GPU Overload: A Simple Guide to Gaming Graphics Cards This Holiday Season

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There are many things to consider when you’re buying a graphics card. It can get confusing. At how high a resolution do you want to play? Do you want FreeSync or G-SYNC? Do you want ray tracing or not? This simplified guide will point out some of the popular graphics cards in common gaming builds.

Entry Level

If you’re just looking to play your games at a respectable Full HD 1080p resolution without breaking the bank, then you should opt for either the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER or the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER is a solid choice for Full HD 1080p gaming. It has 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, running at 14 Gb/s. With a 336 GB/s peak memory bandwidth, it’s a 75% improvement over the peak memory bandwidth of its predecessor, the GTX 1660.

ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER AMP Graphics Card

For the even more budget-conscious gamer, the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER is also a good choice for Full HD 1080p gaming. It has less VRAM and is slightly slower (4GB of GDDR6 running at 12 Gb/s) than the GTX 1660 SUPER, but it has a lower price tag and, when paired with an entry-level or mid-range CPU, you should still be able to run most games at Full HD 1080p on medium-to-high settings.

Both the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER and GTX 1650 SUPER are built on the Turing architecture and are G-SYNC compatible. However, if you’re looking for ray tracing support, you’ll have to opt for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-Series.

Looking for an alternative to team green? AMD has got you covered with the Radeon RX 5500. Powered by the 7nm RDNA architecture, the Radeon RX 5500 has 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM, running at 14 Gb/s, for Full HD 1080p gaming. The Radeon RX 5500 also features a plethora of AMD technologies, such as Radeon Image Sharpening, Radeon Anti-Lag technology, and is FreeSync 2 compatible for variable refresh rate support. Unfortunately, ray tracing is not supported.

Mid-Tier

For gamers who want that Full HD 1080p gaming, but with ray tracing support, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER is for you. With 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, running at 14 Gb/s, the RTX 2060 SUPER has a higher peak memory bandwidth (448 GB/s) than the 1660 SUPER.

MSI GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER GAMING X Graphics Card

If you want to forgo ray tracing and opt for 1440p, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 is a good alternative. It also has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM at 14 Gb/s, as well as 36 compute units and can be boosted up to 1725 MHz. Built on the 7nm RDNA architecture, the RX 5700 has improved instructions for visual effects and has a multi-level hierarchy for reduced latency.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC Graphics Card

High End

With more and more gamers opting for 1440p @ 144 fps instead of 4K, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER is the gamer’s choice for high-end gaming. This powerful GPU has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM at 14 Gb/s. With an additional 256 CUDA Cores, 32 Tensor Cores, and 4 RT Cores, the RTX 2070 SUPER features up to a 25% gaming performance bump over its predecessor, the RTX 2070. NVIDIA also added an SLI connector so you can add another GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER for even more power and performance.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER XC ULTRA GAMING Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is also a good choice for playing more demanding titles at 1440p, and also if you don’t care about ray tracing. It also has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, running at 14 Gb/s. Built on the same 7nm RDNA architecture as its little brother, the RX 5700, the RX 5700 XT has the same technologies, such as Radeon Image Sharpening, FidelityFX, and VR support. The RX 5700 XT has 40 compute units and can be boosted up to 1905 MHz.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT OC Edition Graphics Card

Premium

You already know what we’re going to say. If money is no object, then you should absolutely get the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. This premium graphics card can run certain games at 4K HDR @ 60 fps on Ultra settings. Of course, 4K gaming is still pretty taxing so don’t be surprised when you run into situations where not even the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti can keep 60 fps at 4K. Still, it’s the best gaming graphics card you can buy now.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA GAMING Graphics Card

Navigating through the sea of graphics cards can be difficult. Hopefully, this simple guide will have you looking in the right direction. Let us know which graphics cards on this list (or not on this list) you would consider getting, in the Comments section, below.

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