Which graphics card is right for you among these graphics cards of 2017?
Let’s review the best graphics cards 2017 and help you buy the right one!
If you say graphics don’t matter…you need a good graphics card.
Graphics cards come in various flavours today. From number of fans to higher clock speed. Small design to really big ones. Every manufacturer has their own unique ways to create a graphics card that is most suitable to your needs.
However, until you truly know which one you should get, you’ll always remain bewildered by the sheer number of them. In 2017, we have seen renewed architecture and un-clocked performance of these graphics cards on 4K-144Hz monitors.
But needless to say, that kind of performance requires equally balanced hardware on all fronts. So, is it really fair to buy Nvidia GTX 1070 when you have Intel Core i3 and 4 GB RAM? No, it’s really not fair!
But you shouldn’t worry too much, there is just the right graphics card for you to choose from the best graphics cards 2017.
If you are a true gamer…you need to fix the frame drops!
Best Graphics Cards 2017 – 1080P, 2K or 4K Gaming
|Graphics Card||Memory||Base Clock||Boost Clock||Check Price|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070||8 GB GDDR5||1594 MHz||1784 MHz||Latest Price|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti||11 GB GDDR5X||1480||1582||Latest Price|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080||8 GB GDDR5X||1607||1733||Latest Price|
|AMD Radeon R9 Fury X||4GB 500MHz HBM||1,050MHz||N/A||Latest Price|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti||6GB GDDR5||1000MHz||1075MHz||Latest Price|
I hope you have gone through the table above. I have arranged them in order of the review down below. Since, every card has its own unique gamer crowd, you shouldn’t assume that the one at the 1st place is going to be the best for you.
Each card is best for its own league. Like Nvidia GTX 1050ti delivers amazing performance for 1080p gaming, which is still the most preferred gaming resolution for many gamers.
Hence, I would like you to go through each review as keenly as possible. I’ve listed pros and cons neatly as well, so if you just want to scan the review, you can do so with ease.
Choosing the right graphics card can be an arduous task because there are so many choices, but this trip is well worth it, when you’ll start your journey as the character in game, this search will feel like a hard work well paid!
1. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 – Best Value for Money – 2K Gaming
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is the 3rd in line from Nvidia’s Pascal lineup. GTX 1080 and GTX 1080Ti being the top two.
Specifications of Nvidia GTX 1070:
- 16 nm Fabrication Process
- 1920 CUDA cores
- Base clock speed: 1506MHz
- Boost clock speed: 1683MHz
- 8GB GDDR5 memory
Ever since its release, GeForce GTX 1070 has been the most sought value for money graphics card. It provides nearly the same performance as GTX 1080 but for a considerably lower price.
It decimates every other card on the planet for 1080p gaming. However, it isn’t made for that. It is made to bring you flawless 2K (2560×1440) Gaming and dabble with even 4K Gaming with certain games.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is perfect to build a great 2K gaming machine. Since, 4K monitors and equally balanced hardware will certainly cost you a lot, 2K gaming sounds perfect.
Its overclocking capabilities are great too, not that you would need them, but put in a good cooling solution and you will be able to overclock it to well above 1.8GHz.
Nvidia’s latest Pascal based graphics card have this diamond cut design that feels powerful even before you connect it and start playing games.
It has better heat dissipation technology so the card can run cooler even on heavy load. Nvidia’s version of these cards is known as Founder’s Edition.
GPU Boost Technology
All pascal based graphics cards from Nvidia support GPU Boost 3.0 and although it depends on each manufacturer to provide great cooling solution so that the card can overclock its base clock, the difference in frame rates aren’t that visible because it is already delivering great performance.
With Nvidia GTX 1070, you get base clock of 1506 MHz and boost clock up to 1683 MHz. That’s the official spec of Nvidia GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition.
Being a budget friendly graphics card, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 won’t give you a flawless 3840×2160 (4K) gaming.
On a pleasant note, 4K gaming system would cost you 40% more than a 2K Gaming system.
Limitation of 2-Way SLI is also something of a downer, but given that GTX 1070 performs 80-85% like GTX 1080, putting 2 of them will be more than enough for your 4K needs.
If you search around, you will find that manufacturers were able to successfully boost its clock up to 1784 MHz.
The graphics card added in the table is EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 Black Edition and it is currently the highest rated version of GTX 1070.
I would choose Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 in a heartbeat.
It has 8GB of GDDR5 memory and it currently holds the crown for being the fastest GDDR5 card.
Pairing it with an Intel Core i5, 12GB of DDR4 RAM and 128 GB SSD will grant you a gaming machine that will rival with an Enthusiast level machine.
2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080ti – Super Enthusiasts – 4K King
All hail the King of Graphics card and true 4K Beast!
Nvidia GTX 1080Ti marks the final graphics card in the line of Pascal series and it sits at the very top of that list.
Specifications of Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
- GP-102 GPU
- 3854 CUDA cores
- 6GHz boost clock
- 11GB GDDR5 X memory at 11GHz
- 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI (DP-DVI adapter in box)
Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is the marvel of Nvidia’s Pascal series. It doesn’t care about the cost, it only delivers pure performance to those who can’t imagine gaming if it’s not 4K.
It’s true, GTX 1080 Ti is not for the faint of hearts. If you have the money to buy this beast, you certainly have rest of the components to super-enthusiast level as well.
Now, this card rivals with Titan X and delivers marginally less performance for a significantly low price point for 4K gaming.
Let me remind you that we are talking about the big league. So, no budget gaming is still in sight.
Nvidia GTX Titan X has 12GB GDDR5 X memory and GTX 1080 Ti has 11 GB of it, but it makes up for that 1 GB of difference with other more valued specs.
Being a super enthusiastic level graphics card, it doesn’t compromise anywhere.
You can play grand open world games on 4K resolution and it won’t blink 1 transistor.
It’s a steal when you compare it with Titan X because for nearly same performance it costs 30-35% less.
It can also be called best value of money graphics card for 4K gaming on multi-monitors.
Such a system will be future proof for a longer time.
For example, GTX 1080 Ti (3854 CUDA cores) has significantly more CUDA cores than Titan X (3072 CUDA cores). Base clock and boost clock is also higher in our King.
So…you get all of that for a nearly $700, when Titan X still costs $1300+ depending on alterations made by individual manufacturers.
So, while this may not be your occasional gaming graphics card, it is still the most future proof graphics card available right now.
Nvidia has officially confirmed that 1080 Ti can be used with 5K gaming flawlessly as well. Now that’s a really bold claim to be tested, given that no game to this date offers native resolution of 5K and 5K monitors are going to cost an arm and a leg.
As with other Pascal series graphics card by Nvidia, GTX 1080 Ti doesn’t deviate from the basic diamond cut design.
It has those beautiful edges that make you feel like looking at a supercar from Lamborghini. Now, that’s the design of the Founder’s Edition card (i.e. made by Nvidia), but other manufacturers have not deviated from that design too much and you’ll still see beautifully matched LED lights, reinforced back plate and 2 or 3 fan cooling solutions from them.
On the side-top of the card, you’ll see a 6-Pin and an 8-Pin power connector to drive this behemoth. On the back, you’ll witness 3-Display ports 1.4 and 1-HDMI 2.0b port.
It’s not your typical budget gaming graphics card.
Rest of the parts should be equally powerful like Intel Core i7, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD Pro version, etc.
Hence, such a super enthusiast level gaming machine can set you back more than $3000.
VR games and 4K games, that will truly test such a system will be released as late as 2018 onwards.
It is a certainty that if you want true 4K gaming with multi monitor setup, then GTX 1080 Ti is the answer. At this point, I wouldn’t worry about your budget because if you are searching to buy a 4K gaming graphics card, there’s a good chance that you already have enough money to invest in it.
There are many elements that go when you switch from traditional 1080P gaming and a slightly newer 2K gaming.
The games might be same, but nearly all of them, now have options to increase the graphical fidelity of the game so that it can be more immersive and do justice with your hardware.
Reviewers Choice on Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
I’ll choose Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti only when I have enough money to invest in a proper 4K Gaming system.
Nearly, every part in that setup requires a lot of money, hence, it would not be wise to invest in it right away.
4K Gaming sounds amazing but only when you don’t keep wondering why you shelled out thousands of dollars for it.
Still I recommend Nvidia GTX 1070 for a great gaming experience at 2K resolution.
3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 – Highly Overclockable – 4K Gaming
Huge price cut from original price tag make it worth considering for 4K Gaming.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is currently the most marketed graphics card by Nvidia. They had put everything they got in the keynote when they first introduced it.
Specifications of Nvidia GTX 1080
- New Pascal architecture
- 8GB GDDR5X memory
- 2560 CUDA cores
- 1607MHz base clock speed
- 320GB/s memory bandwidth
That tells us that they had and still have huge faith in its performance. Nvidia GTX 1080 does deliver a competitive performance for enthusiast gamers who like nothing better than 4K gaming.
However, the price tag that it came with couldn’t justify the performance. After all, the less marketed graphics card, Nvidia GTX 1070, was being sold for much less than GTX 1080.
At the end, the former received a huge price cut and now, it feels like a solid choice if 4K gaming is all you want.
Nvidia GTX 1080 performs brilliantly. It’s not too costly when you think about all the graphics cards that can provide 4K Gaming without dropping frame rates.
Since, at 4K, you don’t actually need antialiasing turned all the way up, you can actually save graphical memory and invest it in other options like shadows and ambient occlusion.
My point is, if you are not getting the performance you hoped in some games, then tweak the settings a little.
Because unless you have a 65-inch UHD TV, you won’t actually see the difference if you tone down few settings a little.
You have already read that I will recommend GTX 1070 for nearly every scenario if you stick to 2K gaming. But there are many gamers who can put together a 4K gaming machine but somehow don’t want to spend nearly a $800 on 1080 Ti.
For them, GTX 1080 seems like a good deal. I wouldn’t say that it is perfect for that UHD gaming, there were certain games that seemed to tax this card like Metro: Last Light, GTA V, Fall Out 4, Doom 2016 and few others.
Games were playable….frame rates never dropped below 30.
By taxing this card, I meant that they were moving around 30-40 FPS for such games (few of them are listed above).
Now I am sure that if you want a good 4K experience, you need well above 60 fps, which was achievable by most games, but still some of the AAA titles seemed to slow it down.
Being touted as the perfect gaming graphics card by Nvidia, I’d hoped it would be able to deliver across all games.
Frame rate drops in case of Metro: Last Light was as low as 15FPS in some cases.
But in its defense, Metro series has always been known to tax all graphics card unusually high.
The disappointing part was that some of these games were released last year and earlier, like GTA V.
So, I can’t in good conscience recommend this card for full 4K experience for future games which are indeed going to feature grand open world and more complex elements.
With that said, you can see this graphics card as a future proof investment for 2K gaming.
Overclocking Nvidia GTX 1080
Nvidia has marketing this card with the promise of great overclocking potential and yes, this card does wonders for overclocking enthusiasts.
You can overclock…but you don’t have to….GPU Boost Clock is fast enough!
With proper cooling solutions, the base clock can be over clocked to 1.8GHz. Several manufacturers have already released their super clocked version in 1.8 GHz range and you can still bump it up a little.
Reviewer’s Choice on Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
I still like Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti for true 4K Gaming and unstoppable performance for at least 3 years.
With GeForce GTX 1080 I know I’ll get amazing performance in 2K, but we already have our pick in that category as Nvidia GTX 1070.
Hence, after the release of its Ti brethren, GTX 1080 has lost the grip it was supposed to have.
But at the end, if you find this graphics card for around the same price as GTX 1070, then don’t hesitate to snug it up even for a second.
4. AMD Radeon R9 Fury X – AMD Flagship – Rivals Nvidia GTX 980 Ti
It will keep reminding you…AMD is still out there!
But, in the long run, AMD feels like it’s fading away.
- 1,050MHz core clock
- 4GB HBM memory
- 9 billion transistors
- 4,096 stream processors
- Requires 2 x eight-pin power connectors
- 512 GB/s memory bandwidth
Once in a while, we hear that a certain processor is coming out that will rival with the competitors and a new graphics line-up that will certainly be more value for money than Nvidia’s.
This tug-of-war can be beneficial to customers, otherwise, Nvidia would never decrease the price of their high end graphics card.
It’s still a great graphics card and AMD is working really hard to satisfy their loyal gamers.
The competition between AMD and Nvidia is still solid. We get competitive price because of that.
If you can find it for the price of GTX 1070, then go for it.
You don’t have to invest in water cooling solution.
R9 Fury X was supposed to rival with Nvidia GTX 1080, but somehow, ended up rivaling only GTX 1070.
R9 Fury series was released to compete with GTX 1000 series and yet, to this day, gamers are finding more value in GTX 1000 series.
Then why did I even include this graphics card in our list? Well, it has it’s own merits and it does have a place in top 10 best graphics card 2017.
If for some reason, you are inclined towards AMD products then rest assured that you are not getting something that devalues your faith.
It is already beaten by Nvidia GTX 1080 for 4K gaming and for 2K gaming GTX 1070 still gives you more performance per dollar.
Meaning GTX 1070 is cheaper than R9 Fury X and delivers marginally less frames per second.
Nvidia Pascal series has Ansel.
It may not be a big deal to many gamers, but those who make YouTube videos and turn games into cinematic legends, will care a great deal about that.
Among several benchmarking tests, AMD R9 Fury X performed nearly as good as GTX 1080 in 2K settings.
I hope you are already aware that we are still not talking about 1080P gaming. So…if you do get this graphics card for Full-HD gaming, then it is certainly overkill.
This graphics is great for 2K gaming like GTX 1070 and performs great in 4K as well. As I said, some games even taxed GTX 1080 at 4K, so why should we expect that Fury X will take the lead in that genre.
AMD Radeon R9 series doesn’t have a fancy design. You don’t open the box and feel like you are holding something that is going to blow your mind.
It happens when you plug it in and let the benchmarks decide its value. So, unless you are into looks of a hardware that is going to be plugged in a closed case for the rest of its life, you are good to go.
But if you one of those glass window case and you do want to point out your graphics card when your friends come to you, then this may not be the most eye-catching graphics card.
It stands for High Bandwidth Memory and it is supposed to be 3 times bandwidth per watt over GDDR5. Just like GTX 1080 is marketed with GDDR5X, that makes it a worthy card for some 5K visuals as well, HBM from AMD, promises the same kind of performance per watt.
The reality is, it doesn’t perform anywhere near it. Nvidia GTX 1080 has already beaten R9 Fury X is many benchmarking tests and hence, it has remained a card of choice for 2K gaming only.
Reviewer’s Choice on AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
I like how AMD is still keeping up with the competition. They have not thrown in the towel just yet.
The reason to select AMD would be to keep synchronized hardware. If you have AMD’s processor, then you will get more value if you select R9 Fury X as your graphics card.
Performance-wise you will not be disappointed with it. After all, it’s a flagship graphics card from AMD and it houses all the greatest things that AMD could put together to make it a worthy choice and contender.
In benchmarks as well, it went head to head with GTX 1080.
5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti – Consistent 4K Performance
The champ of last year lineup … still a sweet deal for the right price.
Nvidia GTX 980 Ti was carved out of Nvidia Titan X. I know that at first sight, it would feel like GTX 980 Ti was taken from GTX 980, but that is not the case.
Specifications of Nvidia GTX 980 Ti:
- 1,000MHz core clock
- 1,753MHz 6GB GDDR5 memory
- 8 billion transistors
- 2,816 stream processors
- 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors
Just like GTX 1080 was built with different board, GTX 980 Ti uses GM200 Maxwell core. As you might be aware, that’s the core inside Titan X, which is a pipe dream for many gamers.
Consistent 4K performance makes it worth considering for 4K gaming.
You can grab it for as low as $400, which is still $200 lesser than GTX 1080 and around $50-$100 cheaper than GTX 1070.
Brilliant 2K performance is still achievable with latest gaming titles.
They carved out some stream processors, 2816 left, to make it more market friendly. Few graphics processing clusters were removed and multiprocessors and voila, we were presented with GTX 980 Ti.
The neutering reduced its price by 30% – 50% (depending on manufacturers). Nvidia GTX Titan X is still running with $1390 (with pride I must add) and GTX 980 Ti can be grabbed for nearly half of that price.
It’s not from Nvidia GTX 1000 series.
Honestly, I don’t think you can find anything bad in it. Price to performance ratio has become better given the recent price cut.
It is already a beast in its own right and with right parts, you are actually looking at a pretty good 4k gaming system.
You might argue that with my most recommended 2K graphics card and GTX 1080 available for the same price, why would you want to get GTX 980 Ti.
Well, as it turns out, GTX 980 Ti delivers better performance than GTX 1070 and delivers 5 to 10 FPS lesser than GTX 1080 in 4K gaming.
Here’s the good part, you can actually snag it for as low as $400, which makes it worth your while.
Reviewer’s Choice on Nvidia GTX 980 Ti
I have to say that it is still a great deal. Having the same core as Titan X makes it a great choice.
The performance in 4K is really consistence and it doesn’t feel like you have chosen an old card.
I would definitely suggest it, if it is available for the price that I have mentioned above.