Nvidia is no longer doing hot laps solo: AMD Radeon GPUs are blazing up their rear-view mirror bringing the heat this generation. This is the most apparent in the mainstream, prime time battleground: Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 versus AMD’s Radeon RX 6750 XT.
Grab some popcorn, the entire family, and some 3D glasses, the show is about to start! Can the refreshed RX 6750 XT compete with the RTX 3070’s popularity amongst gamers? We’ll cover the specs, pricing, performance, and which of these two hotrods deserves your hard-earned cash. Oh, both companies have a few software tricks up their sleeves, too, such as Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s RSR resolution-scaling technologies.
Don’t worry, it’s safe now—GPUs are available everywhere. Prices have quickly returned to MSRP, and below in some cases. While the GeForce RTX 3080 and above tier of GPUs have seen the biggest price drops, you can expect the retail on the RTX 3070 to be much closer to $499 (and generally under $579 for most models, though some models remain more expensive.) The AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT is also right in that $499 to $549 spot.
Is it really safe to buy, though? With Nvidia’s RTX 4000 and next-gen AMD RDNA 3 graphics cards on the horizon, today’s MSRP prices are not as sweet as you’d think. We surmise that there is still another round of price drops to come upon the announcement of next generation hardware, so tread these waters carefully.
Nvidia RTX 3070 vs. AMD RX 6750 XT: Performance
Performance is key in this portion of the market, where price pressure makes every ounce that can be squeezed from the silicon extra valuable.
In Watch Dogs Legion, the RX 6750 XT draws even at 1440p, and the opens up an imperceptible lead as the resolution increases. This is with the software magic disabled, such as DLSS and ray tracing.
The close story continues in a similar fashion with Horizon Zero Dawn, but this time the RTX 3070 eeks out a minor victory. Also note that the RX 6750 XT has a very minor performance bump over the RX 6700 XT that it replaces.
Some games, such as Borderlands 3, seem to perform better on the AMD GPUs such as the RX 6750 XT, giving it a win over the RTX 3070.
You’ve seen the pure hardware power of the GPUs above, so what happens when we introduce other technology in the mix?
Let’s take AMD’s Smart Access Memory and Radeon Super Resolution, two driver-level features that work in any game. Nvidia can also take advantage of turbocharged software, though its great DLSS solution requires active developer integration into games (as does AMD’s rival FSR). These technologies allow you to balance a high level of performance with a visually optimal experience.
Is the RX 6750 XT faster than the RTX 3070 as AMD claims in the graphic below? Yes, but that is greatly helped by using the RSR and SAM technologies covered above.
Nvidia still maintains a sizable advantage when it comes to ray tracing, however. As demonstrated by switching it on Ultra in Watch Dogs Legion, Nvidia has a dominant lead with it activated—and this is without DLSS active. It can be argued that ray tracing presents diminishing returns for most games, but it can still have an impressive visual impact. As the RTX 3070 and RX 6750 XT are entering the higher performance tiers of GPUs, it should be of interest to the mid- and high-end gamers.
Nvidia RTX 3070 vs. AMD RX 6750 XT: Power and other things to know
The RTX 3070 and RX 6750 XT are not power hungry compared to their larger brethren, but still pack a 220W TDP on the Nvidia side, and a TDP of 250W for the 6750 XT. This means you’ll need a decent power supply, and adequate case air flow. They’re entering the higher tier of GPUs, with performance equaling last generation’s top dog: the RTX 2080 Ti.
These GPUs are fantastic for 1080p high-refresh gaming, as well as 1440p. That’s their sweet spot. While they can do 4K, some games may require the power of, say, an RTX 3080 and above class of GPUs.
So, is the RX 6750 XT upgrade enough to beat the RTX 3070?
It’s a tough time to be a GPU: prices have plummeted. But they’re still high enough in relation to the proximal release of the next-generation GPUs that people are right to be wary of buying now.
The release of the 6750 XT came during this decline – therefore relegating it to the sidelines rather quickly. It certainly has the performance chops to match or beat the RTX 3070 in many cases, especially with the AMD SAM and RSR boost it gets. Generally, the RTX 3070 is still a more popular offering—and it does excel in ray tracing over the AMD option if that’s your thing.
The advantage would still play in the RTX 3070’s favor long term, but AMD certainly has put up a great fight, at a lower average cost than Nvidia’s option. If you can find one at a significant discount over the other, that may also be a deciding factor.
The smart money is on waiting longer, however. RTX 4000 and AMD’s own offerings are going to be here soon, and that will depress prices on the current lineup of GPUs even further. While one can’t wait forever, the unique circumstances of the current market make it logical to wait just a bit more. You’ll likely be rewarded with an even better price, or better performance as the case with the next-generation releases.