Best Gaming Graphics Cards

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 3, 2019
Regular graphics cards just don't have much of the computing power that is needed for gamers as well as for engineers and video editors. Thus, high-end graphics cards for gaming are your best bet when it comes to performance and multitasking. With an enormous number of different gaming GPU models available, one should consider a lot of aspects to choose the right one. Hence, we encourage you to take a look at our reviews and decide which one suits you best. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Chipset
Video Memory
Base Clock Rate
Video Ouputs
Bus Interface / Connectors
DirectX / OpenGL Support
Max Supported Resolution
Recommended PSU Power
Cooling System
Warranty
 
PROS

This RTX card is equipped with an asynchronous fan control system that allows setting the fan speed individually. On top of that, the 9 temperature control sensors ensure that the device will not overheat during overclocking.

CONS

Quite power demanding (requires a power supply with at least 650W).

OUR VERDICT

RTX 2080 XC Gaming is a true pinnacle of high-end gaming, equipped with the newest NVIDIA Turing™ graphics chip it utilizes ray tracing technology that can simulate various video effects on the fly without any performance loss. Powerful and quick, it is the best product to future-proof your PC for years to come.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce RTX 2080

Video Memory

8 GB GDDR6

Base Clock Rate

1515 MHz / 1800 MHz

Video Ouputs

1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (16 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

650 W

Cooling System

Renewed plate-punched design, 2 hydraulic dynamic bearing fans, Redesigned cooling with L-shaped contact fins, EVGA iCX2 Technology (9 additional temp sensors), Asynchronous fan control, All-metal backplate, EVGA Precision X1 software

Warranty

3 years

PROS

A unique compound architecture of the copper tubes topped with the top-notch design of the cooling system guarantees an even and fast heat dissipation from the main GPU unit. Moreover, the premium thermal compound also lowers the working load temperature of all components.

CONS

The base clock rate is a bit underwhelming for the price.

OUR VERDICT

This powerful model from MSI is an ideal solution for a new PC build. It will allow gamers to play the newest game titles in 1080p and 4K resolutions without any FPS drops or performance loss. Affordable and reliable, it is a great solution for mid-tier computer builds.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce RTX 2060

Video Memory

6 GB GDDR6

Base Clock Rate

1365 MHz / 1710 MHz

Video Ouputs

1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (8 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

500 W

Cooling System

Dual fan thermal design, TORX™ 2.0 Fans, AirflowControl technology, Premium thermal compound, Solid backplate

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The EVGA Precision X1 software allows overclocking the already great performance of the card to new levels. To add more, the application UI is user-friendly so you will be able to speed up the graphics core with just a few clicks of the mouse on your desktop.

CONS

This model has only 3 video outputs so the number of connected monitors is limited.

OUR VERDICT

This budget-friendly model will be a great pick for you, in case you are looking for an upgrade from a more dated graphics card. Additionally, thanks to its low-profile design it will fit even the smallest PC towers with ease. While the card is quite great for overclocking, its cooling system is quite effective in prolonging the service life of the card by effectively dissipating the heat.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce RTX 1660 Ti

Video Memory

6 GB GDDR6

Base Clock Rate

1500 MHz / 1845 MHz

Video Ouputs

1 x DL-DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (16 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

500 W

Cooling System

Hydraulic dynamic bearing fan, EVGA Precision X1 software

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The cooling fans of this product feature the special Quick Connect system that allows mounting them to the motherboard using only one screw. No more expensive computer service cleaning - with this system you can easily detach them for manual cleaning of the hardware on your own.

CONS

Doesn't support 8K resolution (the maximum is 5120 x 2880).

OUR VERDICT

This Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 graphics card is among the most silent, yet most powerful models available on the market today. The great specifications make it a great competitor to more expensive models while providing users with top-notch performance at the same time. An ideal model for budget PC builds.

detailed parameters
Chipset

Radeon™ RX 580

Video Memory

8 GB GDDR5

Base Clock Rate

1366 MHz / 1506 MHz

Video Ouputs

1 x DL-DVI, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (8 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

5120 x 2880

Recommended PSU Power

500 W

Cooling System

Dual-X cooling system, Quick Connect system, Intelligent fan control III Technology

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The TORX™ fans of this model feature special dispersion blades - they are angled in a way that allows them to increase the flow of cool air to the radiators of the GPU. On top of that, the Zero Frozr technology lowers the power consumption during lower loads on the graphics card.

CONS

The fans tend to get noisy at overclocking speeds.

OUR VERDICT

By opting for this powerful RTX model from MSI you are getting a complete package of the newest ray tracing technology at only a fraction of a price of a premium product. Great for mid-tier PC builds, it is a true find for all aspiring gaming streamers and future professional gamers.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce RTX 2070

Video Memory

8 GB GDDR6

Base Clock Rate

1410 MHz / 1740 MHz

Video Ouputs

1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (14 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

550 W

Cooling System

TORX™ 2.0 fans, Zero Frozr™ technology, AirflowControl technology, Solid backplate

Warranty

3 years

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC GAMING

This Is What Winning Looks Like

The GeForce RTX 2080 gaming GPU from EVGA has quite a few things to offer compared to other products of the previous generation of graphics cards.

First of all, it has unmatched clock speed rates of 1515 MHz that can be boosted up to 1800 MHz in a blink of an eye. This is achieved, thanks to the EVGA Precision X1 desktop software that makes overclocking as easy as changing video settings in your favorite game.

The main selling point of the RTX platform is the new ray tracing technology that allows simulating a large number of different visual and optical effects including reflection, scattering and dispersion directly in the game. Additionally, RTX can improve the output image quality on the fly creating truly stunning and realistic images as a result.

As for the other, more traditional APIs, the RTX 2080 supports all modern versions of DirectX and OpenGL (including DirectX12 and OpenGL 4.5), so you won’t run into any compatibility issues even if you intend on running some older software.

Review of EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC GAMING Graphics Card (8GB GDDR6)

High-End Gaming Experience Without Overheating

The bus interface of the 2080 version is PCI Express 3.0, which is backwards compatible with older PCI versions, making it a great solution for older motherboard products. Since it is a gaming card from the newest generation of GeForce video adapters it doesn’t have a fairly outdated DVI display port. So, in case you have a DVI monitor we recommend purchasing a special adapter that will let you utilize the RTX 2080 to its full potential. The other video outputs, on the other hand, include 3 display ports, a single HDMI port for modern TV sets, and a USB-C port that was added specifically for the purposes of modern VR gaming. So, if you have a powerful VR system, this GPU will fulfill your virtual reality dreams with ease.

As for the construction of the card itself, it has a plate-punched design that has quite a lot of openings that let the cold air through. Additionally, this model features two fans with dynamic bearings that are durable and flexible at the same time. The combination of premium-grade materials and powerful fans provides the GPU with enough cooling even in overclocked mode. The temperature of the graphics chip rarely exceeds 75°C - 80°C so overheating will not be of concern even at extreme loads.

Powerful and exceptionally stable, this flagman model from EVGA is simply one of the best graphics cards for gaming available today. By opting for this model you future-proof your PC build for years to come, making it a great investment into your gaming hobby.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC GAMING Graphics Card (8GB GDDR6) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MSI GeForce RTX 2060 VENTUS

Stunning Performance at an Affordable Price

Another RTX product from the newest GeForce line, the RTX 2060 Ventus made by MSI is a solid, middle-ground solution for both professional and casual gaming. Contrary to the budget GPU versions, it doesn’t have any power consumption constraints, and when utilized with the MSI desktop overclocking software, it can reach stunning results, especially in modern video games.

Unlike more sophisticated RTX models, Ventus features a memory interface with a width of 192 bits, which albeit being a bit slower than 256-bit models, should fill the bill of gaming just fine. Even more so, it will suffice all of your gaming needs for at least a couple of years before becoming a bit slow in terms of computing power.

Speaking of computing power, this seemingly modest card has quite a huge punch underneath the housing when it comes to rendering images and decoding video on the fly. First of all, the 6 GB of all-new GDDR6 video memory allows processing data amounts with speed up to 336 GB/s, which is a huge improvement over the former generation of GeForce video adapters. And all you will need to power this GPU is a standard 500W power unit.

Review of MSI GeForce RTX 2060 VENTUS Graphics Card (6GB GDRR6)

Mid-Tier Card for All Modern Titles

As for the base clock speed of the RTX2060, it fluctuates at level of 1365 MHz but can be additionally boosted up to nearly 1700 MHz, given the proper cooling settings. And that is when the medium price range shows its limits. The only noticeable issue with the RTX 2060 is the relatively low speeds of its fans that can lead to the overheating of the GPU itself. The fan settings, however, can only be tweaked using the MSI Afterburner software. Once the overclocking fan speeds are set, the overheating stops being a huge issue and the graphics card doesn’t make any abnormal sounds.

On top of the real-time ray tracing technology that surely will revolutionize the level of computer graphics in just a couple of years, this graphics card model has all it needs to be a real plug-and-play model. The PCI Express 3.0 connector makes it backwards compatible with almost all motherboards, while the Game Ready drivers provide full support of both modern and older game titles out there.

All in all, this graphics card will be a great choice in case you are looking for a cheaper option to upgrade your existing gaming configuration. RTX 2060 Ventus will provide users with high performance, reliability, great overclocking potential and smooth gameplay for years to come, which is quite good for a relatively moderate price.

MSI GeForce RTX 2060 VENTUS Graphics Card (6GB GDRR6) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC

A New Iteration of a Classic Gaming Model

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC is a true successor to a hugely popular mid-tier 1060 version from the previous generation of GeForce graphics cards. Aimed to please both budget and occasional gamers it has a great balance of powerful hardware and relatively low power consumption.

Just like any other product in the line of EVGA graphics cards, the GTX 1660 Ti is compatible with Precision X1 desktop software that makes it easy not only to control all the processes of the GPU but also allows overclocking it. This allows expanding the base capabilities of the graphics chip even further without any significant power losses.

Speaking of overclocking, the base clock rate of the 1660 Ti doesn’t exceed 1500-1600 MHz, while the overclocking capabilities allow speeding it up to 1800 MHz. Coupled with 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, this “budget” video card for PC gaming card turns into a real beast, especially when it comes to 1080p and 4K resolutions. Given the right CPU that won’t bottleneck the capabilities of the GPU, you will get smooth FPS at all times regardless of video settings.

Review of EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Graphics Card (6GB GDDR6)

High-End Graphics in a Small Package

The compatibility with other hardware should not be a huge issue for you with this card, with the only exception being a seriously outdated PC build. The bus interface connector of the 1660 Ti is a now-standard PCI Express with 16 pins, which is widely compatible with various motherboard models. The display connectors, on the other hand, include only 3 display ports that consist of a single DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI ports, so you will only be able to connect 3 monitors at the same time.

Furthermore, the card API support includes the newest versions of DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5 as well as 4.6, making it ideal for modern gaming systems that lean towards a budget side of the gaming parts’ market. That said, even a mid-range CPU like i5 or Ryzen-5 will be powerful enough to utilize the gaming graphics card to its full potential.

Even though the card has only one fan it has an impressively big profile and will take 3 slots on the back panel of your computer so it is important to keep that in mind when measuring your PC case.

All things considered, the GTX 1660 Ti from EVGA is a great pick for budget PC builds, or in case you want a substantial upgrade over outdated GeForce GTX 1060 or 970 models. Fast and adaptable, this mid-range GPU can be tweaked with ease, which increases its versatility even more compared to entry-level devices.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Graphics Card (6GB GDDR6) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580

A Worthy Competitor to GeForce Models

The Radeon graphics cards for gaming have become something more than just mid-tier products during recent years and today they compete with GeForce video adapters on the same level. By providing basically the same features in their products but at a considerably lower price, the Radeon devices (both GPUs and a new generation of Ryzen CPUs) are definitely a solid choice for budget gaming.

The RX 580 is one of those products, and actually one of the flagship models of the former generation of Radeon video adapters and it surely holds to this status. First things first, the memory compartment of the Radeon Pulse RX 580 from Sapphire consists of 8 GB of DDR5 VRAM, which should satisfy even the most demanding gamers out there. That being said, the clock rates of this GPU are not really mind-boggling and can only reach 1500 MHz in boost mode from the base 1366 MHz. All this is due to the fact that the adapter is fairly low-powered and it only requires a 500W PSU.

Moving on, when measuring free space inside your PC tower for a potential video card upgrade, one should keep in mind that this graphics card from Radeon is quite bulky and since it has a twin-fan cooling system as well as a big number of connection ports, it will only fit ATX and microATX towers.

Review of Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 Graphics Card (8GB GDDR5)

High-End Performance Without Compomises

Size aspects aside, contrary to the contender GeForce models, the Radeon RX580 gaming graphics processor features not only one but two HDMI outputs, making it great for connecting multiple TV-sized screens. Moreover, it has two DisplayPort connectors and a single DVI port allowing you to hook up up to three monitors to your gaming system simultaneously. The hardware connectivity is provided by PCI Express 3.0 with 8 pins, which should fit a majority of modern and older motherboard units.

Designed for budget gaming, this model actually does have a couple of high-end features that make it stand out among other Radeon products. The Dual-X cooling system, for example, makes this particular GPU highly resistant to abrupt changes in temperature by combining two fans into one integrated cooler device.

Wrapping things up, the Sapphire Radeon gaming cards are known for their exceptionally high performance, and Pulse RX 580 is not an exception to the rule. This modest yet highly powerful model is, perhaps, one of the best graphics cards for gaming in the budget price range today, which makes it harder to find a better deal for the same price.

Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 Graphics Card (8GB GDDR5) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

MSI GeForce RTX 2070 ARMOR

No Excessive Features

GeForce RTX 2070 Armor from MSI aside from its mean-looking design has quite a few aces under its sleeve that should be enough to prove that is something more than just a mere basic GPU model. As the name suggests, the 2070 Armor has all the nitty-gritty features that come with the RTX graphics cards including the ray tracing technology itself, support of both DirectX and OpenGL API libraries, and desktop overclocking software from MSI.

The RTX 2070 Armor is a model that lacks fancy bells and whistles and is, instead, designed to provide gamers with sheer performance and overclocking capabilities. However, if you think that it is not a great design choice, or in case you need more than two fans for your GPU, there are models with colorful RGB lights and triple fan configuration optionally available, but at a higher price.

As for the actual speed of the card, the base clock rate fluctuates in the range of 1400 MHz while in boost mode it can reach 1740 MHz without breaking a sweat. All that can be done with a regular 550W PSU, so the only significant difference between the 2070 and 2080 models is the power consumption and a slight drop in the clock rate speeds. On top of the high-performing visual processor, this model features 8GB of DDR6 VRAM, which should suffice every modern title with ease.

Review of MSI GeForce RTX 2070 ARMOR Graphics Card (8GB GDRR6)

VR-Ready Experience

As for the size and connection means, the graphics card is quite large so it will fit your desktop tower only if it is a mini ITX or a full ATX model. Additionally, the mounting screws are bigger than standard so you may also need to make additional space on the back of your PC tower case. The card connects to the motherboard with a standard PCI 3.0 Express with 14 pins instead of 16, which should be compatible with both old and modern motherboards.

Furthermore, the graphics unit comes equipped with a single HDMI port for bigger screens or TVs, 3 DisplayPort connectors on the back for multi-monitor gaming rigs, and a single USB-C port designed and included specifically for the purposes of VR video games. Even though the USB-C disables the water cooling capabilities of the card, the 2 stock fans included in the core package should be more than enough to cool the GPU.

In the end, the RTX 2070 from MSI is one of the best graphics cards for gaming after flagship models from the same manufacturer. So, if you are desperately searching for a significant FPS boost but don’t want to break the bank on the GPU this would be a great pick for anyone.

MSI GeForce RTX 2070 ARMOR Graphics Card (8GB GDRR6) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Gaming Graphics Card?

Nowadays, the majority of motherboard models feature discrete graphics cards, however, the capabilities of such standard solutions can be very limited. Especially when it comes to modern gaming systems. Nowadays, gamers ask for more and more features in the devices they purchase. And this crowd doesn’t buy simple, mediocre products. Suffice it to say, the manufacturers of gaming rig parts do their absolute best to meet the demands of the market.

Creating images from binary data is a power and resource demanding process, which is why it is important to have a medium- to high-end video processing unit that will allow you both to comfortably surf the Internet and use social media, and to play the most recent games and watch video content in 4k resolution.

The current generation of graphics cards features a lot of things that are crucial for smooth gameplay as well as overall computer performance. Usually, in simple terms, the more VRAM the better; the higher clock rate, in turn, means that the GPU can perform multiple tasks at the same time better.

In order to achieve the perfect performance, you should also take a look at such computer components as CPUs for ultimate multitasking and solid state drives for shorter loading times.

What Features to Compare

When it comes to gaming hardware, the main thing people expect is the quality of the products they purchase. Since the graphics are perhaps one of the main reasons for upgrading gaming systems, consumers expect them to last for at least a couple of years of intense use.

During the last few years, prices for GPUs have skyrocketed because of the rising demand for the mining rigs that are used to obtain cryptocurrencies. And it's no wonder that the VGA retailer sellers raised the prices for these devices because of this same reason. With that in mind, an expensive card doesn’t guarantee great performance in games. Thus, let’s break down the main features that make a good graphics card for gaming.

Performance

A higher amount of VRAM allows for storing more data in the buffer of the Graphics Processing Unit and performing more tasks at the same time. Different cards come with different VRAM types that run on varying frequencies, which in return transfer data at a different rate. Modern video cards generally use the GDDR5 type, while the older models run on the much slower GDDR4 memory type. Thus, the larger the memory cap - the more textures and polygons your PC will be able to process at a time.

DirectX / OpenGL Support

The Application Programming Interfaces are crucial for multimedia playback and processing of games on both Microsoft- and Linux-based platforms. While the former is mostly responsible for almost everything related to Microsoft products, the latter will be important predominantly for Linux users.

If the card supports DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5 (and above) that basically means that you will be able to play the most recent games for at least a couple of years.

Cooling System

Since graphics cards are generally the most active parts of any PC, they tend to get hot during intense use. Without an active and efficient cooling system, they can even overheat. Thus it is important to assess the heat output as well as the power level of the cooling fans of the card. A big radiator with a couple of powerful fans will do the job just right. Otherwise, you could consider purchasing an external cooling fan as well as a liquid cooling system if you're intent on overclocking your system to gain that much needed FPS boost.

Video Outputs and Power Consumption

The most common video outputs are HDMI, DVI, Display Port, and VGA (for older analog displays). Your card should support most of these to be able to stream video to the respective types of displays and digital screens, as well as regular TVs.

Since the graphics cards use a lot of power, it is important to calculate the overall power consumption of your current gaming system and to purchase the required power supply unit (PSU) in order for the VGA to operate normally. Otherwise, you may encounter lags, crashes, and even sudden reboots of your computer.

On top of the regular ports and connectors, some modern graphics cards can come equipped with USB-C ports. These models are designed to meet the demands of the expanding market of VR video games. So in case you are searching for a VR-ready device, opt for models that can be used to connect your VR headset or a mobile device with USB cable directly.

Did you know?

Driver Assistance Achieved, Thanks to NVIDIA

Not all people know that, nowadays, graphics chips can be used not only for gaming purposes. There are a lot of fields where the sheer processing power of the GPUs can be of great value and sometimes they are used in some unconventional ways. For example, the collaboration between Tesla and NVIDIA made the creation of a new AI that helps drivers on the roads possible. That AI is NVIDIA DRIVE, the autonomous platform that allows people to use cars without driving them. Whether it is a small 10-watt processor or a slightly bigger one that allows for Level 5 autonomous driving that is used for the smart car's safety.

The sophisticated cameras installed all around the body send the video signal to the onboard computer, while the AI creates a High Definition road map that is being thoroughly scanned. This way the car can detect the incoming traffic and other obstacles in its way, as well as making a pathway for the vehicle. Just like the autopilot on airplanes, but on the ground level.

In case there is an obstacle, the car will slow down or even stop in a matter of seconds and all that is achieved thanks to the split-second decisions of the processing unit.

What’s more, these smart systems are not only utilizing high-definition cameras in order to create a detailed map of the road that lies ahead. The GPU artificial intelligence makes the best use of ultrasonic, radar, and lidar sensors. With that in mind, all this data needs to be somehow processed, and the graphics cards are the best devices to do so.

The Future of the Graphics Cards

Since the late 2000s, both NVIDIA and AMD have begun using the Graphical Processing Units to deal with the types of tasks usually performed by CPUs. NVIDIA, at the time, was investing more and more funds into designing the video chips that allow performing non-graphical tasks.

After almost a decade of hard work and the development done by the NVIDIA’s top researchers, their products are some of the most sophisticated available on the market. But what lies ahead?

The AI, now, when the Graphical Cards are more powerful than ever, they can easily do the job of the regular processors. The company aims to create supercomputers based on the AI that will help the machines to learn. In other words, this will help develop self-driving cars, robots, and computer graphics, of course.

In the near future, the main manufacturers of the graphics cards as well as the processor makers will invest hard into developing a hybrid that is called a General Purpose GPU that will destroy the boundaries between CPU and video cards forever. Of course, it will take some time to develop a prototype that will perform on the same level as the modern gaming systems. However, the time when CPUs won’t bottleneck the capabilities of computer graphics adapters is coming, and it is arriving sooner than you could imagine. If this combination will be successful commercially, we will enter a new era of more compact and more powerful PCs.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later

Publish Date: 2018-08-22 13:13:26