Best Graphics Cards For Gaming in 2018
The CPU is the “brain” of your computer. It contains all the components that you need to get the best out of your computer. When it comes to gaming, graphics and the CPU are what gamers spend their money on. The best graphics cards for gaming offer 4K 64 fps which enhances the gameplay experience. It has its own dedicated video memory, processing unit that ensure you CPU has the high-end gaming requirements needed to really get the best out of your games.
To put it in simply, this is the most crucial component of your gaming setup. Unfortunately, most new gamers overlook this aspect, and end up barely pushing 30 fps, which translates into a poor gameplay experience.
We Review the Best Graphics Card for Gaming in 2018
- 1. MSI GAMING GTX 960 4GB OC Graphics Card
- 2. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition 8GB GDDR5X, Gaming Graphics Card
- 3. XFX RADEON 4GB DDR5 1220MHz RX 460 HDMI DVI GPU
- 4. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050, 2GB GDDR5 DisplayPort Gaming Graphics Card
- 5. Sapphire Radeon FLEX R7 250X 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
- 6. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini ZT-P10600A-10L 6GB Super Compact Gaming GPU
- 7. XFX RX-480P8LFB6 RADEON 8GB GDDR5 1288MHZ Triple X Graphics Cards
- 8. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
- 9. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, ZT-P10800A-10P 8GB
- 10. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 High Performance GPU
- 11. ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG STRIX Graphics Card
That brings us to our question – which one should I go for? Depending on the other components of your setup, your system can either fall in the middle-of-the-road build, a high-end one or a budget setup. Just remember that no matter what choice you make you will require a good CPU to function properly.
There’s no point in going for a high-end graphics when you’re using an old CPU. Some other aspects you should consider when looking to buy include: noise, supplemental software, and the driver you have. We review some of the best cards for gamers you can buy taking into consideration all these aspects.
Buyers Guide Questions
What is a Graphics Card?
In layman’s terms, a graphics card is a piece of computer hardware which is required to produce images that one can see on a monitor. The data that a computer can understand is converted into a signal that your monitor can interpret and display. It is composed of an array of computer chips fabricated over a circuit board roughly the size of an index card. The chips have been dedicated to single tasks which leads to taking the data from the processor of the computer and converting into signals which can be understood by the monitor.
They connect to a standard motherboard slot like the PCI (Peripheral Component Interface), PCI Express or Accelerated Graphics Port. The type of slot used is responsible for the speed with which the CPU will read the information provided.
The faster the communication between it and the computer’s processor, faster the data transfer and hence the better the graphics on your PC. They’re also called display cards, video cards, display adapters or graphics adapters. A variety of displays use this to show images, videos, programs or animation. They are even used for 3D displays and high-end gaming from HotRate.
The graphics card might be incorporated into a slot on the motherboard which is the main part of the computer, or they might be separately plugged into the system. Multiple units of this can also be installed into the same system, and they enhance the display accordingly. The more graphic cards, the more your gameplay is enhanced.
How do Graphics Cards Work?
A graphics card is sort of an extra CPU for your computer to handle games that require extra memory which might not be possible for the CPU, or the integrated graphics to handle. In the form of a PCI card, they have a CPU-like design. The graphics cards have their own processor and their own RAM and other chipsets on their circuit board. They handle the load of the graphics displayed on the screen.
The processing unit on it is the brain of the card and is responsible for the conversion to create the graphics that you see on the screen. It generates a lot of heat, a heat sink is located just above it. They have their own RAM memory known as dedicated memory which takes the load on itself to reduce the pressure on the CPU.
The motherboard supplies power to it and how well the CPU will read the information. First of all, it creates a wire frame out of the straight lines and then fills it with the remaining pixels to create a 3D image out of it, and all of this is done very fast which is why you don’t experience any frame drops in your gameplay whatsoever.
What is the Purpose of a Graphics Card?
The graphics card forms an important part of a computer. The images that you see on the monitor are made up of pixels. These are tiny dots, and there are millions of them in a single image, depending on the resolution your monitor is operating on. The order of these millions of pixels decides what you see on your monitor and your computer’s central processing unit is responsible for deciding the order. The CPU needs a translator to achieve the correct order, and these act as the translator.
The whole method by which graphic card carries out this operation is complex, but its principle is plain and simple. The smoothness of the image that is shown on your monitor is dependent on the quality of the product. The colourful images that you see displayed on your computer are the ultimate output. When you click on the image, and you wait for it to open, it opens in the blink of an eye generally.
This fast conversion and transmission take place on a graphic card, and the signal is sent to the monitor which displays it, and the process is so quick that you don’t even notice any lag, or distortion, or interference while playing favourite game. So, a top quality ones can ensure a seamless and enhanced enjoyable experience. The same thing holds true when it comes to watching videos or playing any high-end games.
Is a Graphics card Important?
Most think these are externally installed video cards to boost their system’s performance. They are not just important, but a necessity for a gamer, so that you can see any picture displayed on your monitor. Every computer has one because it acts as a translator that converts the data from the CPU to a signal that your monitor can understand.
However, you can also consider adding another specialised card as an external add-on for your computer, to enhance its performance. This kind of externally added ones that are dedicated and focus on increasing the speed at which the CPU takes to read the data to the monitor interpretable signal which results in a seamless experience without any lags. There are a number of ways they will enhance your experience:
Gaming: If you use your computer for games, the dedicated graphic cards have the capability of producing radical performance increase in your picture quality. They have dedicated graphic processing units on them which range in both price and performance. High-end gaming requires an external graphics card. Without it, the game would show a lot of frame drops, or interference or distortion. To the best performance for hard-core games, the GPU on the graphic cards acts as another central processing unit so there is not so much strain on the main CPU. This results in better optimised and a faster experience.
Heavy Editing Tools: To edit your massive videos or photos using Photoshop or other video editing tools, one needs to have one installed. To carry out the editing without any drops, the image or the video needs to be rendered, and if the CPU is used for rendering the heavy image, all the other processes on the computer might stop because of the heavy load on the processor. This is why these handle the editing tools too.
Multiple Monitors: Some people use multiple monitors to expand the number of display devices without having to use separate systems. If one uses integrated graphics to achieve this, the result could be catastrophic, with the images not displaying properly on all of the screens. This happens because one CPU is forced to handle the display on multiple monitors and in doing so, a considerable part of its memory gets used up. They act as a second CPU to control the displays and reduce the primary CPU power usage.
So, on the whole, to get better performance out of your computer, one needs to have an additional ones installed over and above the integrated graphics.
Are There Different Types of Graphics Cards?
These are an essential part of all computers. While your computer probably already has integrated ones, you can add external ones to your central processing unit to boost the performance of your device. It can be very daunting and confusing when deciding which one to choose, as there are quite a number of different ones available. There are two different types of cards available:
Integrated: If you have a computer that you did not assemble yourself, or just bought directly from the vendor, then most the chances are that it already has a graphics card pre-installed in its motherboard, and are known as “on board graphics”. They are the default option which comes with the motherboard. When it is integrated, it refers to the relationship that it shares with the motherboard.
The integrated ones might not be a very powerful, but if you like to play low-end games then the integrated type would do the job nicely. You can also upgrade yours to enjoy high-end gaming, but for that, you need to add another card and have your CPU ignore the integrated one.
External: For carrying out regular tasks like using productivity tools such as Office or streaming videos or playing low-end games, an external ones aren’t really needed, but if you want to play high-end games then it is a must have. The external ones have a lot of capabilities to enhance the performance and speed of your computer. The gamer experience is taken to a whole new level with them. They are plugged into the PCI slots on the motherboard of your CPU. The connections of the external ones with the motherboard can be accomplished in three ways:
- Peripheral component interconnect (PCI)
- PCI Express (PCIe)
If you are looking to upgrade first review what it is you will need, read about the different capabilities and what each have to offer before making the decision. A review given by a customer is important to look at too, you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t with the different CPUs on the market.
What are the best Graphic Cards Available in the Market?
The requirements differ from person to person. If you have read our reviews you will see there are many out there that will suite your needs and which you will consider the best. Your amount of high-end gaming, the memory requirement for your tasks, and your budget are the main factors to decide which graphic card you should go for. A range are available that might match all of your requirements and to choose from them, you need to consider the overall performance of the product, which can be decided by its frame rate and is measured in frames per second.
The specifications that affect the performance of the product includes the amount of memory available (MB), memory bandwidth (GB/s), clock speed (MHz), Size of the memory bus (bits), Memory clock rate (MHz) and RAMDAC speed (MHz), there are many very high end ones on the market like the Asus AMD Radeon RX-580, and the Nvidia GTX 580 Graphics Card, Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 580 Aorus XTR 8GB GDDR5, MSI AMD Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8GB GDDR5, RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC MSI Radeon RX 580, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 and the eVGA GeForce GTX 580 as well as a host of others.
If you are looking for a high-end, then Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is one of the best choices available for 2018, you just have to read our review to know that you are getting quality in the GTX 1080. It is a high end card with specifications powerful enough take your games to a whole new level. With a whopping 11GB memory and clocking at 11GHz, it has a sophisticated cooling system to take care of any heating issues.
If you are looking for a low-end one to handle low end gameplays, then AMD Radeon RX 460 is the best choice to go for right now. The AMD Radeon, as we said in our review of this product is not only affordable but delivers powerful but energy-efficient performance, so that you enjoy a lag-free gameplay.
If you are looking for a mid-range ones, then Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 might be the right one for you. The Nvidia GTX 1060 has the best price to performance ratio amongst all of the ones available in the market for 2018. It is a fabulous choice for an inexpensive yet energy efficient, which will boost your gamer experience. Read our review of the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 to get all the information you need.
MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 970 4GB DirectX 12 tops our list as the best available one considering its performance, memory handling capacity and your budget too. For the hard-core gamer, the MSI GTX 970 is the best choice. It offers a small design with strong fans which emit low noise and regulate the air flow to handle all of the heat generated and keep the system cool. The GTX 970 reaches a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 and can support up to 4 extra display monitors. It features the latest and revolutionary Twin Frozr V which is 17% cooler as compared to the previous generation’s 12%. Through higher clock speeds and increased fan operation, your CPUs is drastically boosted for gaming. You can tell by our review that you get so many great features with the MSI GeForce that you might find it irresistible.
As we said in our review, for people who are not on a budget and want to experience top of the line gaming with one of the best available in the market for 2018, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition 8GB GDDR5X Gaming is the best choice. It uses premium materials which help in superior heat dissipation by using an advanced vapour chamber. It even supports next generation gaming technologies like VR and delivers performance three times better than the previous generation model. It has top of the line specifications and up to date features to bring the best out of your computer. This features a built-in automatic overclock tuning feature to give you overclocking features that have never been seen before. It has a ground-breaking design for totally quiet and heat controlled action, thus delivering you the best available in the market for 2018. You just have to read our review to see what this fantastic product has to offer.
For the people who are low on budget but are looking to boost their computer’s performance, the XFX RADEON 4GB DDR5 1220MHz RX 460 HDMI DVI is one of the best available in the market for 2018. The XFX RX 460 powers through the latest AAA titles in the most popular resolution on the market at 1080p. It delivers a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, and the processor is clocked at 1120 MHz to deliver high speeds without much heat generation. It uses a passive cooling system with no fans to manage the heat dissipation. Every gamer would be happy to know that it has HDMI® 2.0b and DisplayPort™ 1.3 to support a whole new amazing generation of monitors. After you have read our review you will agree that it is the best one with tons of features available and it is budget friendly. Our review will show you that you get best quality for the best price in the Radeon 4GB.