The quality of graphics card drivers has long been a point of contention for AMD and Nvidia fans. For a long time, Nvidia was cranking out GPU drivers at a rate that AMD could only dream of, meeting each and every AAA release with a dedicated driver that would optimise performance. A few years ago though, AMD caught up, both in terms of regularity and feature parity, and the two GPU giants are neck and neck once more.
But out of Nvidia and AMD, which produces the best and the most stable graphics drivers? A new study from QA Consultants has attempted to answer this once and for all. After studying dozens of GPUs across hundreds of unique tests, QA Consultants have concluded that AMD drivers are more stable than Nvidia’s GeForce drivers.
A grand total of six AMD and six Nvidia graphics cards were subjected to 12 days of 24-hour stress testing using CRASH in order to identify their reliability. Each test spans four hours and covers resolution changes, rendering, display orientation changes and more, totaling 288 hours of testing for each GPU and a massive 432 tests each for AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
The final results indicated an average success rate of 93% for AMD GPUs (401 out of 432 tests) and 82% for Nvidia GPUs (356 out of 432 tests). AMD had a failure rate of 7% while Nvidia was more than twice as unreliable with an 18% failure rate.
The graphics cards tested were as follows:
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
- AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
- AMD Radeon RX 560
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100
- AMD Driver: Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.5.1 / Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q2
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
- Nvidia Quadro P5000
- Nvidia Quadro P4000
- Nvidia Quadro P600
- Nvidia Driver: GeForce Game Ready Driver 397.64 / Quadro Desktop 391.58
Regardless of gaming performance then, the tests performed by QA Consultants indicate that AMD GPU drivers are more reliable than Nvidia GPU drivers. “In our testing, both AMD gaming and workstation GPUs performed better than the comparable NVIDIA products,” explains QA Consultants. “Based on our testing of the aforementioned 12 GPUs, we believe that AMD has the most stable graphics driver in the industry.”
Kudos to AMD then, although there is one major caveat to these results. QA Consultants are exactly what they sound like - consultants. They’ve been paid to perform these tests and with just a little digging through the 125 pages of results, we get our answer. “In May 2018, AMD commission QA Consultants to independently evaluate the stability of several of the latest graphics drivers from both AMD and NVIDIA.”
These were independent tests then, but they were paid for by AMD. It shouldn’t have any bearing on these results and QA Consultants have evidently been extremely thorough, although it does colour the results somewhat. These are tests on GPUs and hardware/software configurations that AMD hoped would favour Team Red. If they hadn’t, we very much doubt these results would’ve been made public knowledge.
You can read the full summer of QA Consultant’s testing here.