When you want to play your games at considerably high frame rates, you will need a powerful graphics card for that. But with so many options out there, the best way to weed out the rest is to find out what resolution you want to use.
The vast majority of gamers still play at 1080p and that is because it is the bracket where price-to-performance is key.
That being said, if you are looking for a card for your mid-range build, read further to find out the best 1080p graphics cards in 2020 that are perfect for gaming in Full HD.
Before Anything Else
To help you get the best graphics card for your setup, you need to be thinking about two things: The CPU and the monitor.
The CPU works in tandem with the graphics card and you should be equipping your rig with the right gaming processor. Otherwise, you are not going to be getting the most out of the card since it will get bottlenecked by the CPU anyway.
Aside from that, you should also be considering the resolution of your gaming monitor as well. Since this topic is mostly about 1080p gaming, you want a card that can help you get the right frame rates that will fully utilize the capabilities of your chosen display.
With all of that out of the way, here are some of the best out there for 1080p gaming:
Best 1080p Graphics Cards
1.AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
The best value 1080p graphics card that you can find on the market at the time of writing is none other than the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT.
Now, this particular card is actually pretty interesting because there was an issue with the said product when it launched.
You see, Nvidia has just released one of its newest graphics cards on the market and to help combat that, AMD released a vBIOS that can further improve the performance of the 5600 XT.
While that is a great thing to do, the problem was with the timing since, at the time of the release of the vBIOS, most (if not all) AIB partners have already shipped their 5600 XT cards to the market.
What this meant was that for people to get the most out of the graphics processor, they would have to manually flash the latest vBIOS to unlock its full capabilities. It can be risky but it can be done.
With all of the drama aside, what makes the Radeon 5600 XT the best value 1080p graphics card is its raw performance.
When flashed with the latest vBIOS from your chosen brand, you can get as much as a 15% performance increase which is pretty huge. And the best part is that you can snag one for just $280.
Now for my brand recommendations. The best overall would be the Sapphire Pulse 5600 XT graphics card. It has the best thermals among all of the 5600 XTs and while it is not the best performer, it is a pretty silent one even at higher loads.
The best in terms of sheer performance is the MSI 5600 XT Gaming X. It has a massive heatsink that borrows from its 5700 XT counterpart and because this card runs cool, its performance increases quite a bit.
Keep in mind that the MSI Gaming X version is a bit more expensive at $330 but for the price, it is a great performer for 1080p gaming.
Now, I do have to point out that while there were driver issues that have plagued AMD’s newest graphics cards, most of the issues were already ironed out so there is no more valid reason not to get this one over the others.
2.Nvidia RTX 2060 Super
Price: Starts at $399
If you are a fan of Nvidia and you want to get a graphics card from the said company, then I would recommend the Nvidia RTX 2060 Super for 1080p gaming. It has higher clock speeds and it uses 8GB GDDR6 memory for much more improved performance.
The performance of the new 2060 super card is about 4% faster than the vanilla 2070 which is not a huge jump, but keep in mind that the new GDDR6 memory truly helps a lot in certain games.
This is the entry-level graphics card to get if you want to enable ray tracing in your favorite titles. Although its performance is good, the 2070 super still trumps this by a mile but it costs so much more and that card already touches 1440p territory.
While some reviewers find it hard to recommend this one over the AMD variants, there are some people that still want more peace of mind thanks to Nvidia’s tried-and-tested drivers. In other words, you get a much better experience and almost no issues when getting a card from team green.
Now for specific AIB cards. The best performer is no doubt the MSI RTX 2060 Super Gaming X. It has the highest clock speeds among the other variants and it has a pretty competitive cooler that can keep this thing running well no matter how long you intend to play.
It has nice RGB lighting so that you can vertically mount this thing in your gaming pc with pride and joy.
Another great variant is the Asus ROG Strix 2060 Super. Its design is quite similar to Asus’ other cards which means that it needs to be updated but I guess the reason why the company didn’t is that its cooling performance is optimal.
It also has some nice RGB lighting but do keep in mind that its triple-fan design requires you to have a much bigger PC case.
3.Nvidia GTX 1660 Super
Price: Starts at $160
If you just have less than $200 to spend, there are still some graphics cards that you can choose to help you get into 1080p gaming at high frame rates.
The Nvidia GTX 1660 Super is the middle child between the vanilla 1660 and the Ti version of it. I recommend this over the 1660Ti mainly because it is just 5% slower in most games anyway and is a bit cheaper.
This card uses GDDR6 memory which, as I’ve mentioned earlier, provides a bit more gaming performance than those that still use GDDR5 memory.
What I love about this particular GPU is that it is powerful but it also maintains its power efficiency as well.
That is thanks to the Turing architecture, as well as the 12nm process node that was used in the making of this card.
What you get is a less power-hungry card that provides more performance than its competitors.
That being said, the best overall performer is the Zotac Gaming Geforce GTX 1660 Super AMP edition. It is the highest specced 1660 Super card from the company and it comes with dual Icestorm 2.0 coolers to keep the GPU relatively cool even at full loads.
It comes with a metal backplate which is not only for aesthetic purposes but it also helps the GDDR6 memory cool throughout your entire gaming session.
Another great variant is the Asus ROG Strix 1660 Super. It is the priciest among the 1660 Super cards but for very good reasons.
First of all, you get the best out of the box performance. Second, it is also touted to be a great overclocking card, so if you have the time to tinker with it, you can eke out more power out of it.
Third, it has a pretty competitive cooler that can keep the card relatively stable even at full capacity. The major downside is that it is pricey but if you have faith in the company, this is a good card to get nevertheless.
4.Nvidia GTX 1650 Super
Price: Starts at $149
If you want the best budget 1080p card that you can find on the market, the GTX 1650 Super from Nvidia is the one that you should get. While the Radeon RX580 graphics cards are similarly priced, their performance is comparable but at the cost of higher power draw. That is why I went with the 1650 Super instead.
Now, when shopping, you should not be confused with the vanilla version of this thing because that still uses the slower GDDR5 memory. The Super variant not only uses GDDR6 but you get 4GB of it as well.
Even if you intend to play the most graphically demanding games out there, the performance of the 1650 Super card still provides you with playable frame rates so you can still enjoy them nevertheless.
The best Nvidia GTX 1650 Super graphics card out there is the MSI Gaming X. It is a relatively huge graphics card that has two cooling fans that can help tame this beast.
It has a boost clock of 1755 MHz which is definitely one of the highest among the 1650 Super variants and its fans keep it cool and silent no matter how many hours you intend to play.
Another one that I can recommend is the Asus TUF Gaming OC 1650 Super. It has the highest boost clock among the other 1650 Super cards out there at 1800 MHz and to help it stay that way, it is equipped with dual fans that can help things cool and silent.
The TUF lineup from Asus has been known for its durability so if you intend to get a card that lasts a long time, then getting this variant makes sense.
Now, all of the cards that are on this list are great for 1080p gaming, but there are some honorable mentions.
If you have $400 to spend, I highly recommend that you consider getting the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. While it is overkill for a 1080p gaming setup, it is certainly a great value card that allows you to play your games at 1440p with high to ultra settings.
Nvidia also has a lot of compelling 1080 and 1440p options out there, but the one that I would recommend is the RTX 2070 Super.
It is priced just right (at around $450-$600) and it has all of the right features such as DLSS 2.0, Ray tracing, NVENC for streaming, and so much more. Again, this card is amazing at 1440p and even better at 1080p gaming.
The graphics card is the most important thing to consider when you are building your own gaming rig. Not only that but you have to pair it with the right CPU for the job and you also need to have a competitive monitor as well.
Since the vast majority of gamers still play at 1080p resolution, the cards that are on this list should provide you with the best performance offered at an amazing value. In other words, you can get a good 1080p card for full HD gaming based on your budget.
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.
Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.
Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.
Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.
Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.
It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).
That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).
With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.
Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.
Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.
1080p and 4K Gaming
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.
Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.
Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.
You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.
NVIDIA Hardware Use
According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.
That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).
Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.
Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites
Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.
The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.
This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.
New Controller with Alexa Support
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.
What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.
According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.
Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.
Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99
If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.
Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.
Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500
Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.
Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.
Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively.
Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.
The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.
Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.
It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.
I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.
The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.
For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.
The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.
You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.
Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.
However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.
It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.
I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.
Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.
Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.
How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.
It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.
This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.
With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.
Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.
Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.
In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.
Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.
I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.
There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.
This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup.
While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.
All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.
The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.
There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.
I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.
Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.
As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.
Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.
Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.
There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.
Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.
The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.
For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.
I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.
I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.
Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.
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