung 8nm

Newly Released GPUs

SKURelease DateMemory SizeBase ClockBoost ClockTDPPrice
RX 6950 XTMay 10, 202216 GB1890 MHz2310 MHz335W$1,099
RX 6750 XTMay 10, 202212 GB2150 MHz2600 MHz250W$549
RX 6650 XTMay 10, 20228 GB2055 MHz2635 MHz180W$399
RTX 3090 TiMarch 29, 202224 GB1560 MHz1860 MHz450W$199
RTX 3080 12GBJanuary 27, 202212 GB1260 MHz1710 MHz350W$699
RTX 3050January 27, 20228GB1552 MHz1777 MHz130W$249

Upcoming GPUs

There are some great picks from this list, but the current GPU market status isn’t all that great. So, if you’re looking for better value out for your money and are willing to wait for future generations, you’re in luck.

Soon, we should see AMD’s new RDNA 3-based RX 7000 GPUs released around October 2022.

RDNA 3 will supposedly bring substantial performance improvements over the current generation and perform much better at ray tracing.

The RTX 4000 series, codenamed Ada Lovelace, should also release around that same time and deliver a substantial increase in performance. However, that performance may come at the cost of power draw.

Future GPUs to look out for:

  • NVIDIA RTX 4080 – The best high-end performance for a sensible price
  • NVIDIA RTX 4070 – The sweet spot for high-end performance
  • AMD RX 7800 XT – Potentially the better alternative to the RTX 4080
  • AMD RX 7800 – Contender for the best overall GPU
  • NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti – Potentially taking over the best price-per-performance spot

Make sure to come back and check out the guide when these new GPUs do release!

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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. That is why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.