AMD’s Radeon GCN GPUs are 3x Faster than Competing NVIDIA Parts in Doom Eternal

AMD’s “fine wine” and demonstrated prowess on Vulkan appear to be holding true when it comes to Doom: Eternal. ID Software’s latest demon disembowler runs startlingly faster on last-gen AMD hardware compared to the Nvidia competition.

The folks over at Hardware Unboxed recently tested out Doom Eternal on previous-gen AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards and came to some eye-opening conclusions. NVIDIA’s GTX 600 and GTX 700 series of Kepler parts fall far, far behind the AMD competition. For instance, the RX 290, AMD’s direct competitor to the GeForce GTX 780 delivered a frame rate that is three times higher at 99 FPS, compared to just 33 FPS on the Kepler part.

NVIDIA has long been accused of gimping its Kepler hardware, as far back as the Kepler Hairworks controversy with The Witcher 3. Considering the fact that far less capable Maxwell parts like the GTX 960 outperform the GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti, this is evidently a case of completely absent optimization.

But how is AMD’s eight-year-old Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition still delivering an average framerate in excess of 60 FPS? It likely comes down to GCN and AMD’s iterative approach to GPU design. Navi is, strictly speaking, AMD’s only truly new GPU design since GCN debuted with the original HD 7970 in 2011.

All earlier AMD graphics cards, including Vega and Polaris parts, feature newer iterations of the GCN architecture. This means that clock speeds and fab processes aside, AMD’s older GPUs aren’t that much different from their newer parts. This is good news for owners of older AMD cards: if your 7970 GHz edition still works, you have a great Doom Eternal experience waiting for you right now.


Penguin-published author, and journalist. Loves PC hardware but has terrible hand-eye coordination. Most likely to be found playing Total War or watching weird Russian sitcoms.
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