There are tons of graphics cards available in the market and not having the right hardware knowledge may lead you to face quite the conundrum. But don’t worry, we have listed down the best 4K gaming video cards/graphics cards of 2018 here for your help.
We did a lot of research and tested out different GPUs to find which ones provide the best 4K gaming and enhance your experience in the 4k games like Tomb Rider, The Witcher 3, Far Cry, etc. These 9 cards found to be the beast of 4k gaming in terms of performance, strength and durability.
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti:
The Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti is without a doubt the best graphics card that you can get your hands on right now. It is the King of 4k gaming which is why the prices are set according to its standards too; higher! But if you are really into some unimaginable 4k gaming experience, then this card is the only thing you need.
The RTX is a new graphics card series by Nvidia which comes with new Turing architecture that features really unique features like Ray Tracing and DLSS support. If budget is not a problem for you then this is the best as it hits the golden standard of 4K at 60 FPS at every title you throw its way.
The Turing TU102 architecture is 60% larger than the last gen’s Pascal GP102 and also features 55% more transistors. Thanks to these transistors you now get 4532 CUDA cores but that is not all. The new GPU also comes loaded with Tensor cores to help accelerate deep learning algorithms like DLSS, plus RT cores to accelerate ray tracing. This basically means that it will stimulate more realistic environment light in games and also uses AI to make image rendering more efficient. Although, this feature is not currently available but Nvidia has promised to drop a software update later this year.
It sports 11 Gigabytes of GDDR6 memory clocked at 14 GT/s. The base clock that you get is of 1350 MHz and the boost clock is of 14 MHz. The GFLOPS is at 13,488 and the memory bandwidth that you get of 616 GB/s. So if you are willing to pay the hefty price the RTX 2080 Ti will completely revolutionize your gaming experience. Check prices on Amazon.
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080:
The next best thing in the market right now is, of course, the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 which provides really impressive performance and will also save you some money compared to the RTX 2080 Ti. Not much is different here except for the fact that you get low specs sheet numbers. It is built on the same Turing architecture featuring 2944 GPU core paired up with 8 Gigabytes of GDDR6 memory clocked at 14 GT/s. The base clock that you get is 1515 Mhz and the boost clock is 1710 MHz along with 10,068 GFLOPS and 448 GB/s memory bandwidth.
With the RTX 2080, there should be nothing stopping you from achieving 4K resolution gaming. It will provide you silky smooth gaming performance in all the games with 60 FPS mark. It also features the same ray tracing and DLSS technology but you will have to wait for some time to enable it.
EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 Ti:
Moving on the next on our list is the EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 Ti which is a really high-end graphics card and is the best one from the Nvidia’s last generation GPUs. This video card looks nice and sports and slanted profile but is no toy either it is a lightweight piece of hardware. It weighs around 1348 grams and is 30.2 centimeters in length from the slap brackets outer edge to the shrouds back. The cover is mostly made of plastic but looks really classy thanks to EVGA which does a pretty good job of imitating aluminum.
On the card’s other side a two-part backplate doubles as a passive cooler. You get a standard HDMI 2.0 output, 3 DisplayPort 1.4 capable connectors and a Dual-link DVI port. Now let’s talk about what this card is rocking under the hood, it is based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture featuring 3584 CUDA cores paired up with 11 Gigabytes of GDDR5X memory clocked at 11016 MHz. The base clock of this GPU is 169 MHz and the boost clock is of 1683 MHz. It is a 352 bit card having a bandwidth of 484.4 GB/s.
All in all, it is a beast which will allow you to play all the latest AAA games at 4K max settings. You will easily get 60 FPS in most of the games although in some really hardware demanding titles you will have to dial back the anti-aliasing which is not even needed at pixel-packed 4K and turn some visual options to High to hit the 60 FPS mark.
MSI Geforce GTX 1080:
The third graphics card on our list is the MSI Geforce GTX 1080 which is the best 4k gaming GPU choice if you can’t afford the 1080 Ti. Starting off with the built quality of this device, its fan shroud of this card is made of relatively thin plastic underneath which there is a massive frame that improves the stability. It weighs around 35.4 ounces or 1003 grams so it is not a lightweight GPU. The card measures 28.4 centimeters long, 13.5 centimeters tall and 2.5 centimeters wide which means it would take up the space of two full expansion slots and plenty of areas vertically.
The cooler fans are positioned horizontally directing airflow towards the slot cover and the rear. This design has the advantage that a lot of heated air gets blown out the back of your chassis.
In terms of raw performance, this is the best card you can get after GTX 1080 Ti. 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 decent frame rates at this resolution. It is also a great option if you want to get into Virtual Reality.
Taking a look at the specs you get 8 Gigabytes of 256-bit GDDR5X memory which is pretty solid for the most part. Also, it features 250 CUDA cores, 160 texture units and .2 billion transistors on the PCB. There is a gaming mode too which boosts top clock speed from 1733 MHz to 1898 MHz. The fastest setting which is the “OC Mode” pushes the clock speed further to 1936 MHz. Overall this is a great card if you want to do some serious gaming.
Zotac Geforce GTX 1080 Mini:
Next up is the Zotac Geforce GTX 1080 Mini, if you are looking for a powerful card to drop in a small PC case for high-end gaming then this graphics card represents the pinnacle of what’s possible today. At only 8.3 inches long and just under five inches from top to bottom, the Zotac Geforce GTX 1080 Mini is by no means small in a general sense but compared to other top of the line GPUs it is significantly smaller, designed for a compact case.
It is a decent looking graphics card and comes with a pre-installed backplate which is nice if your case has a window. It also helps dissipate heat in the cramped environment of mini ITX chassis. The cooler and the two fans, they are not bulky and very simple which is important if you are building inside a small case.
In terms of performance, the smaller graphics card doesn’t fall too far behind the original GTX 1080 variant. This graphics card will allow you to game at 4K resolution at 60 FPS, however, in some games, you might need to turn down a few graphical settings to hit the 60 FPS mark.
The Zotac Geforce GTX 1080 Mini is also based on the same Pascal architecture but with slightly less memory. You get 2560 CUDA cores paired up with 8GB GDDR5X memory clocked at 10 GHz. The base clock of this GPU is 1620 MHz and the boost clock is 1759 MHz which is pretty impressive for a compact graphics card.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64:
The only AMD cards that made it to our list are the Radeon RX Vega GPUs. There are some other great graphics cards by AMD that offers 4K gaming but unfortunately, they are mostly unavailable or provide bad price to performance ratio. As for now the Radeon RX Vega 64 is the most powerful GPU by AMD that offers all the top of the lines 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. This graphics card shows the company’s dedication to the Graphics, at times when their stocks were in a constant state of downfall.
The Radeon RX Vega 64 sports a powerful 4096 stream processor which 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 the best 4k experience with some settings turned down while if you are into QHD gaming than it will deliver the required frame rates for competitive shooters. The only down point of the Vega series compared to Nvidia’s GPUs is the high power consumption which is not that big of an issue at the highest end, but due to increased professional use, the people want cooler GPUs which is not possible when the power consumption is on such a level.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56:
The next GPU by AMD that made it to our list is the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56. It is basically a less powerful version of the RX Vega 64 and provides almost all of the features with some minor cutbacks to bring down its price. Also, it is less power consuming than the RX Vega 64 and thus the thermal performance is also better.
As the name suggests it is based on Vega architecture which is one of the best by AMD. It features 8 Gigabytes of HBM2 memory having an effective memory speed of 1.6 Gbps and a maximum memory bandwidth of 410 GB/s. The architecture comprises of 3584 stream processors, 256 Texture counts, 64 ROPs and 12.5 B Transistor count.
The base clock frequency of this GPU is up to 1156 MHz and the boost clock is up to 1471 MHz. It offers decent gaming performance for its price, you will easily be able to play games at 120 FPS at Full HD resolution. We tested out some of the latest games like Far Cry 5 and Battlefield 1 at 1440p resolution and were easily able to get around 60-70 FPS. It also provides entry-level 4K performance with quite some struggle but if you pair it up with a FreeSync display you will get a bit smooth playable gaming experience.
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070:
The Nvidia Geforce RTX is one of the latest installment by the company in their new “RTX 20” series. It is one of the most affordable 4K gaming graphics card that you can get your hands on right now that will offer a smooth gaming experience. Also, it sports all the new Ray Tracing, DLSS and Tensor cores which will help in rendering realistic environment lights and will create better imagery within the game. It features Nvidia’s new Turing TU106 architecture designed for upper mid-range GPUs.
Of course, this card has certainly fewer numbers on spec sheet than the RTX 2080, it comes loaded with 36 ray tracing and 288 Tensor cores compared to the 2080’s 46 ray tracing and 368 Tensor cores, respectively. As of now, we can’t say how much of a difference these noticeably fewer cores will make because this feature is not currently enabled and there is no game available right now that supports it. This does not mean that it is a bad card, in fact, it is one the best card for 4K gaming that offers a good price to performance ratio. The only letdown of the RTX 2070 is that it does not provide multi-GPU configuration option.
The Geforce RTX 2070 comes with 8 Gigabytes of GDDR6 VRAM along with a 14 GT/s memory clock and 448 GB/s memory bandwidth. Also, it sports 2,304 CUDA cores. The base clock that you get is 1,410 MHz and the boost clock is of 1,620 MHz, there is also a factory overclock option available which pushes it even further to 1,710 MHz. The memory configuration, for the most part, is the same as the RTX 2080, both the GPUs feature 256-bit memory bus.
Taking a look at the performance, we tested out quite a few modern games at 4K resolution and the results were pretty impressive. All the titles were running at a respectable 60 to 70 FPS except for the Destiny 2 which is a really hardware demanding game, it was running at playable 40 FPS. Turning down the resolution to Quad HD boosted the frame rates to 120 FPS in nearly all the games.
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan X:
Lastly we have the Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan X which is absolute best graphics card in terms of sheer performance, it was released back in 2016 but still holds up pretty well as it was not designed for the gaming consumer market. Back then it was used in high-end workstations for CAD designing and other complex graphics work but now since the prices have reduced it serves as a great gaming GPU.
It sports Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture featuring 3072 CUDA cores and full 8 billion transistors. The memory configuration that you get is 12 Gigabytes of GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 7.0 Gbps and bandwidth of 336.5 GB/s. The base clock that you get is of 1000 MHz and the boost clock is of 1075 MHz which might seem pretty low but it still performs pretty great.
Also, it is capable of SLI connection meaning it will allow you to do up to 4-way multi-GPU configuration. In terms of gaming performance you can expect up to 60 FPS at 4K resolution in all games you can crank down a few graphics settings to get more boost in the frame rate. Overall it can serve as a great GPU if you can find one at a good price.
So this was our list of top 9 video cards for the 4K gaming experience. I hope you enjoyed our roundup. If you know any other good option or have any queries then make sure to drop down a comment below.