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The comeback and the popularity of high quality VR tech clearly shows that the Virtual Reality is here to stay. It is seriously taking over the digital world in a big way. Either it’s a workplace, gaming, or any other eminent industry, virtual reality is taking over tons of standard processes. Graphics card is the most critical component in your VR build whether you crave full VR immersion into the gaming world, or have experienced a VR headset, or just dipping your toes in the lifelike waters of Skyrim. It is highly possible to make or even upgrade your PC to harness best VR features which can be available on it. So, to actually enjoy an overall satisfying experience, you might need one of the best graphics card for VR, which we have fortunately listed in the following article for you.
To enjoy a seamless and perfect viewing experience, you must have the best graphics card. You need the best graphics card for VR so that you can avoid the screen tearing experiences and actually enjoy VR as it should be. Having the graphics card which is not suitable for your VR can give you a dizzy ride, which you should stay away from. Whereas, a suitable graphics card will allow you to have a comfortable VR viewing experience. Lack of adequate cooling or insufficient memory can restrict your VR experience, that is why a graphic card meant for VR is built around features which meets the expectations of the users.
There are tons of VR titles to choose from, available on the market but there are as many graphics cards too and we have put together some of the best graphics card in the market among which you can choose the one suits best for you. Each product is provided with some information needed to make sure that you opt for the one which suits your needs the most. The pros and cons of each graphics card will eventually help you analyze the graphics card rightfully. Moreover, at the end of the article you will see some features you must look for while choosing the best graphics card for Virtual Reality.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into each product and their details.
Quick Search & Comparison of Best Graphics Cards For VR
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070- Editor’s Choice
We are starting off this list of best graphics card for VR with this GeForce RTX 2070 by GIGABYTE. It is the most expensive option in the list but something all of you VR lovers would want.
Let’s talk about the features of Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070!
Looking for a new GPU for VR is a difficult process, especially if you need something which will work for years. The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Super delivers excellent VR performance (almost around the same range as the RTX 2080) for smooth frame rates, and you will not experience much issue getting into the intensive tasks like super sampling. This extraordinary graphics card for VR enthusiasts allows it’s users to experience the advantage of the 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, a 256-bit memory bus, and a core clock up to 1,815MHz.
The GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics card is designed to meet the expectations of the enthusiastic users. The 8G Gigabyte graphics card offers three Wind force fans for outstanding cooling and has a great selection of ports including the USB-C Virtual Link and allows you to connect VR and other standard monitors without much trouble.
Though this Graphics card is a great addition to your PC if you want to take your VR experience to the next level. But not every graphics card is designed to fit all PCs or is suitable for every user. Because of its three fans and therefore a big size, it might not be able to fit all PC cases. And considering all the cool features this RTX 2070 Graphics Card is offering the price might not be suitable for your already set budget. Other than these considerations, you are good to go with this Graphics Card.
The Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G delivers better performance than the Nvidia’s Founders Edition card, and at a relatively lower price. The thermal solution of Gigabyte GeForce isn’t built for aggressive overclocking, but the card offers excellent frame rates at 2560 x 1440 with the maxed-out detail settings. Overall, this is an exceptional graphics card to own, especially if you are an enthusiast but is definitely not a suitable option for everyone out there. If it meets your needs and fits in your PC and budget range, you shall not look any further, highly recommended.
Power Color Radeon RX 5700 Red Devil
The second graphics card for VR we are mentioning in the list is this amazing Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card by Power Color. The price of this graphics card is justified because of its great features.
Now, let’s talk about the features of this Red Devil RX 5700 XT graphics card. The PowerColor Red Devil peaks at about 2010MHz (Boost) and 1905MHz (Game), and the higher GPU clocks ends in higher compute performance and fillrate. The PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT features 3 x 90mm dual bearing fans with the 5 copper heat pipes which snakes through the dense array of the heatsink fins. The heatsink then also extends out over the PCB to let air keep moving all around the card and also minimizing the possibility of any of the hot spots where the air might get trapped between the fans, PCB, heatsink, or shroud.
The design of the cooler is a bit more subdued in comparison to the previous Red Devil’s, at least when it is not lit up. In place of the flashy red accents of the previous graphics cards, the PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Graphics card’s shroud features RGB lighting configurable with the new “Devil Zone” utility.
This PowerColor RX 5700 XT graphics card has no doubt a well thought out design. The PowerColor Radeon has good quality DrMos high polymer caps and a 10 phase VRM design underneath it’s big cooler. The extra phases and high end caps helps in spreading the load and smooths out power delivery. And which aids with overclocking and provides long term reliability of the graphics card. The cooler on this PowerColor Graphics Card is a significant upgrade and a thoughtful design feature. The Red Devil logo on the top edge and the devil horns on the back now illuminates, additionally, the ports and the Red Devil branding on the case bracket illuminates too. The PowerColor equipped this card with the dual 8 pin PCIe power connectors to make sure that it offers plenty of juice at its disposal.
The PowerColor also furnishes the Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil with the BIOS switch which toggles between Silent modes and OC. The card has a 220 W power target in OC mode and has a 180W power target in the Silent mode. The effective and real-world differences in power, performance, and acoustics are minimal, so leaving the Red Devil in the OC mode and having some extra power at the card’s disposal will probably be great for everyone. While on the other hand, if you are cool with minimizing power to keep things as quiet as possible, you will definitely not sacrifice a lot in terms of performance in the Silent mode.
Well, no matter how high end a graphics card is, it might not be suitable for your needs. The size of this PowerColor graphics card just like the previous one is big and can definitely not fit in all of the PC cases, so considering its size beforehand is for sure, a must. While you will experience a smooth result but one of the customers added that some of the animations were not as smooth as they could have been, but it does smooth out with time. Last but not the least, there is a design flaw of this PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card that, the Red Devil text is upside down when you fit it in the PC case, which is a little disappointing coming from a well named brand.
We mentioned the pros and cons of this PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB Red Devil graphics card below:
All in all, this PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB graphics card is an exceptional card when it comes to VR and definitely worth investing in. The performance is extra ordinary, and the design looks so high end and the stunning LED just adds to its beauty. If the cons or limitations are not something you worry about, this is a must have graphics card for you, offering everything you can ask for.
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1660 TI Graphics Card
We are going to end our list of the best graphics card for VR with this budget friendly GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card by ASUS. This is the best bet if you want a graphics card which meets all of your VR needs but at the same time in a budget friendly range.
Now, let’s dive into the features of this ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card. The GTX 1660 is powered by NVIDIA Turing with a 1408 CUDA Cores and an overclocked selected 6GB GDDR6 memory. It supports up to 4 Monitors with the DisplayPort 1. 4 and a HDMI 2. 0. with the recommended PSU of 450 W. The GPU Tweak II makes monitoring performance and streaming in real life easier and better than ever, and also includes extra software like XSplit Gamecaster, WTFast, Game Booster, and Quantum Cloud.
The design is also thoughtful. It features a full Cooling Control with the DirectCU II with the patented Wing Blade Fans to increase the airflow through the heatsink. While the ASUS Fan Connect II offers dual pin GPU controlled PWM fan headers. The ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting is designed with almost an endless spectrum of colors with the capability of synchronizing effects across the expanding ecosystem of the Aura Sync enabled products.
The only minor complaints people have with this graphics card are that the fan shroud is not secured nicely into the board and also it does not offer the quietest operation in comparison to the rest of the two above, not too obvious but still something to consider beforehand.
Below we mentioned the pros and cons of this ASUS GTX 1660 graphics card:
All in all, this graphics card is the perfect budget friendly option for VR. It offers great performance, is a sturdy card. Most of all, the size is not too big and can easily fit in most of the PC cases.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST GRAPHICS CARD FOR VR
VR technology is definitely becoming more advanced and impressive with time by changing the way we experience games. But to enjoy the full potential of VR technology you, make sure to have a proper hardware, which clearly means having the best graphics card for VR. And there are plenty of graphics card to choose from and selecting which one is best for your individual needs is never easy. So, to make your search for the best graphics card a little easier you must look for some features which enhances your general experience. Below we have gathered some of the important features, to help make your decision easier.
But before getting into the features separately, let’s take a look at the types of Graphics Card.
Types Of Graphics Cards
Best graphics cards for VR comes in a lot varieties. Here we are mentioning two of the most popular types of graphics cards that you will find for VR.
Integrated graphics card
This GPU is built into the motherboard and does not need any addition. Computers and laptops are the most common hardware’s to use such kind of cards. And to update these cards, you will have to update the entire processor of the system. These types of graphic cards leave room for the addition of the discrete card.
Discrete graphics card
This is a kind of additional card. And this needs to be installed on the expansion slot in the motherboard of the system. This card is best for those who want to upgrade the system in the future. All you would need to do is swapping this card for the other one.
Discrete graphics cards are most suitable for the needs of the users who want to utilize the system for video editing, gaming, or CAD design. While on the other hand, the integrated graphics cards are good for small time activities such as, web browsing and regular office work.
Expansion slots for the graphics cards comes in a wide range of options. The PCI – AGP and PCI– E are some of the basic ones. Another factor you need to know about the graphic cards is their form. Below are the common form factors of graphics cards to look for:
- Single slot: Such type of graphic cards are normally low powered as they do not need a cooler.
- Dual slot: It is more appropriate for gaming or CAD design as they are built to have bigger coolers and typically ward off the heat easily which the card creates.
- Triple slot: For graphics cards which gets hot and comes with considerable cooling solutions to permit overclocking.
- Low profile: These cards are made to replace the integrated cards and can easily support everyday monitor work.
The most contemporary graphic cards comes with memory ranging from 512 MB and 11 GB. And the common type of memory for such types of cards is DDR3 and GDDR5. When it comes to playing games, you should probably check the memory of the card. Some of the best graphic cards for VR comes with the higher memory. This assists the card perform at an excellent level.
The high-quality texture which you view on some of the screens is an addition to these cards. The memory card is in charge to store all of the graphical information. This information is then displayed on the output screen. So, it will not be wrong to decide that the capacity of the card highly impacts the overall experience.
GPU Clock Rate
The GPU Clock Rate is measured in Megahertz, the GPU operating frequency measures millions of cycles for every second. So, this in return effects the performance of the GPU. The higher it turns out to be, the higher the number of pixels which can be processed by the graphics processor for each second.
But this is not the only feature which effects the overall performance of the graphics card. These days, GPU units are built to work at various frequencies. This helps in enhancing the efficiency of the performance. Where some of the units can operate at much higher frequencies, others can not. Today, a lot graphics cards work on the same principle and manage to deliver high performance.
The capability of the graphics processor to draw pixels is measured by the fill rate. Fill rates can be of two kinds, pixel fill rate, and the Texel rate. The pixel fill rate relies upon the operating frequency of the raster operations pipeline. This improves the speed of the drawing pixels on the output screen.
The texture fetch rate is the characteristic of the Texel rate. It is affected by the number of texture units and the operating frequency. If the pixel fill rate of the card is higher, this means that the graphics card draws pixels quicker. In the modern gaming scenes, both of the factors are equally important. and they must be balanced as well.
The kind of the power needed by modern graphics cards cannot be supplied by the system on its own.
For this, such cards need special 6 pin connectors. The higher the configuration of the graphics card is, the more power supply it would need. Besides the PCI Express, a card might need up to two power connectors to attain the required power supply.
A computer system has tons of other hardware parts which need power consumption to work. Normally, amid range graphics card gets its power supply from the system alone. And it is the high end graphics card which require additional connectors.
Cooling System And Physical Dimensions
If there is something basic and necessary to the performance of the graphics card, it is the cooling system. As a graphics card consume high power, it also dissipates quite a large amount of heat that is why it is important to ward off this heat with the coolers. Shortage of such coolers can lead to the overheating of graphics card and eventually it’s failure. Heat sinks can cool down the slow graphics cards, but the best graphics card for VR needs an active cooling system to avoid any sort of failure.
From heat sinks to the heat pipe solutions, a graphics card vendor can make use of a lot of options to attain this. Sometimes, the size of the graphics card is pretty large, such that the installation barely leaves any space between the enclosure and the card. These factors must be given due consideration before choosing the graphics card.
Noiseless Cooling System
Noise is a major factor when opting for a graphics card for almost all users. Cooling fans on few of the best graphics cards for VR can create a little noise. As the GPU temperature goes high, the level of noise increases too. A fanless and a relatively cooled product is the best option for the people who do not want to deal with such noise at any cost. As this might not be possible for all, the users should check reviews of the graphics card before making the final choice.
The problem with the passive cooling devices is that they can be difficult to install. Other components of the system can be blocked out because of this, and the overall efficiency of the system can be impacted. The installation of such units needs careful and thorough planning about the ventilation.
Price is probably the most underrated feature. The price of the graphics card is highly important when choosing one. Though, it is quite evident that the choice of the high end card will cost you a lot more than opting for a mid-range card. This still makes sense to evaluate all of the features of the graphics card before making the decision.
Sometimes, a high end budget card might not be the best option for you based on your requirements and which extra features that graphic card is offering. While at the same time, a low valued graphics card might not be the most efficient option for and not meet you requirements. A graphics card is not something you purchase every day, so do not go for the cheapest option which does not even offer the feature you need. But at the same time do not opt for the most expensive option out there too, as it might offer the features you don’t or won’t even need.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP!
And, with this much information we will end our article. We did a vigorous search to find the best solutions for you in different price ranges and from different top brands. We hope everyone finds a graphics card of their individual requirements. All of these GPUs will make sure that you get to experience VR in all its glory. At the same time, if you are only starting out it might be great to get a budget friendly solution until you test it out perfectly. Once, you get to experience VR and think that you might need an upgrade you can always do that in the future. So, choose wisely, and enjoy your virtual reality to its full extent.
And when it comes to VR, you will only want the best. There are plenty of graphics cards out there, and each of them have their own unique GPU configuration. Virtual Reality is a super enjoyable and fun experience, but it does need a good amount of investment when it comes to the hardware department. The above mentioned graphics cards are great for Virtual Reality and you can easily play high end and demanding games like Watch Dogs 2, Overwatch etc. in VR comfortably. Be wise while selecting the best graphics card for VR for your individual needs. Happy Shopping!