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GPU Efficiency Over The Years: A Massive Review Of Graphics Processing

Graphics processing has made leaps and bounds over the past 3 decades. We’ve gone from slow 2D processing to massive 3D environments…on a phone. Today’s top GPUs are so powerful that it’s hard to imagine where they’ll go next, aside from better performance at higher resolutions.

Techspot reviewed this evolution, focusing on the last 25 years of GPU development and performance improvements. Graphics cards have made huge headway, specifically in two areas: die density and power usage. Videocards from the mid-90s often drew less than 100W, whereas today top-tier cards can require 500W or more. And that’s assuming just a single unit.

The coolest aspect of the review was the difference in focus for AMD and NVIDIAs development of their GPUs. The chart below shows a striking difference between the two.

Created by Techspot

AMD is far heavier on the top left and NVIDIA on the right. NVIDIA has owned top-performance cards for awhile now, and their power draws have been much heavier to meet those performance needs. Even future NVIDIA GPUs seem to fit this claim. By contrast, AMD has had almost equal die density on less power, highlighting a focus on efficiency rather than power.

CoolNation staff has tracked (and lived) the PC gaming life for the last 30 years, and even anecdotally this is true. AMD may not have held the crown for top performance, but this review shows they own the efficiency market. Which is huge for plenty of reasons, especially as the company continues through it’s current renaissance in both the CPU and GPU spaces. We recommend reading the whole piece for more details.

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