Wednesday, June 30th 2021

Data is Beautiful: 10 Years of AMD and NVIDIA GPU Innovation Visualized

Using our graphics card database, which is managed by our very own T4CFantasy, reddit user u/Vito_ponfe_Andariel created some basic charts mapping out the data points from our expansive, industry-leading GPU database. In these charts, the user compares technological innovation for both AMD and NVIDIA's GPUs in the last ten years, plotting out the performance evolution of the "best available GPU" per year in terms of performance, performance per dollar (using the database's launch price metric), energy consumption, performance per transistor, and a whole lot of other data correlation sets.

It's interesting to note technological changes in these charts and how they relate to the overall values. For example, if you look at the performance per transistor graph, you'll notice that performance per transistor has actually declined roughly 20% with the transition from NVIDIA's Pascal (GTX 1080 Ti) to the Turing (RTX 20-series) architecture. At the same time, AMD's performance per transistor exploded around 40% from Vega 64 to the RX 5700 XT graphics card. This happens, in part, due to the introduction of raytracing-specific hardware on NVIDIA's Turing, which takes up transistor counts without aiding in general shading performance - while AMD benefited from a new architecture in RDNA as well as the process transition from 14 nm to 7 nm. We see this declining performance behavior again with AMD's introduction of the RX 6800 XT from AMD, which loses some 40% in this performance per transistor metric - likely due to the introduction of RT cores and other architectural changes. There are of course other variables to the equation, but it is nonetheless interesting to note. Look after the break for the rest of the charts.
Source: @ Reddit, u/Vito_ponfe_Andariel
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20 Comments on Data is Beautiful: 10 Years of AMD and NVIDIA GPU Innovation Visualized

#1
birdie
Nice "progress" we have here:

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#2
rutra80
Any price relation for the latest products is pretty much unrelated to reality.
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#3
Vya Domus
Power per area is kind of a bizarre metric because it doesn't tell you anything. What if one chip has twice the power per area but 2.5X the performance compared to another ?
Posted on Reply
#4
dir_d
rutra80Any price relation for the latest products is pretty much unrelated to reality.
Think he might be using MSRP
Posted on Reply
#5
ExcuseMeWtf
GCN clearly was a great architecture for its time.
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#6
Tigger
I'm the only one
Interesting indeed. How things have changed in ten years.
We need a profit per card chart, bet that one goes up.
Posted on Reply
#7
Nordic
This is really cool. Thank you for making these Vito.
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#8
ppn
Take into account that 3080 was used instead of the 3080 TI. so performance per transistors should be worse. Or the opposite could be true, 3080 has 16,6% of its transistos disabled, so it's actually much better than it looks. When they step into 5nm territory the benefit would be insane like +50% clock speed, and +200% transistor count.
Posted on Reply
#9
Steevo
It would be interesting to graph when Raja started vs learn he left.
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#10
xorbe
birdieNice "progress" we have here
This is because they throw transistors at the problem in search of more performance, it gets harder and harder. Bigger caches, deeper queues, wider paths, another pipe stage ... +3% each, etc.
Posted on Reply
#11
mouacyk
xorbeThis is because they throw transistors at the problem in search of more performance, it gets harder and harder. Bigger caches, deeper queues, wider paths, another pipe stage ... +3% each, etc.
Great observation, because the addition of transistors do not add linear performance due to also required additional complexity that chips away that potential linear performance increase. For example, Ampere has doubled its theoretical FP but in practice, the "doubling" of shader cores are only beneficial in certain specific scenarios, so possible 0% gain. If the charts are any indicator, it actually shows that the trend is inverse linear... this is a truth that is as hard to swallow as gravity.
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#12
mechtech
“AMD's performance per transistor exploded around 40% from Vega 64 to the RX 5700 XT graphics card. This happens, in part, due to the introduction of raytracing-specific hardware on NVIDIA's Turing, which takes up transistor counts without aiding in general shading performance - while AMD benefited from a new architecture in RDNA as well as the process transition from 14 nm to 7 nm.”

Missed clock speeds and the shader to rop ratio compared to Polaris . Probably the biggest thing.
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#13
Luminescent
Price graphs use MSRP, MSRP is and will be irrelevant for many years to come, i can understand Nvidia and Amd, if a phone costs 1000$ then why can't a gpu costs 2000-3000$, about time they make Apple like money, price fixing until they get caught, if ever.
They just need people to get used to this, in time we will, Intel won't save us, they will join the party :)
Posted on Reply
#14
ppn
There are good budget phones in the $300 area, so the problem is for the crypto to die out. The beefy gpu 3090 that can charge skyhigh, but there is also the 60-class card. So not to exaggerate too much.
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#15
HisDivineOrder
What we need is for AMD and nvidia to compete against one another in a market where the loser actually suffers sales losses and is forced to drop prices to maintain their competitive edge. Right now, they could produce turds and they'll sell out.

And neither company is producing turds, mind you, but all that does is drive up the price of both products as both are out of stock, increasing desperation to get one.
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#16
lexluthermiester
RaevenlordLook after the break for the rest of the charts.
Those are really fascinating! It'll be interesting to see Intel appear on these charts in a few years.
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#17
DeathtoGnomes
The back and forth is amazing to see in these charts, thanks for putting this together.
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#18
Xaled
Thank you for the great effort. However results, especially from last generations, are totally incorrect. Using the fake prices provided by manufacturers, so-called MSRP is not different from using a murders or a theifs testimony as a reliable eveindce in a court.
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#19
JAB Creations
We need a chart with video RAM and usability length. In ten years when you have two people, one with a 3080 with only 12GB of RAM and the other person with a 6800 with 16GB of RAM I bet all the gold in the world that the extra 4GB of video RAM is going to make that second person very happy they didn't lame out and buy a product by an anti-consumer corporation.
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#20
basco
5870\50 was a very good product and 7970 too but this chart does not tell me that
Posted on Reply
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