Best Gaming Graphics Cards

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 21, 2018
The regular graphics cards just don't have much process power that is needed for gamers as well as for engineers, and video editors. Thus, the high-end gaming graphics cards are your best bet when it comes to performance and multitasking. With an enormous number of different 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 2018
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 model features an asynchronous fan control so you can set the maximum spinning speed of the fans individually. Moreover, the EVGA iCX Technology with 9 temperature sensors will keep the heat that generates during overclocking at bay.

CONS

The VGA is quite power-demanding.

OUR VERDICT

The GTX 1080 Ti - is one of the top-of-the-line VGAs that have been in demand from both gamers and bitcoin miners right from the get go, and thus was hard to find. Today, it is finally here and available for you to become its righteous owner.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Video Memory

11 GB GDDR5X

Base Clock Rate

1569 MHz / 1683 MHz

Video Ouputs

DL-DVI, HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (8 + 8 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.6

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

600 Watts

Cooling System

Redesigned cooling with L-shaped contact fins, Double ball bearing fans, EVGA iCX Technology (9 additional temp sensors), Asynchronous Fan Control

Warranty

3 years

PROS

This particular VGA has been made by industrial robots with no human input, thanks to the Auto-Extreme technology. On top of that, fluxless soldering was used in manufacturing to exclude any harmful chemicals from the final product.

CONS

Drivers need some compatibility updates.

OUR VERDICT

The RX Vega 64 from ASUS will be a great addition to both existing gaming rigs as well as  ones that were built from the ground up since it allows players to run the most recent games on Ultra High with 60 frames per second in glorious 4K resolution.

detailed parameters
Chipset

AMD Radeon RX VEGA64

Video Memory

8 GB GDDR5

Base Clock Rate

1330 MHz / 1590 MHz

Video Ouputs

DL-DVI, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (8 + 8 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / Open GL4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

500 Watts

Cooling System

MaxContact plus Auto-Extreme manufacturing technology, Patented wing-blade fans with FanConnect II (IP5X-Certified Dust Resistance)

Warranty

3 years

PROS

This graphics card has unique heat dissipation tubes for more efficient and quicker heat distribution away from the VGA unit, raising the metrics by 29% compared to other models.

CONS

Some users note that fans are somewhat noisy.

OUR VERDICT

The Gigabyte GTX 1060 is a well-thought-out GPU from the smallest details to the circuit board to the cooling system. An unlocked 6GB version lets you boost the power of the base clock rate by almost 50%, which makes it a good investment for new gaming systems.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce GTX 1060

Video Memory

6 GB GDDR5

Base Clock Rate

1582 MHz / 1797 MHz

Video Ouputs

2 x DL-DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (6 pins)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

400 Watts

Cooling System

WINDFORCE 2X cooling system, Alternate Spinning Fan Design, 3D Active Fan technology

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The TORX™ fans that have special dispersion blades that increase the air flow directed at the heatsink. Additionally, the Zero Frozr software can lower the power consumption of the fans during low-level tasks.

CONS

The base clock rate is somewhat low for its price range.

OUR VERDICT

The graphics card from MSI beats almost every other model in its price range, thanks to the most recent solutions used during the assembly of both the circuit board and the cooling system. Moreover, the official MSI Afterburner software will make the overclocking process an easy task.

detailed parameters
Chipset

Radeon™ RX 580

Video Memory

8 GB GDDR5

Base Clock Rate

1366 MHz / 1506 MHz

Video Ouputs

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

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

500 Watts

Cooling System

Armor 2X Thermal Design, TORX™ Fans, Zero Frozr™ technology, Airflow Control technology

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Thanks to the special PCI Express 3.0 interface without any 6- and 8-pin connectors, this video card is compatible with the majority of motherboard models.

CONS

The card has only 3 video outputs (only 3 monitors can be connected)

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for a good graphics card with great performance and multitasking abilities, this model from EVGA is a perfect pick for you if you are on a budget. The results of stress tests for GTX 1050 Ti have proved that it is one of the best in its price range.

detailed parameters
Chipset

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Video Memory

4 GB GDDR5

Base Clock Rate

1354 MHz / 1468 MHz

Video Ouputs

DL-DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Bus Interface / Connectors

PCI Express 3.0 (doesn't need pin connectors)

DirectX / OpenGL Support

DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.6

Max Supported Resolution

7680 x 4320

Recommended PSU Power

300 Watts

Cooling System

Single-fan cooling system

Warranty

3 years

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING

An Unrivaled Power

The absolute perfection comes with a price and high-end graphics cards can be quite demanding, especially when it comes to the power consumption. In order to run a beast such as the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti you will need a PSU with the power output of at least 600W. Since the card needs that much power you will have to spend some time optimizing your future or existing gaming rig. Additionally, in order to exclude the possibility of your CPU bottlenecking the capabilities of the graphics card, you will be required to have a processor with at least 3.2 MHz clock rate. Otherwise, the CPU will limit the abilities of this beast of a video card. Getting the right processor model can be tricky, however, we have to say - it is worth it.

This model has a stunning 11GB of video RAM, which allows it to not only play the newest games on Ultra High settings but also perform well in demanding 3D benchmarks, which will come in handy for 3D and digital artists.

One of the features that make this particular model truly unique is its cooling system. The double ball bearings on the fans leave them extremely durable, which is quite important for the prolonged service life of the device. To be more specific, two fans are spinning asymmetrically in order to cool both the video processing unit and the memory, while another one is blowing the hot air out of the unit. This is achieved thanks to the hardware that detects the temperature of the GPU and memory and adjusts the fan speeds accordingly. Notably, the card features 9 thermal sensors that are able to detect the current temperature of the processing unit as well as the heat that comes from the VRAM. The effectiveness of this system is quite impressive, to say the least. The cooling system won’t let the device overheat, no matter how much action is going on on the screen at the same time.

Review of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING 11GB GDDR5X, iCX Technology - 9 Thermal Sensors & RGB LED G/P/M, 3x Async Fan Control

Boost Your System

In case you are an inexperienced PC upgrader, you should know that this VGA has fairly sizeable dimensions (12.81 x 2.81 x 9.5 inches), so you have to make sure that it will fit your current desktop case.

All things considered, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from EVGA will be a great pick for those who want to inject new life into their current gaming system and for gamers who are hesitant and waiting for tomorrow in order to experience the new horizons of cutting-edge graphics effects. Packed with features to the rafters, this video card from EVGA stands tall among other high-end models and there is no doubt about it - professional 4K gaming has never been so accessible to a common gamer before.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING 11GB GDDR5X, iCX Technology - 9 Thermal Sensors & RGB LED G/P/M, 3x Async Fan Control in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ASUS RX Vega 64

Silent Killer

If you're used to upgrading your computer and feel ready to take on a challenge that will leave your PC more powerful than ever, we've got something just for you. The ASUS RX Vega 64 is a graphics card that has 8GB of VRAM and that can be fully overclocked up to 1590 MHz, which provides an exceptional level of visual fidelity.

The software that is provided by Radeon will allow you to record anything that is happening on the screen with a single press of the button. But though it is a nice piece of software, it still lacks some of the consistency and the stability of its NVIDIA counterpart. Sometimes, the desktop application seems unintuitive and doesn’t respond to the hotkeys being pressed. With that said, we assume that these minor bugs will be fixed in the future updates.

While there is a vast number of different high-end graphics card models available on the market, there is one issue that is common in all of them - the noisy cooling fans. In order to lower the temperature of the GPU and VRAM down to the operational level, the fans are supposed to be very powerful and that means that they will produce some amount of noise. However, when it comes to the high-end models, the fans need to be exceptionally powerful, and thus - noisier. That’s where models from AMD shine - their fans are almost completely silent. The only challenge you may have is setting the fans properly with the ASUS desktop application. Once they are set - the loud whirring fans will be a thing of the past.

Review of ASUS RX Vega 64 8GB Overclocked 2048-Bit HBM2 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card

Adjust the Colors

Although it's less power-hungry than its NVIDIA rival models, the X Vega 64 provides pretty much the same level of performance as the more pricey GeForce graphics cards. With an almost 100-Watt gap between the top models, this product from ASUS is able to guarantee the same graphics fidelity at just 500 Watts per hour.

As for the aesthetic features, the shroud and the backplate of the device feature a special RGB LED lighting that will please even the most demanding gamers out there. Moreover, thanks to the ASUS Aura Sync you will be able to pair the GPU with the ASUS motherboards that have similar Aura lighting to make a beautiful gaming system.

In case you are here for sheer performance, you will be glad to know that the Aura lighting system is not here only for looks. Should the thermal sensors detect high temperatures the RGB lighting system will adjust the colors according to the current temperature so you will immediately see when the GPU is overloaded.

Suffice it to say, by purchasing the RX Vega 64 you will be set for top-tier gaming for at least a couple of years, thanks to the tremendous performance of the card and the DirectX 12 support.

ASUS RX Vega 64 8GB Overclocked 2048-Bit HBM2 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card in the use

 

Gigabyte GTX 1060

Fits Any System

The GTX 1060 is one of the most versatile gaming video cards and is available in two different options: a 3GB and 6GB version. The latter being one of the most popular and affordable models on the market today, the GTX 1060 from Gigabyte features 6GB of VRAM, perfect for storing a massive amount of visual data in order to display it on the monitor later. Though, truthfully, the full potential of the card simply cannot be achieved due to the fact that the games nowadays only need around 1GB of VRAM in order to run on high settings. That being said, the 6 gigs of visual memory create a bigger buffer for all 4K textures in your favorite game titles.

Additionally, the 6GB version will be a perfect pick for aspiring Twitch streamers that dream of becoming one of the top users on the platform one day. If paired with a decently powerful CPU (Intel Core i3 or i5, as well as Ryzen 5 and 3 models from AMD should be more than enough) the card can be used to stream any content in 1080p without too much of a hassle.

Review of Gigabyte GTX 1060 WINDFORCE OC 6G

Made for Future Gaming

Thanks to the full DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5 support, the Gigabyte GTX 1060 will provide you with countless hours of gameplay for years to come. Although the GTX models are mostly mid-class products, they can still compete with high-end devices quite decently when it comes to the quality of in-game graphics. The midrange GPUs are also fairly cheaper than most of the top GeForce models, which makes them a good choice for gamers that are on a budget. If paired, a couple of GTX 1060 can outperform most of the top-tier models with ease, thanks to a top-notch cooling system and build quality from Gigabyte.

High-quality internet connection aside, one of the most important aspects of the modern online gaming is the FPS counter, and the GTX 1060 does not disappoint. With the GDDR5 VRAM on board the graphics processing unit is able to store a tremendous amount of high-quality textures in its buffer, while the WINDFORCE 2X cooling system will diminish any possible overheats that can be a matter of life or death (in in-game terms of course).

The quite powerful and, more importantly, fairly priced GTX 1060 offers a great value over price ratio that is hard to find on the gaming market today. Albeit slightly dated, this model from Gigabyte can still outperform the majority of midrange graphics cards (as well as high-end models if used in overclocked mode), and that alone makes it one of the best picks for gamers that value the performance of their gaming rigs over the fancy features.

Gigabyte GTX 1060 WINDFORCE OC 6G in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

MSI RX580

The Beast in Black and White

The solutions for comfort gaming from Radeon have always been powerful enough to deal even with the most resource hungry AAA gaming titles. A true benchmark of affordable products, the Radeon is even able to compete with some of the top-of-the-line products from NVIDIA. And the RX580 is one of those solutions.

Although the card offers a tremendous performance in almost all modern games, the built-in coolers sometimes struggle to lower the heat that comes from the VGA unit itself. Thus, if you intend to play games on Ultra High settings, we recommend investing in an additional cooler that will be powerful enough to blow the hot air out of the PC case.

The 8 gigabytes of this silent graphics card for gaming will allow for a number of multitasking jobs. Watching several 4K videos, while playing a game and streaming at the same time? That won’t be a problem for the RX580. The 8GB VRAM cache stores a vast amount of data, which contributes to the overall performance of your PC as well as its responsiveness under heavy software load.

Review of MSI RX580 ARMOR 8G OC Graphic Card

Overclocking Made Easy

Some customers may find that the base core clock of the graphics card may be somewhat slow for their gaming rigs. Nevertheless, thanks to the native software from the manufacturer - the MSI Afterburner, you can boost the standard 1366 MHz clock rate up to 1790 MHz without too much effort. The only drawback of this is - the cooler fans will get quite noisy. In order to prevent that you may use a special Zero Frozr mode that diminishes the noise produced by the fan quite a bit. The way it works in quite a simple way - the special software puts the fans on minimum power in low-load moments.

Like most Radeon products, this MSI gaming GPU supports a Crossfire™ technology that allows connecting multiple video processing units to a single motherboard (if it has enough slots for them) to boost the performance of your computer even more. This feature will be convenient for both enthusiast and regular gamers since it doesn’t require advanced engineering skills to set up the system.

As for the connection means, this model features 2 HDMI, 2x Display Ports as well as a single DVI-D port. This number should be enough to connect more than two displays in case your gaming rig or your personal taste demands doing so. Additionally, the big number of ports makes the RX580 a perfect investment in VR gaming, since it is quite convenient to use with both VR headsets and multiple digital screens.

This capable and budget-friendly graphics card for gaming PCs from MSI is perhaps all you need in order to enjoy gaming in 1080p and in some cases even in 4K.

MSI RX580 ARMOR 8G OC Graphic Card in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING

The Best Friend of a Beginner Gamer

One of the smallest available graphics cards on the market - the GTX 1050 Ti from EVGA can surprise even the most sophisticated gamers and PC enthusiasts out there.

The 4 gigabytes of video memory stored in this little fellow were more than enough for everyday gaming needs when it first came out a few years ago and they still are today. Sure, the card may have some difficulties with streaming content in 4K resolution, however, it has a quite powerful VGA. The base clock rate of the card is 1354 MHz, which is somewhat low by modern day standards. Nonetheless, it's still capable of delivering steady 60 fps at 1080p in most of the modern triple-A game titles. When it comes to the overclocking capabilities of the device, the clock rate of the graphics processing unit can be boosted up to 1468 MHz in just a few clicks.

The only drawback of this card that can be crucial for enthusiast-level gamers is that it only has 3 video outputs and that can be a major limiting factor for those dreaming of Virtual Reality gaming or gamers that need a multi-screen gaming rig. In case you are neither of those, the graphics card is a real bargain for its price. Powerful, versatile, and quite easy to set up, there is not much more you could actually ask for if you are on a budget and looking for a decent video card for gaming.

Review of EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING 4GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC) Graphics Card

Cooler Than You Think

The ease of use is achieved by utilizing a universal PSI Express 3.0 bus interface that doesn’t need any pin connectors in order to run smoothly. All you are required to do is plug the card into your motherboard, turn the power on, install the NVIDIA drivers, and you are ready to go. These steps can be done in just a couple of minutes and this, perhaps, is one of the main benefits of the EVGA products, as well as the GTX series as a whole. This particular model is quite small (5.7 x 1.5 x 4.38 inches) and can fit even the smallest PC cases down to the microATX towers, while other full-sized cards will have a hard time fitting even into regular ATX cases.

Despite the fact that this card has only one cooler fan, it rarely gets hotter than 75°C (167°F), so purchasing an additional external fan should not be a priority or necessity for you. Although you may think that a single-fan gaming video card should be quite noisy, in reality, the cooling system runs quietly enough not to notice even at maximum loads and the most intense game moments.

All in all, the GTX 1050 Ti has proven that it didn’t give an inch to its competitors over time and still holds its place as one of the most powerful mid-tier graphics cards.

EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING 4GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC) Graphics Card 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, all is simple, 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 the GPUs 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. The 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.

The 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 the graphics cards are generally the 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.

Did you know?

Driver Assistance Achieved, Thanks to NVIDIA

Not all people know that, nowadays, the 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 companies 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 will allow performing non-graphical jobs.

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.

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