Wednesday, September 27th 2017

NVIDIA's Weakness is AMD's Strength: It's Time to Regain Mid-Range Users

It won't be easy to see an AMD counterpart to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in the short time. Heck, it will be difficult to see any real competitors to the RTX 2000 Series anytime soon. But maybe AMD doesn't need to compete on that front. Not yet. The reason is sound and clear: RTX prices are NVIDIA's weakness, and that weakness, my fellow readers, could become AMD's biggest strength.

The prices NVIDIA and its partners are asking for RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti have been a clear discussion topic since we learnt about them. Most users have criticized those price points, even after NVIDIA explained the reasoning behind them. Those chips are bigger, more complex and more powerful than ever, so yes, costs have increased and that has to be taken into account.
None of that matters. It even doesn't matter what ray-tracing can bring to the game, and it doesn't matter if those Tensor Cores will provide benefits beyond DLSS. I'm not even counting on the fact that DLSS is a proprietary technology that will lock us (and developers, for that matter) a little bit more in another walled garden. Even if you realize that the market perception is clear: who has the fastest graphics card is perceived as the tech/market leader.

There's certainly a chance that RTX takes off and NVIDIA sets again the bar in this segment: the reception of the new cards hasn't been overwhelming, but developers could begin to take advantage of all the benefits Turing brings. If they do, we will have a different discussion, one in which future cards such as RTX 2070/2060 and its derivatives could bring a bright future for NVIDIA... and a dimmer one for AMD.

But the thing that matters now for a lot of users is pricing, and AMD could leverage that crucial element of the equation. In fact, the company could do that very soon. Some indications reveal that AMD could launch a new Polaris revision in the near future. This new silicon is allegedly being built on TSMC's 12 nm process, something AMD did successfully with its Ryzen 2000 Series of CPUs.
AMD must have learnt a good lesson there: its CPU portfolio is easily the best in its history, and the latest woes at Intel are helping and causing forecast revisions that estimate a 30% market share globally for AMD in Q4 2018. See? Intel's weakness is AMD's strength on this front.

2018 started with the worst news for Intel -Spectre and Meltdown- and it hasn't gone much better later on: the jump to the 10 nm process never seems to come, and Intel's messages about those delays have not helped to reinforce confidence in this manufacturer. The company would be three generations further than they are now without those big problems, and the situation for AMD would be quite different too.

Everything seems to make sense here: customers are upset with that RTX 2000 Series for the elite, and that Polaris revision could arrive at the right time and the right place. With a smaller node AMD could gain higher yields, decrease cost, increase clock frequencies and provide that 15% performance increase some publications are pointing to. Those are a lot of "coulds", and in fact there's no reason to believe that Polaris 30 is more than just a die shrink, so we would have the same unit counts and higher clocks.
That won't probably be enough to make the hypothetical RX 680 catch up with a GTX 1070: performance of the latter is +34% the one we found in the RX 580 on average according to our tests, so even with that refresh we will have a more competitive Radeon RX family that could win the price/performance battle, and that is no small feat.

The new cards would also not target just existing GTX 7/9 Series users, but also those older AMD Radeon users that were expecting a nice upgrade on performance without having to sell their souls. And for the undecided users, the ones that are thinking about getting a GTX 1050/Ti or a GTX 1060, AMD's offer could be quite attractive if price/performance ratio hits NVIDIA where it hurts more.

That would put that new family of graphic cards (Radeon RX 600?) on a pretty good position to compete with GeForce GTX 1000. NVIDIA presumably could still be king in the power consumption area, but besides that, AMD could position itself on that $300-$500 range (and even below that) with a really compelling suite of products.

So yes, AMD could have a winning hand here. Your move, AMD.
Add your own comment

110 Comments on NVIDIA's Weakness is AMD's Strength: It's Time to Regain Mid-Range Users

#1
DeathtoGnomes
if etailers stop price gouging the market would still have favored Nvidia.
Posted on Reply
#2
StrayKAT
I already think they're great for midrange, but I'll admit they need improvements and need to be a little more affordable. I don't plan on moving either way though.. kind of locked into them at this point (Freesync).
Posted on Reply
#3
TheinsanegamerN
AMD already regained the middle ground with the RX480, it was competitive and sold well.

AMD' problem is trying to compete with an old arch. GCN was useful, but needs serious updating to be competitive. AMD instead wasted money on vega, which didnt go anywhere. They also let their driver support go lax yet again, 18.6 to 18.9 have been trainwrecks of bugs and performance issues.

And now, with nvidia getting slovenly, AMD's GPU division is nowhere to be found. Navi *might* come out in 2019, but it also may just be tweaked vega. Nvidia is gonna make a mint on thsi generation, just like last generation, and by the time AMD shows up, the market will be ready for true next generation GPUs, not AMD's somewhat -competitive-with-2-year-old-GPUs design.
Posted on Reply
#4
R0H1T
They need 7nm asap & then GCN nexgen on steroids. Since we're not certain if Navi or Alpha Bootis will be much different from GCN, everyone better hope that AMD pull a Ryzen or K8 on the GPU front in the next year or two!
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
TheinsanegamerN said:
AMD already regained the middle ground with the RX480, it was competitive and sold well.

AMD' problem is trying to compete with an old arch. GCN was useful, but needs serious updating to be competitive. AMD instead wasted money on vega, which didnt go anywhere. They also let their driver support go lax yet again, 18.6 to 18.9 have been trainwrecks of bugs and performance issues.

And now, with nvidia getting slovenly, AMD's GPU division is nowhere to be found. Navi *might* come out in 2019, but it also may just be tweaked vega. Nvidia is gonna make a mint on thsi generation, just like last generation, and by the time AMD shows up, the market will be ready for true next generation GPUs, not AMD's somewhat -competitive-with-2-year-old-GPUs design.
I think you fail to understand the majority of users don't buy high end cards, but mid-range or low end cards. Which is why Intel is the leader in GPU sales.
Posted on Reply
#6
efikkan
Once 2060 arrives, AMD will not have a real option for the mid-range, even Vega will be ha hard sell then.
Posted on Reply
#7
Vya Domus
Steevo said:
I think you fail to understand the majority of users don't buy high end cards, but mid-range or low end cards. Which is why Intel is the leader in GPU sales.
But the mindshare model works completely against that. It's the color of the bar that is placed highest on a chart that has the final word for a lot of people, even if they buy bottom of the barrel stuff.

Think you've seen plenty Nivida and Intel preachers with i3s and 1050s.
Posted on Reply
#8
notb
Such an awful text. Unbelievable. :-o
@hat what do you think about this one?

Nvidia logo in the header and a full-blown AMD toadying inside.
And, inevitably, Meltdown and Intel's 10nm problems had to be mentioned. Because why not?

This sentence in particular looks like copied straight from AMD strategy presentation or internal mailing:
"The reason is sound and clear: RTX prices are NVIDIA's weakness, and that weakness, my fellow readers, could become AMD's biggest strength."

And then this:
"So yes, AMD could have a winning hand here. Your move, AMD. "

Show yourself @dmartin - joined: Tuesday at 12:35 PM - Messages: 2
Tell me why do you care about AMD "winning" so much? And why do you think I should care?

@W1zzard why are we getting this?
Posted on Reply
#9
kapone32
I know that Vega is still a little over priced but I have no complaints about my Vega card(s). Just think when they release a Vega card at 12NM and we see the same performance increase as Ryzen vs Ryzen 2 that it will rival the 1080TI. Then when 7nm comes that might actually have the performance of a 2080 or even the 2080TI. It should also cost less as it is rumoured that the next Vega cards will have a DDR6 variant just like the RTX cards. AMD is in a much better position than most people give them credit for on the GPU side of things. Just look at the R5 2400G vs the A10-7870K
Posted on Reply
#10
efikkan
notb said:
Such an awful text. Unbelievable. :-o
Agreed.
The AMD fans seem more and more like a resistance movement or a cult, refusing to face the facts.

Do you want to vote with your wallet? Then refuse to buy inferior GPUs, and AMD will be forced to make something better, instead of a mob pressuring people to buy AMD GPUs for ideological reasons.

And for all of those who desperately clings to the hope of 7 nm saving AMD; 7 nm will definitely be great eventually, but remember that it will be even more beneficial for more efficient architectures. Since both vendors have access to the new nodes, these will just increase the performance gap between them.
Posted on Reply
#11
AsRock
TPU addict
NVIDIA explained the reasoning behind them. Those chips are bigger, more complex and more powerful than ever, so yes, costs have increased and that has to be taken into account.
Which is all their fault, and for some thing not usable and even when it's available it's probably not going be all that for a good while yet.

nVidia just want use to pay for 1/2 done stuff, well sun don't shine were they can stick that.
Posted on Reply
#12
W1zzard
notb said:
Nvidia logo in the header
Fixed the news icon. The auto-select algorithm picked the wrong one from the story title :)
Posted on Reply
#13
notb
efikkan said:
Agreed.
The AMD fans seem more and more like a resistance movement or a cult, refusing to face the facts.
Maybe a cult or maybe a social class issue?
This whole text just screams:
Intel and Nvidia - them - the aristocracy, the usurpers.
AMD - we - the people! It's our chance!


Seriously, this text could have been published on AMD Intranet with just a single word changed.
You can just feel that the author wanted to finish this with "Our move, AMD."

I don't know how he got this job, but I sense AMD researchers are calling already.

W1zzard said:
Fixed the news icon. The auto-select algorithm picked the wrong one from the story title :)
This either is not news or there's a lot more that needs to be fixed.
Posted on Reply
#14
gamerman
waht a heck i read... hehe

nvidia 'weaknes' is amd strengt...? well come on..

amd weakness is totally,next 3 generation amd gpus are lausy junk.

and if we took nvidia weakness i dont think writers dont know what he took.
rtx 2000 series gpus are excellent,thats fact,buts looks that every gpu WHAT NVIDIA MAKE must be 100% more performance top notch like nvidia gtx 1000 series was.


we must remembe that amd cant win even its 6 month ago new gpu amd vega nvvida stone age over 2 tears old gtx 1000 series!
so even if nvidia NOT release rtx series nvidia will leading performance and efficiency. 'weakness... hehe


but now rtx 2080 ti have almost double performance aganist amd vega64 and STILL eat LESS power!!! do you understand how diffucult its is....? i dont think so.

amd never can build gpu like that,ever. i can make bet that.

amd has not skill,cash and engineers for doing that,its fact.
bcoz last 3 generation counting back, amd radeon 200 series to fury and vega its tdp just raise alot but performance AND what is moust interesting efficiency going totally lausy.

its tell only that amd has not nothing way to build better gpus!
only help is coming another way,and that is smaller building line. thats it.
thats why example amd vega64 eat so much power than its competor gtx 1080 and of coz 1080 ti, btw i dont remembe that kind complain and crying when vega gpus coming... huh!!


these days when gpus must running games 4K with 27 to 32 inch monitor gpu need alot power and its hard build faster gpu without power raise skylimit (what amd gpus done next 2 generation btw)

amd ways to fight against nvidia is close end, specially when intel coming 2020, not so long anymore. so yes Q1/2021 is d-day for amd for sure.

i say,year 2021 there is 2 gpu builder, intel and nvidia, amd mght build budget gpus.. might.


nvidia was start and its headline is efficiency now 6 years and its show, they do alot alot hard work to build great gpus, and they really deserve respect, amd not,amd offer old tech gpu for customer generation for generation just for new name.

i can say this, amd never can make good gpu anymore,amd only 'hope' is 7nm line cbuild,its help little but not even close enough......example nvidia build its gpu always larger line tech,but STIL tehy can build better efficiency gpus and faster.... is it nough..

alst 3 generation amd gpus, non e of them not deserve 'editor chocie' reward..so much tehy eat power with average performance, amd not deserve any sympaty or support bcoz that, they dont care and offer ppl lausy gpus and cpus also,, and trying win your sympaty with yelling color red... thats all.

nvidia might stop making gpus any time,they dont need it, more than 70% cash coming another way.......so prey,respect and use them.
Posted on Reply
#15
dmartin
notb said:
Such an awful text. Unbelievable. :-o
@hat what do you think about this one?

Nvidia logo in the header and a full-blown AMD toadying inside.
And, inevitably, Meltdown and Intel's 10nm problems had to be mentioned. Because why not?

This sentence in particular looks like copied straight from AMD strategy presentation or internal mailing:
"The reason is sound and clear: RTX prices are NVIDIA's weakness, and that weakness, my fellow readers, could become AMD's biggest strength."

And then this:
"So yes, AMD could have a winning hand here. Your move, AMD. "

Show yourself @dmartin - joined: Tuesday at 12:35 PM - Messages: 2
Tell me why do you care about AMD "winning" so much? And why do you think I should care?

@W1zzard why are we getting this?
Hi notb

That icon was wrong but as w1zzard has said it's now updated, thanks. The remarks on Intel were just a reference, AMD has tried to take advantage of the situation and Intel problems are there. I just wanted to establish a comparison with the situation on the GPU front: NVIDIA could have problems with these price points, and AMD could take advantage of those problems too.

And yes, I'm just starting out here, so thanks for the message. I'm sure I'll make some mistakes along the way, so constructive criticism is more than welcome.
Posted on Reply
#16
ppn
AMD 7nm VEGA20 is just around the corner, 8GB on 4096 bit bus is doable to save the costs. Even 12GB on 3072bit. That card should be 75% faster than VEGA 10. or 2080Ti level of performance based on memory bandwith alone.1225/484 GB/s.

The size of it 325 mm² is insanely big for 7nm. since 14nm 510 mm² 12500 Mtransistor VEGA 10 is around 25M Transistors /mm², down from pure 33 Mtr/mm² sram density.

Аnd 7nm is 100 Mtr/mm² sram, final product realistically 75 Mtr/mm², can't be 50, because that wouldn't be 7nm, but closer to 10nm with 60 for sram, 45 Mtr/mm² for complex chip.

So VEGA 20 is 25 000 million transistors double that of VEGA 10, I don't believe it.
Posted on Reply
#17
John Naylor
TheinsanegamerN said:
AMD already regained the middle ground with the RX480, it was competitive and sold well.
No they didn't ... not even close. Pre 9xx series, AMD was not competing in the top two prce tiers. With 9xx, they lost the 3rd and with 10xx they lost the 4th.

First the performance comparison ...... copied from an old post so not current pricing

=============================
Of course the correct choice for ant individual will ultimately depend on what games you play so will speak in overall terms. What we know:

1. Which one - Not all cards are created equal but this is especially true with the RX 480. Techpowerup writes:

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/RX_480_Gaming_X/28.html
In my opinion, this is thus far the only RX 480 that looks like it can compete with the GTX 1060 and its custom designs.
2. Out of the Box performance - So let's compare two cards from the same (MSI) manufacturer and model line (Gaming X). From above link:
As a result, the card is 4% faster than the RX 480 reference and 6-7% slower than the [reference] GeForce GTX 980, GTX 1060, and Radeon R9 Fury, which all have roughly the same performance at 1080p.


3. AIB Cards - From the above, we see that the MSI RX 480 is 7% faster overall in TPUs 16 game test suite. From Below, the MSI 1060 Gaming X is 3% faster than the reference 1060 ... so we can can conclude that at the time of testing the MSI 1060 was 10% faster than the MSI 480 in the 16 game test suite

4. Overclocking - We see there that the MSI 480 overclocks 8.6% and the MSI 1060 overclocks 15.1%.. So when the 1060 (10% performance advantage) is overclocked, the relative difference would be:

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/RX_480_Gaming_X/26.html
https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_1060_Gaming_X/27.html

110% x (115.1 / 108.6) = 116.6% of the 480s speed or 16.6 % faster

As for difference between brands ... the various brands trade wins depending on generation and model line but the EVGA SC is one to avoid as, unlike the competition, they use a reference PCB and referece style PCB cooling.

5. Driver improvements - AMDs driver improvements have improved the performance of the 480 since originally tested. As we can see from the link here, TPU tested the results from the latest driver improvements and found an increase if 2.1% at 1080 p average across 21 games:

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Radeon_Crimson_ReLive_Drivers/6.html

Unfortunately, that resource provide no info on what improvements have resulted from newer nVidia drivers but suffice to say, those improvements have not erased that 10% gap outta the box (16.6% in both overclocked.

6. Cost - Last I looked (yesterday) the MSI 1060 6GB was about $15 more than the MSI 480 8GB on newegg. But there are other costs worth considering

7. Power - There is a significant difference in power usage between the two cards. One of the reasons for the MSI 480s performance,as stated in the review, is because it is able to use more power than many other 480s. That's 75 watts in typical gaming and 99 watts peak

The MSI 480 draws from 196 - 224 watts
The MSI 1060 draws from 121 - 125 watts

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/RX_480_Gaming_X/21.html

8. Power Costs - While this is something you normally wouldn't consider, when cards are very close in performance, it may be of significance to many users, especially those in Europe and especially in urban / suburban locales.

75 watts x 35 hours per week x 52.14 weeks per year x 3 years usage x $0.131 US average electric cost per kw-hr / (1000 watts per kw=hr x 85% efficiency) = $63.28

9. Case Cooling - The rule of thump for case fans in a relatively quiet system is one (1) case fan per 75 watts for power. So for comparable interior case temps, you might want to include the cost of an extra case fan.

10. Noise - The 480 is 3 dbA louder than the 1060

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/RX_480_Gaming_X/22.html
https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_1060_Gaming_X/23.html

=============================================

Now lets look at the sales..... from steam hardware survey

The GTX 1060 is the most popular card hitting steam servers.... representing 13.76 % of the steam market and up 0.87% in the last month.
The RX 480 sits in 28th place among cards hitting steam servers.... representing 0.66 % of the steam market and up 0.07% in the last month. The 58- adds 0.44% bring market share to 1.10% ... Combined, the 1060 ourtsells then by 12.51 to 1. That's 92.6% of the market in this price niche.

So not only is the 1060 outselling the 480 20.84 to one, the gap is widening. More new 1060s hit steam servers oin the last month than all 480s put together since it's release.

The 480, power issues aside, is not a bad card at all... it had some power issues .... it's 2nd place finish in this market niche is was not that far behind however, who remembers who won the silver medal in the Olympic... on;y the gold medal winner makes the Wheaties Box. So, no ... AMD has certainly not "regained" anything here. AMD, at this point in time, doesn't have a horse in the race from the 1060 level on up.

And price wise, I thnk we have to wait for the dust to clear on several fronts. 1) have to wait and see what prices are after the vendor price gouging phase is over where the focus is on taking advantage of those who must be the 1st on the block to have the new shiny thing. 2) It's no secret that nVidia has a large lot of pre-tariff priced 10xx series that it wants to sell before ramping up production on 20xx. And finally 3) let's wait till after January when warehoused stock on this side of the pond for both compoanies has been sold and there's a 30% on all goods imported into US.
Posted on Reply
#18
Casecutter
dmartin - Welcome... they can only attack the messenger when they despise what is written.

This dovetails the message I fronted in the could launch a new Polaris revision article. AMD has to be wise in the use of funds and resources they have to hold to a consorted capability/dexterity as to the best way to maintain market share, and build mind-share at the entry level... It is a solid strategy. Get costs down and work what you have while employ with the latest cost effective standards and fundamentals to the greater gaming population. All while promoting the value position of all the non-proprietary collaborations that AMD have long built on.

notb said:
Tell me why do you care about AMD "winning" so much? And why do you think I should care?
Ah competition!... because just like where we are in the CPU side... everyone was all doom and gloom AMD why do you even try with the crap FX line-up! Well that tide changed quickly. So you will be fine with a mid-range card offering descent 1440p performance though costs $400, or nothing more than "entry 1080p" for $250... perfectly acceptable? Because without AMD in the consumer Graphic card space that's what your going to get, and on the high-end enthusiast we are already living it.
Posted on Reply
#19
dwade
AMD is built on hopes and dreams.
They could do this and that. X Y and Z.
But the opposite usually happens because it’s AMD.
Posted on Reply
#20
dmartin
Hey thanks @Casecutter ;)
Posted on Reply
#21
efikkan
John Naylor said:

Now lets look at the sales..... from steam hardware survey

The GTX 1060 is the most popular card hitting steam servers.... representing 13.76 % of the steam market and up 0.87% in the last month.

The RX 480 sits in 28th place among cards hitting steam servers.... representing 0.66 % of the steam market and up 0.07% in the last month. The 58- adds 0.44% bring market share to 1.10% ... Combined, the 1060 ourtsells then by 12.51 to 1. That's 92.6% of the market in this price niche.

So not only is the 1060 outselling the 480 20.84 to one, the gap is widening. More new 1060s hit steam servers oin the last month than all 480s put together since it's release.
Yes, these are important observations.
Just a few years ago the Radeon R9 290/280 and R9 390/380 were very well represented in those surveys.

AMD talks a lot about the sub $300 market is the big thing; yet the high-end GTX 1080 Ti outnumbers RX 580 by 3.45× and RX 480 by 2.23×
Posted on Reply
#22
R-T-B
notb said:
@W1zzard why are we getting this?
Editorial. Being at least this one isn't political, I'm going to say it's just fine.
Posted on Reply
#23
dmartin
R-T-B said:
Editorial. Being at least this one isn't political, I'm going to say it's just fine.
Thanks.
Posted on Reply
#24
R-T-B
dmartin
And yes, I'm just starting out here, so thanks for the message. I'm sure I'll make some mistakes along the way, so constructive criticism is more than welcome.
Speaking from my experience in my limited time here, this is a great way to handle and treat critics. We all just want good writing in the end. Same team really, etc.
Posted on Reply
#25
the54thvoid
AMD supported mining well. Prices skyrocketed. That set a precedent. And as Nvidia has the fastest cards, they get to keep prices high.

Ta da!

The falling value of Vega (now under £500) is great for gamers but not so for the company. Also, to make money on the lower value parts requires larger volume sales. Nvidia on the other hand like to pump every last penny and dime from the consumer.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment