Workstation Battle: AMD Radeon Navi vs. NVIDIA GeForce SUPER

AMD Radeon Navi and NVIDIA GeForce SUPER
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by Rob Williams on August 4, 2019 in Graphics & Displays

We’ve taken a look at AMD’s latest Radeons and NVIDIA’s latest GeForces in gaming, so it’s time to turn our attention to creators. We’re pitting the RX 5700 series against NVIDIA’s RTX SUPER, with a spattering of other models added in for a fuller look at what the proviz performance picture looks like today.

Encoding: Adobe Premiere Pro, MAGIX Vegas & Agisoft Metashape

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 - Techgage Workstation GPU Test
Adobe Premiere Pro AVC Performance - 8K RED Encode (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)
Adobe Premiere Pro AVC Performance - YouTube Encode (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)

We’ve covered a few times before that our Adobe Premiere Pro tests will improve in time, but other test work has taken precedence (a DaVinci Resolve test will come before an updated PP test). For now, all we have are a couple of basic encode tests, which don’t show amazing scaling, but show scaling nonetheless.

8K is a meaty resolution, but with simple transcodes, it’s not incredibly demanding (at least, not our downloaded RED footage). When a real project is encoded, things change up a fair bit, but ultimately, the top-end of the stack performs similarly, with the Radeon VII keeping up to the NVIDIA SUPERs.

The picture for Navi in both tests isn’t the greatest, but, we are seeing big improvements over the Polaris-based RX 590. Will the same continue into Vegas? Well, it could, if it worked. Let’s discuss:

MAGIX Vegas Pro 16

MAGIX Vegas Pro 16 - Median FX Filter Test
MAGIX Vegas Pro 16 - AVC (H264) GPU Encode Performance (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)
MAGIX Vegas Pro 16 - HEVC (H265) GPU Encode Performance (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)
MAGIX Vegas Pro 16 - LUT FX GPU Encode Performance (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)
MAGIX Vegas Pro 16 - Median FX GPU Encode Performance (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)

Vegas is another piece of software that we’ve revolved an entire performance piece around, but it’s admittedly one of our least-favorite tools to test, due to its unpredictable performance scaling and issues on NVIDIA hardware.

Long story short, NVIDIA users still need to add a profile for Vegas to their NVIDIA Control Panel in order to unlock full acceleration – though “full” might not be accurate, since it still feels like something is broken in the optimization chain. Thanks to all of this, AMD’s GPUs win this battle, unless we’re talking Navi.

Since our RX 5700 series cards worked for GPU acceleration in Adobe Premiere Pro, it’s unfortunate to see the cards not work in Vegas. Based on the fact that the cards will not work at all (an error is spawned as soon as encoding is started). We’d guess that this is a fix MAGIX needs to make on its end, and could relate to AMD’s new Radeon Media Engine. We’ll be monitoring the situation, especially as VP17’s launch is in our near-future.

Agisoft Metashape

Agisoft Metashape
Agisoft Metashape - Depths Maps Generation Time (AMD Navi vs NVIDIA SUPER)

Metashape is a brand-new addition to our GPU test suite, helping us take care of photogrammetry performance. That said, Metashape is not the only such tool out there, and we’re currently looking to expand our testing in the nearish future with Reality Capture. We’ve been testing with Metashape for a while as a CPU benchmark, but recent versions have added some GPU support, so we’re overdue on testing it.

For our GPU test, we just need to run the first two phases of the entire process. The first is to align and match photos, a process which happens so quickly, it’s hard to generate comparative data for it. The second phase, and its “Depth Maps Generation” is what we’re after for our GPU testing, as the CPU is left alone during the process.

We’re never sure what to expect from scaling when we test new software, but we’re happy to see pretty fair scaling overall here, with the TITAN RTX earning its lead, and performance scaling fairly naturally down the list. That said, AMD’s Navi cards are clearly suffering here, with the new RX 5700 XT failing to beat out the older RX 590. We’re not sure what will improve performance for Navi here, but we’ll test again when either a new Metashape build comes out, or we find out from AMD that a new driver improves the performance.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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