In this Article
Editor’s Top 3 Picks
EVGA RTX 2080 Ti
Clock Speed: 1350 MHz
Bandwidth: 616 GB/s
ZOTAC RTX 2080 Super
Clock Speed: 1815 MHz
Bandwidth: 496 GB/s
AMD RX 5700XT
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a Dedicated Graphics Card?
In a nutshell, a dedicated graphics card is the only option to go with when your system usage requires high graphical power. In order to play latest video games on highest settings or to use much resource-intensive programs like animation softwares and CAD (Computer aided-design) simulations etc, you will be definalty required to equip your system with powerful dedicated graphics card. However, if you need your system for web-surfing, office work, casual gaming, or watching movies, an integrated GPU is more than enough for you. Gaming laptops and PC’s mostly comes up with built-in graphics card but they are not capable of handling high-end graphics, works fine with low-quality graphics and tasks that don’t requires no heavy image rendering.
Do I need to change my Power Supply?
There are two important factors involved in whether or not you should change your power supply for your new graphics card. First of course is the power consumption and second is the pins it takes to connect. Any graphics card that you buy will have its own power supply recommendation, so you should not go below the recommended power in any case. However, going a bit above the recommended power is good because your PC also has other components besides a graphics card, which need power. A 750 watt PSU is always recommended for even the best gaming graphics card today, but it is always better to go way above this if your pocket allows you. 1000 watts power supply or anything above that will easily handle the load of your setup and things will go smoothly.
Should I Buy a Graphics Card Now or Wait?
Most people think if they should get a graphics card now or wait for a new one, or maybe wait for the prices to drop. This needs a different approach, if you need a graphics card for gaming or anything else, you should go for the best possible option in regards to your needs and budget. The thing is, if you wait for a new graphics card, it most definitely will be more powerful and hence more expensive. Besides, if you wait for a new graphics card to release and expect that the prices of its predecessors will drop, this is not a so good idea either. Because these days, the prices of graphics card takes a year or even more to drop to a level where most people will buy it. So the best answer to this question is, if you’ve got enough money to buy the graphics card that you need, then you should go for it right now.
Can I Play AAA Titles and other Games on a Budget Graphics Card?
This can’t be a simple yes or no answer. If you go way below $200 then you should forget playing AAA titles and even other games at good settings. However, if you keep a graphics card which is around $250 – $400, then you will be able to play AAA titles at average settings and other games at ultimate high fps. In simple words, if you actually want to enjoy your gaming sessions and you are fond of playing popular games, then it is better to keep your budget above $250.
Is it Worth Buying an RTX Series GPU?
RTX is the new series of graphics cards by Nvidia. They come with cool new features like ray tracing and exceptional power. They are totally worth buying, but you won’t always need one because most of them are high-end which is not the need of everyone. Top models in them like te RTX 2080 Ti or 2070 Super are expensive but they are beastly. You can also go for budget model from the RTX line up like the RTX 2060. There is no doubt about the way they deliver and their cool new AI features like the DLSS. So, they are totally worth it, if you’ve got that kind of money on you.
Best Graphics Cards 2021
1. EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Best Powerful GPU
- Cores: 4352
- Memory: 11GB GDDR6
- Bandwidth: 616 GB/s
- Clock: 1350 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1635 MHz
- Ray Tracing Leader
- Smooth 4K Gaming
- USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Port
The Nvidia RTX 2080 ti is one of the most powerful and first to introduce Ray tracing technology, RTX lineup graphics cards has revolutionized graphical and gaming world. Nvidia coming up with advance Turing architecture has boosted things further and for a reason has become the center of interest for many professional gamers, content creators, film makers, graphics designers, and architects etc. RTX 2080 Ti isn’t cheap, pays off for its price with ultimate and high-end graphical performance. This top rated graphics card hits 100 and 70 fps frames rate in 1080p and 2160p resolutions. In case of 4K resolutions, the RTX 2080 Ti manages to work with 60 fps and rarely goes below 60fps.
2. ZOTAC RTX 2080 Super
Best Gaming Graphics Card 2021
- Cores: 3072
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Bandwidth: 496 GB/s
- Clock: 1815 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1875 MHz
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Super coming next on the list of best gaming graphics card 2021, is a worthy contender indeed with so much power make gaming smooth and lag free. Surely, a gaming setup without having a power graphics card feels extremely boring. ZOTAC RTX 2080 Super is what you would love to take your gaming skill set to some other level with its Nvidia architecture. Zotac 2080 Super is isn’t cheap because of its useful features, including a triple fans cooling mechanism that keeps it cool and efficient when introduced to power consumptive situations. The 1875 megahertz boost clock speed keeps it super fast. It comes with a 16+4 power phase design along with a spectra 2.0 lightening system. The Zotac 2080 Super is durable with a wraparound backplate, capable of bearing temperature and vibrations easily. Look no further for now atleast, because ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Super is introduced to provide you with 4k ready, four display ready, and HDR ready.
3. AMD Radeon RX 5700XT
Budget High-End GPU
- Cores: 2560
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Bandwidth: 448 GB/s
- Clock: 1770 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1905 MHz
- Best 1440p Performer
- No Ray-Tracing
AMD and Intel both are arch-rivals when it comes to best graphics cards. AMD GPUs are observed to affordable and useful with features while on other side, the Intel GPUs do provide up to the mark features but also costs way more than the AMD. AMD Radeon RX 5700XT is a best budget friendly graphics card with capability of providing 1440p graphics comfortably. Its 2160p performance cannot be compared directly to that of its direct competitor, RTX 2060. The AMD Radeon RX 5700XT still misses out the key Ray tracing feature, that gives birth to many questions about its performance. Keeping budget in mind, the Radeon RX 5700XT is a good option for 1080p, 1440p, VR, and average for 2160p performance. Budget and above average performance are two of the best selling points for AMD Radeon RX 5700XT.
4.MSI GeForce RTX 2070 TRI FROZR
Ray-Tracing at a Budget
- Cores: 2304
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Bandwidth: 14 GB/s
- Clock: 1410 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1620 MHz
- Ray Tracing for Cheap Price
- Good for High FPS at 2k
- Heart-Breaker for RTX 2070 Owners
The Nvidia RTX 2070 by MSI is yet another best 1440p GPU. 2K gaming is what everyone is after these days, 1080p is not too much fun anymore and 4k is either not perfected yet or it is way expensive compared to the budget most people can afford. And so, finding the best graphics card 2021 which can boost the frames for 2k resolution and at the same time won’t cost you a fortune, is actually a blessing. The important thing which you get here is ray-tracing, you don’t get that on AMD cards so far. In addition, all other specs will be same as 5700 XT, except for the boost clock. You get 1770 MHz of boost clock on the RTX 2070 Super which is 15 MHz more than that of the RX 5700 XT. At 1080p its a beast and hits good frames in 2160p as well which is surprising at this price bracket. More, at 4k , it can play at 60Hz which might not be superb but is not bad either, considering the bucks you put in it.
5. XFX RX 5600 XT
Best 1080p GPU 2021
- Cores: 2304
- Memory: 6GB GDDR6
- Clock: 1560 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1620 MHz
- Best 1080p Performance
- Beefy Specs
- No RT
The XFX RX 5600 XT coming up next is recommended for users who use to play on 1080p setup. But this card is capable of taking your 1080p performance to its highest limits and no doubt, given the proper settings and hardware it can even touch a good 1440p level. Not being able to provide you with ray-tracing is the only drawback of the card and which is something we will soon see in the upcoming graphics cards by AMD. For 1080p settings, RX 5600 XT was able to hit 82 fps and 53 fps for the games Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Metro Exodus, respectively. And as for 1440p, it gave an average 42 fps for Metro Exodus and 56 fps for Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Now these numbers are something which no one would believe if this card were from Nvidia because they simply don’t give this much in a budget card.
6. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX
- Cores: 2304
- Memory: 8GB GDDR5
- Clock: 1257MHz
- Boost Clock: 1340 MHz
- Outperforms Nvidia GTX 1080
- No Major Upgrade from XFX RX 480
XFX Radeon RX 580 is among the top rated graphics cards that is quite able to provide you exceptionally smooth and promising graphics. The GPU is perfectly fine for those who prefers 1080p graphics at high settings, or for those who fine with below 60FPS at 2160p. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX offers you an opportunity to play high-end games or other intensive graphics related activities without stuttering. It gives you the same performance as previously offered by Nvidia GTX 1060. The advanced and excellent cooling technology of XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX keeps it cool and efficient with optimal temperature. Moreover, the fast processing speed will surely make your gaming time lag and stutters free. You may not witness any major upgradation from its predecessor XFX RX 480 but still its worth it with features for what it costs.
7. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- Cores: 1408
- Memory: 6GB GDDR6
- Clock: 1530 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1785 MHz
- Turing Shaders Architecture
- Best for Starters
- No RT or DLSS
GTX 1660 Super recently made it to the market and is the new favorite GPU for entry-level and mid-level gamers. It is of course better than the Simple GTX 1660 but it also made its way around the GTX 1660 Ti which is because there is no big difference in performance but the low price. Nvidia wouldn’t have done this if it were not for beating the cheap AMD graphics card RX5700. So now that the GTX 1660 Super is here, no one would likely go for a 1660 of 1660 Ti. The card is based on the new Turing Shaders architecture although it lacks ray-tracing and DLSS because then it would have been an RTX. You will find the same number of steam cores as the simple 1660 but its Video Memory has gone up to GDDR6 with a speed of 14Gbps, this here is a major leap and is the reason why the Super version of GTX 1660 almost eliminates the other two. For Warhammer II, GTX 1660 Super was able to deliver over 60 FPS at 1080p and over 40 for 1440p. For this much features, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super at this price range is a perfect option to go with.
8. EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO
Least Expensive RTX GPU
- Cores: 1920
- Memory: 6GB GDDR6
- Clock: 1365 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1680 MHz
- Overall Performance
EVGA has brought a worthy surprise in terms of GeForce RTX 2060 KO for professional gamers with a Turing architecture that provides seamless gaming experience. EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 with Turing architecture being the least expensive in RTX lineup graphics card should be your first priority if you want to take your gaming skillset to some other level. With this architecture, the GPU is capable of providing speed of almost six times greater then the previous generation 10 series graphics cards and provides 30 percent faster performance then the original RTX 20 series. EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO comes with a dual cooling fans that keeps the system cool under intensive workloads. These cooling fans perfectly dissipates heat and provides the GPU with a room to deliver power and efficiency. It works with almost 100 FPS or more at 1080p gaming. The said GPU holds 1920 total number of cores, 6GB of 14 GBPS memory with 336GB/s of bandwidth on tap. The card offer base clock speed of 1365 MHz and boost Clock of 1680 MHz.
9. PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550
Best Budget Graphics Card 2021
- Cores: 512
- Memory: 4GB GDDR5
- Clock: 1100 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1190 MHz
- Not for 2160, 4K Res
PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550 is a superb budget minded upgrade over low end dedicated and integrated graphics. For budget users, the RX 550 offers amazing features in extremely affordable price tag. PowerColor strives hard to bring every key feature in its budget graphics card in order to make visuals look smooth and appealing. PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550 is a perfect pick for casual gamers, video editing, designers, etc. VPU (visual processing units) helps the PowerColor GPU to deliver ultimate performance. PowerColor has a unique strategy for market, right products, right time, with best quality, and for a reason their products are becoming the center of interest for many. The GPU remains cool and stable, which ensures efficieny with performance.
10. ASUS Geforce GTX 1050 Ti
Budget 1080p Performance
- Cores: 768
- Memory: 4GB GDDR5
- Clock: 1290 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1392 MHz
- Budget 1080p Ultra Performance
- Not Power Hungry
- Similar Cheap Alternates Available
GTX 1050 Ti is a low cost gaming card based on the Pascal architecture of Nvidia. It offers good 1080p and 1440p performance. For 1080p, you won’t need to do a lot, but for 2k gaming you would definitely need a good system configuration alongside game settings. However, because of its lower price and specs, you won’t be able to go for 4k. For those who would like to build a budget PC, and their requirement does not need something very intensive like an RTX 2080 etc. this is one nice option. Speaking of how it performs, at 1080p ultra you will get around 60 and 65 fps for civilization 6 and Doom, respectively. And surprisingly, at 1440p you get 37 average fps for Civilization 6 and 47 average fps for Doom. These numbers for 1440p gameplay might not be exceptional, but considering the fact that using this graphics card will get you a PC below $500 budget, these numbers are pretty good.
Best Graphics Card Buying Guide
Here is how to choose a graphics card for yourself. Anything bought after careful matching of needs is always the best. If your graphics card is compatible and easily renders all your needs, it would be one nice gaming setup for you. Your needs should be known to you, do you need graphics card for gaming or some other purpose? And you should know how much you are willing to spend so you can get a best graphics card 2021.
Compatibility of a graphics card with a system is usually its size and connectivity. Size wise, a bigger graphics card is better in terms of cooling mechanism but it always becomes a problem while placing it in your system’s case. As of connectivity, it can be of two types. First is the PCIe connection with your PSU and next are the ports on it for connecting to a display. Almost all graphics cards will have single HDMI and DisplayPort, but if you want more than these then you have to make sure you get them. Some new graphics cards will even give you a Type-C connection.
Next thing is your usage. What are you using your graphics card for? Are you buying it for gaming purposes? If yes, then what games you are playing. Or you might be buying it for professional/office work like video editing. You can always look around for expert opinion about which GPU suits which task. But in general, Nvidia’s RTX and GTX series are best for gaming. And AMD Vega would work nicely for editing purposes. But this does not mean that they won’t work in other domains.
Cooling / Noise
GPU and CPU, both are the most hard workers inside a system and this is why they get hot over time. For cooling them down certain mechanisms are used. Some use a liquid coolant with a radiator mechanism while other use multiple fans. Some graphics cards come with 3 fans for cooling it down. But a better and powerful cooling system always means more noise. This is where you mostly make a decision about your trade-off. If you want good cooling, it is very likely that your card will produce sound. Whereas on the other hand if you want your graphics card to be mostly silent, then you will compromise on the cooling mechanism.
The GPU you go for should align with what is the resolution of your monitor. 1080p resolution is what most gamers will have these days and almost all the best graphics cards will do their best at this level. However, if you go beyond that like 2k or somewhere near 4k then you will have to spend more and consider purchasing a high-end graphics card. Below are some recommendations for 1080p, 1440p and 2160p resolution.
For 1080p, you can start right at the bottom and go up. Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti or AMD RX 590 is the best choice. They won’t cost you more and at the same time you get good fps at 1080p. However, these graphics cards will lock you here and you will need to change you graphics card if at any time in future you decide to jump to a higher resolution. In addition to this, every new update of a game needs more power and so, you need to think about future-proofing yourself for a year or two at least.
For 2k gaming, consider buying GTX 1660 Ti or AMD RX 5700 XT. Both these are capable of giving you smooth frames at 1440p. Also, these cards will give you an upper hand over your opponents in 1080p gaming. Additionally, you can even enjoy a bit of 4k performance with these two as well, though it won’t be an ultimate experience but it still is something.
Finally, if you love playing at 4k and stay trendy at the top, you will have to go for a high-end graphics card. GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is what will give you an extreme gaming experience at 2160p. For now, there is nothing close to it when you talk about gaming. However, this sort of performance needs good money, it does not come cheap. On the other hand, if you want good VR sessions, then you could go a bit lower and stick to RTX 2080 or RTX 2070 Super, you will get good frame rate and around 90Hz refresh rate, which is a nice level for VR.
Speaking on how much you should spend on a graphics card. There is a simple rule which applies everywhere, more you spend, better is the thing that you get. If you spend a 1000 bucks or more, you will get an RTX 2080 Ti or a GTX 1080 Ti, both these do exceptionally well, there are no second thoughts on this. For around $700 or above, you will get an RTX 2080 Super which again is one best gaming card to have in your rig.
Spending around $400 or above, you will get RX 5700 XT or an RTX 2070 Super, both of these are best mainstream gaming cards whose performance is second to none. And going below this will give you anything like the RTX 2060 Super or RX 590 by AMD, these are good cards as well but you should not be expecting to get a better performance at 2k or higher.
Graphics Card Compatibility
An important point you need to look into is if the graphics card is compatible with the system where it will be installed. You may end up buying a graphics card which may not settle in your PC easily or may not settle at all. In order to make sure that your graphics card is compatible with your system, you will have to check two main things. First, the power supply you are using and second is the casing of your PC.
You need to make sure that your power supply unit produces more wattage compared to minimum required wattage of the graphics card. Additionally, make sure that PCIe connections are compatible too. You will mostly end up with graphics cards which work on 6 pin PCIe or 2×8 pin PCIe connections. And then there is case clearance, you have to make sure that the clearance on your case is more than the length of the graphics card you are about to buy.
Nvidia Vs AMD
These two giant GPU manufacturers always come to mind when you talk about graphics cards. This is because there is no other competitor at their level. They have been competing for a long time now and as a result we have witnessed some of the best gaming cards which we might not have seen if the competition had not taken place.
Their is always a debate among users that one is better than the other. But technically speaking, one can not simply say which one wins the race. A big number of factors are involved based on which they can be compared. Things like price, performance, software drivers etc make them good or not. In general, AMD graphics cards are affordable but Nvidia always beats them up in performance. Similarly, the software for AMD GPUs very easily lets you enjoy VR experience but on the other hand Nvidia came out with with ray tracing this year which is a huge jump in graphics enhancement technology.
This is why one simply can’t decide a winner here. Or in other words, for the type of tasks you perform, an AMD may suit you more over an Nvidia GPU. But for your friend or any other person, an Nvidia might be a better option based on what tasks he/she is performing.
SLI Vs CrossFire
Most modern video games rely mainly on GPUs in order to run smoothly, gamers are required to have powerful graphics card in their systems incase if they want to play latest games on highest settings. To play top games at highest resolutions like 1440P, 4k, and beyond, even more powerful graphical processing is required. Ideal solution to handle such situation that demands intensive graphical processings, is to go with the best graphics card of the time like GTX 1080 Ti etc. Also, you can utilize multiple graphics card in the same setup if you can afford and want more performance out of your system.
SLI is NVIDIA’s multi-GPU solution whereas Crossfire is AMD’s multi-GPU solution, both are used to accomplish the same objective, allowing system to split processing graphics-related data workload between multiple GPUs. SLI urges you to use identical GPUs (GTX 1080 can only be SLI’d with another GTX-1080), whereas CrossFire works fine with different GPUs of the same architecture (RX 580 can be CrossFired with an RX 570, but not with an R9 390). SLI requires two cards to be directly connected with SLI bridge or cable. AMD cards requires that the multiple cards to be connected can only be done in updated versions, AMD GPUs in CrossFire configuration can only communicate via PCIe 3.0. Comparatively, SLI configurations are more expensive than that of CrossFire configurations and the reason is that NVIDIA requires motherboard manufacturers to be SLI certified, while AMD doesn’t requires any specific certification which is plus that CrossFire is supported by many budget-friendly motherboards. Here is a list about which AMD GPU can work in CrossFire with which one.
Getting a powerful and reliable graphics card is so important if you are a professional gamer or intense graphics are what you mostly deals with. Our part is done for now, providing you with all important information regarding GPUs, a detailed buyer’s guide and frequently asked question about graphics cards to make ambiguities more clear for you. Go through all and pick the best graphics card in accordance with your budget and need.