The graphics card is a key component of a gaming PC and can make or break your build.
It doesn’t matter how powerful your PC is if you don’t have a great graphics card to run your games. Freezing or a drop in framerate are the last things you want to experience in-game. If your graphics card can’t handle your game, you won’t experience it the way it was meant to be played and will have to settle for less detail and poor performance.
The two leading graphics card manufacturers are AMD and Nvidia. They are locked in a constant battle to see who can make the best cards at the lowest price, with both companies providing outstanding offerings. Since new gaming monitors feature adaptive sync technology to match the GPU framerate, it’s even more important to choose the right graphics card.
Today we’ll be looking at the best Nvidia graphics cards to help you decide.
We have to start with the RTX 3090 because Nvidia’s flagship model boasts tremendous capability. It uses the latest Nvidia Ampere architecture with a full-fat GA102 GPU with 82 streaming processors and 10,496 CUDA cores. This card also has 24GB of GDDR6X memory on a 384-bit bus, contributing to a data transfer rate of almost a terabyte a second.
One of the main reasons to get this graphics card is because it’s the first to support 8K resolution at 60fps. It’s massive, uses three slots instead of the usual two, and uses Nvidia’s 12-pin PCIe connector. With so much processing power, this card can use over 350-watts, so you’ll need a capable power supply to go with it. The RTX 3090 is one of the most powerful graphics cards in the world and can work for 3D rendering or high-performance gaming.
ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 OC
The ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC is a phenomenal card that takes the RTX 3080 and amps it up further. Nvidia’s RTX 3080 sits below the 3090, but it’s still hard to come by since demand currently outstrips supply. Most people are buying whichever variant they can get their hands on, but if you have a choice, the ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC is one of the best.
This graphics card has 10GB of GDDR6X VRAM and 8,704 CUDA cores. The base clock sits at 1,440 MHz, but it can reach 1,905 MHz in Gaming Mode. Cooling features include three 100mm fans, with the center one rotating in the opposite direction to reduce turbulence. The face looks great and has a metallic look to match ROG motherboards. There’s also addressable RGB lighting that can sync with your gaming case or motherboard using the Armoury Crate app. This card has impressive 4K performance and allows you to get the best out of the latest games like Cyberpunk 2077.
The RTX 3070 also uses the latest Nvidia Ampere technology and sits below the RTX 3080 in the pecking order. The EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 is one of the best graphics cards with this chip and has excellent performance. The RTX 3080 features 8GB GDDR6 memory with 5,888 CUDA cores. It also has a base clock of 1,500 MHz that can reach 1,730 MHz
An exciting feature of this card is iCX3 technology. It uses nine thermal sensors to detect hotspots, then targets those areas for cooling. The RTX 3070 cards have a massive jump in performance from the older RTX 2080 cards but have similar pricing. If you can get your hands on the EVGA RTX 3070, you’ll enjoy 4K gaming without spending a fortune.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti hits the sweet spot between price and performance more than any other graphics cards we’ve mentioned so far. It still uses the latest Ampere architecture and has fantastic performance. The Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC Pro 8G sits in the middle of the range, featuring 8GB GDDR6 memory with 4,864 CUDA cores and a clock speed of 1,770 MHz. This card comes overclocked from the factory and sits above the 1,666 MHz of the standard card.
This card has a thick heatsink covering almost three slots and uses an 8-pin connector and 6-pin power connector to run. Five copper heat pipes and three 80mm fans with alternate spinning keep everything cool. You can use the Aorus Engine software to adjust the fans, clock speed, and more to get the best performance to match your gaming rig. The RTX 3060 has outstanding features, but it’s not the best if you want 4K resolution.
The Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and Super cards were at the top of the range until the new RTX 3000 series came out. They have excellent performance and were the first graphics cards with ray tracing capability. The more recent cards have eclipsed them in performance and pricing, but the RTX 2080 cards are more widely available and can still enhance most PCs’ performance.
If you have an older PC, it might be worth upgrading to an RTX 2000 series card instead of an RTX 3000 because your CPU might throttle the newer card and inhibit performance.
The MSI RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio is a great graphics card with 11GB GDDR6 and 1,755 MHz clock speed. Like most high-end cards, it’s quite large and takes up three slots. It uses two 8-pin power connectors and a single 6-pin connector. Power consumption can be relatively high at 450-watts, so you’ll need a power supply unit to handle it. It also has three cooling fans and addressable RGB lighting. This card has incredible performance and can still hold its own against some of the newer rivals.
We’ve skipped the Nvidia RTX 2070 range and moved straight to the RTX 2060 because it offers similar performance for a slightly lower price. When you compare the two in standard form, the RTX 2070 has a slight edge, but thanks to manufacturer tweaks, you can get an RTX 2060 graphics card to match it. The ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER AMP Extreme is a brilliant choice if you want a high-performance RTX 2060 Super card.
It features 8GB GDDR6 memory with 2,176 CUDA cores and a 1,710 MHz clock speed. The clock speed is an improvement over the standard 1,650 MHz and has a triple fan design with a thick heatsink. There’s also an HDMI port and three DisplayPorts, but it lacks a USB-C port. This card is much cheaper than many on the list and offers decent performance.
PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Super
The Nvidia GTX 1660 Super is a fantastic choice if you have a limited budget or an older PC. The GTX 1660 Super sits in the middle of the 1660 range between the GTX 1660 and the GTX 1660 Ti and offers terrific value. At 1,408, the CUDA cores are the same as the standard GTX 1660, but it uses 6GB of GDDR6 memory instead of 6GB GDDR5. The memory speed of 14Gbps on the GTX 1660 Super is also faster than the 8Gbps on the GTX 1660.
The PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Super is an excellent option if you want a small graphics card that can fit into any PC. This single-fan graphics card doesn’t waste time with RGB lighting or other advanced features. It provides excellent 1080p resolution and comes with a single HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort. This fan can smoothly run popular games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty without costing a fortune.
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