Which Is Better RX 590 or GTX 1070? [Ultimate Debate]

Not all of us have one billion dollars to spend on graphics cards. As gamers, the problem has only become more tedious as tariffs aren’t helping. Still, there are a few reliable graphics cards that you can buy at reasonable prices. When comparing the RX 590 vs. GTX 1070, which option provides the better gaming experience?

From an overall quality standpoint, the GeForce GTX 1070 is a much higher quality card. The GTX 1070 receives much higher FPS on games across the board. However, the RX 590 is a more budget-friendly card.

In the rest of this article, we will break down each area of comparison of the card for your consideration. This review will provide you information on what card you should buy based on the games you play.

A Quick Comparison: RX 590 vs. GTX 1070

AMD Radeon RX 590 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Cost  $280 $380
Base Clock 1469 MHz 1506 MHz
Memory Size 8 GB 8 GB
Memory Config DDR5 DDR5
VR Capable Yes Yes
Vulkan API Yes Yes
Multi-monitor Yes Yes
Benchmark Speed Rank 51 70

A Closer Look At The RX 590

The Radeon RX 590 arrived in 2018 as a budget-friendly graphics component to compete with NVIDIA’s GeForce lineup. The card undercut the GTX 1070 by nearly $50, sometimes costing as low as $215.

At the time of its release, it was a breath of fresh air for those seeking a competitive card. GPUCheck ran it on a benchmark Intel Core i7-8700K, where it averaged at about 80.7 FPS at 1080p. At the time, this was a reliable graphics tool that could work most games.

Today, 4K monitors have made the RX590 nearly obsolete. 4K Performance on this runs at about 30 FPS, which is not ideal for those who seek performance. Granted, the price point of this card states that this does not prioritize performance.

Is The RTX 590 Good For Gaming

There are many old games that the RTX 590 is known to handle. At the time, it was considered one of the more efficient cards available.  Battlefield 1 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are two such examples of older games working here.

These days, the RTX 590 can still run some of 2020’s games perfectly at 1080p. Anything more, and expect this graphics card to run into difficulty. Cyberpunk 2077 will not exceed 30 FPS.

These performance checks are on the benchmark CPU at 1080p resolution.

Above 60 FPS

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Just Cause 4
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Assasin’s Creed: Unity
  • F1 2019
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Above 30 FPS

  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Borderlands 3
  • Total War: Warhammer 2
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms
  • Control
  • Metro: Exodus

Many of these games will still run on 1440p, but you are more likely to experience lag spikes.

A Closer Look At The NVIDIA RTX 1070

While the AMD Radeon line of cards is impressive, they have always had tough challenges from NVIDIA graphics cards. However, AMD, in combination with Ryzen processors, is a great challenger on speed and performance.

As a frequent user of these kinds of cards, I can tell you about their quality. You can also expect that price to follow. For the gamer on a budget, NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards have consistently been out of reach on pricing.

The bonus of the NVIDIA RTX 1070 is the inclusion of their overclocking system. Their “boost clock” allows speeds up to 1683 MHz.This 1.4x performance boost compares to the GeForce GTX 970 on their website.

Is the NVIDIA RTX 1070 Still Good For Gaming Today?

Even some of the most advanced games, like Cyberpunk 2077, runs at speeds above 30 FPS. These speeds are far above the standard of those set by the RX 590.

A good reason behind that comes from the available boost feature. This feature makes it comparable with some of the more advanced cards, but the newest NVIDIA cards heavily outperform the old ones.

Games Above 60 FPS

  • Total War: Warhammer 2
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Division 2
  • Just Cause 4

At 1440p, you will have to go back several years to Crysis 3 to get 60 FPS or more. Shadow of the Tomb raider also plays just about at this level.

Games Above 30 FPS

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Control
  • Borderlands 3
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

If you are willing to take the lower frame rates, the NVIDIA RTX 1070 will work with many games made today.

What Causes The Staggering Speed Difference Between The RX 590 and the RTX 1070?

Based on what we’ve seen thus far, you can expect to pay anywhere from an additional $50 to $100 for the NVIDIA RTX 1070. This extra cost comes with NVIDIA’s technical advantages.

If you have ever used similar cards, you will notice that AMD focuses a bit more on short-term cost savings. As a result, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX’s power supply requirements are far lower than comparable AMD Raedon models.

Regardless, NVIDIA cards still have access to a boost clock feature, increasing the MHz to heavy levels. The boost allows for a much higher average frame rate.

This higher speed also comes from NVIDIA NVENC codes, resulting in a higher bitrate encoding. This higher encoding rate means that they can process video data at staggering speeds, resulting in fantastic gaming performance.

Combine that with CUDA, which provides ample decoding speeds for video editors, and they have also captured much of the streaming and gaming YouTube market.

Is AMD Worth It?

You may gather that from this discussion that an AMD graphics card isn’t worth it. If you think this gives you a reason to buy NVIDIA cards all of the time, here’s our bubble bursting fact.

Where AMD loses on the graphics card front, it wins heavily on the processor front. AMD’s CPU game held the fastest single-thread performance for several years. The AMD Ryzer 7, 9, and 5 have turbo speeds above 4 GHz.

Only recently has Intel’s release of the i9-11900K and i7-11700K accomplished overcoming this speed. Apple has also taken slot number three at their M1 8 Core 3200 MHz CPU.

Single thread processing refers to the speed at which a computer runs a single command. It means you can feasibly run more demanding programs. Video games are the most challenging kind of program.

Should I Upgrade From The RX 590 To The RTX 1070?

If you own one of the two cards, you may think of switching between the two. But given how close the two cards still are, it isn’t recommended to replace the RX 590 with the RTX 1070.

The base megahertz (MHz) of the two are within 40 units of each other. You won’t receive a significant performance boost when switching between these cards.

The only reason you should target this card is if you own a far older GPU. Do not consider one a significant upgrade from the other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Future Proof Your Gaming PC’s Graphics Cards?

Future-proofing a gaming PC is what you do when you attempt to predict what hardware you are buying based on future performance potential. You may choose to buy one graphics card over another because you believe that components within that will be the future of technology.

For example, some people believe that NVIDIA’s faster bit encoding will last well into the future. However, as we’ve seen with the release of ray tracing and other features, it doesn’t take much to make things obsolete. Instead of focusing on future-proofing, think about the current best performance features.

What Does MHz Mean For Graphics Cards?

MHz, otherwise called megahertz, is the amount of processing cycles per second in your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). When people refer to the clock speeds of their cards, they are referring to this.

With a fast GPU, gamers see improved performance, video editors can do their jobs quickly, and the computer runs better overall.

When Will Graphics Card Prices Drop?

With the production of new GPUs, older GPUs will reduce in price over the next several years. Otherwise, we will have to wait to escape what is causing these increases.  GPU prices are increasing for two significant reasons.

First, during the Trump Administration, tariffs placed on Chinese imports incentivized manufacturers to spread that cost to the consumer. This act, followed by the events of COVID-19, caused significant shortfalls in production.

The combination of features encourages scalpers to take advantage of the situation. As a result, high-end graphics cards sell for upwards of $3000.

Final Thoughts – Which Card Is Best?

When running all of the statistics together, it’s clear that the NVIDIA RTX 1070 has superior performance. However, comparing prices with performance doesn’t make that difference too staggering. In a gaming performance comparison, the two are reasonably similar.

NVIDIA has fewer power requirements and has encoding and decoding that are overall faster and sustainable. In contrast, there are plenty of games that both graphics cards can handle. If you can, pick the card that has the most growth potential.  Otherwise, you can choose based on what games you prefer.

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