The best graphics cards for Gaming 2019

Everyone loves sharp graphics on their PC, let it be for 4K gaming or HD video processing. Indeed this trend is engulfing all PC owners. In order to keep up with the swing, it is inevitable that you also install a graphic card to enjoy the luxury.

However, I understand that you might be confused as to what graphic card you should buy, so here are a few features that you must be curious to explore in any card:

  • Frame rate (the higher the better)
  • GPU Clock Speed
  • Memory bandwidth and clock rate
  • Portability of the card in any PC
  • Noise reduction
  • Refresh rate

You should realize that there are currently two GPU manufacturers in the market, AMD, and NVIDIA. It’s up to you for which GPU manufacturer you wish to go for. On the broader canvas, both are tough competitors, but of course, while NVIDIA offers premium and robust technology, AMD suits a lot of budget strains.

After a deep internet research and personal experience of ‘playing’ with them for years, I have crafted a list of 10 best graphic cards for you to choose from.Apart from that, once you look at the features of each card, you would realize that each of them needs a specific set of requirements to run. Which implies that if you are using an outdated or relatively older PC, you might want to upgrade a few other hardware for the graphics card to run optimally.

1. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

This graphic card serves as one of NVIDIA’s frontline soldiers, providing a very concrete infrastructure for 4K gaming. It’s not been so long since the company’s Pascal architecture has started rolling into the market. It is a dignity for Pascal to reach such heights of success and fame in less than a year.

Without a shadow of the doubt, it is one of the prime choices when the decision bases solely on performance and speed. Like all major manufacturers, GTX 1080 Ti comes with a supreme option of frequency boost which could be increased to 1582MHz! Well, the boost frequency might seem slimmer than a few of the competitors. But even if we compare this model with its in-house competitor GTX 1080, this very model nests two more cores together with VRAM. As a result, the overall performance falls in the same benchmark, if not excelling the other one.

Users are quite concerned about the cooling of hardware components within their PCs. NVIDIA understands the demand, and that is the very reason why they have got rid of the DVI port, and their new airflow thermal solution provides ample room for the air to flow through.

Furthermore, NVIDIA has also released a DirectX optimized driver which now enables a wider customer base to run Rise of the Tomb Raider at an incredible 40fps and that too, with a 4K quality.

Pros

  • 4K quality
  • Cooling technology
  • 11GB VRAM
  • Comes with a back plate
  • Ability to overclock

Cons

  • Given the features, it is an expensive option for an array of gamers.

2. Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1080 O8G

ASUS has a unique, stylish and ‘grand sort of ‘style which is visible in all of the hardware they design and this graphics card is no less than that tradition. Well, there is no doubt that the product is a bit pricey but let us have a sneak whether it satisfies the price tag or not.

First things first. The display is quite robust as it nests three giant cooling fans. The company claims that the fans are not only thirty percent more efficient in doing their primary job, but they also diminish the noise significantly. Since the cooling system is very efficient, it directly elevates the overclocking rate, which makes hardcore and heavy gaming seem like a gentle breeze.

Primarily, the card comes with 8-pin power socket. However, ASUS has specifically catered to the demands of ‘dedicated’ gamers who play heavy games. So, to facilitate efficient overclocking, there is an extra 6-pin socket. Furthermore, there are LEDs at the front and the back of the card which could be customized to change colors according to the temperature of the GPU and various operating modes.

The basic overclock frequency is 1733MHz, but it comes with two further modes as well. For instance, the gaming mode boosts this frequency to 1898MHz, and an even further enhancement sets this at 1936MHz.

Pros

  • Programmable RGB lighting
  • Noise reduction
  • Amazing cooling system
  • Exceptional overclocking
  • Additional 6-pin socket for power
  • VR ready
  • 8GB Direct CU III

Cons

  • The size is quite huge and bulky so it might not be very usable for some customers
  • Comes with one power connector only
  • Expensive for some users

3. MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G

Let us all agree to the very first thing here. It comes with the core architecture of NVIDIA GTX 1080. But as the price suggests, a lot of their hardcore functionality has been toned down to a certain level. Even then, it is not a bad choice, because the specs justify its price tag.

As it nests the core technology of Pascal, it should not be a surprise to anyone that this card is quite fast. The most visible enhancement to the card is the giant and beasty cooling fans. MSI has strong claims for its darling, and the company says that this card, with the help of fans, has a sheer tendency to diminish noise to a significant extent. It should be noted that MSI has not just dished out a ‘volatile’ product.

In fact, the card comes with a matte back plate which prevents it from any damage. Just like all the major competitors, MSI has not backed out on providing a manually customized clock rate. You have the option to choose from multiple clock rates, depending upon the mode you intend to play in. Another factor which makes this card worth buying is that it diminishes the power consumption to a great extent.

Pascal’s state-of-the-art processor ensures that the power consumption is restricted to 150W, which is incredibly great if we compare it with other competitors. If we specifically tally it with the reference model, it is worth noticing that the model has not just gone an upgrade in specs. In fact, there is an overall upgrade regarding its look and on-body features.

Typically, it is longer and taller than the mainstream graphic cards, which greatly enhances its capability to lose heat efficiently. When the graphic cards are overclocked, there is a rational tendency to lose speed (to some extent). For countering that, this card comes with an extra power port for drawing more Watts!

Pros

  • High performance
  • Phenomenal cooling system
  • Great design
  • Efficient power consumption
  • Manual control of clock speed
  • VR ready

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • It is slower than GTX 1080
  • Is not laced with accessories

4. AMD Radeon RX 580

This graphic card is an upgrade to the RX480. What makes RX580 one of the best graphics cards, is its enhanced overclocking if we compare it with the predecessor. By now, you must have realized that clocking is one of the most important aspects of a graphics card. So, if the manufacturer enhances that, consider it a big hit then!

Well, I agree that this is not AMD’s premium product, but if you look at the specs and price tag, it leaves no chance in beating NVIDIA’s GTX 1060. Even though the GCN architecture has not changed much, but there has been a significant enhancement regarding clock rate and other performance features.

AMD has not left any stone unturned in doing that. A clear explanation is that the base clock rate has been exaggerated to 1257MHz and when you apply the boost, it climbs to 1340MHz. If you are the guy who wants to play some of the leading games in 1080p quality, then you do not have a better choice than this ‘rather’ economical product.

Pros

  • Ten times performance enhancement from the predecessor
  • Base clock is 1257MHz
  • Boost clock is 1340MHz
  • 30 FPS
  • 8GB GDDR5 memory
  • 1080p top notch quality

Cons

  • Single power pin (8 pins)
  • Does not offer 4K quality
  • Not a perfect fit for price regarding its specs

5. AMD Radeon RX 460

When you want to play games like League of Legends and Dota 2, you do not want to compromise on a lot of things. Unfortunately, an array of graphic cards offering premium functionality for state-of-the-art games is so freaking expensive that a layperson cannot even afford the luxury. Well, that is where Radeon RX 460 intervenes and thwarts the competition.

A lot of hardware cause noise when running games that require overclocking and greater fps, but the case is entirely changed with this card. It allows you to game ‘silently’ while enjoying the luxury! Well, it does not pause here and extends its claws all the way into multiple screen compatibility. You could run five different displays at the same time by using a DisplayPort MST hub.

Another great advantage is that you do not need an external power source for running the card. Since it is highly power efficient and requires just 75W, you could power it from your motherboard as well. Since it supports HDMI 2.0b and offers HD video, you could even use it for home theater PCs, instead of just desktops. Moreover, the video streaming offers an exceptional quality of 120fps and 1080p.

Pros

  • Base clock: 1090MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1200MHz
  • 7GBS memory speed
  • 16 ROPs
  • Comes with AMD FreeSync
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • The design is not very robust for cooling
  • Single fan only

6. NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1070

If you want to run your game at 1440p, then you might not have a better choice than this sleek and stylish graphic card. Well, apparently it might seem as if this card falls in between GTX 1080 and RX 480, but if you look at the justification of specs against price tag, the ruling is overturned. Honestly, it is one of the best graphic cards you would find if you want to run games at 1440p, period.

The incorporation of an array of transistors into its body implies that the card’s working capacity has significantly increased while ensuring a restricted power consumption of 150W. Often, the game you are running might require the card to work on computational tasks and graphic at the same time. This greatly hinders the performance and speed in some models, but the case is entirely different if we talk about GTX 1070. Its asynchronous computation has revolutionized the stuff for gamers!

One of the disadvantages is that the hardware comes with two card SLI configuration only. However, if you need to add more cards, then you should contact the manufacturer and get your card unlocked. But, it is important to realize that if you add 3 or 4 cards, then it might not work unless you have some benchmarking applications.

Pros

  • Phenomenal 1440p gaming performance
  • Great extent of manual overclocking
  • Extremely power efficient
  • Noise reduction facility

Cons

  • GDDR5X memory is absent
  • Comes with just two card SLI configuration

7. EVGA GTX 1060

If you have used EVGA’s products earlier, you might already be aware of their signature design and this card is a true reflection of that. Even though some of you might be disappointed by looking at just a single fan, but you should dig deeper into its specifications for getting a better idea.

This card is EVGA’s pride and offers a base clock rate of 1506MHz. Once you apply the ‘wrath’ of boost, it goes up to 1708MHz, which is truly incredible. Well, there is certainly a fan at its top, and that facilitates cooling to some extent, but when we talk about its compactness, it reduces the feature to some extent. However, to combat that, EVGA has incorporated an award-winning cooling technology to make the hardware worthwhile. So basically, the compactness it has to offer has both, pros and cons.

One of the prime advantages is that the card does not require any further software or hardware installation for enhancing its clock speed. Whatever is listed on the package, is provided without any additional equipment required.

Furthermore, the card comes with PCI interface and a GDDR5 co-processor, offering a card RAM of about 3 GBs. It also has a back plate which prevents the card from any accidental damage and increases its durability.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • GDDR5 3GB
  • Power efficient
  • ICX cooler type

Cons

  • Single fan
  • Compact size might not allure those who play ‘mega’ games
  • Some users complain about its inability to run on sleep mode in windows

8. Gigabyte GTX 1060 Windforce

Well, its basic architecture is pretty much similar to the original GTX 1060, and of course, that is very understandable. However, Gigabyte has added a lot of modifications to make it compete with the mainstream competition, especially regarding its appearance. The foremost difference is that the graphic card comes with two fans, contrary to EVGA’s single fan. Moreover, the fans also offer alternate spinning which diminishes the air turbulence and increases airflow. As a result, its ability to keep the hardware cool is extravagantly enhanced!

If you are running the card in gaming mode, then the base clock rate is 1556MHz, but as soon as you turn on the boost, it climbs to 1771MHz, which is truly appreciable. The hardware has plug and play compatibility with some of the mainstream handsets, and it is also VR ready. What else could you expect from Gigabyte?!

It does not offer manual overclocking. However, Gigabyte has other plans instead. The manufacturer has put in the option where you just have to click on the boost mode required for your game. Therefore, you do not require any knowledge about overclocking, as needed in manual overclocking.

Pros

  • NVIDIA G-Sync
  • VR Ready
  • Offers the functionality of NVIDIA GameWorks and Microsoft DirectX 12
  • HDMI
  • Backplate for protection
  • Windforce 2X cooling system
  • Alternate spinning fans
  • Reasonable clock rates
  • GDDR5
  • 1080p

Cons

  • The size won’t fit if you have a NANO ITX build

9. Asus ROG Strix RX 470 4GB

We all know that ASUS has turned out to be the giant of tech hardware manufacturing and this graphic card depicts its sheer supremacy. The very first thing you would notice is the customization of RGB lighting at its front panel where you have the liberty of choosing from millions of colors.

The dual wing blades ensure enhanced airflow which ultimately diminishes the overheating within its cores. It does not only diminish the overheating issue, but the hardware performance is three times quieter.

Well, ASUS has specifically taken care of the non-technical user base. So even if you have the least knowledge regarding overclocking, you could adjust it with a single click. Moreover, the card also supports DirectX 12 games and comes with FinFET technology to enhance the overall performance.

If we talk about the gaming quality, it does not disappoint there as well. Whether you want to game at 1440p or 1080p, no big deal for such a monstrous card. Its enhanced fps value ensures an even better performance. The GPU Tweak II is on the verge of flourishing its performance to a whole new level, and the instant streaming of gameplay substantiates my claim.

Pros

  • Clock rate of 1270MHz
  • Dual wing blade fans
  • Great display (RGB lighting)
  • ASUS Fan Connect
  • Noise reduction
  • ASUS AutoExtreme Technology
  • GDDR5
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Might crash your PC often because of heating (only if you play extremely heavy and demanding games)

10. NVIDIA Quadro M6000

This is one of the most celebrated graphic cards NVIDIA has ever designed. It would not be wrong to say that NVIDIA has installed ‘whatever they had’ in this marvel.

The very first thing, if you look at the specs, is the incorporation of 3071 CUDA cores which amplify the performance to an entirely new horizon. Wait! There is a lot to come; I told you NVIDIA has incorporated almost everything they had in here. Furthermore, since it is one of the best graphic cards in the World, it comes with 12GBs of GDDR5 memory, on the verge of spinning its wheels. The memory bandwidth is yet another feature of its extravagant performance.

However, here is something interesting to notice. Even though it has the technical capability to run all of your major games, but it’s specifically designed for heavy work in studios.

Pros

  • Ultra quiet
  • Unified Driver Architecture
  • 16K Texture
  • Multi Display
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Quadro Sync
  • Color correction
  • Layers
  • Filters
  • Best for studios

Cons

  • Not ideal for gaming
  • Freaking expensive

Conclusion

Let’s forget about the price tags for a while and compare the products based on other features. Because even though the price is a very strong factor when you proceed to buy anything, but when that factor comes into play, you cannot even think about anything else but to give up the product.
Until now, you must have realized that in terms of processors and GPU, NVIDIA holds its glory.

Therefore, if you are looking for 4K quality gaming and an exceptional memory, then NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti should be your priority. It is one of the best graphic cards available in the market. Moreover, the gaming speed and noise reduction are just phenomenal! If you truly want to allure your eyes with the boon of VR, what are you waiting for?

AMD Radeon RX580 is an outstanding upgrade to its predecessors and possesses the sheer ability to stream 1080p games with an exceptional frame rate. The performance is 10X more than the previous model, and the clock rate is very noticeable as well. It is much affordable than GTX 1080 Ti.

Well, if you are not that much into gaming and have an extravagant budget, then you should go for NVIDIA Quadro M6000. As I have discussed above, the card is best suited for studios where image and video processing is done quite extensively. It has some of the supreme technologies ever used in any graphic card. So all in all, the price tag is very well justified for its specifications.

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Imran Aftab
 

Hello, I'm Imran Aftab, a tech enthusiast, using Android and Windows. Live simply, give generously and dream high.