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AMD, Nvidia GPU Battle Heats Up

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The first battles between AMD’s Polaris and Nvidia’s Pascal are now being waged, but it’s too early to tell who will win the war of the new graphics processors.

“I’ve done testing but it’s a little goofy…[because] we are not in a position to compare the fastest with the fastest,” said Dean McCarron, principal of Mercury Research, a veteran tracker of GPUs.

The first Polaris product out is the Radeon RX480, but AMD positions it as a midrange graphics card. Its performance is “right on top of the Nvidia GTX 970 and a touch behind its GTX 1060 — but they are all very close in game frame rates,” said McCarron who uses his own suite of test games in a class of benchmarks that he says is somewhat subjective.

So far, AMD has not said when it will ship a high-end Polaris card for gamers that would be a head-to-head competitor for Nvidia’s GTX 1080. “But we are coming up on holiday season, so presumably it’s a good time for new products,” he said.

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