The performance of a variable speed wind turbine using a direct-drive permanent-magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) as well as a PMSG with single stage planetary gearbox is compared for two grades of electric steel applied for the generator stator core lamination. A ring type, radial flux PMSG is modeled. For a fixed mechanical power input, the geometry of the generator is optimized for each turbine systems and two materials to maximize the annual efficiency of the generator. The annual efficiency is calculated based on the power curve of the generator and the probability density function of the wind speed. This function is approximated by the Weibull distribution function for a site with average wind speed of 7 m/s. For both generator systems, the annual efficiency of two optimized generators using different steel grades differs around 1%. The difference depends on a mass of active material of the generator.