GPU App Showdown: AMD vs NVIDIA

Comparing The Two & Final Thoughts


Stacking AMD and Nvidia’s software offerings up against each other reveals that they are broadly more similar than dissimilar. They both offer virtually identical game setting optimisation options that scan your system’s hardware and uses information from a database to calculate the best settings for your installed games. Both of them offer hardware level gameplay capture: something we’ve traditionally seen reserved for expensive external PVR devices such as those made by Hauppage. Of course, I think it is fair to say that Nvidia’s gameplay capture software ShadowPlay has more sophisticated options for a number of reasons. ShadowPlay allows you to record longer durations of gameplay than AMD’s Game DVR, you can record at a greater range of resolutions and aspect ratios and the software is less buggy and works with more games due to the fact the software has been out for longer and more extensively bug-fixed. Finally, AMD and Nvidia’s software both share driver updater utilities where you can automatically detect your current driver, whether there is a newer one available and then you can download and install it all from within the software (although the driver installation wizards will launch outside it).

Those three things are the main similarities the software packages share, and they are the core features of both pieces of software. After that we see some slight differences emerge between the two when looking at other additional features. AMD’s Gaming Evolved client is more Steam-Like in that it has a game store where you can browse and download free-to-play games. There’s also an additional store where you can spend Raptr reward points on things like games, in-game content, DLC, AMD hardware and sweepstakes entries. Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software doesn’t offer any form of store where you can download games or any reward system for gamers that play games through the software like Raptr does. Nvidia’s GeForce Experience also doesn’t feature any community interaction mechanisms like forums, video sharing, discussion boards and chatrooms – AMD’s Gaming Evolved app offers this. I think this is to be expected since Nvidia’s GeForce Experience is built from the ground-up as a complementary graphics card software whereas AMD’s Gaming Evolved app is complementary graphics card software built onto the existing Raptr software base which is in itself a social media platform for gamers. Of course Nvidia snags some unique features that AMD doesn’t have. Within GeForce experience Nvidia offers its GameStream technology where you can stream your PC games directly to an Nvidia Shield 1 or 2 device. AMD offers no such technology within the Gaming Evolved App and I have not heard of any plans for AMD to announce such a feature, but then again AMD has no Shield-equivalent so it is understandable. Finally, Nvidia offers nifty LED tweaking options for supported graphics cards whereas AMD cannot offer such a thing since none of its stock designs feature LEDs other than the R9 295X2.

Final Thoughts

Who is the winner of our showdown: AMD’s Gaming Evolved (Powered by Raptr) or Nvidia’s GeForce Experience? Well, I hate to be boring and sit on the fence: but I think that’s what I am going to do here. It is fair to say that both sets of software offer the same core features and do them equally as well. Aside from those core features the additional features are subjective, some people may prefer the Steam-like social media aspect of AMD’s Gaming Evolved App as well as the reward system that gives you freebies just for playing games. Or others may prefer the simplicity and hardware focus of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience. I think Nvidia’s GeForce Experience might appeal more to the gamer who is already fed up of needing an Origin, Steam and UPlay account, let alone another account for another service that just complicates your online presence. However, you also don’t have to sign up to Raptr to use AMD’s Gaming Evolved service so it is by no means a bad thing. Of course at the end of all this its worth pointing out that absolutely no-one is going to pick their graphics card based on some free software that is bundled with it. However, if you’re already seriously torn between whether to get a GTX 770 or R9 280X for example, and they both come with good game bundles, then something like this could just be the deciding factor.

Have you used AMD’s Gaming Evolved (Powered by Raptr) App? Or Nvidia’s GeForce Experience? Let us know what you think of them!

Thank you to all our partners who provided the hardware and software that made this software comparison possible.

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Ryan Martin

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