- ASRock Z370 KILLER SLI
- Intel Core i3-8350K overclocked to 4.8 GHz
- 16GB Avexir 3200 MHz C16 DDR4
- Seasonic FOCUS 850W Platinum Power supply
- Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
- AMD Driver Version: 17.12.2
- NVIDIA Driver Version: 388.71
Overclocking the cards
Overclocking results vary from chip to chip, and it would seem that I did not win the silicon lottery with my RX 560, nor its memory. The GTX 1050, on the other hand was able to push its core further and memory too. I would like to note that the RX 560 was able to achieve higher frequencies on both the core and memory in some workloads, not others. Similar scenario with the GTX 1050. But I opted to find the highest clock speed that is stable in all benchmarks and games. In addition, no voltage adjustment was used – these are all at stock voltage on both cards.
- Overclock for RX 560: 1400 MHz core, 7.6 Gbps memory – 9.8% overclock on core, 8.5% overclock on memory.
- Overclock for GTX 1050: 1934 MHz core, 7.8 Gbps memory – 14.1% overclock on core, 11.4% overclock on memory.
In this war of the Budget graphics cards, we see the GeForce GTX 1050 routinely outperforming its Red Team competition from the Radeon RX 560 2GB. In many of the games I tested even the overclocked RX 560 cannot match the stock speed GTX 1050. RX 560 does manage to claw some victories from the Green team, however. In the DX12-based VRMark Cyan Room, the RX 560 manages to completely outclass the GTX 1050, not even the 1.9 GHz overclocked GTX 1050 can match the score of the stock Radeon. This engine seems to heavily favour the GCN architecture powering the RX 560. In addition, 3Dmark’s DX12 based Timespy benchmark, the two cards score very closely; almost tying each other in both stock and overclocked runs. It seems that DX12 allows the RX 560 to stretch its legs a bit.
Another odd result is the RX 560 in Wolfenstein 2 The New Colossus. This game is based on the Vulkan renderer and typically runs exceptionally well on GCN based cards. However, in my testing, the GTX 1050 routinely outperformed the RX 560 in the scene I was testing. I verified this over and over – the 560’s run was noticably stuttering while the GeForce card was a lot smoother. It is likely both cards were running out of Video memory for this game, even on modest settings. NVIDIA’s card seems to handle running out of memory much more gracefully than AMD’s.
Overall, the GTX 1050 outperforms the Radeon RX 560 2GB card, sometimes by a very large margin. One could argue that the 560 2GB is indeed cheaper than the GTX 1050, and while this is technically true, it is only by $10 from both cards’ MSRPs. Based on the performance shown here today, those $10 dollars bring a significantly better gaming experience. Though the keen gamer would be oftentimes better served by saving up a little more and purchasing either the GTX 1050 Ti, or saving a little more and getting the considerably quicker RX 570 4GB (if you can find it at MSRP). While 4GB variants of the 560 exist, it would highly depend on the price, as both the GTX 1050 and RX 560 pricing overlap quite a lot, but a 4GB 560 might be favourable to the 2GB 1050, despite the lower GPU performance.
So to conclude, the Green Team wins the Budget card showdown in the games and benchmarks I tested. Pascal’s higher clock speeds definitely give it the edge, but as games shift over to next-generation engines making proper use of DX12 and Vulkan, maybe GCN will have the last laugh, who knows? But if you’re gaming today and looking at spending around a hundred dollars on video card and absolutely can’t spend more than $109, the GTX 1050 is the card you should be looking at.