When you’re building a new system for gaming, it’s to be expected that you want to get the best graphics card possible. Now, if you’re limited in terms of budget, this might be a bit of a challenge. Therefore, below we’ve got a couple of options for you. We’ll be taking a look at the best graphics cards on the market today, from some truly high-end monsters to excellent value propositions that will get you good framerates without breaking the bank. But, before we get into the graphics cards themselves, let’s get one important thing out of the way.
Looking for an enternal graphics card instead? This is our list with the best eGPUs.
People who are looking at the best graphics cards may or may not be that well versed in computer components. And with so many options out there, it’s easy to make a mistake. You could buy the wrong GPU if you don’t know how to pick the right one.
The first thing you should note is where the GPU sits in the respective manufacturer’s lineup. With both Nvidia and AMD, this is rather easy. A higher model number usually equals a better GPU and will give you better performance.
Next up, you should see how much VRAM you’re looking at. This is especially important if you’re going to be gaming at high resolutions. Those high-res textures need plenty of VRAM to load them quickly. The bare minimum nowadays is 4GB, but if you can afford it, go for 8GB or higher – the best graphics cards will usually top 8GB.
Then, check out the rest of the specifications. It’s impossible to look at just one thing – the GPU’s performance is a combination of frequencies, memory size and bandwidth, bus width, the chip you’re looking at, and last but not least, how much further did the board partners push the reference card.
At the end of the day, you should end up with the best GPU you can afford. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the options we have. We will also briefly discuss each of them to see why they made it on our list of best graphics cards.
If we were to not look at the Titan GPUs, the RTX 2080 Ti is Nvidia’s flagship graphics card, and there’s plenty of reasons for that. First of all, it comes with 11GB of memory. This is more than plenty for modern gaming at high resolutions. To add to this, the ASUS ROG Strix OC variant we’re looking at comes with a 1665MHz boost clock, which is rather impressive.
The GPU comes with a three-fan design that will keep things cool even when under load. These are 0db fans, which means they’re silent when not under load, and very quiet when pushed hard. There is also support for up to four monitors, as well as ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting if you want to add a bit of bling to your computer case. If the budget is not a problem for you, the RTX 2080 Ti is the way to go as far as the best graphics cards are concerned.
Not everyone can afford to spring for a high-end model. If you’re looking at saving a few bucks, something like the GTX 1660 Super can be a good choice. It’s one of Nvidia’s refresh models that came out a short time ago. It’s meant to give you respectable gaming performance without breaking the bank.
The GPU comes with a pretty decent 6GB of VRAM, as well as a 1830MHz boost clock, at least in the case of the MSI Gaming Super Gaming X model we’re looking at. This will get you excellent framerates at something like a 1080p resolution. Note, however, that you might need to turn down the details for higher resolutions, or higher framerates.
MSI has done a good job with the design, too, with a dual TORX FAN 3.0 design that looks great, further making the 1660 Super a great choice.
AMD makes a great case about powerful GPUs not needing to cost too much with their new lineup of GPUs. Even though the most expensive model, the RX 5700 XT is the one that gives you the most value of the bunch. This 8GB GPU is a true powerhouse and comes at a fraction of the price of the competition.
This is especially true for the XFX Thicc III Ultra model, with which XFX has done a great job. You’re looking at a three-fan design that remains cool under load, with a game clock speed at 2025MHz, which is impressive. This is a GPU that can push high framerates at 1440p, and some games will even be playable at 4K. If you want one of the best graphics cards in the high-end segment, without a high-end price, this is the one to go for.
Another one of Nvidia’s refresh cards, the RTX 2070 Super was introduced to bridge the gap between the RTX 2070, and the fairly expensive RTX 2080. It does a great job, coming at a high price, but with a performance that justifies it well.
With features like 8GB of memory, as well as ray tracing capabilities, this is an excellent choice. Note that unlike with lower-end RTX cards, you’ll be able to enjoy higher framerates with the 2070 Super, which is excellent.
EVGA’s RTX 2070 Super spices things up with a near-quiet dual fan design, as well as a 1770MHz boost clock. The design is pretty nice, too, with a subtle all-black colorway. A nicer backplate would’ve been nice, but if you don’t care about that too much, by all means, go for it – it’s a great choice.
Even though the RTX 2060 is Nvidia’s lowest end RTX graphics card, it’s still a great choice. The main one is that if you’re willing to not push the settings all the way, you can get a taste of what ray tracing is about, with decent framerates, too.
This is a 6GB graphics card, and MSI’s Ventus XS variant is a great choice. It comes with a 1710MHz boost clock, three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, one HDMI 2.0 output, and a dual-fan design. It’s a fairly quiet GPU, too, as the fans don’t make all that much noise even when you’re pushing it hard.
Now, note that if you don’t intend on using ray tracing, the RTX 2060 is a very capable card for demanding titles, and you’ll easily get high framerates out of it. It’s an excellent midrange GPU choice.
When Nvidia initially introduced the RTX 2000 series GPUs, many people noticed that the top-of-the-line RTX 2080 Ti is a lot more expensive than the RTX 2080 that sat below it. This is why Nvidia introduced the RTX 2080 Super. It sits right between those two models, and is a good middle ground option.
Make no mistake, this is still a high-end GPU. It comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory and 3072 CUDA cores. The ASUS ROG Strix variant also gets you a rather impressive 1830MHz boost clock, or 1860MHz if you use it in OC mode.
The triple-fan design helps quite a bit when it comes to cooling, and the 0db fans ASUS have opted for are as silent as they come. If you don’t want to spring for the flagship, but still want great performance in just about any modern game, this is the GPU you’re after.
We already mentioned that AMD’s latest GPUs are excellent value, and the most budget-oriented of them all is the RX 5500 XT. Even at the wallet-friendly price, it comes in at, it still manages to get you excellent performance in modern games. This is especially true if you use it for competitive titles that aren’t too demanding.
The RX 5500 XT comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Also the ASUS Dual RX 5500 XT model we’re looking at nets you a fairly high 1865MHz boost clock, which is nice. We also liked the fact that ASUS recommends a 450W PSU, which means that you’ll be able to save a bit there, too.
When you factor in the quite subtle dual-fan design, which looks nice in just about any build (and is rather quiet, too), and the asking price, you’re looking at an incredible budget graphics card.
The regular, non-super variant of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 is one of the best midrange GPUs on the market nowadays. The xx70 GPUs by Nvidia are famous for getting you excellent bang for the buck, and the RTX 2070 is no exception.
It comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, and in the case of the MSI Ventus GP, a boost clock of 1620MHz. There are three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, as well as one HDMI 2.0, which gets you up to four monitors at the same time.
The design is about what you’d expect from MSI. A black and white card with two rather quiet fans, and a black backplate to make sure the GPU looks nice in your system. With great performance with and without ray tracing enabled, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the RTX 2070.
While not exactly brand new, the GTX 1650 has been holding its own as a decent budget option for people who aren’t too demanding. The price it comes at is very wallet-friendly, which makes it an even better pick.
Zotac has done a great job with it, too. The GTX 1650 OC is a very compact GPU, made for smaller builds. It still has 4GB of memory, as well as a 1695MHz boost clock, so the performance isn’t going to be too bad.
One thing that not everyone will love is the single-fan design. But as we mentioned, it’s made for small builds, and if that’s not your cup of tea, other GTX 1650 variants come with two fans, so you could take a look at them as well. Oh, and did we mention that you can run this with a 300W PSU? Yeah, it’s impressive for a budget card.
The last GPU we’ll be discussing is another AMD card, this time the RX 5600 XT. It sits in the middle of AMD’s new range of GPUs, and it’s a midrange card that does punch above its weight in some regards. Unfortunately, it only comes with 6GB of GDDR6 memory, which might be limiting for some.
It’s worth noting that Sapphire, as one of the best AMD GPU partners have done a great job with the PULSE RX 5600 XT. They get you a boost clock of up to 1750MHz, which combined with the memory, will get you excellent performance if you’re gaming at 1080p.
The dual-fan design keeps the GPU cool, and the fans themselves come with Intelligent Fan Control IV, which keeps them quiet when they aren’t needed. Add to this the great looking metal backplate, and this might be a rather nice option if you want a midrange AMD GPU.
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