Mid-range GPU shoppers in 2022 will likely be faced with a difficult decision between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super and the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, both of which offer compelling value.
These two GPUs will be compared side by side in this article in order to determine which one is the better buy in terms of price/performance.
The RX 5700 XT and the RTX 2060 Super were both released in July of last year, thus they are both relatively recent models in the current market.
Let’s get this show on the road!
The Navi portfolio includes the AMD RX 5700 XT, which is built on AMD’s revolutionary RDNA architecture. Turing-based Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Super is an enhanced version of the original RTX 2060, produced using a 12nm technology and offering considerable performance gains compared to its predecessor, while still being a fraction of the price of its predecessor.
The most essential specifications show that there isn’t much of a difference between these two GPUs. In spite of its 7nm architecture, the RX 5700 XT’s base clock speed is higher than that of the RTX 2060 Super, which has a slightly higher transistor count, both GPUs use the same VRAM arrangement.
But, of course, written specs aren’t a good indicator of how a product performs in the real world. To find out, we ran benchmark tests on both GPUs.
To put it frankly, the RX 5700 XT routinely outperforms the RTX 2060 Super in the majority of the newer games out there today. The RTX 2070 Super, a card that costs more than twice as much, can’t match it.
While the RX 5700 XT has a minor edge in Control and Hitman 2, it offers up to 20-30 more frames per second in less taxing games like Forza Horizon 4 and Battlefield V, as you can see from the video above.
RTX 2060 Super and RX 5700 XT results from a TechSpot benchmark are also included below for a more comprehensive comparison. A negative value indicates that the Nvidia GPU is slower, while a positive value indicates that it is quicker.
In other words, the RTX 2060 Super is slower than AMD’s GPU by an average of 9% in 1080p and 8% in 1440p, as you can see from the test results. The RX 5700 XT has the upper hand in most games, with the exception of a select titles in which it is marginally faster.
For each game, the precise performance will vary based on how well-optimized it is; CPU and RAM will also play a role in determining the results. Overall, the RX 5700 XT is a better value than the RX 5700.
Pricing, Cooling, and Design
When it comes to price, the two cards are on equal footing, with an MSRP of $399 for each. This places them in the upper mid-range of performance and price.
In reality, pricing will vary widely from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer, but they often fall in the $410-$450 range based on the MSRP alone. Is the manufacturer’s name relevant in determining the model you buy?
The cooling system makes the biggest and most obvious difference. Dual or triple-fan open-air cooling is common in the price range of the RX 5700 XT and RTX 2060 Super, although you may also come across blower-cooled cards. Open-air cooling is more efficient for the majority of PCs, while blowers are better suited to smaller cases with less airflow.
Also, keep in mind that factory overclocking is more common on the more expensive, better-cooled cards, thus the card’s default clock speed will be slightly higher than on a reference card. Even if the clock is pushed further with liquid cooling, this doesn’t make much of a difference in performance.
The big triple-fan coolers may seem awesome, but they aren’t always superior for cooling.
A dual-fan model may actually be a better fit for a smaller case. If the card is near the bottom of the chassis, a smaller heatsink will allow for better air intake, and it will be less likely to hinder the motherboard’s additional PCIe slots with a shorter PCB.
When it comes to aesthetics, having an open casing or a translucent case is going to be a big consideration. Color and design of fans and shroud, backplate design, and whether or not a backplate is included are all examples of aesthetics.
However, like with everything visual, personal preference plays a role. Gigabyte’s RX 5700 XT has a plain black shroud, whereas MSI’s Gaming X has a sleek metallic shroud, faint red highlights, and RGB lighting that some like.
Should you fork up up to $50 more for greater cooling and more overclocking capabilities? A liquid-cooled model might be appealing to a hardware geek, but for the typical gamer, we don’t think it’s worth the extra money.
You may still do so if you prefer the style of a more expensive card, but the most essential thing is that the manufacturer has a reputable track record and provides enough warranty coverage.
Is Ray Tracing Worth It?
Without real-time ray tracing, it’s impossible to compare Nvidia’s Turing and Navi GPUs, which are both widely promoted by the company, to each other. AMD is conspicuously missing out on this feature.
Is ray tracing important right now, and does the RTX 2060 Super gain any points because of it?
I mean, ray tracing is the future of lighting in video games because it allows for much more realistic reflections, and it’s impossible to refute that. Aside from that, it’s only used by a small number of games and has a considerable impact on performance when activated.
At the time this article was published, the following games supported ray tracing:
- Combat Evolved V
- Please Bring Us the Moon
- Exodus from the Metro
- Quake II RTX is a great game.
- Requiem for a Legendary Hero
- As long as possible, keep your head above water.
- Wolverine: The New Blood
However, ray tracing is used in a wide variety of forthcoming titles, including Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Dying Light 2, and even Minecraft.
Remember that while demos and parts designed to show off ray-tracing look wonderful, it won’t make a huge difference in actual gameplay. Because of its high hardware requirements, it will typically result in a 50% reduction in framerate. This performance decrease will be especially visible on weaker RTX cards like the 2060 Super.
At the present, we believe that Ray Tracing is more of an attention grabber than anything else when it comes to creating more lifelike graphics in video games.
That said, if you’re only interested in ray tracing, we don’t recommend the RTX 2060.
Trying to compare a computer’s theoretical performance solely on paper specifications is usually a waste of time. Despite this, the RTX 2060 Super only offers 7.2 TFLOPS and 448 GBps of bandwidth to contend with the RX 5700 XT’s 9.0 TFLOPS. In terms of raw performance, AMD has a 25% lead, but this is a rare occurrence in games (spoiler alert!).
Since AMD’s Radeon VII was released too late, was built on an outdated architecture, and could not compete with Nvidia’s existing cards, the RX 5700 XT is the first’real’ 7nm GPU. AMD’s Navi 10 uses TSMC’s 7nm finFET process to pack around 10.3 billion transistors into a 251 mm2 chip.
The RTX 2060 Super, on the other hand, is built using TSMC’s older 12nm finFET manufacturing technology. In terms of transistor count, it has a half-billion more, but the die size has increased by 445 millimeters, which isn’t a huge change in terms of percentage. Although the end user may not care about the size of the die or the process technique, they can have an impact on power consumption, cost, and even performance.
As far as GDDR6 RAM is concerned, both GPUs have 8GB of RAM that is clocked at 14 Gbps on a 256-bit bus. But that doesn’t mean that their memory subsystems are the same. Both firms employ a variety of lossless delta color compression techniques in order to maximize the amount of memory they can fit in their devices. Nvidia’s GPUs appear to either compress data better or extract higher performance from the same memory capacity in other ways, despite the fact that details are few.
DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and Vulkan-RT support are the most significant differences between the GPUs. What role does ray tracing play in video games? Currently, only a small number of titles are supported, and the ray tracing effects are typically quite minor.
At the time of this writing, these were the most popular games that included ray tracing: Control, Deliver Us the Moon; Metro Exodus; Quake II RTX; Shadow of the Tomb Raider; Wolfenstein: Youngblood; and Battlefield V. For a total of sixteen releases, including the aforementioned titles plus eight more scheduled for release in 2020 (Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal as well as Dying Light 2 and Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, as well as Synced: Off-Planet and Watch Dogs: Legion). In Control and perhaps Deliver Us the Moon, ray tracing effects are actually desirable—and even then, the performance hit can be substantial.
DLSS technology, which combines machine learning and vast amounts of training on Nvidia’s supercomputers, allows games to render at a lower resolution and then upscale with anti-aliasing detection and removal. DLSS works, but it’s far from ideal. You can even utilize it if you don’t have an RTX 2080 Ti and you’re playing 1080p games with ray tracing.
AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync are both adjustable refresh rate technologies. Since AMD only works with FreeSync/Adaptive Sync monitors, Nvidia now has the upper hand because it has begun to offer a limited number of ‘compatible’ adaptive sync screens. Among the 90 FreeSync displays that Nvidia claims are now “G-Sync Compatible,” including LG’s latest OLED 120Hz TVs, the company says it has tested hundreds of them. RTX series cards from Nvidia now have HDMI 2.1 VRR (variable refresh rate).
In the end, Nvidia’s hardware features triumph over AMD’s manufacturing technology. Ray tracing effects may not be to everyone’s taste, but at least you have the option to turn them on and see whether you like the results. There’s also a choice between a display that is G-Sync compatible as well as one that is FreeSync compatible.
Drivers and Software
Nvidia and AMD offer entire driver and software packages. To put things in perspective, Nvidia’s driver download size is 529 MB and AMD’s driver download size is 482 MB. Using only the GPU driver files and related software, that’s approximately the size of the whole Windows XP installation.
New features have been introduced to AMD’s latest Radeon Adrenalin 2020 drivers, including integer scaling and Game Boost. AMD says that their Adrenalin 2019 drivers run “up to 12 percent better,” however we’ve tested both and the difference isn’t that great. Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Image Sharpening, Radeon Chill, Enhanced Sync, and the ability to record or broadcast your gaming sessions are just a few of the pre-existing features. Everything you need from an AMD processor — including the ability to tune and overclock your graphics card — is all in one box.
However, like AMD, Nvidia has been steadily adding new features and advancements for a long time now with the newest 442.19 drivers. 3D settings and visual enhancements can be adjusted via integer scaling (on Turing GPUs). However, many of the additional features may be found in GeForce Experience. The in-game overlay, which lets you apply filters such as sharpness and ReShade selections, is also found there, along with ShadowPlay for broadcasting and recording your gaming. You can also keep up to current on driver upgrades and get recommended settings profiles for the majority of big titles.
Although Nvidia’s drivers lack overclocking capabilities, the lack of this feature isn’t a severe drawback. For those that want to experiment, there are widely available tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision X1, which are better than anything AMD or Nvidia will likely integrate into their drivers.
The unified approach of AMD’s drivers is preferable to ours, but there is another aspect of AMD’s that we appreciate. The debate of software and drivers tends to get bogged down in nitty-gritty details. Despite this, I’ve grown to dislike GeForce Experience’s login and captcha-based registration process. More often than most users, we’re aware of login restrictions and captchas because we have a steady influx of new graphics cards to test. GeForce Experience does appear to frequently forget login credentials, though, which is incredibly aggravating. Please eliminate or at least decouple all of it from the application process. That data mining of us is over, thank you.
However, determining how often and of what quality driver updates are released is more difficult. AMD and Nvidia both often issue new drivers; we counted 33 AMD releases and 26 Nvidia releases in 2019 alone (not including non-public drivers). That works up to an average of two to three driver updates per month, which some think is too much. In addition, both businesses provided ‘game ready’ drivers on schedule for all of the key launches, albeit a few snags in the process.
There is a good likelihood that you are upgrading your graphics card to play games rather than folding protein strands, searching for ET, creating a world-conquering AI, or mining cryptocurrencies. A dozen games were tested at various resolutions and settings to see which of these two GPUs was the fastest. I’ve compiled the results:
Average / Minimum FPS
Overall, the AMD RX 5700 XT is up to 7-10 percent faster than the NVIDIA GTX 1060 at the tested resolutions. Aside from those weirdly AMD-promotional games, the Nvidia RTX 2060 Super performed best in The Outer Worlds and Total War: Warhammer 2. As for the DirectX 11 API, both games (Warhammer 2 on AMD GPUs and DX11 on Nvidia) support it, as do eight of the ten remaining games. Due to the lack of DXR support in AMD’s drivers, we didn’t test with ray tracing enabled in the two titles that supported it.
Since both AMD and Nvidia partner cards are overclocked to similar levels, it shouldn’t have much of an impact on the standings. However, this isn’t an insurmountable lead. While both GPUs are capable of running 1080p ultra games at 60 frames per second, it is possible to run 1440p games at 60 fps on many of the games, with Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus being two examples where one or both cards fall short.
Power Consumption and Heat Output
These are high-end GPUs, and the PCI Express Graphics (PEG) power connector needs will vary based on the exact model. Both 8-pin and 6-pin PEG connectors are required by most cards. However, dual 8-pin PEG connectors aren’t always included in factory overclocked machines because they’re absolutely optional. There is only one 8-pin PEG connector on the RTX 2060 Super Founders Edition card.
TBP (Typical Board Power) ratings for the AMD RX 5700 and Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Super are 225W and 175W respectively. That’s only for reference designs; factory overclocked partner cards are almost certainly going to have a higher clock speed than that. A power supply of at least 550 watts is recommended by Nvidia and a minimum of 600 watts by AMD.
The power consumption of a Core i9-9900K test system is significantly lower than the PSU’s recommended values in real-world use. With the RTX 2060 Super, we measured 325W at the outlet, and 370W with the RX 5700 XT. In the near future, we’ll be using specialist hardware to improve our power testing because reading power utilization via software tools dependent on the drivers, yet AMD and Nvidia don’t report the same metrics. Both AMD and Nvidia report on the power consumption of their respective GPUs, while AMD solely reports on the GPU’s power consumption. When comparing the 2060 Super to the 5700 XT, GPU-Z shows an average power drain of 173.2 W versus 179.0 W on the AMD card, even though outlet power use on the latter was 48 W greater.
As long as your power supply (PSU) can handle the 2060 Super, it should be able to handle the 5700 XT without issue. Higher power consumption, on the other hand, can result in increased heat output and, consequently, increased fan noise. In general, the Nvidia RTX 2060 Super will use less power, generate less heat, and keep noise levels to a minimum than custom cards with larger coolers and better fans.
Nvidia’s use of the older 12nm manufacturing node is astounding, and we can only look forward to seeing what Nvidia’s 7nm Ampere GPUs can accomplish later this year.
Since all of the aforementioned elements play a role, figuring out which card offers the best value can be a challenge. The suggested retail price for both cards is $400. Right now, the cheapest RTX 2060 Super cards cost $400, but if you’re prepared to deal with rebates, you can get an EVGA RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra Gaming from Newegg for $380 after rebates. For $360, you can get an ASRock Radeon RX 5700 XT Challenger D 8G OC, which has no mail-in rebate requirements, but AMD’s RX 5700 XT rebates are also available.
Even though individual GPU sales may fluctuate from time to time, the RX 5700 XT is retailing for less than the RTX 2060 Super over the past several months at least. Even though you’ll need to check the deal is accessible from the reseller before you buy an RX 5700 XT card, AMD offers some complimentary games with it. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, Resident Evil 3 and Xbox Game Pass are included in AMD’s Raise the Game bundle, which is currently on sale. Although the value of such games is disputed, getting them is clearly a better deal than receiving nothing.
Is the 5700 XT better than the 2060 Super?
While the 2060 Super is 4% quicker at 1440p, the 5700 XT is 12% faster…. At 1440p, the 2060 Super is outperformed by 12% by the Radeon GPU. Moving on to Gears 5, we see similar results with the 2060 Super. It was able to maintain a frame rate of over 60 fps during the full benchmark.
Which is better Rx 5700 XT or RTX 2070 Super?
Surprised, the 5700XT is even better than the RTX 2070 Super, even if the difference is only 5 percent. Given how much less expensive AMD’s Radeon GPU is, this is a remarkable achievement for the company. 5700 XT edges out the 2060 Super for Control, but 2070 Super is 16 percent quicker at 1440p.
What is the AMD equivalent to RTX 2060 Super?
Overall, RTX 2060 has the same level of performance as an Nvidia GTX 1070 at all three resolutions (1080, 1440, and 4K). The Vega 56 is AMD’s equivalent GPU.
As a result, we believe that the Radeon RX 5700 XT is the superior option if you are looking to obtain the most performance for your money.
It’s important to note that the RTX 2060 Super does have several advantages over the RX 5700 XT, such as lower power consumption and cooler operating temps. Don’t anticipate it to have a significant impact on your electricity cost, though.
Ray tracing is also an issue, and as previously stated, we don’t believe it’s a feature worth having at this time, especially for mid-range RTX cards like the RTX 2060 Super.
There are many more graphics cards on the market, and it’s possible that one of them could be better suited to your demands and budget than either the RX 5700 or the RTX 2060 Super. For more information, check out our entire graphics card buying guide.