For pure gaming performance, the most important component in your computer is, without question, the graphics card. Choosing the right graphics card for your rig can be difficult.
You would need to take many important factors into account, including the rest of your system configuration, the games you are planning to play, and the frame rates you are looking to push out.
Here, we take a look at two solid choices in the mid-range segment, the RTX 2060 Super from Nvidia and the RX 5600XT from AMD.
With this head-to-head comparison, you would have the insight you need to go towards either team red or team green when it comes to your next graphics card.
Nvidia RTX 2060 Super vs AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
The Nvidia RTX 2060 Super is built on the 12nm architecture and features 2176 CUDA cores.
The card is capable of a base clock speed of 1470 MHz and can boost up to 1650 MHz in demanding conditions. You also get 8GB of 256-bit GDDR6 memory.
The card has a TDP of 175W and requires one 8-pin power connector.
The RTX 2060 Super sports a smaller size, making it a sensible choice for smaller PC cases and micro-ATX or mini-ITX form factors. It is meant to sit in a PCIe Gen 3.0 slot.
The AMD RX 5600XT is built on the more recent 7nm node and comes with 2304 stream processors.
The card has a base clock of 1460 MHz and can boost up to 1620 MHz. The integrated 6GB of GDDR6 memory uses a 192-bit bus and therefore has a lower memory bandwidth than the Nvidia counterpart.
The TDP is 135W and the card uses a single 8-pin power connector to draw power.
Two things set the RX 5600XT apart in this comparison. The first is support for the faster PCIe Gen 4.0 interface.
The second, and arguably the most important factor, is the new performance BIOS update furnished by AMD that increases the TDP of the card to 160W while giving it a base clock of 1615 MHz and a boost clock of 1750 MHz. This also boosts the clock speed of the integrated memory.
At the most popular resolution for gamers worldwide, both cards hold their own with flying colors with the Nvidia card edging slightly ahead in some titles.
The RTX 2060 Super is capable of maintaining a steady 100+ frame rate at High settings in titles like Anthem and Borderlands 3 while falling slightly short of the mark in Metro Exodus.
For those with variable refresh rate monitors or seeking high frame rates for competitive gaming, the card pushes out 150+ frames per second in titles like Apex Legends, PUBG, and Fortnite.
The gap with the AMD card widens significantly in optimized titles like Strange Brigade while the Navi card takes the lead in titles like World War Z, Ashes of the Singularity, and Battlefield V.
The AMD card pushes more frames in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and shows marginally better performance in games that use the Vulkan API.
The gap between the graphics cards becomes considerably smaller at 1440p where the games are more GPU-bound. With both cards favoring titles that are optimized for them, the comparison is a toss-up.
The Nvidia card proves to be a capable performer at this resolution, being able to maintain very playable 60+ FPS in titles like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, The Outer Worlds, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The card also seems comfortable pushing out 100+ FPS in titles like World War Z and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
It is in titles like PUBG that the Nvidia card emerges a clear winner, logging about 6% better performance over its rival counterpart. You can also enjoy stunning visuals by turning on ray tracing, although your frame rates can take a major hit.
While the benchmark scores for the AMD card is neck and neck with its competitor in most games, it assumed the lead in titles like Gears 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, F1 2019, and Borderlands 3.
While pushing fewer frames than its rival on Nvidia optimized titles, the overall performance is extremely satisfactory, and Vulkan performance is excellent.
Both cards, being offered at a mid-range price point, are not quite meant for 4k gaming. If you do decide to play at 4k using either card, you can generally expect a fairly playable 30+ FPS performance. However, in quite a few games like Assasin’s Creed: Odyssey, Borderlands 3, and The Outer Worlds, frame rates can often dip below 30.
However, you can still use either card to get playable frame rates in games like Far Cry 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Strange Brigade.
Price and Value
At the launch prices, the AMD RX 5600XT would have definitely been a clear choice as a better value proposition. However, after many pricing revisions and both cards having been in the market for a while, the answer is not as clear-cut.
The AMD card still sells cheaper than the Nvidia counterpart but the difference has reduced significantly. However, consistent price drops mean that you can expect a difference of only about $30.
While the performance of both cards is extremely similar, there can be several factors that can influence your choice. The Nvidia offering has been around for a while and its drivers are fairly established and stable. It is also the only card here that offers ray tracing at an attractive price point. If you consider these characteristics to be important and would be mostly playing titles optimized for Nvidia, this card is a meaningful choice.
On the other hand, the AMD card is cheaper, offers comparable (and sometimes better) performance, and can be available as a part of bundles that include a couple of games with the card, making it a significant value addition. It can also be the superior choice if you frequently play AMD optimized titles or those making use of the Vulkan API.
Whichever card you choose, you can be assured of excellent performance in 1080p and 1440p gaming scenarios, provided you have the right hardware to support your chosen card.