Earlier this week we saw the first photos published of an AMD Radeon RX Vega consumer graphics card (reference model) in the flesh. The respected source was Kyle Bennett, the editor in chief at HardOCP. Now Mr Bennett has delivered, as promised, the full video recorded comparison on two PC systems, identical apart from their GPUs and displays.
HardOCP sought to make its blind test as scientifically design as is possible with such a test, which is after all based upon subjectivity. To start with Bennett personally wiped, checked, re-instated and verified the two PC systems. They were based on AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPUs with 16GB of 2666MHz RAM. Their identical SSDs had a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit.
For the monitors, an ASUS MX34V FreeSync display ($720) and an ASUS PG348 G-Sync display ($1300) was chosen for the respective AMD and Nvidia systems. Both are 100MHz panels. To finish off the test setup the systems were "fully shrouded and disguised so as to not be able to tell which system was which," that includes monitor markings, and any software Windows/GUI indicators.
Now onto the panel of 'judges', Bennett summoned a number of eSports professionals, one formerly of id Software, gaming journalists, and "a few 'kids' that I know are all hardcore computer gamers". All subjects are active gamers who regularly splash lots of cash on PC hardware.
During the testing all the subjects got to play DOOM (Vulkan) at 3440×1440 on the first system (Nvidia) until they felt comfortable enough to have gauged its performance, then they tested the same game on the second system (AMD) and later got to try both systems again. Bennett explained that "I chose to go with DOOM because I knew this was a title that all our game testers would be comfortable with and the fact that I invited primarily FPS players." Unfortunately time was against the plan to test further games (3 in total were lined up) with the 10 judges.
At the end of the test day at HardOCP HQ in Dallas, six of the testers thought the systems were basically equal. One person judged the Nvidia system to be superior and three thought the AMD system was the best. Interestingly, of those whom preferred the AMD RX Vega system, they commonly talked about objects on screen being easier to track and the system being 'snappier'.