Top Graphics Cards for Gamers
With the release of the latest generation of consoles and PC gaming getting better on a continuous basis, theres never been a better time to be a gamer. But youre only as good as your hardware, and graphics cards are an important part of that.
Why Graphics Matter
Most games come out on multiple platforms nowadays, leaving gamers to opt for a console, Nintendos hand-held Switch (which can also use a TV screen/monitor), or PC. The decision is pretty straightforward, as consoles offer greater convenience and lower hardware cost, while PCs cost more but undeniably offer the premium gaming experience due to better technology.
Because of this, playing on PC but having a very basic set of graphics can mean the worst of both worlds, with a relatively high cost but graphics no better than a console. PCs can be fiddlier than consoles but the flipside is that they can offer the best possible experience. Playing on a PC with mediocre graphics is like buying a Ferrari and never going past 30mph. In that case, you might as well have a console.
Advances in i-Gaming and e-Gaming
Games have come a long way in many aspects over the decades. Gameplay and graphics have advanced tremendously, both being exemplified by the stark contrast between the original Final Fantasy VII and the remade version released almost a quarter of a century down the line. While great stories in Final Fantasy or leading manga series can be timeless, some aspects of everyday life have improved immeasurably thanks to advances in tech. The world of e-gaming has moved from blocky pixel graphics and being a niche pastime to being bigger than Hollywood with graphics that, at a glance, can be mistaken for the real thing.
In much the same way, i-gaming (online casino games) have drastically improved over the years too, to the extent that almost all are now mobile compatible and come with a great combination of graphics, music, and sound effects. Accessibility has been a huge success story in both types of gaming, with games now offering different color options to help those with color blindness, the ability to remove spiders to ease arachnophobic worries and reduce gore levels. In addition, increasing numbers of casino games are designed so the visually impaired can play them.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Probably the single mightiest graphics card you can buy right now is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. The problem is that you may have to sell a kidney to be able to afford it. A common problem in tech now is that cryptocurrency mining is so lucrative the best hardware gets rapidly snapped up by miners, which both reduces the supply for gamers and hikes prices, especially with the very best technology such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. This has only been made worse by the long term supply chain problems created by the pandemic.
However, if you can both find one to buy and have the money, it offers some great gaming potential. Should resolution be a key aspect of gameplay for you, then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 can keep up with 4K. And its possible that when Nvidia releases their next graphics card the price of this one might reduce.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
While Nvidia is the king of the hill for graphics cards right now, they are not the only show in town and you can always go down the AMD route instead. Another great option for 1080p players is the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, which is better than the RTX 3060 and thermally efficient so gamers wont need a water-cooling system. On top of that, its low power requirement means it can work with a smaller PSU. The drawback is that it doesnt feature ray tracing and costs more than the 3060.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
Ok, its a bit like buying a Porsche Boxster rather than a 911, but the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti does still offer great performance at 1080p (which many people are still using right now) and dependable ray tracing. It can offer some 4K potential but not the performance of the 3080. The 3060 also offers much better value for money and accessibility. The question might arise that if youre playing at 1080p and not after 4K gaming right now, why not buy a 3060? Its cheaper than the alternative and offers great performance at that resolution.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Creative types who like making and editing videos for Youtube might prefer to opt for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. Its huge amount of RAM (24GB) means that graphics-heavy projects can be handled with ease. The downside, as might be expected, is that the price tag is also on the hefty side and the 3090 itself is pretty big. But if you have plenty of cash and engage in rendering videos and 3D projects this might be the best of the bunch.
Theres a large range of great graphics out there, and while supply at the top end can be constrained its often the case that other cards might suit your needs. So consider carefully what you want, and dont feel the need to empty your wallet if you can get something for less that does the job you want it for.