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Best Graphics Cards for Ryzen 9 5900X & 5950X Builds

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best graphics cards for ryzen 9 5900x 5950x
best graphics cards for ryzen 9 5900x 5950x

Purchasing the absolute best CPU for gaming that the consumer market has to offer, means purchasing either the Ryzen 9 5950X, or the Ryzen 9 5900X. Not only have benchmarks from multiple sources (Gamer’s Nexus, Techspot, Tom’s Hardware) proven the superiority of these CPUs in gaming performance, single-core performance, and multi-core performance, but they also display how these CPUs have accomplished the task while using far less energy – and at lower temperatures – than their competition. 

If you care little for price to performance ratios, or just need the extra multicore performance, then the Zen 3 Ryzen 9 options are an easy choice to make. But choosing the hardware to pair them with won’t be as simple a task; due to the plethora of available options that can all work well with these processors. For example, what appears to be the gold-standard for RAM kits, at least for testing their performance, is a frequency-latency combination of 3,200 MHz and a CAS of 14 cycles. However, now that the price for DDR4 RAM has dropped considerably, a RAM kit with a speed of 3,600 CL14, which sells for only $189.99 (Via Amazon) (2×8 – total 16 GB) – or an even more extreme, 3,800 MHz CL14 kit which can be found for as low $220 to $290 (2×8 – total 16 GB) – can enhance their performance even further. Then, would you go for an X570 flagship motherboard, or a B550? A Noctua NH-D15 air CPU cooler, or a Corsair H115i Elite Capellix AIO liquid cooler? A Sabrent Rocket 4+ NVMe SSD, or a Samsung 980 Pro?

This is what makes the current generation of hardware one of the best to invest in for an upgrade, or a brand-new PC, there are so many valid options to choose from. This is also the case for choosing a graphics card, as Nvidia’s superiority in the GPU market is in question after AMD “released” their new Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards. And though AMD has added extra incentive for to purchasing one of these GPUs, to be paired with a Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 Series processor (like Smart Access Memory), Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs still can’t be counted out. People have grown fond of Nvidia as a brand because their GPUs have proven to be reliable throughout several iterations; whereas AMD has faced multiple issues in the past, related to their graphics cards, including poor drivers and overheating units.

AMD vs Nvidia: Features & Technology

Nvidia GeForce

The GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs feature a new Ampere architecture: with 2nd generation ray tracing cores, 3rd generation tensor cores, as well as new Streaming Multiprocessors (SM); all accounting for double the throughput. Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) software is one of their top selling points, as it upscales lower resolution images in real time via the using of deep learning AI – allowing the GPU to achieve faster framerates at higher resolutions. Harnessing the power of AI-acceleration is not solely utilized for their DLSS feature, as Nvidia Studio and Nvidia Broadcast allow for livestreaming, voice chats, and video conference calls that are devoid of background noise, and allow you to switch the background of your video feed with the touch of a button. GeForce Experience is also a very convenient application that allows you to quickly update your drivers – as well as livestream and capture screenshots that you can enhance and customize via the use of Nvidia’s Ansel.

But what is arguably the most important feature that is included with Nvidia’s GeForce 30 Series GPUs – especially for competitive or professional gamers – is Nvidia Reflex. Aimed to drastically reduce render queues, mainly by utilizing direct communication between CPU and GPU, Nvidia has created a feature that brings overall system latency to a minimum. In fact, Nvidia has put significant effort into optimizing Reflex, working with third-party monitor manufacturers to produce displays that carry a hardware component named the Reflex Latency Analyzer.  This input-lag analyzer allows the monitor to display end-to-end system latency in real-time. Through these 360 Hz displays, Nvidia Reflex can reduce input lag by a staggering 66% when compared to a 144 Hz monitor using a GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics card. For professional e-Sports and competitive-gaming enthusiasts, one of these five available 1080p 360 Hz monitors, paired with a GeForce RTX 30 Series GPU, provides the most utility out of all available setup options. Even if the GPU benchmarks a few frames less than its competition, having less input-lag and the ability to monitor system latency in real time, provides far better value, in terms of practicality, than any other hardware combination one can purchase. 

AMD Radeon

AMD does still hold their own against Nvidia’s technological advancements, as certain key architectural elements allow their RDNA 2 GPUs to compete with the GeForce Ampere graphics cards, even on a high level. Firstly, the Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs make use of a 128 MB Level 3 Cache – called the Infinity Cache – which is based on those found in the Zen 2 and Zen 3 CPUs. This Infinity Cache allows for almost twice the memory bus bandwidth; despite a lower energy expenditure. Additionally, AMD’s new generation of Compute Units (CU) have redesigned data paths, pervasive fine-grain clock gating, and a new pipeline rebalancing.

Perhaps the most impressive, and most useful, of AMD’s new technologies, is the aforementioned Smart Access Memory. Built to provide synergy between both AMD CPU and GPU products (and as an additional incentive to those with a Zen 3 CPU to buy a RDNA 2 GPU) Smart Access Memory creates an expanded data channel by utilizing PCI Express lanes to power the CPU to access more VRAM; effectively removing any inherent GPU memory bottleneck. The increase in performance allowed by Smart Access Memory is quite considerable, as it can provide the edge for the RDNA 2 GPUs to slightly surpass Nvidia GeForce graphics cards which would otherwise hold a slight advantage against them in framerate output.

AMD also has a new set of features that, admittedly may not be as impressive as those offered by Nvidia, but are definitely nice to have. AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition is the equivalent of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, providing driver updates, single-click overclocking called “Rage Mode”, and performance reports in a convenient and easy-to-use interface. Next, we have AMD Radeon Chill, which automatically caps the framerate of any specific game depending on the monitor’s refresh rate; thus saving energy by limiting the GPU to process only the amount of framerate necessary to maximize the monitor’s capabilities. Another neat feature is AMD’s Integer Scaling, which is used for better capturing the visuals of retro games on modern displays. It basically scales one pixel to multiple pixels, so that the faded look of pixelated graphics on a high-resolution monitor will look clearer and more in-tune with the game’s inherent low-bit graphics.

To increase FPS, and lessen the strain to the GPU, AMD’s Radeon Boost works by lowering the resolution of frames during quick motion (frames that are difficult to notice), in turning giving the GPU the ability to generate faster framerate when the in-game character is in motion. Note, however, than AMD Radeon Boost currently only works for a handful of gaming titles. When paired with Radeon Boost, AMD’s second-generation Anti-Lag can lessen end-to-end input lag, similar to Nvidia Reflex. Still, the 31% reduction figure that is stated on AMD’s website is a result from tests run at a 4K resolution – and, funny enough, using an Intel i7-9700K CPU – so the results will not be nearly as impressive at 1080p. 

AMD vs Nvidia: Top GPU Comparisons

Now that we have a better idea of what each company is offering in terms of new technology and features, let’s compare each of their two best GPUs, and see how they fare against each other in specifications and in benchmarked framerates.

AMD RX 6800 XT vs Nvidia RTX 3080

Graphics CardRadeon RX 6800 XTGeForce RTX 3080
Processing Node7 nm FinFET TSMC8 nm Samsung
Transistor Count26.8 Billion28.3 Billion
Die Size520 mm²628 mm²
Memory Bandwidth512 GB/s760 GB/s
Pixel Rate288 GP/s164.2 GP/s
Texture Rate648 GT/s465.1 GT/s
TDP300 W320 W
Gaming 1080p Performance1Average: 197 FPS
1% Min: 151 FPS
Average: 186 FPS
1% Min: 141 FPS 
Gaming 1440p Performance1Average: 157 FPS
1% Min: 123 FPS
Average: 153 FPS
1% Min: 122 FPS
Gaming 2160p Performance1Average: 93 FPS
1% Min: 79 FPS
Average: 98 FPS
1% Min: 79 FPS

1 Based on an 18-game-average framerate, benchmarked by TechSpot.


AMD RX 6900 XT vs Nvidia RTX 3090

Graphics CardRadeon RX 6900 XTGeForce RTX 3090
Processing Node7 nm FinFET TSMC8 nm Samsung
Transistor Count26.8 Billion28.3 Billion
Die Size520 mm²628 mm²
Memory Bandwidth512 GB/s936.2 GB/s
Pixel Rate288 GP/s189.8 GP/s
Texture Rate720 GT/s556 GT/s
TDP300 W350 W
Gaming 1080p Performance2UnavailableAverage: 195 FPS
1% Min: 148 FPS 
Gaming 1440p Performance3Average: 182 FPSAverage: 171 FPS
Gaming 2160p Performance3Average: 116 FPS
Average: 113 FPS

2 Based on an 18-game-average framerate, benchmarked by TechSpot.
3 Based on a 10-game-average framerate, benchmarked by AMD.  


Comparing all four of the above GPUs, we can see that each has its advantages and disadvantages. Indeed, any of these graphic-card models can be used optimally for different types of 5900X and 5950X builds.

Best GPU for 5900X/5950X Competitive Gaming Builds

Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition

If you take competitive gaming seriously, nothing beats a GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics card paired with a 1080p 360 Hz monitor. Because the benchmarked framerate averages of the GeForce RTX 3090 and the GeForce RTX 3080 are so similar, we recommend pairing the latter with a Ryzen 9 5900X – which displayed an identical average framerate to the Ryzen 9 5950X ta this resolution. 

Best GPU for 5900X/5950X 1080p Gaming Builds

AMD RX 6800 XT

For 1080p gaming that isn’t as serious as the aforementioned example, the Radeon RX 6800 XT provides the highest framerate of all GPUs in the market – even surpassing the GeForce RTX 3090, despite costing less than half its price. For 1080p gaming, the best combination is the Ryzen 9 5900X with the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

Best GPU for 5900X/5950X 1440p Gaming Builds

AMD RX 6900 XT

Going a step above, and into the 1440p range, it appears that the Radeon RX 6900 XT is the most powerful GPU available; even surpassing the GeForce RTX 3090, while costing 50% less (if AMD’s benchmarks are to be trusted). Of course, the Radeon RX 6800 XT still holds better value for its price at 1440p, but if you are aiming for the highest possible performance, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is the way to go. In terms of processors, both Ryzen 9 CPUs have nearly identical single-core performance (benchmarked by Tom’s Hardware), so the Ryzen 9 5900X is the smarter choice.

Best GPU for 5900X/5950X 4K Gaming Builds

Nvidia RTX 3090 Founders Edition

For the highest gaming resolution, the GeForce RTX 3090 reigns supreme in framerate output – and holds a considerable advantage to its competition. That being said, the Radeon RX 6900 XT does seem promising, though chances are it will not outperform the GeForce RTX 3090 at 4K game processing. Do note, that the Radeon RX 6800 XT, once again, does have the better cost per frame ratio for this resolution as well.

Best GPU for 5900X/5950X Workstation Utility Builds

Nvidia RTX 3090 Founders Edition

Finally, for workstation builds that require high multi-core performance – or for gaming and streaming + content creation PCs – the additional cores and threads of the Ryzen 9 5950X will certainly pay for their extra cost in the long run. When it comes to graphics, the GeForce RTX 3090’s 8 GB of extra GDDR6X – and its 45% faster bandwidth compared to the Radeon RX 6900 XT – make it a more appealing option for dedicated workstation setups, even at its $1,500 price tag.

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