At the heart of a gaming PC is the graphics card. It is one of the main things in any gaming rig as it works in tandem with the CPU to push the frames that are needed by the games that you play.
That being said, if you are looking for the best graphics cards for gaming in 2020, you’ve come to the right article. I will go over only the top cards that you can find and I am also going to be talking about the best overall, those that provide good value, and also some cheap graphics cards as well.
Tips When Shopping for Graphics Cards
If you’ve come to this article only to find our recommendations, then you can skip this part. However, if you are a total beginner, do read this bit so that you will be educated and so that you will know what to look for when you are shopping for a graphics card.
Finding one that you’re going to put inside your gaming PC would require a little bit of knowledge. Here are some of the things that you need to know first:
- Resolution- You do not need to find the most high-end graphics card out there if you only intend to play games at 1080p. For the most part, even a modest AMD Radeon 5600 XT works great at the said resolution and you save a lot of money than, say, getting the top of the line GPU
- Video Memory– If you want to futureproof your setup, you may want to get a GPU with at least 6GB of RAM, though if you can stretch your budget a bit, get one with 8GB of video memory. That is because most of the new titles (and the ones that are going to be released in the near future) will utilize more than 6GB of it and getting more just makes a lot more sense
- Power Supply– This will depend entirely on your budget. If you want a GPU that is competitive enough for 1080p gaming, then you can get a PSU that has at least 500 watts of power. If you want to be safe, go for a PSU that is anywhere between 650-800 watts o power, though this will depend greatly on the card that you will end up buying
- GPU-Exclusive Features– If you are looking for a particular feature, then you will need to get a graphics card that supports that. For instance, if you want to enable ray tracing in the game that you play, you will need an appropriate graphics card for that. Another example would be GSync or FreeSync, though the latter is more open to GPUs as opposed to the latter.
Now, all of the graphics cards that I am going to recommend in this article have already been released at least 2 years ago, but even so, they still perform really well for the price.
I understand that Nvidia and AMD are set to release their new GPUs later this year, but with the pandemic that we are experiencing right now, the supply of those cards might have taken a hit and would mean that getting one will be quite hard once they’re released to the market.
So, if you want to get a graphics card right now, do read ahead to find our recommendations.
Best Graphics Cards for Gaming
1.Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
The best overall graphics card that you can buy today is none other than the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. This is still the best consumer-grade GPU and it has a slew of different features that you will surely love.
This makes use of the company’s Turing architecture and with it, you are getting ray tracing which vastly improves lighting in the games that you play.
Aside from that, you will also have the ability to use Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 technology which is basically a feature that upscales graphical elements to suit your gaming monitor’s native resolution. This vastly improves frame rates and it doesn’t have any performance penalty at all.
In terms of specs, this card is a beast. It has a whopping 11GB of GDDR6 video memory, 4,352 CUDA cores, and 68 RT cores. This is the one to get if you want to get high frame rates in both 1440p and 4K resolutions.
The only thing that’s hindering people from getting this one is the fact that it costs more than $1,000. At the time of writing, the cheapest one that you can find is sold at $1,250 and it can go as high as $1,600 as well.
But, if money is not an issue and you want the best out there, the Nvidia RTX 2080Ti is certainly deserving of the top spot on this list.
2.Nvidia RTX 2070 Super
You might be surprised that I didn’t put the RTX 2080 Super on this list and that is because that card is hit by the law of diminishing returns. Basically, what I mean is that you are getting a small bump in performance by paying a lot of money and that just doesn’t provide a lot of value to the users.
A good step down, however, is the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super. This is an ideal card to get for most mainstream users simply because its performance is just about 10% lower than the 2080 Super but it’s priced competitively at around the $600-$800 range.
Anyway, this card is equipped with 2,560 CUDA cores, 8GB of GDDR6 video memory (clocked at 14 Gbps), and it has a low TDP of just 215 watts which is pretty good from an energy efficiency standpoint.
This card is perfect for 1440p gaming, though you can also play your favorite games at 4K, provided that you are willing to lower down the settings here and there.
You will also be able to use Nvidia’s ray tracing feature, as well as DLSS 2.0 with this one, making this an ideal card for people that are fans of team green.
3.AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
If you want a great value graphics card for 1440p and 1080p gaming, then look no further than the AMD Radeon 5700 XT. This is AMD’s high-end graphics card at the time of writing and although it doesn’t beat the previously-mentioned 2070 Super from Nvidia, it still is a performance powerhouse.
This uses AMD’s RDNA architecture and the 5700 XT, in particular, is a Navi 10 graphics card from team red.
So, what does this thing have to offer? Well, it has 2,560 GPU cores, 8GB of GDDR6 video memory (14 Gbps), and has a TDP of 225 watts. You will need a 650-watt power supply in your PC to use this without a problem.
Anyway, the company was ridiculed back then because most of its graphics cards back in the day are quite power-hungry, but not this one.
In fact, it is one of the most efficient GPUs on the market as it pulls in less power than an RTX 2080 Ti.
Its energy efficiency is thanks to the 7nm FinFET manufacturing process that is used on this thing.
In terms of raw performance, the 5700 XT falls in between the Nvidia 2070 Super and the Nvidia 2060 Super. In most games, it beats the 2060 Super without a problem, but in most titles, the 2070 Super still trumps it (but with just a 4-10% margin).
The reason why this is one of the best out there is that it provides amazing value. You can get this card for as low as $380 and the highest-end AIB model costs anywhere between $480-$500.
For the price, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is a great 1440p and 1080p graphics card without a high asking price.
4.AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
While this card had an issue when it launched, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT is another graphics card that provides excellent value for the price.
Its performance is on par with Nvidia’s vanilla 2060 graphics card, but it does trump it in some titles (particularly those that use DirectX 12 or Vulkan).
If you are unaware of the ‘issue’ mentioned earlier, when the card was released, it was clocked lower than what you can get right now. That was because most of the AIB partners have already shipped their cards and the higher clocks that were mandated by AMD is a response to the lowering of the price of its competitor, the Nvidia 2060.
Most of the newer batches already have the new vBIOS flashed by default, but for people that still experience a bit of a performance hit, you will need to flash the bios yourself.
Anyway, this card has 2,048 GPU cores, 6GB of GDDR6 memory (14 Gbps thanks to the new vBIOS), though it is a bit slower than the vanilla RX 5700 due to the memory bandwidth of just 192-bit (as opposed to the 256-bit of the said card).
The reason why this card is on this list is that it provides amazing value. At just $280 MSRP, this is a great 1080p card for people that want to create a sub-$1000 gaming PC.
5.Nvidia GTX 1660 Super
If you want a pretty good mainstream graphics card that is ideal for most users, then I can wholeheartedly recommend the GTX 1660 Super.
For the people who are wondering what the difference is between this model and the vanilla version, it would be the 6GB of GDDR6 memory.
Its performance is just a tad slower than the Ti version which means that the 1660 Super offers superb value since it is priced lower than the 1660 Ti.
Anyway, the performance of this card is faster than the previous generation GTX 1070 graphics card that was released nearly four years ago.
The only downside to this GPU is that you do not have access to ray tracing but hey, if you want a pretty competitive 1080p graphics card without breaking the bank, the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti is definitely a worthy contender.
Now, you might not agree with the video cards that are mentioned in this article as there have been those that were omitted such as the Nvidia Titan, 2060 Super, 1660 Ti, AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT, just to name a few.
Well, the reason is simple: They are not the best as there are those that are priced way better and may be a bit faster or slower than the cards I’ve mentioned.
This article is focused more on providing the best possible performance while also making sure that it gives the best overall value and the cards that are in this article certainly fit the criteria.
So there you have it, if you are thinking of building your own gaming rig soon, these graphics cards will surely be worth getting.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
Among all of Razer’s peripherals, it is the Razer Deathadder that consistently ranks among one of the best gaming mice on the market for so many years.
Much of it has to do with its design and ergonomics as the mouse is quite comfortable and it suits all grip styles.
The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just improves upon the original formula by making the mouse a bit more lightweight and it is completely wireless now.
Read my review of this thing to find out if I recommend this one or not.
From a design standpoint, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro is actually quite similar to the past versions, albeit there are some notable (and welcome) differences.
For one, you now have two DPI profile buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These two buttons can cycle through the different DPI settings that you’ve configured using the Razer Synapse software (though you can set it to do other commands if you wish).
Second, both the thumb and the ring finger/pinky areas of the mouse now have rubberized textures which can really help gamers with sweaty hands grip the peripheral device better compared to the previous versions.
Lastly, I feel that the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro now has a more textured coating overall which adds to the better feel while you are wielding the mouse.
You also have some RGB lighting on the scroll wheel, as well as the infamous tri-headed Razer logo in the palm area of the device.
On the underside, you will find a switch that allows you to change to different modes depending on what you want to use.
This mouse can be utilized on your tablet, for example, as it now has a Bluetooth connectivity mode just for that.
You can also choose to use this thing with its wireless dongle (which is recommended for maximum performance) and you can even use this completely wired if you want to charge and play games at the same time.
Speaking of charging, while there is an included braided cable that you can insert into the device to charge this thing, it doesn’t come with the wireless charging dock that you can find in the Razer Viper Ultimate. That means that if you want the dock, you will need to be spending more on that as it is sold separately.
If you ask me, I suggest that you get the charging dock as it provides a seamless and convenient way of topping the device up, especially when it is not in use.
Mouse Sensor and Buttons
According to the company, the Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the second version of the company’s optical switches. That means that it is also rated to last up to 70 million clicks, albeit it provides a better feel on every button press.
To be honest, I didn’t really feel any difference between the first version of the optical switches and this one, but I guess you just have to take the company’s word for it.
As for the mouse sensor, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the Focus+ sensor that has a maximum DPI of 20,000. The absurd DPI support is mainly for marketing purposes, but the main takeaway here is that the mouse remains fairly consistent from an accuracy standpoint.
Among all of Razer’s new gaming mice, the Deathadder V2 Pro should be in line with the Razer Viper Ultimate, at least, in terms of gaming performance.
Before I begin, let me just say that I have fairly large hands which means that my natural grip style is palm-grip. And, as a palm-grip user, I really love the ergonomics of the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro because it just feels so natural to hold.
This mouse has a grip width of 61.7mm, a height of 42.7mm, and a weight of 88 grams (when used completely wireless). For a wireless gaming mouse, that is pretty impressive.
When you are using the wireless 2.4GHz USB dongle or if you use the company’s included Speedflex cable, the Deathadder V2 Pro performed admirably well in all of the games that I play.
I can now confidently say that people can safely transition to using a wireless gaming peripheral as they are now in-line with their wired counterparts in terms of accuracy and overall performance.
I do have to say that there is a bit of a delay when using this thing on Bluetooth connection, but this is only evident when using it on a mobile device and not on the PC. This is to be expected, especially if you are still using a phone or tablet that uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection.
Razer said that the Deathadder V2 Pro can last up to 120 hours on wireless mode, but that is only true if you are not enabling its Chroma lighting feature.
When you use the 2.4GHz mode alongside all of this mouse’s RGB goodness, you should be able to get roughly 75 hours of continuous use.
The good thing is that when you are using the charging dock, a 10-minute charge would allow you to use this mouse for 12 hours even with Chroma lighting enabled. That is seriously impressive.
What’s more, you can use this mouse completely wired using the Speedflex cable that is included in the box and you will not see any drop in performance whatsoever. It takes a bit more time to charge the device when using the cable though, but the fact that you can still use it when it is plugged in just means that it is pretty convenient no matter what charging method you want to use.
The era where people are afraid to use wireless gaming mice is over and the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just proves that it can go head-to-head with wired gaming mice in the market.
There are some notable improvements on this mouse. The textured finish, the optical buttons, and the mouse sensor are great, and I love the fact that the company was able to make this device lighter even though it is a wireless peripheral.
This just reinforces the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it; just improve upon the original formula and you should have a winning product.
Although I would have loved it if the company had included the charging dock in the package, I guess doing so would jack up the price of this thing considerably.The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro costs $129.99 and for the price, it is actually pretty good for a highly competitive wireless gaming mouse. Do keep in mind that the charging dock is sold separately, but I would still recommend that you get one since it is also compatible with the company’s other wireless gaming mice as well.
Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
Dell’s subsidiary gaming division, Alienware, is at it again. This time, the company has released the new Alienware Aurora R11 and you can configure it to come equipped with the latest Intel processors along with an Nvidia graphics card of your choosing.
In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know about this gaming PC and find out why you can win with this thing if you configure it properly.
First and foremost, the Alienware Aurora R11 is fully configurable which means that you are in complete control of what chassis you want to use, as well as the components that are going to be installed inside of it.
In my testing, I went with a mid-range model that costs a little over $1,400 and I went with the Intel Core i7-10700F and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card. As you can tell, it is a modest system but it is actually quite competent enough to handle all games with considerable frame rate values.
As you can expect from a product that comes from Alienware, the Aurora R11 has two different design options that you can choose. You can either go with the Dark of the Moon model (as tested) which is a chassis with an all-black aesthetic and the Lunar Light edition which is predominantly white with a black front panel.
Both of the said PC cases have a blue halo light that is reminiscent of old space movies, so you could definitely say that this is ‘Alienware’.
I am happy that you get a wealth of USB ports both at the front and at the back I/O panel which means that there is plenty of room for you to plug in all of your USB peripherals.
There is also an option for you to get one with WiFi connectivity. If you want the cheapest option, you can go with a Dell WiFi AC adapter but if you want to future-proof this device, you can go with the Killer WiFi AX adapter instead. The latter should be considered if you have a WiFi 6 router at home for better data throughput.
Although this thing comes with a Z490 motherboard, the only thing that you can overclock here is the graphics card. You could, however, buy the more expensive Intel chip but you will have to spend quite a bit of money just to get the higher model.
The chassis is quite big in height but I love the fact that it doesn’t take too much space on the desk.
My particular configuration doesn’t come with an overclockable processor which means that in most cases, its performance is a little bit subpar when it comes to multi-core workloads.
That being said, this thing is still no slouch as I’ve scored 33,335 on Geekbench on the multi-core tests and about 4,401 on the single-core benchmark which is still respectable in most instances.
I’ve also tested its mettle using PCMark 10 and it scored a little under 7,000 so you could say that this thing indeed has gaming prowess.
Speaking of games, this configuration can easily go more than 100 frames per second in most titles, while some of the most challenging ones would limit you to just 45-55 fps.
While playing Destiny 2, I was able to get more than 144 frames per second in most areas, while the frame rates dip a little bit when I am stationed in the tower.
I’ve also played Control which is one of the more demanding titles on the PC, and I was still able to get roughly 45-50 fps in max settings which is quite admirable.
Since MOBA games are quite popular, I tested this thing on League of Legends and Dota 2 as well. It’s good to know that this thing can output more than 144 frames per second even in heavy clashes.
So really, even with a modest configuration such as mine, I was still able to play games at really good frame rates across the board.
The Alienware Aurora R11 that I have comes with Windows 10 Home already pre-installed. Because this is a gaming PC from Alienware, the Alienware Command Center also comes pre-installed as well.
The said program can be used to look at the PC’s components at a glance while also changing its performance modes as well.
I find it to be fairly intuitive and I can really see the difference between performance modes. If you want the best of both worlds (meaning, acoustics and performance), setting it to balanced mode should suffice.
However, I find that the balanced mode doesn’t ramp the system’s fans good enough to maintain lower temperatures, so you may want to try out the performance mode while you are playing games.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060
- RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Boot), 1TB 7200RPM HDD (Storage)
- Chassis: Dark Side of the Moon
- Weight: 39.2 lbs
- Dimensions: 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 Inches
- Operating System/Software: Windows 10 Home, Alienware Command Center
- Ports: [Front] 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (1 port with PowerShare), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, headphone/line out port, microphone/line in port; [Back] 6x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, Coaxial S/PDIF port, Optical S/PDIF port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, Side L/R surround port, Microphone port, Front L/R surround line-out port, Line-in port, Rear L/R surround port, Network port
Despite my modest configuration, the Alienware Aurora R11 that I had was an able performer- both in productivity tasks and gaming. The Alienware command center provides a good overview of the system’s components and you can set its performance modes based on what you feel is apt for the moment.
Although it usually comes with crapware, you should blame Microsoft Windows for this and not the company. The good thing is that there are programs that can ‘decrapify’ a common Windows installation, so there’s that.
I love that the chassis doesn’t take up too much desk space, though if you are going to place this inside drawer, you may have to be wary about its height because it is definitely higher than the others.
If you have plenty of money, you can configure it ‘balls to the wall’ with the latest and greatest products from Intel and Nvidia, though keep in mind that because this model was released in 2020, you cannot expect the new Nvidia 3000 graphics cards to be present when you are purchasing this thing.
In summary, the Alienware Aurora R11 is a pretty good gaming machine- both in aesthetics and performance.
Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite
The Logitech G Pro is highly praised by the gaming community, especially those that are playing first-person shooters. It is lightweight and it is wireless which is something that was unprecedented before its release.
There is only one issue: That mouse was expensive. Fortunately, you can get the Logitech G305 Lightspeed for a much cheaper price.
Read further to find out why I think the G305 is what I would consider as the ‘G Pro’ lite.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed looks quite similar to the Logitech G Pro mentioned above. At first glance, you might think that this peripheral is an ambidextrous mouse, but that is actually not the case.
You see, while it has an ambidextrous design, the side buttons are actually located only on the left side of the peripheral. This is an odd choice considering that this can be construed as a mouse that can also be used left-handed, but this is something that you need to know if you are a left-handed gamer.
Its dimensions are 4.59 x 2.45 x 1.50 inches and it weighs 98 grams with the AA battery on. That’s right, you will need a single AA battery for this thing to operate, but the good thing is that a single AA battery can last up to three months with consistent use.
Much of the power-saving features come from the company’s own HERO sensor which doesn’t require a lot of battery to operate while still providing you with a competitive performance in games. More on this later.
This mouse is a bit on the smaller side and is perfectly suited for people who use the fingertip or claw grip styles. This could also work for a hybrid claw/finger grip style as well.
Because of its smaller dimensions, it should go without saying that people with larger hands might have a hard time grasping this mouse, so I wouldn’t recommend this for people that have bigger hands than others.
Despite its much cheaper price, I am glad that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed still feels premium. It is predominantly made with plastic and it has a matte finish so that it won’t easily get out of your grasps when you are playing even with sweaty hands.
On the underside, you will find four mouse feet for easier glide and you can also find the on/off switch as well. I love the fact that you can tell if it is turned on or off based on the color that you see depending on the switch’s orientation.
If you see the switch’s color turn blue, that means that the mouse is turned on. If it is on orange, then the peripheral is turned off.
I should also mention that there is no RGB lighting on this mouse at all and that is okay considering that you are running this thing with non-rechargeable batteries.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, but you might wonder why there is an included cable in the box. Well, that actually acts as an extender for the wireless USB dongle. This is used for better wireless coverage to ensure that the peripheral’s performance remains consistent across the board.
As mentioned earlier, the Logitech G305 Lightspeed comes equipped with the company’s HERO sensor which is derived from the popular Pixart 3366 sensor. For the people who are familiar with the latter, you know that this thing can perform admirably even in competitive situations.
The good thing about Logitech’s implementation is that the HERO sensor eats so little energy that a single AA battery can last up to 3-4 months with consistent use. That is truly impressive since you do not have to worry about losing battery life while you are using it.
The HERO sensor here is a cut-down version of what you can see in Logitech’s other gaming mice as it can only reach a maximum of 12,000 DPI (compared to the 16,000 DPI in others). This is still okay because, in more practical uses, I don’t think that people would go as high as that number anyway.
I am blown away by how smooth the mouse glides on my mouse mat. The sensor provides consistent performance and I am glad that this thing won’t spin out in games.
I’ve tried this in FPS games like Valorant and I’ve had no problems with aiming at all. This experience is coming from a person who uses a gaming mouse using a palm grip by the way. My aim would have been better if I used the fingertip or claw grip styles.
I’ve also tested this on some MOBA games as well and I never experienced any dropouts or performance issues at all.
This mouse has 6 programmable buttons and if you want to configure them, you will need to download the company’s G Hub software.
You can download and use it for free and is available for both Windows and Mac. I love the aesthetic of the software as it is intuitive to use and the menus are easy to understand.
I am just surprised by one thing, however. You see, the button that is directly below the scroll wheel is supposed to be the DPI switch button which means that pressing it would cycle through the different DPI profiles that you’ve set in the G Hub software. Or at least, that is how it should work in theory.
However, even though you can change the DPI to whatever value you want so long as it is within its range (up to 12,000), you cannot set more than one DPI setting which virtually renders the DPI cycle button useless, at least, in this regard.
You could set the button to do an entirely different thing like you can set it to a particular key on the keyboard so every time you press on the button, it does that. But, it is just interesting to me that its original purpose is not actually implemented in reality.
Normally, a wireless gaming mouse would typically cost more than $100 because of the use of wireless technology, along with the usual goodies that you can find in such a device. But, I am pleased that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed costs $75.
For its price, you are getting a very competitive gaming mouse that can last a couple of months using just a single AA battery. Of course, this changes depending on the battery that is used (brand and capacity), but for the most part, it should remain fairly consistent in terms of battery life.
The HERO sensor has also given me an amazing experience. I never would have thought that a wireless mouse can provide a similar experience to that of its wired counterparts.
All in all, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech G305 Lightspeed unless of course if you are a palm-grip user.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
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Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
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