The good graphics card may appear to be an elusive idea right now, with supply anticipated to arrive relatively slowly during the holidays. It was impossible to find a new GPU only a few months ago, but the battle has recently eased considerably. And, while GPU prices change a lot as supply and demand balance out, we at best gaming tips offer some pointers on how to buy a graphics card if you’re still stuck.
Despite the fact that the Covid-19 and cryptocurrency booms (among other things) have pushed the GPU market to its breaking point, we’ve managed to test every single graphics card from the most recent generation. Each one has been rigorously tested on our test bench, with an in-depth analysis comparing thermal performance, power draw measurements with specialist equipment, and even average frequencies and frame times.
One of our most significant discoveries is that the GPU scene is finally becoming competitive again. The release of the Radeon RX 6600 XT made things quite interesting, as Nvidia and AMD are now competing for the title of best GPU. Intel will even launch The Intel Alchemist graphics card, a new player in the GPU scene, next year.
Nvidia’s Ampere generation has raised the bar for any potential competitors. The GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 are two of the greatest graphics cards available today, and AMD isn’t far behind with the Radeon RX 6800 XT, which challenges the RTX 3080’s outstanding graphical performance at the top end.
Good graphics card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Okay, the RTX 3080 is now as scarce as pigeon eyelashes, but there is no doubt that Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 is the finest graphics card available today. It is a significant generational performance improvement over the preceding RTX 20-series. When compared to the RTX 2080 or 2080 Super, it’s remarkable, but when you realize that this nominally $699 card can not only match but much exceed the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, it really sinks in.
The difference it makes to ray-tracing performance is what truly leaps out from our tests. The earlier generation of ray tracing-capable GPUs needed such a significant frame rate compromise that most users avoided using them, however, that is no longer the case with this generation.
When you can suddenly obtain ray-traced performance that outperforms the frame rates you’d get from the best card in the RTX 20-series without it, you know you’re dealing with a whole different beast. And, hey, the RTX 3080 can play Crysis.
Nvidia accomplished this by including a lot more CUDA cores in its 8nm GPU, as well as upgraded Tensor Cores (for additional DLSS deliciousness) and second-generation RT Cores to produce with the ray-traced pretties.
The RTX 3080 may require more power (at least an 850W PSU) and be difficult to obtain, but it is the most coveted graphics card available today. That’s probably why it’s so difficult to obtain.
If you want a high-end graphics card for gaming, the answer is too complicated. The GTX 980Ti does not fit this criterion of asking since it can’t run anything higher than 1080p resolution at 60 fps. But you classify your question as a gamer what I did here is to recommend midrange graphics cards that are still capable of running 1080p resolution at 60fps.
So if you are okay with 30-60 fps when playing games then go ahead with either R9 380 or GTX 960, whichever one that’s cheaper in your country.
If you need more FPS(more than 60) obviously choose Nvidia GTX 3080.