When it comes to 3D graphics, CPUs are certainly important, but those who do the bulk of the work in the graphics field are basically video cards. If you use your PC to play games, or create 2D, 3D graphics or edit video clips, there is no doubt that you will need the right GPU for your needs.
Graphics processors are essential for any serious setup, and mounting one that is powerful enough makes your computer faster and allows you to work smoothly. In any case there are cards for all prices, it is not necessary to pass out to buy one.
In recent months Nvidia has launched the new Ampere cards (RTX 3000 series), among which we find: 3060 Ti, 3070, 3080 and 3090, but the range will be extended downwards with new different models shortly and, in the meantime, we talk already of a 3080 Ti with more memory, located halfway between the current 3080 and the top of the range 3090.
AMD instead presented the RDNA 2 “Big Navy” card models: RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, while the RX 6900 XT is not yet available in stores.
Given the current rather low availability of next gen cards, if you are in a hurry it will be better to look for some offers for the old generation cards, otherwise there will also be no waiting for a greater availability in the warehouses of the new models.
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AMD at the end of last year claimed that there would be no inventory problems, but apparently the problem with the Big Navi GPUs is worse than the one seen the month before with Nvidia Ampere, at the moment the presence of cards in stores is absolutely virtual and the few pieces that are found are sold at off-market prices.
This has also led to an absurd situation where a mix of scams, fake ads and trolling are mixed up on sales forums and auction sites such as eBay, but not only.
One reason may be the exaggerated demand from gaming users, but doubts arise about eBayer’s unscrupulous speculative activities or the growth of mining operations. It is therefore very likely that you will have to wait longer than expected or throw yourself into a fallback model.
While users wait for shelves to fill up with next-generation video cards for the first time, possibly at the right price, Nvidia has decided to bring back some of its older video cards, such as the Geforce 1050 Ti, while waiting for the situation to normalize. , although it could apparently last until 2022.
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- Nvidia RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, here is the new 12-pin connector
How to choose the best video card?
In general, you tend to choose your video card in relation to the resolution of the screen you are going to use. The cheaper video cards (under $ 100) work well for resolutions below full HD, although they can sometimes hold up to less demanding titles at up to that resolution.
However, if you want to play in full HD without compromise, it will be better to invest up to € 300 to have a good ability to churn out high frame rates. If you use a 1440P monitor it is better to spend a little more, between € 350 and 500. Finally, if you are convinced you want to play in 4K consider spending at least € 500 upwards. Plus the price of one of the best gaming or 4K monitors, if you don’t already own one.
This is net of special offers, of course. Bear in mind that spending a little more than expected will ensure longer life for your card, but you don’t need to buy the more expensive models to run most games smoothly.
The best video cards at a glance:
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
- AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
- AMD Radeon RX 5700
- AMD Radeon RX 6800
- Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti:
The best card is not the most expensive
Stream Processors: 4,864 | Core Clock: 1.41 GHz (1.67 GHz boost) | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (1x 12-pin adapter included) | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Fantastic 1080p performance
- Good ray tracing performance
- Only enough 4K performance
AMD is the queen of value-for-money GPUs, yet the new GeForce RTX 3060 Ti threatens its position with a high-performance, (relatively) low-priced card.
The latest addition to the RTX 3000 line, offers almost the same performance (approximately -10%) as its sister RTX 3070, but cuts a significant chunk of the price compared to the latter. If you are looking for absolute performance you should opt for the RTX 3080, while if you want to save a considerable sum, the RTX 3060 Ti will not make you miss the RTX 3070.
2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080:
Without doubt the best graphics card of the year
Stream Processors: 8.704 | Core Clock: 1.44 GHz (1.71 GHz of boost) | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6X | Memory band: 19 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Excellent 4K gaming performance
- Low temperatures
- Price not affordable for everyone
- Low market availability
Thanks to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 4K gaming has become much more accessible. Before reaching an acceptable number of frames per second it was necessary to shell out over 1000 euros for an RTX 2080 Ti. However, with the arrival of the new generation of Nvidia graphics cards and thanks to the RTX 3080, the cost of gaming in 4K has dropped almost by half.
The RTX 3080 boasts one of the largest generational leaps in GPU history, delivering a 50-80% performance increase over the RTX 2080 and a 20-30% increase over the RTX 2080 Ti. Nonetheless, it still maintains the same price as the RTX 2080. The absolute power is outstanding, as is the value for money, but its cost is still out of reach for many players.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090:
The best graphics card for creatives (and gamers)
Stream processors: 10.496 | Core Clock: 1.40 GHz (1.70 GHz boost) | Memory: 24 GB GDDR6X | Memory bandwidth: 19.5 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Most performing GPU ever
- Usable up to 8k
- Extremely expensive
- Too big
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is the card to beat at the moment. Thanks to 24 GB of RAM, no games and no graphics project, however heavy, will suffer performance problems. In fact, from the 3090 it’s even possible to pull off 60 FPS in 8K. It is a very expensive unit and also quite large, certainly oversized for most users.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is, in essence, the replacement of the old Titan, designed more for the creative user who faces 3D rendering and intensive video editing, than for the avid gamer. Nonetheless, the price compared to its predecessor is reduced by a lot, even if it still remains out of the budget of most users.
4. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT:
Nvidia better be careful
Stream Processors: 3.584 | Core Clock: 1,506 | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory band: 10 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8 pin | Output Ports: 1.4 with DSC DisplayPort, HDMI with 4K @ 60Hz support
- Performance at the height
- Affordable price
- No ray tracing
- Only 6 GB of VRAM
If you’re looking for the best graphics card available for 1080p gaming, you might want to look into what the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT has to offer. This AMD card beats the corresponding rival Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 thanks to its more affordable, offering high frame rates and numerous software features and consuming less power.
Sure, it doesn’t have the ray tracing of its arch enemy and “deep learning supersampling” (DLSS), but on pure performance and price quality, AMD is the winner in the category.
5. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070:
One of the best graphics cards of all time
Stream Processors: 5,888 | Core Clock: 1.50 GHz (1.73 GHz boost) | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (1x 12-pin adapter included) | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Amazing performance
- Graphics card with the best quality / price ratio
- Fantastic ray tracing performance
- A 12-pin power connector is required
At the moment it is nowhere to be found and the prices are inflated
Arguably the best graphics card on the market for gamers, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 delivers excellent performance, even on par with the previous flagship RTX 2080 Ti, and it doesn’t even cost that much. It guarantees access to 4K resolution to many players who could not get close for cost reasons, so we can define it as the first mainstream 4K card.
It will be able to stay above 60 fps in most games, without having to compromise and even if it succumbs to its sister RTX 3080 in terms of pure performance, we have decided to put it at the top of the rankings for its excellent value for money. If only you could buy it then …
6. AMD Radeon RX 5700:
The best graphics card
Stream Processors: 2.304 | Core Clock: 1465MHz (1725MHz boost) | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin and 1 x 6-pin | Output Ports: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI with 4K60 Support
- Ray tracing is missing
A new and powerful graphics card that did not have time to arrive in our laboratories, immediately outclassing its noble rivals, including the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and earning first place.
At a price of around 350 euros this classic average graphics card allows you to play at 1440p in Ultra or Max mode thus making even the most complex games available to most people. At this price it doesn’t have to be perfect and those who want ray tracing will have to look elsewhere.
It obtained the title of Best Graphics Card of 2019 but this year the competition has become even tougher and is destined to leave the scene.
7. AMD Radeon RX 6800:
AMD returns to the high-end video market
Stream Processors: 3840 | Core Clock: 1820MHz (2100MHz boost) | Memory: 16GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 16Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Output Ports: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI 2.1 VRR FRL
- Fantastic performance
- Finally ray tracing by AMD!
- Controversial design
AMD Radeon RX 6800 marks the company’s return to the high-end graphics card market thanks to a high-performance 4K GPU.
By activating ray tracing the limit becomes 1440p resolution, but the RX 6800 proves to be better than the direct rival RTX 3070 due to the double amount of VRAM. It also comes with AMD’s Smart Access Memory technology for even better performance on some titles.
8. Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini:
The best graphics card for small systems
Stream processors: 2.176 | Core clock: 1.650 | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 14 Gbps | Power connector: 8 pin | Outputs: 3 DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 HDMI 2.0b
- Honest price
- The smallest 2060
- No SLI support
If you’re building a microATX or mini-ITX gaming PC and don’t want to limit yourself to low-end cards, Zotac gives you the ability to equally access ray tracing capabilities at a reasonably low price, thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super mini. .
Since it is a card designed to take up as little space as possible, some features such as SLI support, RGB lighting and VirtualLink for VR are absent. However, for a small, powerful PC, the 2060 Super Mini is exactly what was needed.
9. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super:
The best Full HD graphics card
Stream Processors: 1408 | Core Clock: 1530MHz (1785MHz boost) | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory band: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Output Ports: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI
- Exceptional performance
- No Ray Tracing Core
When they came out, the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti excelled at Full HD gaming at an attractive price. Now the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super has arrived, ousting them both. This new graphics card is faster than the GTX 1660 and costs only a little more.
It achieves the same performance as the GTX 1660 Ti at a much more reasonable price. If you are looking for a GPU for gaming in Full HD that does not make you spend too much, consider the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super.