Technology can never beat the best. Just a few years ago people used to believe that NVIDIA graphics technology has substituted the human eyes view on our screens while making it impossible to improve it any further.
But now we have AMD RX Vega graphics technology that with the passage of time has been giving NVIDIA a fierce competition regarding same and better quality of graphics at lower prices.
So, with so many advancements, it is never easy when you are buying a tech product that too from such a diverse market.
Graphics cards are one of the most demanded items in the field of tech and are without any doubt very difficult to buy. There are so many different kinds of graphics cards, and that too vary in prices.
Best Graphics Card 2018
|Graphics Card Name||GPU Engine Clock Speed||Video Memory||Memory Type||Price|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Editor’s Choice)||11,000 MHz||11 GB||GDDR5||Check Price|
|NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal)||1936 MHz||12 GB||GDDR5|
|AMD Radeon Pro Duo||500 MHz||8 GB||GDDR5|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080||1,607 MHz||8 GB||GDDR5X|
|AMD Radeon R9 295X2||1,250 MHz||8 GB||GDDR5|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti||7,010 MHz||6 GB||GDDR5|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070||1,594 MHz||8 GB||GDDR5|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z (Editor’s Choice)||705 MHz||12 GB||GBGDDR5|
Please let us know which one did you love the most 🙂
As a first-time buyer, you will never get to know which graphic card is better or fits your requirements.
The GPUs listed above range from low budget to high priced, and are one of the very best graphics cards regarding performance as well as customer satisfaction. Just read through the article but before that read the checklist of what should you do before deciding on a graphics card for your system.
- Look for the GPU and the brand name of the graphics card you were previously using to get a know-how of what you need to buy.
- On a separate sheet of paper, note down the specifications of your system.
Follow a thumb rule; if you have 4GB memory space, go for the graphics card of 8GB. No one is restricting you, but it’s what professionals recommend.
- Make a list of what specifications you want in a graphics card by order of their priority and your budget. When you go to buy, rule out those you can compromise with and purchase the card which is in your budget and has all your required specifications too.
- In light of what you have and what you need to decide the brand name of your card as well. Whether it be NVIDIA or AMD, choose wisely.
- The last step is to Google around a little and finds the best day to buy. There might be some deals or some offers coming shortly so wait for the right time. There might be a Black Friday sale too!
Sometimes, it also happens that the buyer goes through the list of graphics cards and buys one out of many randomly. And, surprisingly it turns out to be precisely opposite to what he was looking for.
So, to avoid all this fuss, we advise you to go through our review of best graphics cards for PC and Laptops in 2018. We will cover the qualities of a good graphics card, latest technologies, the studies of famous manufacturers and at the end some products with their descriptions which are recommended for you to buy.
What to look for in a good Graphics Card?
To be honest, there is nothing like a good graphics card so you shouldn’t expect me to draw an area and ask you to buy only those graphics cards that fall in that area.
But, yes, I can help you buy the ‘appropriate graphics card’ while keeping in view your requirements. These requirements again vary from person to person and PC to PC.
It is not necessary that if you and your friend have the same PC, then you need to use the same graphics card as well.
Even if you are both gamers but are playing different games, then you would need different graphics cards. So, you need to know what exactly you need for your requirements.
Whenever you are buying a graphics card, first look for the following features in it and look for the one who has these features as per your requirements.
- Warranty: Of course, you will be looking for the graphics card which will work as long as possible and if gpu gets out of order, would be replaced. However, some of the sellers don’t give any warranty for getting burnt or damaged due to overheating.
The average period of warranty can range from 1 year to 3 years. There are exceptions, but still, most of the graphics cards work for even more extended periods.
- Price: To be honest, mostly buyers refuse to compromise on this particular aspect of buying, and they end up getting low-quality products or those who don’t suit them in any case. If only you could set aside the price factor for once, you will get the best and most suitable graphics card for you.
However, if you are low on budget then still you can get what you desired but for that, go through the article, and you will not regret reading it.
- Fan Operation: This is one of the most annoying and irritating things about a subgrade graphics card and is the best and pleasing attribute of the best graphics card around.
This is partly because of low-quality circuits and also if you try to overload it with high-quality graphics. But, right graphics card don’t have this issue. They are smoother in operation and are also noise free. So, before buying a graphics card always review what you are buying.
- Cooling Fans: Same as the case with sound, sub-grade graphics cards give off a lot of heat too. When this happens more than often, it damages the card itself as well as on the off chance effects the motherboard also. So when you are buying a graphics card, keep in mind that you need the graphics card with a better built-in fan.
Technical aspects of a good graphics card
The criteria mentioned above for judging a good graphics card are those which every Harry can know and test a graphics card by it.
However, some other technical aspects are very vital to be recognized for adding or updating them makes your card a lot more. All these features are related to price also.
- VRAM: As RAM is a lucrative feature regarding selling a good graphics card, so manufacturers tend to add more memory to a graphics card than what it is designed to handle and sell it in the market as the better solution to the industry graphics requirements.
As you opt for a graphics card with lower memory, you reduce the details and resolutions it can maintain while showing graphics from a higher source with a better playable frame rate. However, it is not productive to shift from lower memory card to the higher one.
If you are using a graphics card of 2GB and plan to move to 4GB, make sure that you have a GPU installed that is good enough to handle this much memory.
- Memory Bandwidth and Clock Speed: Memory bandwidth refers to how efficient the graphics card GPU is in taking input and giving the desired output. The higher the bandwidth is, the better but it also depends upon the build of the cards as NVIDIA and AMD both have separated listings for memory bandwidth.You can change the bandwidth by either changing the bus size to increase the amount of data transmitted per clock cycle or by changing the clock speed which is another factor. The faster the clock speed is the higher memory bandwidth.
Integrated and Discrete Graphics Card
Graphics card is available in the market as discrete and integrated GPUs. An integrated GPU is specially built in thinner, lightweight laptops, and smaller desktops as it is designed on the same silicon as CPU itself.
If you are low on budget, then integrated graphics cards are the best option to set up a desktop at a lower price.
The integrated graphics card is complexly designed and is better ones for newer games and graphics resolutions. However, they aren’t recommended for lower resolutions graphics as in older games.
In contrary to the integrated graphics card, we also have discrete graphics cards that have their express slot in the motherboard.
The separate graphics card is designed in a way that if your motherboard has a slot for a discrete graphics card, then it can run most of the modern graphics up to some extent.
It is unlikely the laptops though!
In laptops, the case is slightly different as you don’t have the option to update a graphics card unless the manufacturer has allowed it which means you can’t upgrade your graphics to play a particular game.
Best Graphics Card in 2018
1. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti – Latest Technology
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the brand new and one of the very fastest gaming GPU manufactured by NVIDIA, based on the latest NVIDIA Pascal technology.
As you have already noticed, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti looks promising on the specs sheet being the 7th card of the NVIDIA Pascal technology series.
It extracts its central DNA from the Titan X 2016, but it is a different card with a separate chip on the whole. You can’t term it as a simple addition to NVIDIA graphics card.
Yes, it is identical to the Titan X with slight improvements manufactured by 12 billion transistors and 3854 CUDA cores.
The default boost clock in EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is 1.6Hz which is higher than Titan X with a clock speed of 10% higher than too better than Titan X.
One more thing, since the launch, the price of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has been cut to a fair amount to attract more sales.
Another shortcoming of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is that it has 1 GB less memory than Titan X which makes it second option to be bought after Titan X.
The most recent graphics card in the gaming arenas, this card is feature enriched.
- It is packed with intense gaming horsepower, next-generation 11 GB per second GDDR5X memory clock speed, and a high-speed 11 GB buffer.
- The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is by far top of the leaderboard as it provides the user with ultimate HD graphical experience and next-generation VR performance.
It has the lowest latency and is also highly compatible with leading headsets which takes gaming in general to the next level.
- It is manufactured and powered by NVIDIA VRWorks technologies, and its functionality is to produce in accordance amazing VR audio and physics.
- EVGA Precision software has launched its updated software alongside EVGA Precision XOC. This new software update works in collaboration with EVGA Precision and EVGA OC Scanner to provide automatic clocking and gives you overclocking features you would have never experienced before.
- It has a memory speed of around 11000 MHz with a built-in GeForce Graphics Coprocessor.
- It has a graphics card RAM VRAM size of 11 GB.
- Real Base Clock: 1480 MHz / Real Boost Clock: 1582 MHz; Memory Detail: 11264 MB GDDR5X
- It comes with a 3 Year Warranty and a lifetime EVGA Technical Support.
The manufacturers have tried to make up for it by increasing data speeds making it 484GB/sec which just slightly faster than the Titan X.However, there are a few ways in which EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is a lot better than any other graphics card, and that’s why the most expensive too. GTX 1080 has got a better power system which means a smoother and cooler operation.
They have updated the blower fan in such a manner that the graphics card gives off much less noise which is next to none.
So if you have that much amount to spend on a graphics card, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is something you must give a try too.
2. NVIDIA GeForce Titan X Pascal 12GB GDDR5X
NVIDIA GeForce Titan X Pascal 12GB GDDR5X is by far the fastest graphics card on the earth at this time.
It’s way too fast-even faster than the GTX 1080 which is almost half as cheap but 30% slower than NVIDIA GeForce Titan X Pascal 12GB.
It’s the first graphics card since the Titan XP that can play many games in 4K at 60FPS without having to fiddle with settings.
- NVIDIA GeForce TITAN X Pascal is the first graphics card ever assembled using the GP102 silicon. It physically constitutes of 3,840 CUDA cores spread widely on 30 supporting GPU multiprocessors that mean high resolution at high speed too.
- It also consists of six graphics processing clusters (GPCs) from which 3584 more multiprocessors are enabled on the TITAN X Pascal. On the whole, NVIDIA GeForce TITAN X Pascal has some extreme speed that you will enjoy.
The graphics card also comes with HDMI sound device that is HDMI 2.0 compatible as well.
- It also supports the streaming of HD audio and provides excellent cinematic experience on Blu-ray 3D movies.
- The GPU video encoding unit can even run HEVC at 10-bit and 12-bit videos thanks to the recent upgrades.
NVIDIA Titan X’s cooling system is much the same as the one in the GTX 1080. It is masterly designed to cool all components of the card including GPU, memory chips, and voltage control circuits.
- As more heat is generated in the GPU, a vapor chamber is also installed to absorb heat quickly.
NVIDIA Titan X is one of the fast graphics cards you could ever find, and the recent price cuts have made it a favorite! Its cooling systems, as well as its high-quality graphics, is what make it a contestant for the best graphics card on the planet.
For this particular graphics card, we would give a thumbs up!
Just buy and enjoy the best 4k smoother and faster graphical experience.
3. XFX AMD Radeon Pro 8GB
XFX AMD Radeon Pro is a “pro.”
Its cooling systems, VR audio and video compatibility and fast memory bandwidth make it the kind of graphics card everyone would love to buy.
So buy XFX AMD Radeon Pro with dual GPUs as we give it a thumbs up too.
Whether you are looking for a workstation graphics card or you require a graphics card for VR content creation, XFX AMD Radeon Pro is the one for you to buy.
With an 8GB of high bandwidth memory and 8192 stream processors, this graphics card provides you with ultimate high-quality graphics experience.
- With a sizeable fast memory of 8GB HBM, this card comes with dual GPUs as well that too on a single PCB.
XFX AMD Radeon Pro is highly recommended for VR professionals, professional designers, and web developers.
- It is capable of creating and supporting VR experiences at the ultimate high quality compute level.
- As a game developer, you can also create better and faster games with application optimization to enhance the visual effects using XFX AMD Radeon Pro graphics card.
- XFX AMD Radeon Pro is equipped with latest AMD Liquid VR technology that enables high definition VR experiences.
- It is also designed to work in compatibility with Liquid VR headsets for enhanced gameplay experience.
- Another plus point of XFX AMD Radeon Pro is that it is installed with a highly efficient liquid cooling solution in a 120mm radiator that keeps the temperature as well as the noise in check during operation.
4. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
The GTX 1080 has what if you require regarding the money you have paid for it.
If you have bought it, you will be surprised to know that it has been designed to be a graphics card for the next gaming generation so many of its features can’t be explored now to the fullest.
Under the flagship of NVIDIA, EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 is the fastest gaming graphics card ever created.
This power can be credited to NVIDIA Pascal architecture and high bandwidth GDDR5X technology supported by ultra-efficient FinFET.
Another most important ability is the compatibility with DirectX 12 features that enables the GPU to display high quality, fastest and power-saving gaming experiences.
GeForce GTX 1080 Founders edition comes with the following features that you can enjoy.
- GeForce GTX 1080 is equipped with the power to drive high definition VR, ultra-high-resolution, and multiple source outputs such as monitors or LED screens.
- Not only does it makes the visuals better but it also brings more reality to gaming with NVIDIA GameWorks technology that is specialized to deliver a real cinematic experience that is much closer to actual life graphics.
- By its beautiful features, it also ensures smooth gameplay, and a fantastic new feature, image-capture to save and share the memorable incidents in your game.
- All of these features come with optimized performance and plug-and-play compatibility with leading VR headset. In short, it is a complete gaming package.
- The best part is- you don’t need to download any additional software to enjoy the promised clock speeds. Just install and enjoy!
- As already mentioned, it comes with DirectX 12 support and EVGA precision XOC which means you can now enjoy even the minimalist details in your display.
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition comes with 3-year warranty and 24/7 Technical Support. You can also contact the manufacturers’ website or your helplines for more assistance.
If you are looking regarding performance, then GTX 1080 is way ahead than the earlier generation of GTX 980. However, they both are different in price range and performance too.
However, you can also go with GTX 980 Ti if you are okay with about 20% slower performance and 120$ less price. If you are not interested in high definition VR or are not going to upgrade your monitor to ultra HD, then we advise you to take a look at GTX 980 Ti too.
But if you want the best and can afford it too, then believe me it is perfect for gaming!
5. Sapphire Radeon R9 295X2 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Radeon R9 295X2 is the dawn of ultra-HD gaming era in which you have a card that can quickly show you graphics of over 50 FPS framerate.
We are presenting you a gem! This graphics card is the fastest graphics card we ever saw in single.
Yes, sapphire hasn’t produced anyone even close to it after.
It is powered by not one processor as it is usual in other graphics cards, but two Hawaii XT graphics processors which mean we have some serious power on board.
It means that now you can easily enjoy any game you would like by using this graphics card.
- Sapphire Radeon R9 295X2 is AMD’s first ever water cooled reference graphics card that was constructed so mainly to counteract the intense amount of heat being produced by the dual processors.
- It also Constitutes an impressive number of 12.4 billion transistors, 5632 Stream coprocessors as each processor has 2816 of them and 11.5 TFLOPS of computing power that turns out to be a great graphics card! All this speed will result in the best gaming experience you could have ever experienced.
- It has an 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM that is run over 512 Bit memory buses, but by default, only 4GB of it is usable as the GPUs mirror each other to keep working as two processors. However, 4GB is still a hell of a speed, and you can work quite well with it.
- Another outstanding feature is the Asetek AIO cooling system. The Radeon R9 295X2 makes use of two water pump heads to cool down each GPU by pumping water into a 1.5X thickness 120mm radiator. With such a significant amount of power as 500W, this cooling solution is essential to avoid overheating.
- It also supports the DirectX 11.2 OSD to provide you with compatibility to play modern games and to enjoy high-quality liquid flow graphics.
Radeon R9 295X2 can also display resolutions of around 8.1MPixels. It is not as expensive as NVIDIA GeForce cards and delivers as much the same services.
So, heads off to this one too by AMD!
6. EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB GAMING
If you are short of a few dollars to buy GTX 1080 and are okay with a little bit fewer specs, then we advise you to see this beautiful graphics card GeForce GTX 980 Ti as well.
NVIDIA Maxwell architecture is proudly run the EVGA GeForce 980 Ti while it delivers high definition 4k performance and close to real life graphics.
2816 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and 6GB GDDR5 memory is what makes EVGA GeForce GTX 980 capable of driving any game with smooth HD graphics.
By far, EVGA GeForce GTX 980 is three times faster and more efficient than all the cards of previous generations.
You don’t need to worry about your graphical specs if you have EVGA GeForce GTX 980 installed on your computer as it can provide you the best gaming experience you would have ever thought of.
- EVGA GeForce GTX 980 provides you with high definition Virtual Reality graphics experience while being powerful and power efficient at the same time.
- If you want stunning 4K high-resolution graphics experience, then EVGA GeForce GTX 980 is the product for you. Just give it a try!
- EVGA GeForce GTX 980 also supports DirectX12 OSD to ensure smoother graphics flow and compatibility with modern games as well.
- EVGA GTX 980 Ti is one of the very few graphics cards that deliver high definition 4K graphics and virtual reality experience to make you feel alive in the game.
- With a high base clock speed of 1000 MHz and boost clock speed of 1076 MHz, EVGA GeForce GTX 980 gives you one of the top clock speeds you can ever think of.
- EVGA GeForce GTX 980 comes with no warranty but ensures 24/7 support by EVGA technical support. You can also call their helpline or email them for more assistance.
The Maxwell had me on this one! EVGA GeForce GTX 980 is merely a masterpiece when we talk about graphics cards that are cheap as well as efficient. You can get stunning 4k graphics for such a low price by using this card. Also when you are playing, the clock speeds it hits are also remarkable.
Though it is not as modern, its compatibility with DirectX 12 makes it sure that you get the best gaming experience for the current games as well.
From our side, a thumbs up for this one too!
7. EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB
You can call GeForce GTX 1070 as a sister graphics card of GeForce GTX 1080 which is, of course, a lot fast.
The GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is an excellent choice for all those who like keeping their PC in good shape and are thinking of upgrading to a better graphics card with a reasonable price.
Not only it is cheaper, but it also offers power efficient graphics display for both gaming and cinematic usage.
However, only if NVIDIA could upgrade the cooling systems in its Founders Edition graphics cards, then the graphics card they are manufacturing will turn up to be the best sellers in each graphics cards genre.
The features are quite the same except a few ones.
- It has a real base clock of 1594 MHz and a real boost clock of 1784 MHz which means seriously fast clock speeds for faster and smoother display.
- It also has a VRAM of the memory of 8192MB that is quite good. However, its colleague GeForce GTX 1080 has a better memory than it.
- This graphics card is designed to last much longer without depending on how much you play. It is installed with EVGA “ACX 3.0” cooling technology which keeps the temperature as well as the noise produced during operations in check.
- As same with other EVGA products, you don’t need to download any additional software to enjoy the promised clock speeds. Just install and enjoy!
- It again comes with DirectX12 OSD support for maximum optimized graphics and with EVGA Precision XOC technology that means you can enjoy even the minimal details as in real life.
- Same as EVGA GeForce GTX 1080, EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 also comes with a 3-year warranty and 24/7 Technical Support by EVGA itself.
- SHP 2.0 technology increases the number of heat pipes and increases the contact area for copper for cooler operation. It also ensures optimized fan operation for a quieter gaming experience.
- The card is also equipped with high-quality fan blades, optimized set of ball bearings, low power motor which of course delivers more air with less power consumption. This mechanism reduced the power usage to reduce the heating effect but even leaves the graphics card with the additional power to work with.
8. NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z 12 GB
GeForce GTX TITAN Z is a perfect graphics monster for your system.
It is the fastest card that has been ever built with the aim to drive the most extreme PC gaming on the planet.
Designed with 5760 cores and 12 GB of memory, this dual GPU graphics card generates the power to drive the most insane high definition displays and 4K graphics you could ever think of!
Once you install it, there is no game on planet earth that you can’t play.
However, I don’t know about the aliens!
- It has a dashing pixel rate of 106.6 GPixels in comparison to the 96 GPixels its predecessor, the Titan X. Also, its number of stream processors is a whopping 5760 as compared to the 3072 of the Titan X.
It means, by all means, NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z is a lot better for NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X!
- It has a solid 12GB GDDR5 memory that is distributed over 2 GPUs. With this much VRAM, seriously you can enjoy cinematic graphics of the very best quality that too in no time!
- It is installed with 12.4 billion transistors which are a lot higher than a majority of other graphics cards.
It has a boost clock speed of 876MHz and memory clock speed of 7000 MHz which together combine to provide you exceptionally high clock speeds.
- Keeping in view the amount of heat that was expected to be produced, NVIDIA installed a massive 3-slot more cooling for both the GK110 GPUs to keep on functioning at suitable temperatures. This cooling system also reduces the power consumed thus making the GPUs power efficient as well.
- The Titan Z is one of the best GPU that gives craziest graphics results at 4K. It even offers stunning gameplay at 1440p and 1080p.
It is a visible trend in the market that GTX Titan Z has experienced an increase in its demand over the last few months mainly due to its excellent set of specs. On the whole, it is a superb GPU with a high frame rate for high definition PC gaming.
Installation and testing a graphics card:
- Whether you are installing a new card or upgrading from a less powerful one, you just need to follow these steps to keep it safe.
- You should first remove all the old graphics drivers from your system before an upgrade. For ease, you can use Display Driver Uninstaller preferably the free version. You can opt for AMD or NVIDIA uninstaller too if you want.
- When you are done with Display Driver Uninstaller, shut down your PC and remove the power supply. Open your system and get the old graphics card out.
- In the meantime, clean all the fans and dust from your system and make it as clean as possible.
- Now boot up the system and install the latest AMD or NVIDIA drivers. Start with running random games to verify everything is working as it should be.
Our word- NVIDIA or AMD?
The year 2018 has been a year of war regarding the leading manufacturers of graphics cards. Customers have been perplexed if they should buy NVIDIA or AMD designed graphics cards.
Don’t worry because as always, we will help you decide in this case too. You can choose among both of these by the following features. Now it is apparently up to you which one to give preference to regarding your requirements.
- Price: Well this has been in the air for a long while that AMD is more affordable than NVIDIA. Yes, it is but on most occasions not all. When you are talking about low to mid-range graphics cards, AMD is a lot more affordable while it gives the same features.
However, when you move up to more expensive bracket than both the manufacturers have similar price tags while they offer related services.
- Performance: Regarding performance, NVIDIA is killing the scene. Its beautiful technologies and compatibility with every known graphic detail give it a lead in miles over AMD which has to develop a long way still. However, in the end, it depends on which game you are playing and at what resolution. It is not a discrete division.
- Software and Drivers support: Regarding supported software and driver integration, NVIDIA is a long way ahead of AMD. While NVIDIA has set up its GeForce graphics software, AMD is still experimenting with Radeon Crimson ReLive software. NVIDIA, on the other hand, has moved to its gaming streaming software now available for MAC OS and Windows 10 users.
In short, if you are asking me which of it is better, I would say neither. You just need to figure out what exactly you want and then afterward buy that graphics card regardless of the fact that which company is it. Choose the card wisely and then make sure that you enjoy it to the fullest!