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The Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2020- From High-end to Budget GPUs

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Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2070 SUPER

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 MemoryIf 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 SupplyThis 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 FeaturesIf 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

ASUS ROG Strix 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

Gigabyte Aorus 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

Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ 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

AMD Radeon 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

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

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.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

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.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

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

Amazon Luna Controller

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

Amazon Luna Controller 2

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

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. 

Design

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.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

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.

Performance

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.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

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.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

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.

Design

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.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

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.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

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.

Verdict

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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The Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2020- From High-end to Budget GPUs

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Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2070 SUPER

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 MemoryIf 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 SupplyThis 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 FeaturesIf 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

ASUS ROG Strix 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

Gigabyte Aorus 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

Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ 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

AMD Radeon 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

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

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.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

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.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

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

Amazon Luna Controller

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

Amazon Luna Controller 2

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

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. 

Design

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.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

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.

Performance

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.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

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.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

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.

Design

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.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

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.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

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.

Verdict

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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