VR technology is already changing the way we experience games, and in years to come, it will surely become even more advanced and impressive. However, in the meanwhile, if you wish to enjoy its full potential, you need to make sure that you have the proper hardware, which means getting the best graphics card for VR in 2020.
Since there are many of them to choose from, and it is not easy just determining which one is the best one — we have prepared a list that should help you with making your choice. Here are our top picks.
1. Sapphire Radeon RX 5700
Let’s start off with the GPU that is likely the favorite among gamers when it comes to performance-to-price ratio — AMD’s Radeon RX 5700. This is one of the newest graphics cards, and it is based on the 7nm Navi architecture. As such, it will provide you with a relatively reasonable price, and provide an excellent VR experience.
Outside of virtual reality, it is good enough to deliver smooth 1440p gaming. It also features a quiet blower design, and you won’t need that much power to use it. Best of all, it manages to stay pretty cool even when you run performance-heavy games.
Granted, this is not the most powerful solution out there. However, if you are only starting out in VR, and you do not seek the best of the best for the moment — this card will provide you with everything you need. As mentioned before, it is not that expensive as far as GPUs tend to go, and it will still provide you with hours upon hours of enjoyable content and great experiences.
Of course, that means that you won’t be able to play the most demanding games at maxed-out settings, but you can still set them pretty high and get reasonable results. The card has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, it provides you with three DisplayPort and one HDMI, as well as support for PCIe 4.0. You also won’t find some of the usual RTX card features, including ray tracing, but on the other hand, it does come with FreeSync2 HDR support, provided that you have a compatible monitor.
2. MSI Ventus RTX 2060
Next, we have MSI’s Ventus RTX 2060, which is quite a runner up to our previous entry. In other words, this is also not the best of the best when it comes to GPUs, but you will definitely notice excellent performance at a pretty low price.
This particular graphics card is quite capable of delivering more than decent VR experience, which makes it perfect for those who wish to enjoy VR without the need to go for maxed-out settings and most demanding modifications and effects. Furthermore, this GPU is also quite low-cost when compared to many others that would achieve the same results.
So, if you want a great and cheap RTX 2060 GPU, we recommend MSI Ventus, which also comes with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, dual fans, one HDMI port, and three DisplayPort, as well as other additional features that you would expect from RTX cards. This time, ray tracing is included, as well as DLSS (deep learning super sampling), so we believe that you will be rather pleased with this solution.
The only real drawbacks are the fact that it is slightly less powerful than our number one entry, and that it is not that future-proof as some of the high-end GPUs, meaning that you might have to replace it in a few years to play games that will have come out by then.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Now, let’s talk about one of the more powerful cards out there — a solution that is barely two months old, and that caught everyone by surprise when it was announced — Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
To be perfectly honest, this is a slightly pricier solution, even when compared to the previous two. However, most other top GPUs are much, much more expensive, which makes this a fantastic solution that provides high performance, but doesn’t cost as much as it really should. In other words, this GPU is a replacement for those that are not affordable for everyone. However, the manufacturer did not make a mistake when it called it ‘Super,’
It looks pretty much like a copy of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, but at a much lower price, and a slightly better boost of GPU clocks. It also has a bit fewer processing cores — 2560 instead of 2,944. Everything else is pretty much identical, including size, the number of transistors, power requirements, the number of fans, and more.
If that makes it almost the same as RTX 2080, just imagine how much better it is when compared to RTX 2070. It has a larger die size, greater transistor count, more processing cores, better base, as well as boost, and while it does require more power (215 watts), you get a lot more for the same price, which makes it more than worth buying.
4. EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming
Then, there is EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming GPU, which is also powered by Nvidia’s new Turing architecture. Luckily for everyone interested in getting one, it is also on the low-cost side, which is good, as many of the great quality GPUs tend to cost a fortune.
While not at the top of the pyramid, this solution is still pretty fast and capable, and it is definitely more than enough to provide you with a 90 FPS VR experience.
It features 8GB GDDR6, Dual HDB fans, and even RGB LED for those of you who like your builds flashy and interesting. However, its main feature is its real boost clock, which is increased to 1710 MHz.
In terms of power, it requires a minimum of 550 Watt PSU, an available 6-pin PCIe power connector, and a total power draw of 175 Watts. However, in return, you get excellent levels of speed, gaming realism, immersion, and power efficiency, which is all that you could ever need for a proper VR experience.
5. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590
Now, we understand that buying a VR headset and getting high-quality PC hardware is not cheap. So, if you are just entering the VR world and need a budget-friendlier solution that won’t cost you at least $400-$500 — we have a solution for that, as well.
Meet Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590 graphics card, which won’t provide you with the ultimate experience and maximum framerate for every VR game you come across, but it will be more than enough for you to get properly introduced to the VR world and enjoy some of your favorite games while you are saving up for the top-shelf GPU.
This model offers 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and it comes with dual fans that will keep it nice and cool. Then, you get dual DisplayPort, as well as HDMI, which will ensure quite easy connectivity. Not only that, but this is also a relatively small graphics card, which can easily fit in pretty much all cases. It is very affordable, and we still feel that it offers more than what its price might suggest, which is why it definitely deserves its place on this list.
6. ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti
Now that we have covered a budget solution, it is only right to go for one of the biggest GPU overkills out there, which comes in the form of ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti. Let us say this right away — this is not a cheap graphics card.
In fact, it is only available for those who have deep pockets, and are willing to pay over $1,000 for their GPU. However, don’t think that this price is as high as it is for no reason. The performance it offers is simply ridiculous, and if there was ever a GPU for VR enthusiasts — this is it.
It doesn’t matter which headset you have, or which game you want to run — this GPU will handle it with such ease that you will be under the impression that it doesn’t even feel it. It offers 11GB of GDDR6 VRAM, it features three fans that deliver quiet cooling, and it is covered with customizable RGB lighting.
In terms of port selection, you get two DisplayPort, two HDMI, as well as USB-C VirtualLink, so that you can connect several monitors on top of your VR. Obviously, the card is also quite large, so it might not be able to fit smaller cases, meaning that using this one also requires the rest of your components to be equally large and powerful. But, if you have the budget and you don’t care how much it will cost, this is pretty much a go-to solution for you. Besides, it only has two downsides — its price and its size. Try as we might, we could not find anything else to criticize, which is proof enough of how powerful this card really is.
7. GeForce GTX 1080 TI
While we don’t really have a graphics card that will offer better performance than our previous entry — there are still solutions that offer decent performance at a more affordable price. GeForce GTX 1080 TI is one of them, especially since this card managed to remain one of the best solutions out there for three years before being dethroned.
Still, we believe that its former glory definitely counts for something, which is why it definitely deserves a mention.
When it comes to performance, its OC Mode offers 1544 MHz, although overclocking can take it up to 1657 MHz. As for gaming mode, we have 1518 MHz at the base, and the ability to climb up to 1632 MHz. In terms of cooling, you get three WINDFORCE fans that are more than enough to keep the temperatures under control. Its form factor is ATX, and it comes with RGB fusion that allows customizable color lighting, so that you can enjoy it in and out of VR.
8. Gigabyte OC 6G GTX 1660
Another great-quality budget solution comes in the form of Gigabyte’s OC 6G GTX 1660, which also represents a great solution if you are only looking to try out the VR world. With this GPU, you can test it out and not spend a huge amount of money along the way. This model is capable of providing you with quite an enjoyable experience for the initial period, although it likely won’t be able to let you run modern games to their fullest extent.
Still, if you are a fan of Nvidia, and you want to test our VR — we could not think of a better solution. This model comes with only two fans, but since it is not a high-performance solution — two fans are all that it really requires. Further, thanks to its compact designs, it can easily fit into most PC cases, except for some of the smallest ones.
It features one HDMI port, as well as up to three DisplayPort. That way, you can get pretty decent connectivity for your headset. It also comes with 6GB VRAM, and enough power for Vive, WMR, as well as Rift S, so you should find it quite to your liking. Of course, as mentioned, you won’t be able to get the optimal VR performance with this graphics card, so keep that in mind.
9. Zotac RTX 2080
Another quite decent option that comes under $1,000 is Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, which features twin fans, 8GB GDDR6, Spectra Lighting, active fan control, all of it with a metal backplate and the ability to get quite decent performance out of it.
It actually comes in several different variants, and the compact dual-fan unit is only a basic one. You can also get an overclocked model, which will significantly impact the performance and make your experience that much more enjoyable. The overclocked model can even reach as much as 1,9 GHz, which makes it one of the fastest models out there.
In other words, it won’t only make your VR experience quite superb, but can also let you reach 4K gaming outside of virtual reality, which is more than we could ask for from such a low-price solution.
10. MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G
Finally, let’s end this list with another pretty affordable solution in the form of MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G. Despite the low price, this model is quite exceptional at delivering top-quality gaming experience to those who have a tight budget. Not only that, but it offers a refresh rate of 1080p, which is not something that you can usually get at a price this low.
Of course, it is not going to deliver top VR experience, and you will have to reduce your game’s settings in order to enjoy a smooth experience. After all, it is not exactly able to provide 4K gaming out of the VR, either. But, it is still more than capable of doing a great job for such a low price, and it definitely beats the previous generation of GTX GPUs,
Another thing that we really liked about this model is its exceptional cooling, as well as great potential for overclocking, which could take you a bit further down the road to top experience, although, as we said, you shouldn’t expect too much.
And, with that, we will end our list. We searched far and wide to find the best solutions in all price ranges, and this list is long and diverse enough to have something for everyone. Whether you can only afford to pay $300 for your new GPU, or you can go to $1,300, or anywhere in between — we have something for you.
Most of these GPUs will ensure that you experience VR in all its glory. Meanwhile, if you are only starting out, it might be best to get a cheaper solution until you test it out properly. Who knows, maybe you will be satisfied with what you get anyway. And, if not — you can always return to the list and plan out your funds in order to buy a more advanced graphics card in the future. So, choose wisely, and enjoy your new virtual reality to its full extent.