Best Graphics Cards For Gaming In 2018

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A Graphics Card is one of the essential hardware components if you are deciding to build a gaming PC, a storage mechanism for AI research work, or a strong network-oriented machine. Even if you are just looking for a boost in gaming performance for your existing PC, a decent GPU is the most effective gaming upgrade to get an increase in the FPS or the image quality to make your games better looking and better playing.

Graphics cards’ market has always been affected by cryptocurrencies because of its usage in crypto-mining. But as the hype for digital currencies, these days is almost over now, many miners are selling their Graphics cards, leading the prices to drop to an affordable level.

On the other hand, retailers and manufacturers especially Nvidia have a huge stock in their storage centers which has drastically increased the supply of the graphics card and hence the prices now are at the lowest level even less than the respective launch prices. Nvidia especially wants to release its new Graphics cards many retailers depending upon the location are giving huge discounts on the Graphics cards and in some cases SSD bundles and Game bundles.

The market is packed up with tons of graphics card options, the process of buying the best graphics card in your budget could get overly complicated, considering all the different vendors out there for the same model of the GPU.

However, we are not going to get into which vendor’s GPU to buy because even a factory overclocked graphics card with all the fancy fans and stuff is going to get you the almost similar performance to the normal founder’s edition graphics card.

We did some research and tested out different graphics card to help you figure out the best value for your dollar; we came up with the best graphics cards listed down according to the price point:

Nvidia GeForce GT 1030

Let’s start the list by the ultra-budget Graphics card which will cost less than 100 dollars and will provide enough performance boost for most lightweight titles, old AAA titles and recent esports titles. Although the performance it will deliver will be vastly similar to the most integrated solutions (AMD Ryzen APUs) but the extra memory dedicated for Graphics related task only is always a plus point.

The GT 1030 is so minimalistic that it will even fit the mobile PCs and it’ll be ready for the ride. Additionally, it is compatible with almost every motherboard out there; even an eight-year-old motherboard can run this if it has a PCI-e 3.0 slot.

The specifications of this kid are as follows; there are 384 CUDA cores with the base clock speed of 1227MHz and boost clock speed of 1468MHz, based on the GP 108 GPU specially designed for this Graphics card which makes the SLI compatibility out of the window. Due to the 14nmprocess, the cores are very closely packed which makes the die size smaller and hence it only requires 30 Watts power to run at its full potential.

Additionally, if you want to overclock this Graphics card, you would not require to have a bigger power supply because during our rigorous testing the maximum power draw recorded by the card was only 50 Watts.

Pros

The benefits of getting an entry level Graphics card are not huge, but if you are getting your first Graphics card than the performance boost it will give will make you awe. The incredibly less power consumption is also a plus point, and it makes it compatible with almost every pre-built PC.

Cons

Well, you cannot expect much from a $70 Graphics card, the only downside that is particularly related to the GT 1030 is its DDR4 version. Nvidia secretly released a DDR4 version of the GT 1030 with the same name and same specifications but with DDR4 memory. For those people who are not aware with the nitty-gritty of PC hardware, it can be troublesome since the performance gap between both versions is huge.

Verdict

GeForce GT 1030 is for those people who were using integrated graphics for a long time and for those who are very tight on the budget. It shows great performance and can last for more than a year, so if you really want a Graphics card at less than 100 dollars than it is the best graphics card for you. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is one of the most budget friendly graphics card that will easily deliver you 60 FPS in most of the recent AAA titles, at 1080p Full HD resolution with graphics settings set to low. It is an entry-level gaming GPU which is perfect if you want to play lightweight games like CS GO, League of legends, Rocket League, etc.; you will easily get 90+ FPS in these games. You can also play recent AAA titles at a decent frame rate if you turn down the resolution and some graphics options.

It is also a compact graphics card which is good for those who don’t have enough space in their PC because many old PC cases only have room for a single slot Graphics card. The power consumption is also low, and it does not require any additional power connections. However, some overclocked models of the GTX 1050 require a six pin connector. A total of 640 CUDA cores and 2GB of GDDR5 memory with a 128-bit interface and 7000MHz clock speed is enough for casual gaming.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 also has High Dynamic Range Video support which is a good option available if you prospect for home-theatre PCs. This GPU is a great entry-level choice, but I would still recommend you to go for the GTX 1050Ti to get more boost in performance.

Pros

The biggest advantage of getting a GTX 1050 is its compatibility; even a five-year-old PC can run this Graphics card with ease. Secondly, the power consumption of the GP 107 GPU is so low that you would not need to worry about the power supply throughout the lifetime of the GTX 1050. Lastly, the price to performance ratio of the Graphics card is also impressive.

Cons

The performance that you will be getting from this Graphics card is less than average, to play most of the recent titles you may have to turn down the resolution which is not what you would want. Additionally, there are a ton of direct substitutes for this Graphics card to choose from, and some of them are cheaper with more or less same performance.

Verdict

It is one of the lowest end hardware from the 10th gen pascal architecture, and there are many options to go for which are actually better than the GTX 1050, so as mentioned earlier do not buy this Graphics card unless there’s is a huge offer. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

Similar to GTX 1050, this one is also budget-friendly, providing a decent performance for gaming at medium or high settings which is better than the GTX 1050 due to the increased number of CUDA cores and more memory. Ultra settings are achievable too if you are into esports titles or slightly old AAA titles. At launch, the GTX 1050Ti was called the Graphics card with the best price to performance ratio.

The GTX 1050Ti offers 4 Gigabytes of GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 7000MHz with such low power consumption; just install this graphics card on to your existing PC to get an instant boost in gaming performance. This GPU provides good bang for the buck and is the best graphics card you can find in the price range of £130.

It also offers decent offers decent clock speeds paired up with 768 CUDA cores and TSMC’s 14nm FinFET process for manufacturing the GP 107 chip. The combination of such features offers great gaming performance in 1080p resolution; you might also be able to run some titles in 1440p resolution at decent framerates with careful graphical settings and overclocking.

Pros

The most important benefit would be the price to performance ratio, for people who are upgrading their potato PCs (a term that refers to a cheaply build PC or for a very old PC), the GeForce GTX 1050Ti would be the best Graphics card that will not dent your wallet and provide a considerable performance boost, especially in low-end gaming. Due to quiet design, it would be suited for the professional content makers too.

Cons

There are also a few disadvantages of this Graphics card, unfortunately. Firstly, it is one of those Graphics cards that are still retailing at a slightly inflated price. Secondly, if you decide to spend those extra bucks then the performance boost you will be getting will not be what you would expect. Lastly, Graphics card for the low-end gaming. Lastly, PC gaming is intended for the Ultra settings gaming, and the 1050Ti can only handle most games at medium settings which does not make it any better than the gaming consoles.

Verdict

If you are upgrading your potato PC from scratch and 1080p gaming is what you are looking for, then a GTX 1050Ti would be the best Nvidia’s Graphics card. View Full Review!

AMD Radeon RX 570

If you have a slightly higher budget, then AMD RX 570 might be perfect for you. It is a minor upgrade to the RX 470 which was released back in 2016. The higher clock speed and the architectural improvements boost up the entire performance of this GPU. Built on the 14nm FinFET process, the ‘Polaris enhanced’ graphics card has enough power to breeze its way through the games at 1080p highest possible settings.

The improved configuration involves 2,048 stream processors having a base clock speed of 1168MHz and boost clock speed of 1244MHz. In the RX 570, You will easily be able to get 90+ FPS in most of the AAA titles, that too, in Full HD and playable framerates at QHD resolution with some settings tweaks.

The power consumption is also low, so you will not have to worry if you have a low watt power supply. It comes in 8GB and 4GB variant. However, we would recommend picking up the higher memory variant as the two are very closely priced, and higher memory has faster clock speed which yields better texture rendering capabilities.

Pros

The main problem with the Radeon 400 series was their power consumption and noise production even at less load almost all models were audible. The RX 570 has both of these problems resolved not only it runs a lot quiet but also the power required for it to shine is very less compared to similarly performing counterpart of RX 400 series. Moreover, the enhanced architecture and higher clock speeds have made 1080p gaming a treat for the users and also made gaming at 1440p possible at such a low price.

Cons

RX 570 is one of those Graphics that offer decent 1440p gaming at a very low price, but the performance difference compared to the RX 580 is not huge which makes it an odd choice. If you want performance comparable to the GTX 1060 than RX 580 would be a viable choice but if you are short of money than RX 570 would be enough which makes the position of the card ambiguous. Moreover, the overclocking yields of this card especially are worse both regarding power consumption and performance.

Verdict

The position of the RX 570 is ambiguous which makes it a rather bad option even for AMD but if there is a discount on it then do go for it. Other than the discount there is nothing different it offers regarding performance. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Edition

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is a mid-range graphics card that completely beats AMD’s alternatives in the same price point. It offers brilliant 1080p performance, and you will easily be able to play all the recent titles even in 1440p resolution at a respectable framerate. You might also be able to play some lightweight games at 4K resolution with few settings turned down.

The Graphics card is designed for the best 1080p gaming experience, due to the upper tier specifications capable of supporting VR gaming in a price of mid-range hardware. It has a CUDA core count of 1,280 clocked at 1708MHz supported by 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM having a 192-bit interface.

The core clock of the memory is 8000MHz making it easier to render high definition textures in games and VR devices. The Graphics card offers better performance than the GTX 980 of Maxwell architecture at a price that is considerably less and most importantly it only requires a six pin power connector to work at its full potential.

Pros

The most obvious (you can literally see it) benefit of the GeForce GTX 1060 is the different form factors the Graphics card comes in; you can get a GTX 1060 for every build from a mini-ITX build to a full-fledged liquid cooling rig. You can play most competitive multiplayer modes in most AAA games at 1080p at more than 60FPS. Finally, the incredibly low power usage is always appreciated.

Cons

One of the biggest drawbacks of a GTX 1060 is its price, although it is now retailing at a price that is comparable to its MSRP. Still, it was one of the expensive Graphics card especially compared to its rivals. RX 480 4GB is AMD’s answer to the GTX 1060, the performance difference between these is not huge, but the price difference can make most of the consumers drive away from the GTX 1060.

Verdict

There are not many Graphics card that can provide flawless 1080p gaming alongside VR coverage, the only Nvidia’s device that can do that at 275 dollars price point is the GTX 1060. View Full Review!

AMD Radeon RX 580

The AMD Radeon RX 580 is a Mid-range but quality offer of the company. Based on the Polaris architecture, it offers great performance and is in many ways similar to its predecessor the RX 480. The ‘Polaris enhanced (Ellesmere)’ architecture has increased the density of the die with added benefits of reduced power consumption and efficient performance boost. The RX 580 can be called the flagship Radeon from AMD since it is only second to the VEGA GPUs.

The Graphics card is designed for impeccable 1080p gaming with decent 1440p gaming which is why there are 36 compute units with 64 stream processors in every CU making 2,304 to be the total stream processors clocked at 1,257MHz. To handle the QHD textures, RX 580has 144 texture units and the memory bus of 256-bit.

The combination of these specs never fails to provide an excellent gaming experience even at high resolutions. The higher 1,340MHz clock speed and 6.17 TFLOPs paired up with 8 Gigs of VRAM will easily allow the GPU to handle any graphics intensive task you throw at it. The cost of RX580 is around £350 for the 8GB variant.

Pros

The biggest benefit for opting the RX 580 is its 1440p performance at a price that is less than the GTX 1060 while having better performance at almost all games. If you have 1080p free sync enabled monitor than the benefits of this card are huge as you will be getting dynamic 1440p shrunk to the 1080p resolution with greater framerates. Lastly, if you are into overclocking then the yields that this card produce is unmatched at this price point.

Cons

The main drawback of the RX 580 is the power use, it requires a six pin plus eight-pin power connectors to run, while the similarly performing GTX 1060 only requires a six pin connector. The increased power usage implies that this card will run louder than the rest in your arsenal. Another disadvantage of the RX 580 is the design, no partner firm of AMD offers a single slot card mainly due to the power usage, so mini-ITX or even micro-ATX builds are out of the window.

Verdict

There is not much that can say about the RX 580, its a complete package from rendering high definition images in games to VR headsets RX 580 can breeze through anything that you through at it. All of the flagship qualities at a price that is less than the GTX 1060 is a good deal any day. View Full Review!

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is a competitor to the Nvidia GTX 1070. It is a worthy competitor but consumes slightly more power than the GTX 1070. This enthusiast level graphics card offers smooth performance in all the graphics-intensive tasks and games. Due to the advanced VEGA architecture that not only allowed better use of the high bandwidth memory but also kept the fast-paced processing at its peak.

The VEGA GPU used in the RX VEGA 56 has 56 Compute units as the name suggests with 64 stream processors in every computer unit cluster which makes 3,484 stream processors in total clocked at 1156MHz. AMD decided to go with the HBM2 (High bandwidth memory) which has a huge bus, but a significantly lower memory speed, the purpose of the HBM2 memory is the ability to retain high-resolution textures efficiently.

The combination of 56 CU and such big memory bus allowed the GPU to perform FP16 and FP32 tasks simultaneously hence performing almost similar to the GTX 1070 but at a much lower price.

Pros

The biggest plus point is the memory that the VEGA 56 uses compared to the memory of the GTX 1070, it helps to retain the textures efficiently for a long time making loading screens shorter and open world denser comparatively. The price is also a welcome feature which makes it a better option against the Nvidia’s counterpart. Lastly, the 1440p performance is vastly similar to the GTX 1070 with better performance in some games.

Cons

One of many critiques that AMD has to bear whenever they release a Graphics card is insane power consumption; the VEGA 56 is no different. Its rival only requires an eight-pin power connector to support the 175 Watt TDP while it requires a six pin plus eight-pin power connectors to quench the 225 Watt power requirement. Other than the power requirement there are no other drawbacks to this.

Verdict

If you have enough power supply to run this beast, then it is in every way better than the GTX 1070. If you are short of power, then the GTX 1070 would be the best option. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

When it comes to 1440p gaming, you cannot go wrong with a GTX 1070 one of the wondrous ten series Graphics card from Nvidia. Built on the 16nmFinFETprocess, the GP 102 GPU has all the benefits of the top end Pascal architecture, and it is only second to its bigger Ti version and the GTX 1080 SKUs. It was the only high-end Graphics card that has the best value of the money.

High res Gaming requires raw power which is why you will get almost all the power of the GP 102 GPU. The performance arsenal of the GTX 1070 has 1920 CUDA cores having a base clock speed of 1506MHz and the boost clock speed of 1683MHz. Complemented by 8GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 10,000MHz with a 256-bit BUS making the total memory bandwidth to be 256Gbps.

Additionally, there are 64 Rendering output units meaning the Graphics card can do 64 different Graphical tasks simultaneously, and it makes a total of 7.2 billion transistors to be housed by the PCB. It will provide impeccable 1440p performance in almost every game that you throw at it at the highest possible settings.

Pros

There are so many good things regarding the GTX 1070 that physically jotting them out would be a difficult task, but for the sake of comparison, the QHD performance showcased by the GTX 1070 is unmatched at the price point. The overclocking yields of the Graphics cards are also impressive since the Graphics card remains quiet throughout and there are no dips or unevenness in performance. The power usage of the Graphics card is supreme, it uses a single eight-pin connector and keeps the power usage low even at heavy load.

Cons

The GTX 1070 ticks almost every box in the performance chart from overclocking to specific resolution performance its a performance house the only thing it lacks is the SLI connectivity. It has SLI, but the options to match are very limited.

Verdict

The GTX 1070 is out for almost two years now, the performance it delivers is still unmatched at this price range ($350 to $400). There is nothing with the GTX 1070 that would adversely affect a common consumer who requires a single Graphics card. View Full Review!

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

This AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 is the most powerful gaming GPU by AMD as it offers all the top of the line specs which puts it in direct competition with the Nvidia GTX 1080. It has all the brute computing power to handle physics-heavy VR gaming now and into the future. It is the Highest end device from AMD which promises the company’s dedication to the Graphics, at times when the stocks of the company were in a constant state of downfall.

The powerful 4096 stream processor is paired up with 8 Gigs of HBM2 memory and 256 texture units. Additionally, the 64 rendering output units, coupled with the benefits of the VEGA architecture performs FP16 and FP32 related commands efficiently. The performance is almost similar to the GTX 1080, but it is much cheaper and at times perform better than the GTX 1080.

The Graphics card delivers a best 4k experience with some settings turned down while if you are into QHD gaming than it will deliver the required framerates for competitive shooters. The only down point of the Vega series compared to Nvidia’s GPUs is the high power consumption.

Pros

Better Price is one of the defining features of the VEGA GPUs, the performance they deliver are comparable to their green team rivals, but the price is significantly lower. 4k 30 frames at medium or low settings depending upon the games are easily achievable with this Graphics card. Lastly, the turning control in this card is impressive to such an extent that even at loads/overclocking the fans are inaudible.

Cons

The only downside of this Graphics card is power consumption same as the VEGA 56. The power consumption though is not that big of an issue at the highest end, but due to the increased professional use, the people want cooled GPUs which is not possible when the power consumption is on such a level.

Verdict

The flagship hardware is for enthusiasts; if you have the dedication and power supply to support the AMD RX VEGA 64, then it is one of the best deals that you can find today. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 delivers some serious gaming performance; it is a high-end graphics card which is the best option after the GTX 1080Ti. This card used to offer a great price to performance ratio; then its price got up several folds due to increased demand. However, the next-gen substitute of the GTX 1080 is now released Nvidia will decrease its price. It is currently retailing at a price slightly more than its MSRP.

This graphics card is still one of the cheapest options for smooth 4K gaming as you will easily be able to play all the recent games at a decent frame rate at this resolution. It is also a great option if you want to get into Virtual Reality. You get 8 Gigabytes of 256-bit GDDR5X memory which is pretty solid.

You know you can play everything on this beast at the highest possible settings, due to 2570 CUDA cores, 160 texture units and a total of 7.2 billion transistors on the PCB. There is a “Gaming Mode” too which boosts top clock speeds from 1733MHz to 1898MHz. The fastest setting which is the “OC Mode” pushes the clock speeds further to 1936MHz. Overall this is a great card if you want to do some serious gaming.

Pros

The most obvious advantage of this Graphics card is its performance, when you have a GTX 1080 in your system you do not have to bother about the recommended specifications of every new game, even though it is two years old now. If you are not satisfied by its performance on the system’s “OC mode” and you have means to cool and provide enough watts to the Graphics card then the output of the overclocking will be huge, you will have a boost of more than 5FPS in almost every game which a GTX 1080Ti cannot achieve.

Cons

It is very hard to find a drawback of this Graphics card as it hit almost every point with ease. The only thing that it cannot hit is the 4k 60 FPS mark in most games.

Verdict

If you want a flagship Graphics card in your rig and don’t want to spend a grand to get it, then the GTX 1080 will be the best option even better than the GTX 1080Ti. Additionally, you will not require an upgrade for at least three years. View Full Review!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti

And If it’s about the most powerful GPU, regardless of the price tag, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti with 11 Gigs of GDDR5X VRAM is the last but the best one on our list. It offers smooth 4K gaming performance even at ultra settings; you can also game at 5K resolution on this beast. If you want to play Fortnite on this beast than 8K is also possible with unfavorable framerates.

This graphics card is ready for anything, it provides unbeatable performance and is the best consumer grade graphics card in competition. The improved Pascal architecture adds 25 percent more memory and three times more computing power compared to the GTX 980Ti its predecessor. The basic specifications include 3,854 CUDA cores, 224 Texture units, and 88 Rendering output units provide 11TFLOPS of computing power in single precision loads.

All these coupled with overclockable GDDR5X memory clocked at 11000MHz with boost clock speed of 11010MHz means the 484GB/s of actual memory bandwidth in practice works like 580 GB/s, and the tiled rendering yields around 726GB/s (under the right workloads).

With all these strong specs, this GPU is a complete package with excellent efficiency and great new features. It is undoubtedly the best high-end graphics card that you can get under $800.

Pros

No other Graphics card in the market that can match the 4k performance the GeForce GTX 1080Ti puts on the table, even the $1000 Nvidia TITAN X cannot match its gaming performance. Which makes it the fastest consumer-grade Graphics card in the market that you can buy right now. For people who are now looking for this beast can get the used Graphics card at a price of the GTX 1070Ti, due to crypto mining you will be able to find one easily on sites such as Amazon, eBay or Newegg.

Additionally, the overclocking yields of this card are not as better than its younger sibling the GTX 1080, but due to the overclockable VRAM, the open world games would get a huge benefit from increased texture retaining capability. Lastly, if you decide on getting this Graphics card, then you are saved from the hassle of upgrading your Graphics card for at least five years.

Cons

At such a high level there should not be any drawbacks that can sabotage the sales of the hardware, there is not any in the GTX 1080Ti, but the power it consumes is alarmingly high. The overclocked version runs at almost 90 degrees Celsius. Moreover, due to a very high price, the GTX 1080 looks like a better deal than the GTX 1080Ti.

Verdict

The GeForce GTX 1080Ti is the Graphics card made for PC fanatics. If you have means to buy this beast and power supply that can provide the necessary juice to make it run at its toes, then there is no other Graphics card (at least for now) in the market that can beat this beast. View Full Review!

Editor’s choice

To conclude we have compiled a list of the Editor’s Choice Graphics cards that are the result of our thorough testing and months of data compilation. We have an Editor’s choice Graphics card for every tier from budget to ultra high end, let’s have a look on these.

GeForce GT 1030

For ultra low-end Gaming PCs and for gamers who are only interested in esports titles and do not want to spend a fortune on their PC. The GT 1030 is the best performer with a price in two figures that are less than 100 dollars, which is why it is our low-end Editor’s choice Graphics card of this generation. Get it from Amazon here!

Radeon RX 580 8GB

If you are looking for a solid higher mid-range graphics card which excels in both 1080p and 1440p gaming, then our next Editor’s choice Graphics would be the best option to go. The Radeon RX 580 with 8GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory can play almost all games at 1440p 60FPS, and due to increased VRAM and lesser price compared to the GTX 1060 6GB, it is more future proof and thus a better performer. Here’s it’s Amazon link!

GeForce GTX 1080

For the High-end tier, GeForce GTX 1080 is the way to go and hence it is the Editor’s choice Graphics card. 4K performance of this Graphics card is not as great as the mighty GTX 1080Ti, but it performs relatively better than the rest of the Graphics card. It has been called Editor’s choice because of its very high price to performance ratio and impressive overclocking outputs. You may have to turn down the resolution the resolution to 1860p for the 60FPS experience but spending extra 200 dollars for 200 pixels is quite expensive. You can get it from Amazon here.

So, this was our list of the best graphics cards that you can get your hands on for an ultimate gaming experience. If you know any other better options, make sure to tell us about it in the comments section below.

 

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