Red vs. Green

Posted: April 1, 2013 by ryanlecocq in Off-topic, Technology

In the past, I’ve made statements that I am not biased toward AMD, they just happen to meet the budget and performance for every build I recommend.  I’m going to change that statement.  Since the majority of the PC gaming press seems content to be completely Intel and nVidia biased and bald-faced lie about it, I’m just going to play devil’s advocate and give the red team the props they deserve.  What set me off on this most recent tangent is the disturbing trend in the PC press to take unreasonable measures to undermine AMD optimized games.  The most recent example is Bioshock Infinite.  Probably the biggest win for AMD so far in their effort to have games developed and optimized for AMD hardware on the heels of nVidia’s similar “The Way it’s Meant to be Played” campaign.  In my personal experience, AMD delivers as promised.  Bioshock runs fantastic on my 2 year old, midrange AMD laptop, the K53TA.  From what I’ve seen from actual users, this is true across the board.  AMD users are booting the game up, with whatever drivers they may have and getting great performance.  NVidia users are booting up and getting bad performance, stuttering and glitches.

Now let’s contrast this with what the press is saying.  According to many outlets, facts aren’t important.  The little colored bars show that NVidia always wins and AMD always loses.  You just have to stack it so the bars say what you want them to.  I’m just going to use NotebookTechCheck’s benchmark since it makes my post the clearest.  The story is the same everywhere, they just made the least effort to hide the lack of scientific method in their tests.  See below.


Now what the paragraph following this graph says is that AMD fails to make good on their “optimized for AMD” claims.  Huh, that’s funny.  To me it looks like it says that an AMD A10 keeps up with an i7/630M combo with it’s INTEGRATED FUCKING GRAPHICS.  Considering a laptop with that chipset costs, oh I don’t know, half of what the Intel/NVidia combo does, I’d say that’s an obvious win.  The same hardware in a desktop combo would be a similar figure.  If you go up the chart you’ll see that in almost all cases the NVidia GPUs are combined with higher end CPUs and in the case of the equal ones, the AMD parts win out. Finally, when we get to the top of the chart, we see the NVidia cards actually winning by a bit.  In the case of the 660 Ti OC, that’s fair.  That GPU is honestly the best bang for the buck on the market right now if you’re in that price range.  That said, the rest is outright crap.  The two systems being compared in the mobile versions of the GTX 680 and the HD 7970 are not at all equal when the versions are considered.  The desktop comparison is accurate with the HD 7970 edging out the 680 as it’s been pretty well documented that it is in fact a slightly better card.  What I’m getting at is that this chart is pretty much the anti-data. The systems being compared are not equal in price and the versions of the GPUs in those systems are not equal. Since it really, really appears that this was done intentionally in this chart to favor NVidia, I’m calling it a bias. Sue me. So all in all, this is a stacked chart and it’s still hard not to read it as AMD outright owning the price/performance ratio as the AMD systems on it cost far less than the comparable nVidia based ones.


Another thing that stacks benchmarks against AMD is the fact that the PC press just will not include games that bench well for AMD in reviews.  Or if they do, they find ways to sabotage the settings to hurt AMD systems.  For example, you will often see benchmarks of the AMD optimized Shogun 2.  What you won’t see is one where the game is both running in DX11 and at settings proper for the hardware being tested.  That’s because in that scenario, AMD owns NVidia.  I have personally tweaked this game on a dozen systems.  I can tell you 100% no bullshit that it runs fantastic on AMD APUs at mid settings.  The same can be said for Battlefield 3 and even Batman: Arkham City which is actually developed on and optimized for NVidia.  Look at mainstream benches however and you’ll see them bench it in the multi-core and many-shader weak DX9 until they get into higher resolutions (where NVidia shines).  Then they suddenly pull a switcheroo and show you how crappy a $100 AMD part is compared to a bunch of more expensive NVidia ones in DX11 since it’s competition in price in that range either don’t run DX11 or are strictly “non-gaming” cards.  Wow, objective.

I can’t even count the times that I have read a pro benchmark of a game or new hardware and thought:  “Huh, that’s weird, those are waaaaaaay lower than my benches with the same or weaker hardware.”  I don’t know if NVidia is paying people to lie, sending them mountains of free stuff or what’s going on, but I can absolutely, scientifically and irrefutably show that it’s happening.  I don’t need to link one article vs. another.  I’m a PC builder.  I build and test dozens of systems every year and put hands on 90% of the new hardware that comes out.  Nobody pays me.  I put my own money and my own skills on the line to make a profit, so obviously I don’t have time for bullshit.  If my systems don’t perform to customer expectations, they find out immediately and get pissed off.  So when I tell you I have built systems with AMD APUs, CPUs and GPUs and they all ran those games fantastic, you don’t have to take my word for it.  You can ask any of my customers who are sitting at those systems right now, very happy, getting the framerates I promised them at an affordable price.  Hell, you can look at all of the comments right here on this blog of the dozens of people who were skeptical of my performance claims based on mainstream reviews and were later very happy they trusted me instead of Anandtech or those tripe-noggins over at Overclockers.

You know what?  I am an AMD fanboy.  They continue to make competitive, affordable products and increase the fidelity of their inexpensive products to get budget users in the game.  That’s what I believe in and AMD is the company that delivers.  NVidia on the other hand is the company who sold me the GTX 470.  Oh yeah and the company that released the POS 550Ti because they are unable to make a real midrange GPU.  Oh yeah and the company that sent out the g92 series before they were ready, just to be competitive and that resulted in a lot of very angry people with fried 8800GTSs.  That’s the NVidia I know and the one I seldom buy parts from anymore.  Regardless of how they managed to get the PC press to drink their sewage and call it Pepsi, they aren’t fooling me and they aren’t fooling manufacturers anymore.  You won’t find a lot of gaming PCs under $1000 not featuring AMD hardware.  That includes the new gaming consoles too as the PS4 is confirmed to be 100% AMD and the new Xbox is strongly rumored to be.


Users who are fans of either can go on for pages about how this benchmark or this spec shows one to be superior to the other.  The fact is I’ve been building cheap AMD gaming PCs for the last 3-4 years and I have yet to have a complaint.  The opposite actually.  I’ve had many people say they are amazed at the performance they get, since they had read elsewhere that AMD hardware was so much weaker than NVidia or Intel.  I know that my opinion seems to often fly in the face of what major magazines, websites, stock analysts and others say when describing AMD.  All I can say is that my opinions are based on buying the hardware with my own money, building it with my own hands and tweaking it with my own first-hand research.  I have been 100% satisfied to the point that my personal systems run on AMD CPUs, chipsets and graphics, even though I have the ability to buy and use whatever I want.  I have posted my benchmarks and played my games fluently, so I don’t really need someone else to tell me my hardware is crap.

So I’m just going to put forward the same challenge as always:  Name your price, name your performance goal.  I will build an AMD system that no Intel/NVidia one can match at the same price.  Guaranteed.  You agree with the press that says NVidia outperforms?  Prove it with dollars on the line.  My K53TA runs Arkham City at 60fps on high all day long.  Same with many, many other games.  Bought it for $450 2 years ago.  Hell, I run Guild Wars 2 and SWTOR so well that my buddies with their Intel/NVidia desktops cry at the loss of their dollars.  Is there really anything else to discuss?

  1. Cryio's Qax says:

    AMD GPUs + AMD CPUs = best buy. I can only recommend APUs if it’s a HTPC or just a simple PC needed in the house.

    From every review and benchmark ever that I’ve seen, Nvidia GPUs seem to favor CPU performance much more than AMD. TODAY however, I don’t know how much relevance what I’ve noticed in time still holds, seeing how Nvidia released some serious CPU optimized drivers some time ago for CPU bottlenecked situations.

    My 560 Ti now goes pretty much 99% maxed in every game I throw at it with my FX 6300 clocked at 4.5 Ghz so I’m happy for the time being. I still intend to upgrade to a AMD GPU in the future and to maybe an FX83x0 if my GPU needs it.

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