The card packs 2,560 CUDA cores. Featuring a steep curve, the dispersion fan blade will be accelerating the airflow, while the traditional fan blade will make sure the heatsink receives a steady stream of air. With upgraded aerodynamics, the heatsink delivers uncompromised heat dissipation.
The card is pretty loud.
The MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X TRIO Graphics Card will give you around 60-70 FPS in the least optimized AAA titles at 4K. In terms of virtual reality, the card is an overkill, but futureproofing hurts nothing but your wallet, so we would recommend ponying up since this GPU is well worth it.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
256-bit 8 GB GDDR6
3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB Type-C
DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5
7680 x 4320
While its base clock rate (1770 MHz) is more than impressive, the card can be easily overclocked to 2010 MHz without risking failure. The Image Sharpening algorithms that the card runs prevent questionable-looking artifacts. The Radeon Anti-Lag tech reduces input lag.
The AMD drivers on Linux are a mess.
The PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil is a 1440p beast. There are no games that this GPU cannot run even at 4K resolution (the framerates will be hovering around 40 fps depending on the graphics presets). Also, with 5 heat pipes and 30% more heat sink surface area, the card remains cool and silent.
AXRX 5700 XT
256-bit 8 GB GDDR6
1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort
DirectX 12 / OpenGL
4096 x 2160
Entire new cooling solution, 3 fans
2 x 8-pin
The NVIDIA® Ansel software will let you capture and share epic game moments with 360-degree coverage, HDr support, and stereo sound. In 3DMark TimeSpy Extreme, the card scores 4,277 points, a 21% increase from the vanilla RTX 2060. The plate-punched design improves the baseplate's contact with every component.
With mid-tower cases, the card fits a little awkward.
The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra Gaming handles 1440p gaming as well as VR gaming with relative ease. Packing 2,176 CUDA cores, the GPU can process more data and perform more graphic calculations than its predecessors. Including its 1680 MHz base clock rate, the card reaches 7.2 TFLOPs.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super
256-bit 8 GB GDDR6
1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-D
PCI-Express x16, PCI-Express x8
DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.6
7680 x 4320
The OC Scanner automatically finds the highest stable overclock settings. The Predator app will enable in-game video recording. Between its HDMI output and 3 DisplayPort interfaces, the graphics card covers multiscreen setups.
The VRAM caps at 6 GB.
The MSI GTX 1660 SUPER VENTUS XS is a value-oriented card that comes at a budget cost offering mid-range performance. What's more, the GPU draws just 125 watts, meaning that you'll be covered with a modest 450-watt PSU.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
192-bit 6 GB GDDR6
1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort
PCI Express x16 3.0
DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5
7680 x 4320
TORX FAN 2.0
The two HDMI outputs enable pairing high-res screens with the latest virtual reality headsets. The Intelligent Fan Control feature prevents the fans from spinning when the load is light but makes sure they automatically start spinning the second you start a new game.
The base clock rate is middling.
Despite hanging with the low-end crowd, the Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Pulse packs 2304 stream processors, embedding them into 36 compute units, 144 texture units, 32 ROPs, 256-bit memory bus, and 8 GB GDDR5 memory clock. At 1080p, this GPU can handle the worst optimisation offenders.
AMD Radeon RX 580
256-bit 8 GB GDDR5
1 x DVI-D, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
DirectX 12 / OpenGL 4.5
5120 x 2880
Dual-X cooling technology, Two ball-bearing fans
MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X TRIO
Real-Time Ray Tracing
Virtual reality or high-end gaming, there's nothing that the RTX 2070S cannot handle. This card is a beast, delivering top-notch performance in the most demanding titles and at the highest graphics settings. With real-time ray tracing, the GPU reproduces lifelike lighting, stunning reflections, and deep shadows, making the picture much more realistic than what traditional rendering techniques can give you.
Plus, with the Turing™ architecture, the card fuses the above-mentioned real-time ray tracing with artificial intelligence and programmable shading. The "S" in the GPU's name takes the 2,304 CUDA cores that the generic RTX 2070 is packing and bumps the count up to 2,560. Likewise, the model delivers a 1,830 MHz boost clock rate.
But, before we keep unpacking its performance, let's discuss the card's appearance. Between the black and gunmetal grey combination atop the classy but also flashy brushed metal backplate, the GPU looks awesome, even without taking into account the smooth RGBs on the outside that gaming hardware is seldom complete without.
Cooling-wise, the card adopts TORX FAN 3.0. With double ball bearings, the dispersion fan blade with its steep curves accelerates the airflow, while the traditional fan blade delivers a steady stream to the sizable heatsink beneath. Improving its aerodynamics, the 'sink ensures excellent heat dissipation, keeping the card's temperature low and performance high.
Solid FPS even at 4K and 8K
With an increased CUDA core count and clock speed, this GPU is much more capable than the vanilla RTX 2070. Playing Metro Exodus, the framerate will seldom dip below 70 fps at 1440p. Even going with Ultra presets and using ray-traced global illumination and DLSS, the card ensures the smoothest gaming experience.
Sure, some games are less optimised. But even when we're talking about something like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is a mess optimisation-wise, the framerate will stay around 50-55 fps, which is more than adequate.
In fact, the card can even handle triple-A titles at 4K resolution, with Ultra graphics settings usually giving you somewhere around 35-40 fps. Where VR gaming is concerned, the card will have no problems running them even at 8K.
Bottom line, the MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X TRIO Graphics Card is not just the best GPU for VR on this list but an all-around excellent card that runs the most system-intensive games with ease.
|Last updated price||£423.30|
PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil
Uncompromised Heat Dissipation
The PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil looks naughty even before revealing its specs. With RGB lighting both on the sides and on the card's back, the new-and-improved Red Devil makes quite an impression, matching the gamiest rigs' RGB schemes.
Featuring triple 90-mm fans and a beefy 300-mm cooler, the updated PCB design integrates 10 VRMs using DrMos and high-polymer caps. Meanwhile, the 1.5-mm metal backplate makes sure the card is strengthened and its heat dissipation is on point. The cooler's pretty cool as well though. Employing 5 heat pipes and 30% more heat sink surface area, this bad boy keeps the card running cool and quiet.
Borrowing inspiration from the previous Red Devil iteration, the cooling fans adopt two ball bearings which ensure 4X longevity. To add more, the card comes equipped with PowerColor's staple Mute Fan tech, turning the fan off below 60 degrees Celcius so that the system remains silent during low- and medium-load moments.
Likewise, the GPU's vertical design and its increased aluminum fin array spreads the heat across the entire card, while the massive fins collect it and dissipate the heat with improved efficiency. Contributing to the same cause, there are also hollow areas on the card that dissipate the heat from the graphics card and its heatsink.
Image Sharpening and Anti-Lag
But, as much as cooling/heat dissipation matters, the card's performance always takes priority. In the performance department, the GPU is duking it out with the 2060S, sometimes outperforming NVIDIA's card and sometimes falling a little behind. With its 7-nm approach, the model boosts rasterization performance, tailoring its graphics architecture around gaming first and foremost. Plus, there's also the company's Image Sharpening tech. Where previous cards were using sharpening filters, the new tech's contrast-aware, preventing weird-looking artifacts or messed up texture from occurring in more complicated scenes.
What's more, the GPU also employs Radeon Anti-Lag, the tech that lowers the input latency. With this technology, the CPU waits 'till the GPU is ready before sending new frames to the graphics card. This way, the frames are not getting buffered before they can be displayed, reducing input lag in fast-paced shooters.
Of course, the card is VR compatible, that goes without saying. So, as long as you're not running Linux (AMD's Linux drivers remain an absolute mess), the PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil will exceed even the most demanding games' recommended 1440p hardware suggestions.
|Last updated price||£349.99|
EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra Gaming
Reaching 7.2 TFLOPs
The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra Gaming is not just an excellent video card for VR gaming. No, this is the card that hits in the middle, the card that most people will appreciate and can benefit from, including casuals and prosumers. First things first, the card utilises the same cutting-edge Turing architecture that its 2000 series predecessors have used before. However, this time around, you're offered improvements across the board, including VRAM and core counts.
Featuring 2,176 CUDA cores, the card processes more data and performs more game graphic calculations than the generic RTX 2060. Between the increased CUDA core count and the 1680 MHz base clock rate, the GPU's raw output pushes 7.2 TFLOPs, which is nothing to sneeze at considering the model's mid-range seat at the graphics card table. Likewise, with the GDDR6 VRAM count reaching 8 GB, the card is futureproofed, making 140p gaming more feasible.
Physically, however, the model's almost indistinguishable from the RTX 2060 Founders Edition version. The one appearance difference between the two is that the Founders Edition card has a chrome stripe below the logo, making the card more reflective. Of course, without a see-through case, you won't even notice this difference, so this is nothing to be jealous of.
That said, the people using vanilla RTX 2060 can be jealous of the RTX 2060S performance. Running Metro Exodus, the most hardware-intensive title out there (aside from Microsoft's Flight Simulator), the card delivers smooth 1440p gameplay. Even sticking with Ultra graphics settings and enabling real-time ray tracing as well as DLSS, the experience will remain playable, though the framerate will not always remain locked at 60 fps.
As always, benchmark results reflect the card's gaming performance. In 3DMark TimeSpy Extreme, the GPU reaches a whopping 4,277 points, which is a 21% jump from the original RTX 2060. In fact, the card even outscored its more expensive RTX 2070 relative.
Structurally, the GPU comes outfitted with an updated plate-punched design, improving the company's baseplate's contact with every component, including the heatsink. Cross-drilled, the card excels at dissipating heat, preventing the GPU from overheating even under heavy loads. And, using L-shaped fins, the model ensures direct airflow to the places where cooling is required the most.
In short, VR gaming or orthodox 1440p gaming, the EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra Gaming can support it all.
|Last updated price||$0.00|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
MSI GTX 1660 SUPER VENTUS XS
Great 1080p and Respectable 1440p Performance
The MSI GTX 1660 SUPER VENTUS XS is a small card that will have no issues fitting even mini-ITX cases. But, reducing its size, the card also reduces its VRAM count, stopping at 6 GB. Today, 6GB is plenty, but there's a decent chance you'll start finding the card's VRAM package insufficient a few years down the road. What will remain sufficient in the foreseeable future is the GPU's respectable budget performance.
In Time Spy, the card is almost as fast as GTX 1660 Ti, its much more expensive step-up stablemate. In the same game, the GPU is a whopping 14% more responsive than the generIC RTX 1660 version that the card replaces. Running Fire Strike, the difference between this card and GTX 1660 Ti becomes even more negligible. Sure, these are not the most hardware-demanding titles. But, judging on the usual Metro Exodus scale, the card averages above 40 fps at 1080p, which is not bad at all. In the less strenuous Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the subject graphics card dominates the game, averaging almost 80 fps at 1080p on the Ultra quality settings. Because Metro Exodus is an outlier even among AAA titles, more often than not, the card will give you excellent (~60-70 fps) framerates in most games.
The GPU can even somewhat handle 1440p gaming, but a few cracks here and there will start showing up. In the same LOTR-based game, this graphics card stands tall, pushing almost 55 fps on average. But, with games that are not quite as well-optimised (like the aforementioned Metro Exodus), the card will seldom scrape up more than 35 fps, which is 100% playable. But, as far as PC gaming is concerned, where 60 fps remains the name of the game, the card's 1440p performance remains inconsistent.
TORX Fan 2.0
Looking at what the card's made of, we're working with MSI's signature TORX Fan 2.0 setup. First comes the dispersion fan blade, with its steep curve delivering accelerated airflow. Second comes the traditional fan blade, supplying steady airflow below the GPU's enormous heatsink. Last but not quite least, the port arrangement is standard, including 1 HDMI output and 3 DisplayPort interfaces.
To sum up, the MSI GTX 1660 SUPER VENTUS XS is the card that will let you play right now, without worrying that some game will throttle its performance. Furthermore, the GPU consumes only 125 watts, so a 450-watt PSU will be plenty for this graphics card. From the price-performance perspective, this might be the best GPU for VR in this weight class.
|Last updated price||£268.01|
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Pulse
A Quality Rebadge
The Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Pulse might be a rebadge but we would advise against grouping this GPU with pushovers that most rebadges are. No, considering the low-end price tag that the card carries, its performance is commendable. But before we discuss what this graphics card is bringing to the performance table, let's review its design.
To start with, the card integrates Sapphire's trademark Intelligent Fan Control tech. Updated, this tech makes sure that, when the workload is light, the fans do not spin at all, keeping the card silent. At the same time, they will automatically restart the moment you fire up any system-intensive app.
Before that, the card's sleek and elegant contours will suit casual builds and expensive gaming rigs alike. The black-and-white finish with a single clean blue LED logo makes the card look polished and subtle. The all-aluminum backplate behind these contours delivers additional rigidity, making sure that the GPU does not bend and that the dust stays out. To add more, the backplate increases the card's heat dissipation, preventing its circuitry from overheating.
Aside from the backplate and the internal circuitry the 'plate covers, this graphics card incorporates high-polymer capacitors. Made from the same high-strength aluminum that the backplate is made from, these capacitors should last ~200,000 hours, so there's almost no chance they will give you before you replace the card.
On the performance front, again, the card is no slouch. The 2304 stream processors that this GPU comes packing are embedded into 36 compute units, 144 texture units, 32 ROPs, 8 GB GDDR5 memory clock, the same 256-bit memory bus that mid-priced graphics cards are working with, and the GCN 4.0 architecture that the card's predecessors were sporting. Needless to say, with these numbers, the card's not DoA, not at all.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the title that is a punishing benchmark at ultra-high presets, will not be dipping below 50 fps on average on this card. Battlefield 1, the game that, unlike the latest AC installment, was somewhat optimised, will be showing ~90 fps at 1080p and averaging 70 fps at 1440p. Even Ghost Recon Wildlands, with its brutal ultra graphical presets, should at least give you 40 fps.
Long story short, despite its faint-economy model vibe and middling base clock rate, the Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Pulse goes above and beyond what we expect from graphics cards for VR at this price point.
|Last updated price||$0.00|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
What Is a GPU for VR?
Virtual reality is upon us and it is not the joke that was aboard the 80s and 90s hype trains. No, the virtual reality that we have today is quite incredible. But so are its demands. Without the right VR equipment, experiencing the best that the VR industry has to offer will be impossible. Of course, the right VR equipment includes virtual reality headsets. Without them, the idea is dead on arrival. But, without a powerful GPU that can support these headsets, most will prove useless.
First off, a GPU for VR has to be a powerful graphics card. Because VR games are more demanding than traditional games, budget GPUs do not cut it. Other than that, the best graphics card for VR should feature a minimum of multiple HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. Without these interfaces, you will not be able to connect the card to a headset and a screen. They should support high resolutions. At the very least, the card should be able to handle 4K and, with certain titles, even 5K and 8K will become a requirement.
There's a pretty good chance that you'll need a new case with one of these GPUs, so we would recommending looking into these tempered glass PC cases.
What Features to Compare
VR is an interesting case. Generally speaking, virtual reality games tend to be more resource-demanding than traditional video games. The biggest reason is that, more often than not, VR relies on resolutions way above the usual 1080p that most gamers employ. Besides that, VR games have to be rendered in three dimensions and, depending on the headset, between 80 and 144 fps. Because that's the case, you need above-average hardware, including graphics cards.
CUDA cores / Streaming processors
Though CPUs and GPUs both have processor cores, the tasks that these processors carry out are different and so is the quantity. Unlike graphics cards, central processing units have to be general-purpose machines. GPUs, on the other hand, deal with loads of parallel yet simple calculations at a time. Because that's the case, CPUs have a dozen or two cores tops, while GPUs can have hundreds or even thousands.
NVIDIA calls them CUDA cores, and AMD dubs them streaming processors. The more you have, the more calculations the graphics can handle simultaneously.
Every PC has system memory, and even the graphics card always has its own dedicated memory. Video random-access memory, or VRAM for short, will be listed in gigabytes of GDDR followed by a number, designating its generation. Modern-day graphics cards boast somewhere between 4 GB GDDR4 VRAM and 24 GB GDDR6X. That said, there are also GDRR5 cards.
VRAM decides the GPU's performance almost as much as the core count. This memory segment decides how much information the card can cache. With high-res textures and complex in-game details, this makes a huge difference. Without enough VRAM, you'll not be able to run the latest games on high/ultra settings at 1080p or above.
The card's clock speed will tell you how many complete calculation cycles the GPU can make every second. With enough clock speed, you can close substantial core and memory count gaps. This is also where overclocking makes the most difference.
With clock speed, you have two measures: base speed and boost speed. The base clock spec outlines the lowest clock speed the GPU should run at. The boost clock speed, on the other hand, will tell you the speed the card will be approaching when it is heavily taxed.
Cooling and Power
Purchase the most expensive GPU you can. But, without a sufficient cooling system, the card will overheat and, best-case scenario, will not be running at 100%. Power-wise, graphics cards these days can eat up anywhere from 100 to 400 watts, meaning that you need a PSU from ~450 to ~800+ watts respectively.
VR Advantages and Disadvantages
Virtual reality has arrived and it is no gimmick that it was ~30 years ago. This time around, even the worst virtual reality devices and systems are quite capable. But what are they capable at/of? Let's find that out.
Gaming and Entertainment
Generally speaking, people usually associate virtual reality with gaming first and everything else second. Truth be told, they're both right and wrong. There are very few fields and applications that cannot benefit from VR. That being said, the biggest industry pushing virtual reality progress is the entertainment one. With VR inserting the players into the world, these systems/devices make the gameplay feel much more immersive, turning screens into an outright living experience. The closed-face VR headsets are the best at delivering unparalleled immersion. They're also pretty pricey though, but the prices are going down, so they should become more or less affordable within the next 5 years or so. Paired with the right hardware, the best VR games look fantastic on these headsets, making you feel like you're out there exploring the fictional world and not sitting at home with a silly helmet/mask atop ye head.
Education and Training
Virtual reality systems are capable of modelling complex behaviours. In reality, these simulated scenarios could have life-or-death consequences. But when you put 'virtual' before 'reality', you can learn the basics without worrying about facing severe consequences. What's more, you can train knowing that you will not harm others or damage expensive property. Driving can benefit wonders from virtual reality systems, lessening liability.
The same can be said about commercial aviation (as well as military) and VR CAVEs. Inside these automatic virtual environments, beginners can gain experience with complicated machinery that usually has a steep learning curve where even small mistakes can create serious problems.
The medical field has already spent years implementing VR practices in student training. With virtual reality, medical students can acquire and hone surgical skills without cutting up cadavers or risking live patients' lives. Plus, certain training situations cannot be emulated in a safe environment without using VR.
Help and Healing
Soldiers see hell. Returning from conflict areas, even the strongest people can experience PTSD. Using virtual reality, health practitioners can stimulate the traumatic events that these people have lived through. This way, they can work through the stress that usually follows those who have encountered combat. In doing so, the individual becomes desensitized, decreasing the person's stress levels. Apart from that, VR equipment can help you overcome phobias, especially those that are based around specific animals, things, or places.
Planning and Architecture
Using VR equipment, urban planners (as well as different decision-makers) can observe and even interact with the final outcome even before development begins. As a result, you can eliminate fatal flaws and implement various improvements that you would/could not foresee otherwise.