This guide is compiled with informative product reviews about the different categories of best GPU for gaming that are available in the market. You will know the different parameters you need to consider when purchasing graphics cards for your gaming rig. As per the features and functionalities of different GPU segments you can make an informative choice. We start with what are the defining features of a graphics card and how to choose the best one for your building gaming rig.
General thoughts on the best gaming GPU
When you are composing a gaming rig, one of the vital components you need to source is the GPU or the best GPU for gaming or see Gpu Hierarchy. Even if you are buying a pre-assembled gaming PC, it is important to know the configuration of the GPU that in turn will indicate the kind of visuals and gaming experience you can have for the PC. The top parameters that affect a graphics card and its performance are:
- Clock speed is important for a graphics card.
- The number of cores.
- Bus bandwidth.
- Other aspects that affect the performance of a GPU are dedicated graphics memory, fill rate, number of pixels that the card can render and so forth.
As there are several factors that affect the performance of a best graphics card for gaming, you need to know what you are looking for. If you wish to conduct casual gaming or run a high quality, demanding games you would need graphics cards of varying configurations that can deliver performance to such levels. Knowing the resolution or frames per second you wish to have on your monitor and hours of performance you need from your computer would help define the configuration you require on your graphics card.
Top 9 best GPU for gaming comparison table, I picked in 2018
The top GPU of the year picked for you are listed below:
- AMD Radeon RX 470.
- AMD Radeon RX 480.
- AMD Radeon RX 580.
- AMD Radeon R9 Fury X.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
How I picked these best graphics card for gaming?
If you are wondering how I picked the best graphics card for gaming as listed above, these are compiled based on certain factors which are detailed below:
- An important performance indicator is the model number. The model number of a graphics card represents the graphics processor that it includes as well as clock rate and the bandwidth of the memory.
- However, these numbers might not prove everything. For instance, if a product is showcased as an overlooked item having more RAM than other models in the market, it could still be outperformed by a plain GPU of the next series.
- It is best to opt for a graphics card that is of the highest tier that the market has to offer.
- Budget is also an important consideration since GPU is only one of the several components of a computer.
- You also need to think about compatibility when picking a GPU. If you are assembling a gaming rig yourself, the GPU you pick would be constrained by the other components of the computer.
The above points are important to bear in mind when you are picking a GPU for your computer or a gaming rig you are assembling.
Top 5 picks reviews: Choose your best gaming GPU, in-depth reviews
Here are the top five picks among best graphics card for gaming that I have assembled with their major features showcased, pros and cons highlighted so that you know what sets these products apart and the characteristic features of each.
Part #1 Best Intel GPU for gaming 2018
Quick tips: General thoughts on Intel GPU
Here we look at an Intel GPU, the features it comes with, advantages and limitations of the product and summarizes the main features that make it easy for you to make an informative choice. Intel is one of the major GPU card manufacturers in this segment and its products are relied upon by most.
Editor’s choice: MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 reviews
About this GeForce GTX 1060
This is one of the best sellers on the market right now. If you are looking for the latest among Intel GPUs, you can probably buy it off the shelf or order it at an online store. It has the latest features to offer that would be compatible with a standard gaming rig or would be part of any pre-assembled PC you opt for.
Features you might like
The features you will find in this gaming graphics card are the following:
- It comes fitted with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 chipset.
- The video memory of the GPU is 6GB GDDR5.
- It supports 7680 x 4320 as well as 4x display monitors.
- The connectivity options include 1x 8 Pin PCI-E as the power connector and output ports need to be DVI-D Dual Link, 3x Display Ports and HDMI.
- It would consume 120W and 400W as system power.
The above points are the main highlights of this GPU.[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
- A three year warranty period.
- Quiet performance.
- The inclusion of back plate.
- It is a comparatively expensive buy.
- Availability might be limited.
- Card dimensions are large.
Part #2 Best AMD GPU for gaming 2018
Quick tips: General thoughts on AMD GPU
If you are thinking of picking up an AMD gaming graphics card, you can probably do so with your eyes closed as far as the brand and its reliability are factors. This brand is one of the best sellers in this segment and its products come in varying configurations that can stand up to even the most advanced resolution requirements and what hardcore gamers require. Your purchase decision would be based on the product features it offers and whether a particular AMD GPU would deliver as per the requirements of your PC or gaming rig.
Editor’s choice: XFX GTS XXX Edition RX 580 8GB
Features you might like
This particular GPU from AMD offers the following features:
- It comes with AMD Radeon RX 580.
- It would be supported by Microsoft Direct X 12 and Microsoft Windows 10.
- Its video memory is 8 GB DDR5.
- It draws 500 watts of power.
This particular GPU from AMD comes with the LiquidVR feature. That translates to low latency and a smooth viewing experience, even for VR games.[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
- The comparable performance with DirectX 12 or NVIDIA GTX 1060.
- It is VR ready.
- Good performance and cooling features.
- The model is big.
- Its power requirements are extensive.
Part #3 Best budget gaming GPU 2018
Quick tips: General thoughts on budget gaming GPU
If your budget is the main constraint for the purchase of a gaming graphics card there are certain aspects you need to answer before you make a budget buy. You need not spend a lot on a GPU, especially as it is one of the several components of a gaming rig or a computer. If you are assembling one yourself, all you need to do is know the compatible GPU configuration and then look at the models available in the market. Here I showcase one of the popular products in the budget segment that would prove to be good value for money.
Editor’s choice: MSI Computer Video Graphic Cards GTX 1050 2GT OC
Features you might like
The standard features of this product are:
- It comprises of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 chipset.
- It offers a video memory of 2GB GDDR5.
- Its memory interface is 128 bit.
- It can support 3x Display monitors.
As is evident from the list of features above, this product offers standard parameters that one would require for a casual to medium level performance gaming rig.[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]
- It is an ideal and a budget purchase.
- It is a power efficient model.
- Even with 1080p, you can get great performance from it.
- Do not expect VR support from it.
- Lacks SLI support as well.
Part #4 Best 1080p graphics card 2018
Quick tips: General thoughts on 1080p graphics card
How do you go about buying a graphics card to ensure 1080p resolution and compatible smooth viewing experience on your computer? The best GPU in this segment would be the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and similar others. This GPU offers you dream performance, which comes at a budget price as well. It might not run every game smoothly even when you have the best settings for and have a full HD screen. However, 1080p is standard resolution most personal computers and hence, at the price that it comes for you’ll get standard performance.
Editor’s choice: Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti WindForce OC 4GB GDDR5
Features you might like
The standard features of this graphics card include:
- It comes with the NVIDIA Pascal architecture which is one of the latest GPU designs.
- It can easily play modern and crashing games at 60 frames per second at 1080p.
- You will experience power-efficient, fast and smooth gaming.
- It will support direct X features of the latest series.
- Advantages include HDMI ports additional provided with this GPU.
- It offers quiet performance.
- It also adequately cools even for extended running sessions.
- It is not a budget product to consider.
- Performance may be limited when it comes to high-level gaming requirements.
Part#5 Best 1440p graphics card 2018: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
Quick tips: General thoughts on 1440p graphics card
So what can you expect out of a 1440p graphics card? Example of that would be the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. This falls into the category of mid-range cards. One of the limitations of the segment is that these products are available in very limited numbers. However, if you are lucky to get your hands on one, you need to ensure that you get it for a decent price. It usually comes with 4GB memory, but getting one for 8 GB memory would be a good buy. It will surely set you up for a good performance from your 1440p monitor. Can we look at what features we can expect from such a graphics card, advantages and limitations as well?
Editor’s choice: EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black Edition
Features you might like
The standard features of this graphics card are:
- It comes with the real base clock of 1594 megahertz.
- It can play long and run long with the cooling system included in it.
- It consumes 500 Watt of power.
- It can support a maximum number of 4 monitors.
- The kind of performance it offers at a budget price makes it a great purchase.
- The cutting-edge features of this graphics card make it a must buy.
- If you are looking for 1440 gaming at 60 frames per second this graphics card will not disappoint.
- There is a premium charged for the founders’ edition, which may not be worth it.
Part #6 Best 4K graphics card 2018: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
H4 Quick tips: General thoughts on 4k graphics card
Are you looking at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? It is one of the popular products in the 4K gaming GPU segment. When you are looking at graphics card in this segment you would want to look at certain features besides the price aspect. The GTX 1080 has powerful features and that is what you need when you are gaming on a 4K monitor. You would want to look at them every aspect as well and 8 GB memory would be a good consideration. This segment of GPU comes at high prices and hence it is best to know what you need before you make a choice in the segment.
Editor’s choice: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW HYBRID GAMING
Features you might like
The features you would like on this graphics card are:
- It comes with the real base clock of 1721 megahertz.
- Its memory detail is 8192 MB GDDR5X.
- It comes with a unique cooling system which is a plug and play model.
- It offers a convenient design for easy configuration.
- It has the lowest latency as well as plug and play compatibility for VR games.
- It comes with 8 pin connections that can help amp up the overclock potential.
- The cooling system unique and beneficial.
- It offers good performance on all GPU benchmarks.
- You might find it and give me a little more power than other GPUs in this segment.
If I were you, I will choose MSI computer video graphic cards GTX 1050 2GT OC, here are the 3 reasons
My choice of choosing this budget graphics card of the standard configuration includes the following reasons:
- It offers standard memory.
- It is a power efficient model.
- It will offer you standard resolution and visuals which would be adequate for casual to medium level gaming.
When you are beginning to assemble a Gaming Rig then you need a standard graphics card that would be of a reasonable price and would have standard configurations. For those who look for superior experiences in gaming and have larger monitors would want to look at the graphics cards of the other segments as discussed above.
Tips buying guide times: How to choose the best gaming graphics card
H3 Intel vs. AMD GPU
How do you choose between the two most popular GPU brands in the market, Intel, and AMD? The war between these two brands has been intense as both of them offer products that have the latest features and what Gamers need for a smooth visual and long performance from their computers. However, both these brands offer GPU of different segments. For instance, Intel offers GPU products that have features like hyper-threading and higher clock speeds. AMD on the other hand offers GPU products that have many CPU cores and the clock speeds are more modest. Finally, what it boils down to is for you to choose a GPU that suits your configuration requirements, keep an eye on the power consumption and offers the kind of resolution you need.
4 Things to be considered when buying a GPU
What are the four things that you should consider when you are buying a GPU? They are listed below:
- Performance is the main Criterion to look at when you’re considering a GPU purchase. Once you have decided on your budget, you will want to get the best performing GPU in that segment. You would always want to get a GPU that has the latest features to offer.
- Know what you need before you shop. As GPU products are feature-rich but before when it comes to power consumption and performance, you need to know what would be your requirements as well as compatibility with other components.
- Random Access Memory is also one of the important aspects to consider when you’re looking for a graphics card to buy. It is always better to have a graphics card of the kind of configuration you want with a higher RAM.
- The cooling system that a GPU comes with is also important. If you are looking at long hours of gaming then you need to put special emphasis on this aspect.
Overclocking is a term used to state beauty of computer components, clock rate to be increased. This usually refers to the CPU or the GPU. These are designed such that they can run at a higher speed than the speed at which they are designed to run originally. When a component has its clock rate increased it can perform more operations within a time interval. However, it also produces more heat. Cooling, as well as care, is required when GPU components are overlooked. If you are building your own gaming rig you need to take precaution such as adding in the right kind of cooling systems so that your GPU is taken care of when it is overlooked.
For those who are purchasing gaming GPU for the first time, we need to know about reference as well as non-reference coolers. Usually, GPU manufacturers who sell GPU directly to consumers mention about reference cards on them. Reference cooling systems are usually about the single fan being set on one side which will help to get the hot air out of the system. Non reference, cooling on the other hand, refers to the fan being mounted so that the hot air is blown away from the graphics card. These tend to be more effective and quiet. If you are assembling a computer by yourself, you need to ensure that you have the right cooling system setup for the GPU that you install.
More: Cpu cooler Buying Guide
When you are purchasing GPU you need to look into the dimensions as well. Usually, the GPU length is mentioned by the manufacturers. This is important because the slots provided in a computing case will determine the length of a GPU that you need to procure. Ensure that the GPU card you procure the use of compatible dimensions with your gaming computer case. It also indicates compatibility regarding configuration settings for your computer assembly.
We always talk about the GPU and its need to be compatible components of a computer. Issues arise, such as a power source. You need to know how many amps are needed. You also need to know the size of the card which would fit inside the computer case as well as the power it would consume under load. Knowing that will help you to understand which GPU products would be compatible with the computer assembly that you are planning to build.
Set your budget and expectations
It is important to know your budget constraints. That will help you check the products available in that price range. Once you check the GPU products available in the price range you are looking at, you need to check the configuration compatibility aspects. That, in turn, will help you understand which products you can consider. Your final decision to purchase would depend on checking the brand and product reviews amongst these shortlisted products.
Budget-minded gamers: 1080p graphics card
When you are looking to buy a graphics card on a budget, you cannot sacrifice on the main aspects such as the resolution you need the graphics card to support. Hence, as per the computing capabilities, you are looking for, the level of gaming you wish to do, you need to get a graphics card accordingly. Also, check the dimensions of the graphics card before purchasing. You need to ensure that the card would fit in the slots of the computing case you choose. Usually, a standard computing monitor can be run with such a graphics card which will offer you smooth visuals when you conduct standard computing tasks as well as casual to medium level gaming.
High-end gaming: 1440P graphics card
What does a 1440p graphics card have to offer? The first advantage is obvious; you get a graphics card that can run monitors with higher resolution. The cards that come in the range of 1440p to 1080p usually are known as mid-range cards. They offer you good graphics and performance for medium to high-level gaming. These usually feature a base clock frequency that can average or go beyond 1257 MHz. These cards can also take frequency to higher levels. They also come with 8GB memory. Usually, the GPUs of this range consume a lot of power. Hence, you need to ensure that adequate power supply and connections are made in a computer assembly, where you fit a 1440p graphics card. Since the card generates a lot of heat, the right kind of cooling system is also important to ensure optimal performance from such a GPU.
Extreme gaming enthusiasts: 4K graphics card
When you want nothing but the best that gaming, computing technology has to offer, then you would want to opt for a 4K monitor and have the setup done accordingly. If you are looking to assemble such a high-performance gaming rig you need to have the right amount of power supply, source a high-performance motherboard and have cooling systems that would allow such high-performance GPUs to work efficiently.
When you wish to run games on a 4K framework you need to have the right kind of assembly done. When it comes to sourcing the right graphics card, the higher clock base frequency the better. It would also need to have a high RAM memory. Once you have sourced the best GPU for a 4K gaming rig, taking into mind the coolers it needs and the dimensions that would make it fit right in the gaming case, also ensure that it gets the adequate power supply.
Further reading time
In order to source the right GPU for your computer, you need to know not only about the kind of compatibility that the GPU would need along with the other components but also the kind of performance you expect out of it. Hence, the number of hours of computing or gaming you would do also would impact your decision. For such reasons it is necessary to read up about the GPU products in the market, the features they offer and what you need for your own gaming rig setup.
The above guide would have provided you enough information to make a choice among popular GPU products in the different categories. As per the resolution or the gaming experience you want, you can choose among these products or know how to make a choice among the different GPU products out there. Remember that a lot of information comes from the model number of a graphics card; the manufacturer includes most necessary information in the model number of a GPU. You also need to know about the dimensions, RAM, cooling requirements and overclocking abilities of a gaming GPU before you make a purchase decision.