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Reviews for AMD's Latest Graphics Chips Show That Nvidia's Lead Remains Strong

The specs that AMD Inc. (AMD) disclosed two weeks ago for the first PC GPUs based on its new Vega architecture suggested that the chips would only put a minor dent into Nvidia Corp.'s (NVDA) dominance of the high-end gaming GPU space, where a big portion of the PC GPU market's gross margin dollars are earned. The first reviews of the chips, released on Monday, August 14 in tandem with the start of shipments, bode even better for Nvidia's ability to keep AMD at bay.

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However, the less powerful of AMD's new chips could get an indirect boost from Ethereum miners. Not because the chip is great for mining, but because the price hikes seen for Nvidia's rival GPU due to miner demand make AMD's offering more compelling for gamers.

In a 15-game test, PC Gamer found that AMD's RX Vega 64 flagship gaming GPU slightly underperformed Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, which is based on the Pascal architecture launched in 2016 and like the Vega 64 carries a $499 graphics card MSRP. For 4K-resolution (3840x2160) games, the GTX 1080 turned in an average score of 47.3 frames per...