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  • Jesper Berg
  • April 02, 2019 08:56:04 PM
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A Little About Us

Gaming PC Builder, or GPCB, is a blog by and for gamers who take great pleasure in building their own PCs. We work hard every day to create new content that helps builders succeed with their builds, regardless of budget or previous experience. Our regularly updated articles cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to graphics cards (GPUs), motherboards, processors (CPUs), hard drives, cases and other PC gaming essentials. We also publish the occasional software roundup and not least: performance tuning guides for popular games. Also check out our YouTube and Facebook channels, where we regularly publish interesting stuff about hardware and tweaks that will increase the frame rates in your games. See you there!

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    The Best Mid-Range Graphics Cards Below $300 in January 2021

    AMD released its mid-range Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU last year – and at its $279 price point (MSRP), it became an instant price/performance leader. Only days later, Nvidia countered by lowering the price on its ray tracing-enabled GeForce RTX 2060 Founder’s Edition to $299. In yet another turn, AMD announced a new official video […] The post The Best Mid-Range Graphics Cards Below $300 in January 2021 appeared first on Gaming PC...

    graphics cardAMD released its mid-range Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU last year – and at its $279 price point (MSRP), it became an instant price/performance leader. Only days later, Nvidia countered by lowering the price on its ray tracing-enabled GeForce RTX 2060 Founder’s Edition to $299.

    In yet another turn, AMD announced a new official video BIOS configuration to enhance the RX 5600 XT’s performance to compete with the RTX 2060. Unfortunately, not all third-party manufacturers could (or would) implement the upgrade, meaning that the performance difference between individual models is larger than usual.

    This page will hopefully clear things up. We have sifted through every relevant spec sheet out there to help you find the best possible card below $300 as of early 2021.

    Update - 2021.01.10

    Note: Unfortunately, the GPU shortage that developed in late 2020 has continued into 2021. The poor availability that initially affected high-end GPUs is now an issue in the mainstream GPU segment as well. This has resulted in long delivery times, and/or above-normal prices on graphics cards in stock. All prices mentioned on this page are based on reference model MSRPs in the hope that the supply situation improves shortly.

    On this page:
    NVIDIA Vs. AMD
    Buy Now or Wait?
    Best GPU below $300: Radeon RX 5600 XT
    Best Nvidia alternative: GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
    ~$30 More: RTX 2060
    ~$30 Less: GTX 1660 Super
    Summary and notes
    CPU Pairing and PSU Requirements

    NVIDIA Vs. AMD Below $300 (MSRP)

    Some gamers prefer AMD and others prefer Nvidia for a variety of reasons. In the past few years, AMD has often offered better value, while Nvidia has excelled in churning out excellent and up-to-date drivers. Both of the manufacturers just released or announced new high-end cards, but for now – and possibly a few months into 2021 considering the current supply constraints – the RX 5600 XT will continue to compete with the GTX 1660 Ti/Super and possibly the RTX 2060 in the mid-range segment. And even these cards may be difficult to find.

    Product
    Best AMD
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
    Best NVIDIA
    GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphic Card
    Image
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
    GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphic Card
    Stream Processors
    2304
    1536
    Core/Boost Clock
    1400 MHz / 1620 MHz
    1500 MHz / 1770 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    7,465 GFLOPS
    5,437 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    6 GB GDDR6
    6 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    192-bit
    192-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    14000 MHz
    12000 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth
    336 GB/s
    288 GB/s
    TDP
    160 W
    120 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    450 W
    350 W
    Power Connector(s)
    1x 8-pin
    1x 8-pin
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 3x DP
    1x HDMI, 3x DP
    Average Rating
    -
    -
    User Reviews
    -
    -
    Best AMD
    Product
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
    Image
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
    Stream Processors
    2304
    Core/Boost Clock
    1400 MHz / 1620 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    7,465 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    6 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    192-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    14000 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth
    336 GB/s
    TDP
    160 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    450 W
    Power Connector(s)
    1x 8-pin
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 3x DP
    Average Rating
    -
    User Reviews
    -
    Best NVIDIA
    Product
    GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphic Card
    Image
    GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphic Card
    Stream Processors
    1536
    Core/Boost Clock
    1500 MHz / 1770 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    5,437 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    6 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    192-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    12000 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth
    288 GB/s
    TDP
    120 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    350 W
    Power Connector(s)
    1x 8-pin
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 3x DP
    Average Rating
    -
    User Reviews
    -

    Last update on 2021-01-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Search for:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KONvidia’s advertised $299 RTX 2060 Founder’s Edition was practically impossible to find throughout 2020, which is why we are also listing (but not really recommending) the GTX 1660 Ti. Some aftermarket varieties of the RTX 2060 have temporarily been priced below $300. EVGA’s RTX 2060 KO is one example, and Zotac recently reduced the price tag on its compact 2060 Twin Fan model, which is suitable for Mini-ITX builds.

    Check today’s price on the EVGA 2060 KO: Amazon, Newegg

    Many aftermarket varieties of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT normally sell for under $300, but availability is scarce and prices higher than normal at this time. If you manage to find the right card, however, some versions of this card (but not all) offer about the same performance as an RTX 2060. Interestingly, these BIOS updates also resulted in some Radeon RX 5600 XT cards being almost as fast as the RX 5700, which is instead being phased out.

    In any event, any RX 5600 XT is faster than the previous mid-range favorite GTX 1660 Ti in most games.

    To put the RX 5600 XT, RTX 2060, and GTX 1660 Ti into some perspective, here’s an indication of how they perform (without ray tracing) compared to some adjacent cards.

    Bottom line: Since the RTX 2060 is difficult to find at this price point, the AMD RX 5600 XT is the fastest GPU below $300 in January 2021 (see also: our complete guide to the best RX 5600 XT cards). The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is a less viable alternative today. It lacks the RTX features (ray-tracing and DLSS) of its higher-end siblings and also performs worse on average than the RX 5600 XT. Also, the GTX 1660 Super is currently a much better deal than the Ti, since it’s only slightly slower and usually a lot more affordable.

    Buy Now or Wait?

    GA102 DieSince you are reading this, you are part of the informed minority that’s aware of the benefits of upgrading your GPU more often than the rest of your PC. But even early adopters rarely upgrade more often than once every 1–2 full generations (as opposed to the annual ‘refresh’, which is usually just a minor update of the current architecture), i.e. about once every 2–4 years. But the most common reason to upgrade is probably when the stuttering in the latest AAA title is too much to bear.

    Whatever your reason, timing the major generational releases right is always a concern. Unfortunately, this usually means waiting around for months for an unknown benefit while your games continue to stutter. The exception is when the new generation is just around the corner and you are reasonably certain that it’s worth the wait.

    NVIDIA: Nvidia released its high-end RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 cards based on the Ampere architecture in late 2020. The RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti have also been officially launched, but unfortunately, it’s hard to find any 30-series card at normal prices. At some point in 2021, the RTX 2060 may also be superseded by an RTX 3060. Other mid-range and entry-level cards based on the Ampere architecture, including any GPUs priced below $300, are also likely to arrive later this year.

    AMD: AMD announced its new ‘Big Navi’ (RDNA 2) Radeon RX 6000 series cards on October 28. The RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT are also high-end GPUs. As with Nvidia, AMD’s mid-range varieties (Navi 21 and 23) will also be released later in 2021.

    Best GPU Under $300 (MSRP): Radeon RX 5600 XT

    radeon 5600 xtAMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU was launched in early 2020 and is based on the Navi (RDNA) architecture, which replaces the much less efficient Vega and Polaris architectures. The first new cards to roll out were the higher-end RX 5700 and 5700 XT, later followed by the entry-level RX 5500 XT and the mid-range RX 5600 XT, i.e. this card.

    This GPU was initially intended to compete with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. But then Nvidia suddenly lowered the price on its faster, ray tracing-enabled GeForce RTX 2060 to compete directly with the RX 5600 XT. This in turn prompted AMD to improve the specs of the 5600 XT to help it stay competitive. As a result, the RX 5600 XT is almost as fast as the RX 5700 – and considerably faster on average than the GTX 1660 Ti that it was originally meant to compete with.

    Now, with similar performance as the GeForce RTX 2060, the RX 5600 XT stands out as one of the two most attractive graphics cards around $300 from a price/performance perspective. What you likely want to check before buying is that you get a card with the updated specs, mainly faster memory (VRAM) that runs at an effective 14 Gbps instead of 12 Gbps such as these:

     Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5600 XTXFX RX 5600 XT
    THICC II PRO
    PowerColor Radeon
    RX 5600 XT
    ImageSapphire 11296-01-20G Radeon Pulse RX 5600 XT 14GBPS 6GB GDDR6 HDMI / Triple DP OC w/ Backplate (UEFI) PCIe 4.0 Graphics CardXFX RX 5600 XT THICC II PRO -14GBPS 6GB GDDR6 BOOST UP TO 1620MHz 3xDP HDMI Graphics Card RX-56XT6DF46PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
    Clock: Core /
    Gaming / Boost
    1400 MHz /
    1615 MHz /
    1750 MHz
    1465 MHz /
    1560 MHz /
    1620 MHz
    1355 MHz /
    1560 MHz /
    1620 MHz
    Memory Speed14 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps
    FP32 Theoretical Performance8,064 GFLOPS7,465 GFLOPS7,465 GFLOPS
    Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s288 GB/s
    Recommended
    PSU
    350 W350 W350 W
    Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
    Display Outputs1x HDMI
    3x DP
    1x HDMI
    3x DP
    1x HDMI
    3x DP

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    As with many other GPUs today, RX 5600 XT-based cards are in very short supply. You could try searching for:

    All of the RX 5600 XT cards use the same GPU of course, meaning that it has 2,304 shaders and 10.3 billion transistors. It’s paired with 6 GB of GDDR6 video memory (VRAM), with a 192-bit memory bus. The main differences between the aftermarket cards are the cooling solutions and the core/boost clocks. Unlike Nvidia, AMD also specifies a “game clock”, which indicates what clock speeds to expect in normal gaming loads.

    The cards mentioned above are either already at the faster 14 Gbps, or will get there via an update. You can find these updates on the manufacturers’ support pages. A new BIOS for Sapphire’s Radeon Pulse XT is available here, for PowerColor’s Red Devil/Dragon here, and Gigabyte’s card here, for example. 

    Best NVIDIA Alternative: GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

    GeForce GTX 1650 SuperAs mentioned previously, AMD’s RX 5600 XT was originally intended as a competitor to Nvidia’s former mid-range king, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. For the reasons mentioned above, that didn’t happen, so the 1660 Ti now finds itself at a slightly lower market position.

    While the GTX 1660 Ti is still a good mid-range GPU that will handle any AAA game in 2021 with ease at 1080p, it lacks the ray-tracing features from the RTX lineup. And in terms of relative performance, the RTX 2060 and RX 5600 XT are about 15% faster.

    When it comes to the price/performance calculation, the GTX 1660 Ti is also challenged by Nvidia’s own GTX 1660 Super, which is only slightly slower but usually much more affordable.

     GIGABYTE GTX 1660 Ti OCEVGA GTX 1660 Ti XCMSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming
    ImageGIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti OC 6G 192-bit GDDR6 DisplayPort 1.4 HDMI 2.0B with Windforce 2X Cooling System Graphic Cards- Gv-N166TOC-6GDEVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC, Overclocked, 2.75 Slot Extreme Cool, 65C Gaming, 6GB GDDR6, 06G-P4-1263-KRMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 192-bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Ti Gaming 6G)
    Clock: Core /
    Boost
    1500 MHz /
    1800 MHz
    1500 MHz /
    1845 MHz
    1500 MHz /
    1800 MHz
    Memory Clock
    (Effective)
    12 GHz12 GHz12 GHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,530 GFLOPS5,668 GFLOPS5,530 GFLOPS
    Memory Bandwidth288 GB/s288 GB/s288 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply450 Watt450 Watt450 Watt
    Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
    Display Outputs1x HDMI
    3x DisplayPort
    1x DVI
    1x HDMI
    1x DisplayPort
    1x HDMI
    3x DisplayPort

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Search for:

    The 1660 Ti is available in every conceivable size and many are factory overclocked, but rarely by amounts that motivate a significantly higher cost. If you can fit a full-size card in your build, a card with a dual-fan (or triple-fan) cooler is normally the best choice even if it’s priced slightly higher.

    ~$30 More (MSRP): GeForce RTX 2060

    RTX 2060 Founder's Edition

    Nvidia has been a comfortable performance and efficiency leader for several years and launched the RTX 20 lineup in 2019, which was recently followed by the high-end RTX 30-series cards.

    A direct generational successor to the RTX 2060 in the form of an RTX 3060 has not yet been announced, although a hard-to-find RTX 3060 Ti is officially launched.

    If you prefer not to wait for the next-gen alternative, the RTX 2060 is an excellent graphics card for 1080p gaming, and it performs very well at 1440p as well.

    As it’s an RTX card, you also get the RTX-exclusive ray-tracing and DLSS features. In addition to its 1920 shading units, the RTX 2060 comes with 30 ray-tracing (RT) cores and 240 Tensor Cores. You should however be aware that the RTX 2060 is not quite powerful enough to provide a consistent 60 FPS with “RTX on” in most games, but if you’re OK with lower frame rates, real-time ray tracing is undoubtedly a nice visual bonus.

    Other parts of the RTX 2060’s specs are quite similar to the Radeon RX 5600 XT, with 6 GB of GDDR6 video RAM and a 192-bit memory bus that offers the same bandwidth. At this time, it’s impossible to buy a new $299 RTX 2060 Founder’s Edition, and the same goes for most aftermarket models.

     ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2060 6GBEVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KOMSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus XS OC
    ImageZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T20600H-10MEVGA 06G-P4-2066-KR GeForce RTX 2060 KO Gaming, 6GB GDDR6, Dual Fans, Metal BackplateMSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP Ray Tracing Turing Architecture VR Ready Graphics Card (RTX 2060 VENTUS XS 6G OC)
    Clock: Core /
    Boost
    1365 MHz /
    1680 MHz
    1365 MHz /
    1680 MHz
    1365 MHz /
    1710 MHz
    Memory Clock
    (Effective)
    14000 MHz14000 MHz14000 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance6,451 GFLOPS6,451 GFLOPS6,566 GFLOPS
    Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s336 GB/s
    Recommended
    PSU
    450 W450 W450 W
    Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
    Display Outputs1x HDMI
    3x DP
    1x HDMI
    1x DP
    1x DVI
    1x HDMI
    3x DP

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Search for:

    At this time you will not be able to find any factory-overclocked, premium models of the RTX 2060 at prices close to $300, but the effect of these overclocks are normally small at any rate. For the time being, the entry-level Zotac and EVGA models are usually the most reasonably priced.

    ~$30 Less (MSRP): Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

    MSI 1660S Gaming XSince the launch of the more affordable GTX 1660 Super (or 1660S), the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is in an awkward position. The 1660S actually uses the same GPU as the regular GTX 1660 but has been paired with faster GDDR6 video memory. This has resulted in a level of performance that trails the 1660 Ti by just single-digit percentages.

    Considering that the GTX 1660 Super is a great deal more affordable, this card offers much better value than both the Ti model and the original 1660. While it can’t compete with the RX 5600 XT or RTX 2060, opting for the 1660S should save you $30 at the very least.

     EVGA GTX 1660 Super Sc UltraPNY GTX 1660 Super 6GB XLR8MSI GTX 1660 Super Ventus XS OC
    ImageMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 192-bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Super VENTUS XS OC)PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Super 4GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition Single FanZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16620F-10L
    Stream Processors140814081408
    Base Clock /
    Boost Clock
    1530 MHz /
    1815 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1830 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,153 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS5,111 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock14 GHz14 GHz14 GHz
    Memory Size6 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s336 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply350 Watt350 Watt350 Watt

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Search for:

    RX 5600 XT Vs. RTX 2060 Vs. RX 5700

    Here’s a video from the web comparing actual performance in a number of games including Battlefield V, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Metro: Exodus and others. What makes this particularly interesting is that the resolution is 1440p, instead of the 1080p resolution that these graphics cards are intended to target.

    YouTube Video

    Summary and Recommendations

    PULSE 5600 XTUnder normal circumstances, the mid-range $300 price point would offer great value and several alternatives. AMD has finally replaced its – by today’s standards highly inefficient – GCN (Graphics Card Next) architecture with RDNA (Radeon DNA). The newer cards offer some very tough competition for Nvidia in the mid-range segment, and that’s especially true for the Radeon RX 5600 XT (when provided with the right specs).

    Unless the GeForce RTX 2060 is temporarily priced lower, the RX 5600 XT currently offers the best performance below $300 (if you can find one in stock at its suggested retail price).

    Nvidia’s driver stability and RTX features, including real-time ray tracing and DLSS, still make the RTX 2060 a compelling option if priced right. The upcoming RTX 3060 is expected to offer significantly higher performance than the RTX 2060, but will also be a bit more expensive. If you are in no rush and your budget allows it, this card might be worth waiting for.

    None of the Nvidia cards at this price range supports SLI, i.e. multi-GPU setups, which might otherwise be an upgrade route down the line. The corresponding AMD Crossfire/CrossFireX technology is enabled for the RX 5700 and RX 5600 XT, on the other hand. Unfortunately, AMD’s driver support for multiple GPUs has historically been somewhat lacking compared to Nvidia, meaning that this sort of upgrade is not overly attractive.

    As for graphics cards from previous generations, the closest one from Nvidia would be the GeForce GTX 1070, which offers about the same performance as a GTX 1660 Ti. But it’s also less efficient and usually too expensive. And the AMD alternatives are even worse – there are very few reasons if any, to invest in a Radeon RX Vega 56 or Vega 64 today. These cards are considerably less efficient than the RX 5600 XT or RX 5700, on top of which the prices are still unreasonably high.

    Some of the video cards listed above come with a slight factory overclock compared to the reference clocks. In most cases, factory overclocks are in the single-digit percentages and only marginally improve performance. This is generally not worth a hefty premium over a non-overclocked card. How much a GPU can be overclocked by the user mainly depends on individual chip quality – otherwise known as the “silicon lottery”.

    On the other hand, larger cooling solutions with additional fans can be a worthwhile investment. All other things being equal, more fans keep temperatures as well as noise to a minimum. It will also be of help when overclocking. If you are building in a roomy ATX case, as opposed to an mITX or mATX, consider a dual- och triple-fan card.

    CPU Pairing and PSU Requirements

    PCIe power connector

    Both the Radeon RX 5600 XT and GeForce RTX 2060 require a single 8-pin connector.

    To get the most out of your new mid-range GPU, the rest of your PC build should correspond reasonably well to your choice of video card. However, in terms of gaming performance, you won’t gain much by opting for an expensive high-end CPU.

    In our view, a good baseline CPU pairing is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600, or an Intel Core i5-9600K. You may need a better CPU for other reasons than gaming, but in terms of frame rates, you will get diminishing returns beyond what you get with one of those processors. To have your games run faster, your money is better spent on a faster GPU.

    As for the power supply (PSU), some third-party manufacturers recommend a 350W minimum for the RX 5600 XT (AMD’s PSU recommendation is 550W) and 450W for the RTX 2060. The TDP (Thermal Design Power) for the graphics cards is 160W in both cases. A 350W PSU is definitely on the low side, leaving you with very little headroom for overclocking and other components, but 500W should be more than sufficient for most builds.

    Any such power supply on the market will provide you with the single 8-pin PCIe power connector (or more likely two) that you need to hook up to your GPU.

    Building with a tighter budget? Then check out our guide to the top GPUs below $200.

    The post The Best Mid-Range Graphics Cards Below $300 in January 2021 appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Best Graphics Cards Under $200 in 2021 (January Update)

    If you are building a gaming PC on a budget, the graphics cards best suited for that build in terms of price/performance are normally in the $150 – $250 price range. A few days into 2021, we are unfortunately seeing the same GPU shortage situation as in late 2020. Not only are the supply chains […] The post Best Graphics Cards Under $200 in 2021 (January Update) appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Radeon Vs GeForceIf you are building a gaming PC on a budget, the graphics cards best suited for that build in terms of price/performance are normally in the $150 – $250 price range.

    A few days into 2021, we are unfortunately seeing the same GPU shortage situation as in late 2020. Not only are the supply chains strained due to the pandemic – crypto mining seems to be back in full force again, which is putting additional pressure on the demand side.

    This means that it’s difficult to find just about any recent graphics card at MSRP. You are often faced with the alternatives to either wait or pay more for whatever is in stock at the moment.

    In any event, we will still keep this page up to date in the hope that the supply situation improves. So, we continue to list the best graphics cards below $200 based on MSRP for the reference models (which are unfortunately not reflected in the market at this time). Our general recommendations on what to look for in order to get the most value for your money should hopefully be helpful either way.

    Contents:
    AMD Vs Nvidia
    Buy Now or Wait?
    Best AMD GPU below $200: RX 5500
    Best Nvidia GPU below $200: GTX 1650 Super
    ~$10-30 More: GeForce GTX 1660/1660S
    Still Great Value: Radeon RX 570, 580 and 590
    No PCIe power: GeForce GTX 1650
    Summary and notes

    AMD vs. Nvidia Below $200 (MSRP)

    Last year, AMD once again caught up to Nvidia in all GPU price ranges thanks to its RDNA and RDNA 2 architectures. The recently launched high-end cards from AMD and Nvidia are practically impossible to find, but you may have some luck with the entry-level Radeon RX 5500 XT. Nvidia’s best graphics card under $200 (reference model MSRP) is the GeForce GTX 1650 Super, also known as 1650S.

    Product
    Best AMD
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC
    Best Nvidia
    MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)
    Image
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC
    MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)
    Stream Processors
    1408
    1280
    Core/Boost Clock
    1647 MHz / 1845 MHz
    1530 MHz / 1740 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    5,196 GFLOPS
    4,454 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    8 GB/GDDR6
    4 GB/GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    128-bit
    128-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    1750 MHz (14000 MHz)
    1500 MHz (12 GHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    224 GB/s
    192 GB/s
    TDP
    130 W
    100 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    350 W (1x 8-pin)
    350 W (1x 6-pin)
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 1x DVI, 1x DisplayPort
    1x HDMI, 1x DP, 1x DVI
    Best AMD
    Product
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC
    Image
    PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC
    Stream Processors
    1408
    Core/Boost Clock
    1647 MHz / 1845 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    5,196 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    8 GB/GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    128-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    1750 MHz (14000 MHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    224 GB/s
    TDP
    130 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    350 W (1x 8-pin)
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 1x DVI, 1x DisplayPort
    Best Nvidia
    Product
    MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)
    Image
    MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)
    Stream Processors
    1280
    Core/Boost Clock
    1530 MHz / 1740 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    4,454 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    4 GB/GDDR6
    Memory Bus
    128-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    1500 MHz (12 GHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    192 GB/s
    TDP
    100 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    350 W (1x 6-pin)
    Outputs
    1x HDMI, 1x DP, 1x DVI

    Last update on 2021-01-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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    From just looking at raw FP32 performance, the Radeon RX 5500 XT looks like a far more powerful GPU. However, in terms of actual gaming performance, it’s a tight race. The RX 5500 XT comes out ahead in some games, while the GTX 1650S performs better in others.

    On the whole, either will let you run any AAA title at 1080p and offer great value in terms of FPS/$. The Radeon RX 5500 XT comes in 4 GB and 8 GB varieties, and the 8 GB models are arguably the most future-proof alternative owing to the extra memory (VRAM). Under normal circumstances, it is occasionally possible to pick one of these up for less than $200.

    Here’s a quick look at relative GPU performance using benchmark scores from Futuremark’s 3DMark Time Spy. We’ve included some additional GPUs for reference and will be discussing some of them below.

    This is not an exact measurement of relative gaming performance, but still a reasonably accurate indicator of what to expect in games, on average.

    Bottom line: The “FPS/$” equation changes daily along with GPU prices, which have not been dependable at all lately for either the GeForce GTX 1650S or the Radeon RX 5500XT. Before the shortage, the best GPU below $200 would have been the RX 5500XT with 8GB of VRAM.

    Buy Now or Wait? January 2021 Edition

    Nvidia and AMD released their new high-end GPUs in the RTX 30-series and RX 6000-series, respectively, in late 2020. All of these cards are very hard to find at normal prices right now. The entry-level and mid-range cards based on the same Ampere and RDNA2 architectures are likely to arrive later in 2021 and by then we can only hope that the shortage issues are resolved.

    For now, you need a bit of luck to find a new graphics card from the current generation at a reasonable price. Other options include being prepared to pay more than usual or checking out the second-hand market. Some previous-gen GPUs such as the Radeon RX 570, 580, or 590 (all of which are still decent but much less power-efficient) are also frequently available for less than $200.

    Best AMD GPU Below $200 (MSRP): Radeon RX 5500 XT

    msi rx5500 xt GPULast year, AMD finally updated its entry-level and mid-range offerings with more efficient GPUs than the old Polaris-based RX 570, 580, and 590. The RX 5500 XT offers about the same performance as the RX 580 (or even the RX 590) while using less power. One 8-pin PCIe connector is enough for the RX 5500 XT, and the recommended minimum power supply is just 350 W (graphics card TDP is 130 W). The actual gaming performance tends to be marginally better than the GTX 1650 Super but below the GTX 1660.

     PowerColor RX 5500 XT 8GBPowerColor RX 5500 XT 4GBASUS Dual RX 5500 XT EVO OC 4GBMSI RX 5500 XT Mech 4GB OC
    ImagePowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OCPowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB AXRX 5500XT 4GBD6-DH/OCASUS AMD Dual Radeon RX 5500 XT EVO OC Edition Gaming Graphics Card (PCIe 4.0, 4GB GDDR6 Memory, HDMI, DisplayPort, Full HD Gaming, Axial-tech Fan Design, Auto-Extreme, Metal Backplate)MSI Gaming Radeon RX 5500 XT Boost Clock: 1845 MHz 128-bit 4GB GDDR6 DP/HDMI Dual Torx 3.0 Fans Freesync VR Ready Graphics Card (RX 5500 XT MECH 4G OC) (Radeon RX 5500 XT MECH 4G OC)
    Stream Processors1408140814081408
    Base Clock /
    Boost Clock
    1607 MHz /
    1845 MHz
    1647 MHz /
    1845 MHz
    1607 MHz /
    1845 MHz
    1257 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,196 GFLOPS5,196 GFLOPS5,196 GFLOPS5,196 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock14 GHz14 GHz14 GHz14 GHz
    Memory Size8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR64 GB GDDR64 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bandwidth224 GB/s224 GB/s224 GB/s224 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply350 Watt350 Watt350 Watt350 Watt
    Price from*$299.00$279.66$299.66$416.99
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Note that the above table includes both 8 GB and 4 GB of video memory (VRAM). An 8 GB card will, on average, improve frame rates by single-digit percentages. Additional VRAM may also allow for more details and higher resolutions (e.g. 1440p) with less significant performance drops. If the price difference is small, we definitely recommend the 8 GB variety as it performs better and comes prepared for more demanding games.

    Best Nvidia GPU Below $200 (MSRP): GTX 1650 Super

    GeForce GTX 1650 SuperA few months ago, Nvidia was barely competitive at all below $200, but the situation in late 2020 is entirely different. The GeForce GTX 1650 Super offers excellent value at its current price point. Compared to the GTX 1650 (non-Super), the 1650S is much faster and its performance is closer to the GTX 1660. In other words, it’s really a “Super” version of the card.

    As opposed to the standard GTX 1650, the Super version requires one 6-pin PCIe power connector but draws much less power than equivalent cards from the previous generation. Because it’s a budget card, GTX 1650 Super designs tend to be small and compact. If you have room for a video card with two fans in your case, this is usually a better option as these cards will run cooler and produce less noise.

     ZOTAC GTX 1650 Super Twin FanASUS GTX 1650 Super Phoenix OCEVGA GTX 1650 Super SC Ultra
    ImageZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan 4GB GDDR6 128-Bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, Zt-T16510F-10LASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Super Overclocked 4GB Phoenix Fan Edition HDMI DP DVI Graphics Card (PH-GTX1650S-O4G)EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super SC Ultra Gaming, 4GB GDDR6, Dual Fan, Metal Backplate, 04G-P4-1357-KR
    Memory Size4 GB GDDR64 GB GDDR64 GB GDDR6
    Stream Processors128012801280
    FP32 Theoretical Performance4,416 GFLOPS4,454 GFLOPS4,493 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock12000 MHz12000 MHz12000 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth192 GB/s192 GB/s192 GB/s
    Recommended
    Power Supply
    350 Watt350 Watt350 Watt
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1530 MHz /
    1725 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1740 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1755 MHz
    Display Outputs1x DVI, 1x HDMI
    1x DP
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI
    1x DP
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI
    1x DP
    Price from*$349.66$349.66$349.66
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    The MSI Gaming X is a full-size card with excellent cooling performance and OC potential, but Gigabyte’s more reasonably priced dual-fan WindForce model is a strong competitor. For small form factor builds, Gigabyte also offers a 1650 Super with a single 90 mm fan.

    ~$10–30 More: GeForce GTX 1660/1660S

    GTX 1660 graphics cardThe GTX 1660 is based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture and was launched in 2019. It can be seen as a direct successor to the GTX 1060, but it’s considerably faster (15-20%) and more efficient.

    Compared to the AMD alternatives, the GTX 1660 is also faster than the previous-gen RX 580 or even the RX 590 in actual games. In other words, you get great performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming and this one would be our favorite if it was slightly cheaper.

    At this writing, the GTX 1660 is in the process of being replaced by the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, which is almost as fast as the GTX 1660 Ti and usually not much more expensive than the GTX 1660. Compared to the non-Super, the 1660 Super is based on the same chip with an identical amount of shaders and transistors but it’s equipped with faster GDDR6 VRAM.

     EVGA GTX 1660 Super Sc UltraPNY GTX 1660 Super 6GB XLR8MSI GTX 1660 Super Ventus XS OC
    ImageMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 192-bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Super VENTUS XS OC)PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Super 4GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition Single FanZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16620F-10L
    Stream Processors140814081408
    Base Clock /
    Boost Clock
    1530 MHz /
    1815 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1830 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,153 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS5,111 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock14 GHz14 GHz14 GHz
    Memory Size6 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR6
    Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s336 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply350 Watt350 Watt350 Watt

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Still Going Strong: AMD Radeon RX 570, 580 & 590

    rx570 strixIf you’re simply looking for the maximum amount of frames per second for every dollar invested – then AMD’s previous generation of mid-range GPUs is still worth a look. The Radeon RX 570 GPU was the price/performance leader for years, but today you can also find an RX 580 or RX 590 at attractive price points.

    These cards are much less efficient than the Navi generation but do well in terms of raw performance. The RX 590 in particular will let you play most AAA titles at 1080p/60fps, as well as 1440p with reduced quality settings.

     PowerColor Red Dragon RX 570XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX EditionSapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 PowerColor
    Red Dragon RX 590
    ImagePowerColor VGA - AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DHD/OCXFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-580P8DFD6)Sapphire Radeon 11265-05-20G Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP OC with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics Card Graphic CardsPowerColor Red Dragon RX 590 8GB
    Stream Processors2048230423042304
    Boost Clock /
    Max OC Clock
    1469 MHz /
    1545 MHz
    1257 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    1360 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    1469 MHz /
    1545 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,120 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS7,119 GFLOPS
    Effective Memory Clock7 GHz8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
    Memory Size4 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB
    Memory Bandwidth224 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s
    Outputs1x DVI, 2x HDMI
    2x DP
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI
    3x DP
    2x HDMI, 2x DP
    1x DVI
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI
    1x DP
    Recommended Power Supply500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
    Price from*$270.77$369.99$479.98Price not available
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Most RX 590 cards (as well as 580/570) use dual-fan cooling solutions, which is practically a must on this power-hungry GPU. For more info on additional models, see our more comprehensive RX 590 roundup.

    Here’s a video from the web that compares the relative performance of the RX 590 to the GTX 1650 Super.

    YouTube Video

    No PCIe Power: GeForce GTX 1650

    msi gaming-x 1650If you are limited by your power supply and cannot (or don’t want to) replace it – or simply want an Nvidia card that’s more affordable than the GTX 1650 Super or 1660 – the GeForce GTX 1650 is the one GPU under $200 that you should be looking at. It replaces the 1050 Ti and offers better performance at roughly the same price. This card will go nicely with your G-Sync monitor and produce good frame rates in eSports titles at 1080p. It can’t compete with AMD cards in the same price range, but it is a competent and highly efficient chip for a power-deficient, entry-level gaming build.

    Among the 1650 cards, we consider the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G a good buy, mainly because it comes with a considerable factory overclock and uses a tried-and-tested, dual-fan design. It will let you play all the latest AAA titles at acceptable frame rates, but you will have to use lower settings in more demanding titles such as Metro Exodus. Casual games like Fortnite, on the other hand, will easily run at 60FPS/1080p.

    Let’s compare some of the GeForce GTX 1650-based alternatives.

     MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming XASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 OCZotac Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 OC
    ImageMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 128-Bit HDMI/DP 4GB GDRR5 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G)Asus Rog Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Overclocked 4GB Edition VR Ready HDMI 2.0 DP 1.4 Gaming Graphics Card (Rog-STRIX-GTX1650-O4G-Gaming)ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR5 128-Bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16500F-10L
    CUDA Cores896896896
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1485 MHz /
    1860 MHz
    1485 MHz /
    1830 MHz
    1485 MHz /
    1695 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance3,333 GFLOPS3,279 GFLOPS 3,037 GFLOPS
    Memory Clock (Effective)8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
    Memory Size4 GB4 GB4 GB
    Memory Bandwidth128.0 GB/s128.0 GB/s128.0 GB/s
    Required PSU300 Watt300 Watt300 Watt
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

    Since 2020, some GTX 1650 boards are equipped with GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR5. This improves memory bandwidth and overall performance, but the clock rates have unfortunately been lowered to even out the difference. However, some testing indicates that GDDR6 boards are 5–10% faster, so this is a feature worth looking for.

    Summary

    GTX 1660 ventusThese are the best graphics cards close to or below $200. Whatever your budget is and your preferred games, these cards offer great price-to-performance value. However, as of January 2021, the GTX 1650 Super or the Radeon RX 5500 XT are the best cards from Nvidia and AMD, respectively, and the RX 5500 XT 8GB is arguably the most future-proof option. AMD’s Radeon RX 570/580/590 may also offer great value depending on current prices.

    Especially the RX 590 is an attractive option if you don’t mind its higher power consumption. As a consolation, it’s the latest and most efficient version of the Polaris GPU.  What that means is that you may need a bigger power supply unit (PSU) and sometimes an additional PCIe cable to power them. In the case of the RX 580 Nitro+, for example, you need one 8-pin and one 6-pin auxiliary (PCIe) power connector, whereas no GTX 1650 Super uses more than a single 6-pin connector.

    If you have no choice but to use a PCIe slot-powered card, the GTX 1650 (non-Super) offers much better value than the old GTX 1050 Ti, but it’s less powerful than all the other cards we have listed – even with the addition of GDDR6 VRAM.

    Another topic worth mentioning is factory overclocking. Most manufacturers bump the specs on their premium cards by raising the maximum GPU boost clock (and sometimes the VRAM speed), which also tends to be reflected in the price tag. These slightly higher clock rates do not have an impact on how much the card can be overclocked by the user. On the other hand, the larger coolers on more expensive cards are beneficial when overclocking.

    Each and every GPU chip is unique quality-wise and therefore the chips’ overclocking capability varies. Unfortunately, you never know exactly how capable it is before you buy (hence it is called the “silicon lottery”). The main difference is that a factory-overclocked card is guaranteed to work at the specified clock rates, which is not the case otherwise. In some cases, pricier and factory-overclocked cards also have better cooling solutions than budget GPUs.

    About System and PSU Requirements

    PCIe power connector

    You need at least one of these to power any of the above cards except the GTX 1650.

    You certainly don’t need a monster gaming rig to power mid-range graphics cards around the $200 price range. The most important thing is to ensure that your power supply unit (PSU) is up to the task.

    The most demanding of the cards we’ve been looking at here are the ones based on the Radeon RX 580 and RX 590 GPUs. AMD recommends a 500 Watt PSU for the entire system. This will, of course, depend on how power-efficient the rest of your system is. Typical board power is 185 Watts for the reference design RX 580, but overclocked cards will use a lot more.

    Newer cards like the RX 5500 XT and GeForce GTX 1660S are less demanding and the minimum recommended PSU is 350 Watt in both cases. While the older cards needed an 8-pin PCIe (and sometimes an additional 6-pin) power connector, the more recent cards make do with a single 6-pin connector.

    If your power supply does not have any auxiliary PCIe power connectors – and for some reason, you can’t upgrade it (such as in a custom, small form-factor PC) – then your best option from the above are the GeForce GTX 1650S. These cards only draw power straight from the motherboard.

    Other than the PSU, your other PC components should preferably at least be fairly recent. The processor (CPU) does affect what frame rates you’ll be getting to some extent, but the difference will be quite small if you’re using any AMD Ryzen or Core i5 from the past few years. Older AMD CPUs in general and some older Intel Core i3 CPUs, in particular, may have a more severe negative effect on game frame rates.

    If you already own a good mid-range CPU and want better gaming performance, upgrading to a faster GPU will yield more noticeable results compared to upgrading the CPU. Check our guide to the fastest GPUs below $300.

    The post Best Graphics Cards Under $200 in 2021 (January Update) appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    The Fastest M.2 NVMe SSDs in January 2021

    Faster storage can shave seconds off most of your PC activities – from booting up your OS to loading apps and games. If you are currently booting from a hard drive, there is no other upgrade that will have such a noticeable effect on your user experience as a solid state drive (SSD). But not […] The post The Fastest M.2 NVMe SSDs in January 2021 appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Samsung 980 PRO Vs WD SN850Faster storage can shave seconds off most of your PC activities – from booting up your OS to loading apps and games. If you are currently booting from a hard drive, there is no other upgrade that will have such a noticeable effect on your user experience as a solid state drive (SSD).

    But not all SSDs are created equal. If you have an available PCIe M.2 slot on your motherboard (desktop or laptop), then this is where to install your system drive. The best m.2 drives also use the modern storage interface protocol NVMe.

    Table of Contents

    What is NVMe and is it necessary?

    NVMe example

    Image credit: Intel

    What SSD performance boils down to is how quickly it lets you move data from storage (non-volatile, slower) to DRAM (volatile, faster).

    The NVMe protocol – short for non-volatile memory express – was created to make the most out of solid state drives in combination with the PCI Express (PCIe) interface. Its predecessor AHCI (paired with SATA) was originally intended for mechanical hard drives. The newer protocol includes many efficiency improvements to deal with parallel transfers and the low-latency nature of SSDs. If you are new to NVMe and want a primer on the concept, start with this introduction by Intel.

    When shopping for a new SSD, it’s important to remember that M.2 is just a form factor that says nothing of performance. Some M.2 SSDs operate over the SATA interface and have the same performance limitations as a 2.5″ drive. If you have a relatively modern motherboard, it most likely has a PCIe/NVMe-capable (and therefore much faster) M.2 slot, so this is the type of drive to look for.

    Fastest Gen4 Vs. Gen3 M.2 SSD

    The PCI Express 4.0 (or Gen4) interface offers twice the bandwidth compared to PCIe Gen3. But to take advantage of a Gen4-compatible SSD, you also need a motherboard and processor (CPU) combo that supports the interface. For now, that means a recent AMD platform, specifically an X570, B550, or TRX40 motherboard combined with a 3rd-gen Ryzen or Threadripper CPU or better.

    Intel’s 10th-gen Core CPUs, unfortunately, lack support for anything faster than PCIe Gen3. The 11th-generation Core desktop CPUs (Rocket Lake) are expected in the first half of 2021 and will finally bring PCIe 4.0 connectivity to Intel consumer platforms.

    In other words, there is no need to invest in a more expensive Gen4 SSD unless you have a compatible PC or plan to upgrade in the near future. If you do own one of said platforms, the Western Digital SN850 has just recently usurped the throne as the fastest M.2 SSD overall (from the Samsung 980 PRO, which is also exceptionally fast). In the PCIe 3.0 generation, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is still a great choice – not least because it’s significantly more affordable than the top PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

    Product
    Fastest M.2 SSD (PCIe 4)
    WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD - Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, 3D NAND – WDS100T1X0E
    Best PCIe 3.0 SSD
    Samsung (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM) 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology
    Image
    WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD - Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, 3D NAND – WDS100T1X0E
    Samsung (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM) 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology
    Sequential read (max., MB/s)
    7,000
    3,500
    Sequential write (max., MB/s)
    5,300
    3,300
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
    N/A
    19,000
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
    N/A
    60,000
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
    1,000,000
    600,000
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
    1,000,000
    550,000
    Warranty
    5 Years
    5 Years
    Endurance rating (TBW)
    600 TBW
    600 TBW
    Price
    $219.95
    $159.99
    Fastest M.2 SSD (PCIe 4)
    Product
    WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD - Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, 3D NAND – WDS100T1X0E
    Image
    WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD - Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, 3D NAND – WDS100T1X0E
    Sequential read (max., MB/s)
    7,000
    Sequential write (max., MB/s)
    5,300
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
    N/A
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
    N/A
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
    1,000,000
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
    1,000,000
    Warranty
    5 Years
    Endurance rating (TBW)
    600 TBW
    Price
    $219.95
    Best PCIe 3.0 SSD
    Product
    Samsung (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM) 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology
    Image
    Samsung (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM) 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology
    Sequential read (max., MB/s)
    3,500
    Sequential write (max., MB/s)
    3,300
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
    19,000
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
    60,000
    Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
    600,000
    Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
    550,000
    Warranty
    5 Years
    Endurance rating (TBW)
    600 TBW
    Price
    $159.99

    Last update on 2020-12-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Fastest PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD: WD SN850

    Western Digital SN850Both the SN850 and 980 PRO offer sequential read speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s as well as up to 1,000,000 IOPS (random 4K read/write). The SN850’s sequential write performance (1TB capacity) is rated as slightly faster 5,300MB/s versus the 980 PRO’s 5,000 MB/s. Nevertheless, the WD SN850 performs better in a majority of benchmarks, although the 980 PRO stays ahead in some. Of course, any difference in real-world use will not be on a noticeable level, so you really can’t go wrong with either of these performance leaders.

    Check prices (1TB): Amazon, Newegg

    Also Extremely Fast: Samsung 980 PRO

    Samsung 980 PRO

    Samsung’s 980 PRO was launched in October of 2020 and was the unequivocal market leader until WD launched the SN850. And to be fair, it still the best M.2 SSD in some benchmarks, and remains a great choice for any high-end PCIe Gen4-capable system, The 980 PRO and its proprietary Elpis controller easily outperforms the first batch of Gen4 M.2 SSDs based on the Phison E16 controller.

    In spite of its name, the 980 PRO is more of a successor to the 970 EVO Plus than to the 970 PRO. Previously, the entire PRO lineup has been based on higher-end MLC (multi-level cell) NAND memory chips. With the 980 PRO, Samsung instead uses more affordable TLC (triple-level cell) NAND. Outside extremely storage-intensive workloads this will make little difference. However, it should be noted that the endurance rating is lower than the 970 PRO (and also lower than the Phison-based Gen4 drives listed below but equal to the SN850).

    For now, the Samsung 980 PRO is available in 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB capacities. These will be joined by a 2 TB model in early 2021.

    Check prices (1TB): Amazon, Newegg

    Best Price/Performance: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

    Sabrent Rocket 4 PlusOutside of storage behemoths like Western Digital and Samsung – who develop and produce SSDs from the ground up in their own fabs – Sabrent is one of the most interesting businesses. Although a comparatively recent addition to the storage industry, this company has consistently managed to be first on the market with a variety of relevant products, be it high-capacity M.2 drives, early PCIe Gen4 drives, or affordable QLC-based models.

    This is also the case with the Rocket 4 Plus, which takes advantage of the brand-new Phison E18 controller. At the time of writing, only a handful of hardware sites have finished their reviews but it looks like this drive is highly competitive compared to the flagship devices from WD and Samsung.

    Check prices (1TB): Amazon, Newegg

    Other Gen4 Alternatives: The Phison E16 SSDs

    Sabrent Rocket Gen4Right until Samsung’s launch of the 980 PRO, all PCIe 4.0-capable SSDs for consumers have been based on the same Phison PS5016-E16 controller and 3D TLC NAND combo. What this means is that all of these drives offer about the same performance of up to 5,000 MB/s (sequential read) and 4,400 MB/s (sequential write). Other than the Sabrent Rocket Gen4, some of the nearly identical drives include:

    These PCIe 4.0 SSDs are known to run quite hot compared to their PCIe 3.0 counterparts, so unless you have a motherboard with an included heat spreader (often supplied with X570 boards), this might be a useful addition to a Gen4 SSD. The Sabrent Rocket Gen4 is available with or without a heatsink, while the Seagate Firecuda 520 does not have this option. Some drives, such as the Corsair MP600 and XPG Gammix S50, are only available with a heat spreader. Bear in mind that heatsinks add to the devices’ dimensions, meaning that they will usually not fit in a laptop.

    Check prices (Rocket Gen4): Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

    The PCIe 3.0 Leaders: Samsung 970 PRO and EVO Plus

    No single drive will take home the crown as the fastest M.2. SSD in every benchmark or use case. However, one of the best general performers in the PCIe 3.0 segment is still the MLC-based Samsung 970 PRO. Samsung’s performance and reliability track record in the SSD segment has been almost flawless for a decade, so this drive is a very comfortable recommendation.

    The 970 PRO comes with Samsung’s proprietary controller and MLC chips, as well as an excellent endurance rating of 1,200 TBW (1TB) or 600 TBW (512GB). When looking at the performance/$ equation, the 970 PRO has always been a somewhat questionable choice, but for the most demanding users, the investment might be worth it.

    Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

    Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus is a lot more affordable than the PRO but very close in terms of raw performance. Although it doesn’t use high-end MLC NAND, this drive is still among the very best in the PCIe Gen 3 category.

    Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

    12 of the Fastest M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs in 2021

    There are alternatives to all of the above of course. Some of which could be better options if the price is right, so don’t stop reading just yet. The following list includes some of the best-performing M.2 SSDs from the past couple of years. They are ordered by sequential performance first, random second. Because of the drives’ different controllers and memory types, these numbers are only an indication of actual performance.

    # NameMax. sequential read/write (MB/s)4K random read/write performance (IOPS)Endurance rating (terabytes written)Check Price
    1Sabrent Rocket Gen4 (1TB)5000/4400750K/750K1800 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    2Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 (1TB)5000/4400750K/700K1800 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    3Corsair MP600 Gen4 (1TB)4950/4250680K/600K1800 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    4Samsung 970 PRO (1TB)3500/2700500K/500K1200 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    5Samsung 970 EVO PLUS (1TB)3500/3300600K/550K600 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    6Adata XPG SX8200 Pro (1TB)3500/3000390K/380K640 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    7PNY XLR8 CS3030 (1TB)3500/3000N/A1665 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    8HP EX950 (1TB)3500/2900410K/370K650 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    9Corsair Force MP510 (960 GB)3480/3000280K/700K720 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    10WD Black SN750 (1TB)3430/3000515K/560K600 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    11Intel SSD 760p (1TB)3230/1625340K/275K576 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK
    12Intel Optane SSD 800P (118GB)1450/640250K/140K365 TBWAmazon
    Newegg
    Amazon UK

    Again, remember that the Gen4 SSDs on top of the list requires a PCI Express 4.0-capable motherboard (X570, B550, or TRX40 chipset) to run at full speed. Do not pay extra for a Gen4 SSD unless you own a suitable motherboard or plan to upgrade soon.

    High-End Alternative: Intel Optane 800p

    Intel M.2 SSDThe last drive on our list is also a high-end option. Although its sequential performance might not sound like much, Intel’s Optane 800p is faster than all other M.2 SSDs in certain areas. Its extremely low latency makes random performance at low queue depths particularly good, which is an advantage for a system drive. The reason why it’s hard to compare it with other SSDs is that it uses Intel’s proprietary 3D XPoint memory instead of ‘normal’ NAND Flash.

    Unfortunately, it also comes with a much higher cost/GB than competing drives and is only available in two tiny capacities – 58 GB and 118 GB. Read more about it here, or head straight to AnandTech for the most detailed review online.

    Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

    Which is the Best M.2 SSD for Gaming?

    For the average user, the difference between an SSD and a hard drive in terms of user experience is very clearly noticeable. The effect of shifting from one type of SSD to another is not nearly as dramatic.

    All storage-intensive tasks that move lots of files around will be affected by an SSDs capability. However, a faster SSD will not necessarily shorten loading times in games by noticeable amounts. Here’s an interesting test from the web, comparing an M.2 PCIe SSD (970 Pro) versus an older 2.5″ SATA SSD (plus a mechanical hard drive) when loading various games:

    YouTube Video

    Here’s a summary of the data:

    GameLoading from
    HDD
    Loading from
    2.5" SATA SSD
    Loading from
    970 Pro (PCIe/NVMe)
    Decrease/Increase,
    (NVMe Vs SATA)
    Destiny 2
    45s31s29s-6%
    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided71s27s21s-22%
    DOOM65s49s47s-4%
    Civilization 627s18s17s-6%
    Far Cry 525s10s11s+10%
    Path of Exile23s3s3s+0%
    World of Warcraft36s7s6s-14%
    Skyrim Special Edition20s9s12s+33%
    Witcher 313s7s5s-29%
    Total325s161s151s-6%

    Source: YouTube user Alexandr iuneWind

    With these results in mind, it is probably safe to assume that a comparison of individual high-end M.2 PCIe SSDs will result in small differences as far as gaming is concerned. The usual price/performance calculation will serve you well. Of course, all seconds saved add up to minutes and hours in the long run, so a fast M.2 NVMe SSD is still a key component in a high-end PC. But in most cases, you should not expect the sort of radical performance gains that you see when coming from a traditional hard drive.

    Will it Work on my Laptop/Desktop PC?

    For the listed drives to work with your computer, it must have the proper slot and support for PCIe/NVMe. But there may be exceptions: Even without an M.2 slot on your (desktop) motherboard, you may still be able to use one in a full-size PCIe x4 slot using an adapter. But if you want to run your OS from the drive, your motherboard must still support booting from PCIe, which is no guarantee with older motherboards.

    All recent, high-end ATX-size motherboards, on the other hand, include at least one M.2 slot and will be able to run a modern SSD at PCIe 3.0 speeds at a minimum. With an older board, you might not be so lucky. In any event, it’s always best to check the manual before buying a new drive.

    Keying and Sizes

    M.2 SSDs (and other M.2 cards) come in different sizes and some motherboards – particularly in laptops – will only hold a drive up to a certain size. They also have different sets of notches (keying) that will prevent you from installing it the wrong way.

    M.2 Keying and Size

    Three different key types or ‘notch styles’ may be used by M.2 SSDs: B, M or B&M. The socket can be either B or M, but not both.

    High-end SSDs, as well as recent motherboards, will have to use an M-key slot, as this is the only type that provides four lanes of bandwidth, or 20 Gbit/s, also known as PCIe x4. B-key supports ‘only’ PCIe x2, or 10 Gbit/s.

    On many motherboards, the connector itself or the PCB next to it will be labeled with the keying. Otherwise, check the specs or the manual. Likewise, M.2 card length might be stamped on the board, looking something like this:

    High-capacity drives have additional memory chips mounted on the card and may require more space in some cases. The M.2 standard allows for cards of five different lengths, with the number format meaning width-length in millimeters. All sizes are the same width, so the two most common, 2280 and 2242, are 80mm and 42mm long, respectively (and so on). All sizes:

    • 2230
    • 2242
    • 2260
    • 2280
    • 22110

    Not all motherboards – and much less all laptops – can accommodate the longest cards and some might not even support the common 2280 size (the format used by most of the drives listed above). 22110 drives are however very rare.

    Also, don’t confuse M.2 and mSATA, which is another, older standard. These slots may look similar on the motherboard, but they’re not compatible. M.2 SSDs may also use the SATA interface, but that doesn’t mean it’s an mSATA drive.

    Yes, it really is a bit confusing, but fortunately, M.2 2280 is the most common standard by far, so it’s actually hard to get it wrong. But just to be safe:

    Checklist Before Buying an M.2 SSD

    • Check the drive’s interface and M.2 keying, e.g. B+M-key/M-key (all PCIe x4 SSDs are M-key).
    • Make sure it matches the slot on your motherboard or in your laptop. You can usually find this information on the specs page.
    • Also ensure that the length of the drive is supported, e.g. 2280 or 2242 (numbers in bold are millimeters).

    To sum things up about keying and interfaces: it might sound complicated, but really isn’t. If you are building a high-end PC based on a Z170, Z270, B350/B450, X370/X470 chipset, it will likely have an M-key slot. And if so, most of the popular M-key or B+M-key drives will work. But there are a few exceptions, so it’s best to double-check.

    Choosing the Right Capacity

    You can hardly ever have too much storage space, but all of it doesn’t have to be super fast. There is no reason to use an expensive, high-end SSD to store family photos or your Steam library backups.

    Speaking for myself, a primary 1 TB SSD is enough to hold the stuff I use on a regular basis. That includes the OS, all work-related apps, and a few games – basically what I want quick access to on a regular basis. The rest is mostly distributed on some affordable terabytes of hard drive space.

    What capacity you need is always a personal question. If you just want a really fast computer for work (and who doesn’t?), you can probably get by with as little as 128 GB and use hard drives for the rest. However, when looking at the price/performance ratio (performance is usually improved in larger capacities), 240 or 256 GB drives offer a much more attractive entry-level price point. If you want to install any larger number of games, 1 TB should be considered a minimum size.

    Most importantly, you want to boot from your fastest drive. That means it must be able to store the OS and all of its associated files (such as caches and swap). And it’s not that much:

    • Windows 10 (64-bit): 20GB
    • MacOs Catalina: 12.5GB
    • Ubuntu 20.04: 25GB
    • Manjaro 18/19: 30GB
    • Linux Mint 20: 20GB
    • Elementary OS 5 (Debian/Ubuntu): 15GB
    • Fedora 30 Workstation: 10GB
    • OpenSuse Tumbleweed: 40GB

    Those numbers may or may not be a minimum requirement, but also add – at the very least – the amount of RAM in your system to be on the safe side (to make room for the swap file). Office apps are usually not that demanding either, with MS Office taking up about 4 GB of space on your SSD. Games tend to use a lot more but can range in size from a few hundred megabytes to dozens of gigabytes, so there is no simple answer. On the other hand, loading games from a slower device (but preferably still an SSD) is still a viable option, as seen above.

    MLC Vs. TLC Vs. QLC NAND

    SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC NANDIn any SSD context, you will inevitably run into the MLC, TLC, and QLC abbreviations. What these signify is the number of bits that can be written to each cell in NAND (Not-AND) memory chips. In the early days, only one bit could be written to each cell, i.e. single-level cell or SLC. Solid state drives using SLC memory were (and now only in very rare cases, are) extremely durable but also prohibitively expensive.

    Consumer SSDs became common once density increased to two bits per cell, also known as multi-level cell or MLC. Most high-end drives today use the even denser triple-level cell, or TLC, memory type, whereas some budget SSDs use quad-level cell, or QLC NAND.

    The downsides to increased densities are – all other things being equal – worse performance and durability. Adding additional bits per cell adds to the complexity and cells will be worn down in fewer write/erase cycles.

    Nevertheless, today’s TLC-based drives are far faster than older MLC drives thanks to some highly innovative use of buffering and caching technology, whereby data is first written in SLC mode and then to the slower TLC memory. The durability problems have also mostly been solved using, among other things, spare capacity (overprovisioning) to spread out the wear over time. On the whole, today’s TLC-based SSDs are not only much faster but also durable enough to outlast most other PC parts for the average user.

    The post The Fastest M.2 NVMe SSDs in January 2021 appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    WD Blue SN550 1TB Review: Affordable NVMe Performance

    The WD Blue SN550 is the latest (2020) variety in Western Digital’s Blue range of M.2 SSDs. It replaces last year’s SN500, which was only available in 250GB and 500GB capacities. It should also not be confused with the similarly-named WD Blue 3D NAND, which is a significantly slower SATA SSD in the M.2 form […] The post WD Blue SN550 1TB Review: Affordable NVMe Performance appeared first on Gaming PC...

    WD Blue SN550The WD Blue SN550 is the latest (2020) variety in Western Digital’s Blue range of M.2 SSDs. It replaces last year’s SN500, which was only available in 250GB and 500GB capacities. It should also not be confused with the similarly-named WD Blue 3D NAND, which is a significantly slower SATA SSD in the M.2 form factor. This doesn’t change the fact that WD has used the Blue label for its value/mainstream storage products for many years, and the SN550 is no exception.

    Introduction: WD Blue SN550 1TB

    At around $100 for the 1 TB capacity, the WD Blue SN550 is not intended to compete with the best M.2 NVMe SSDs like the WD Black SN750/SN850 or Samsung’s PRO/EVO lineup. Instead, it challenges other entry-level NVMe drives such as the QLC-based Sabrent Rocket Q, Intel 665p, and Crucial P1. However, the WD Blue SN550 uses higher-end 96-layer TLC NAND from WD’s subsidiary SanDisk.

    Specifications

    WD Blue SN550250GB
    (WDS250G2B0C)
    500GB
    (WDS500G2B0C)
    1TB
    (WDS100T2B0C)
    Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
    Interface/
    Protocol
    PCIe 3.0 x4/
    NVMe 1.4
    PCIe 3.0 x4/
    NVMe 1.4
    PCIe 3.0 x4/
    NVMe 1.4
    ControllerWD ProprietaryWD ProprietaryWD Proprietary
    DRAM CacheN/AN/AN/A
    MemorySanDisk 96L TLCSanDisk 96L TLCSanDisk 96L TLC
    Sequential Read2,400 MB/s2,400 MB/s2,400 MB/s
    Sequential Write950 MB/s1,750 MB/s1,750 MB/s
    Random Read170,000 IOPS300,000 IOPS410,000 IOPS
    Random Write135,000 IOPS240,000 IOPS405,000 IOPS
    Endurance150 TBW300 TBW600 TBW
    Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years

    As this is an entry-level drive, the WD Blue SN550 has to make do without a DRAM buffer and its specifications are not comparable to high-end PCIe/NVMe SSDs. On the other hand, it is still about four times as fast (theoretically) as any SATA SSD – while actually being slightly cheaper than some of the popular 2.5″ SATA alternatives. That makes the SN550 and other affordable NVMe SSDs attractive for anyone with an M.2 slot to spare.

    WD Blue SN550 1TB Benchmarks

    Synthetic benchmarks are always interesting, but from a user experience perspective, they will not tell you all that much about perceived performance. Although they are usually the main selling point for high-end NVMe SSDs, very high max. sequential transfer rates will not be a deciding factor for the user experience in an average office or gaming PC. User workloads are typically a complex mix of random and sequential access patterns. For this reason, we try to use a mix of benchmarks with an emphasis on user-centric tests.

    AS SSD

    AS SSD scores tend to be relatively inconsistent, but it’s still a useful tool for measuring transfer rates with incompressible data. As you might expect, the WD Blue SN550 is not topping the charts as far as sequential transfers go, although the difference is far less dramatic in the more important 4K area.

    CrystalDiskMark

    CrystalDiskMark is another lightweight tool that measures sequential performance as well as random performance at different queue depths. Again, the WD Blue SN550’s sequential read transfer rate struggles to keep up with the compared drives (as it should, based on the specifications). In the 4K tests, the SN550 compares more favorably to the other drives, except for the much more expensive and PCIe 4.0-enabled SN850.

    Response Times/Latency (Anvil’s Storage Utilities)

    The importance of low latency is highlighted by the fact that Intel’s Optane (3D XPoint) SSDs are still well ahead of the competition in many mixed workloads. This results in improved performance where it counts, such as in loading times and other areas that affect the user experience. Here, the SN550 is mostly in line with the other PCIe 3.0 drives.

    Loading Times (PCMark 10, FF XIV)

    When comparing loading times with different SSDs, the differences are often surprisingly small, indicating that the bottlenecks may be found elsewhere in the system. To test loading times without having to resort to a stopwatch, PCMark 10’s app start-up (cold start) should be fairly indicative of what to expect in the real world.

    Unsurprisingly, the high-end Gen4 WD Black SN850 is the undisputed winner, but the significantly cheaper WD Blue SN550 is actually not far behind.

    The Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers benchmark loads five different scenes/levels and provides a total loading time. A mechanical 7,200 rpm 3.5″ hard drive has been added for perspective. Once again, the SN550 is second only to the SN850.

    Conclusion: Great Entry-Level PCIe/NVMe SSD

    WD Blue SN550Considering that the cost per GB is about half that of current performance leaders such as the Samsung 980 PRO and the WD Black SN850, there is no question that the WD Blue SN550 offers great value. Although some synthetic benchmarks may tell you otherwise, performance in most real-world office or gaming scenarios is a lot greater than the different specifications imply.

    Also, you are essentially getting a PCIe/NVMe drive for just slightly more than the price of an average 2.5″ SATA SSD. And thanks to the TLC (triple-level cell) NAND, it’s also noteworthy that the endurance rating is comparable to the high-end alternatives at equivalent capacities. This is usually not the case with other cheap options based on less durable QLC (quad-level cell) NAND.

    If you are looking for a fast NVMe boot drive within a similar budget, your choices right now are either an entry-level 1TB drive like this one or a high-end 500GB SSD like the Sabrent Rocket Gen4 (PCIe 4.0) or Samsung 970 EVO Plus (PCIe 3.0). If you opt for the former, the SN550 looks like one of the best alternatives at this point.

    8.5Expert Score
    Affordable NVMe Performance

    The WD Blue SN550 Rocket Q offers considerably improved performance for about the same price as the WD Blue SATA model.

    PROS
    • Excellent value
    • High endurance rating
    • More than decent real-world performance
    CONS
    • No 2TB version
    • Less impressive sequential performance

    The post WD Blue SN550 1TB Review: Affordable NVMe Performance appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Gigabyte B550 Gaming X Review

    With the launch of AMD’s B550 chipset, PCI Express 4.0 has finally gone mainstream. There are plenty of B550 boards to choose from, including some full-featured varieties with price tags on par with mid-range X570 motherboards. At those price ranges, you may as well opt for an X570 board, as this chipset is more capable […] The post Gigabyte B550 Gaming X Review appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Gigabyte B550 Gaming XWith the launch of AMD’s B550 chipset, PCI Express 4.0 has finally gone mainstream. There are plenty of B550 boards to choose from, including some full-featured varieties with price tags on par with mid-range X570 motherboards. At those price ranges, you may as well opt for an X570 board, as this chipset is more capable than the B550. The affordable B550 alternatives are arguably much more interesting, which brings us to this review of the Gigabyte B550 Gaming X.

    B550 Gaming X Specs Vs. Aorus Elite Vs. X570 Gaming X

    Gigabyte’s B550 Gaming (mATX) and B550 Gaming X (full-size ATX) motherboards are located between the entry-level Ultra Durable lineup and the higher-end Aorus range. However, the Gaming X is by no means significantly less capable than, say, the Aorus B550 Elite. If you are nevertheless prepared to spend a bit more in Gigabyte’s AM4 lineup, you may also want to look into the X570 Gaming X.

    Gigabyte B550
    Motherboards
    B550 Gaming XB550 Aorus EliteX570 Gaming X
    Form FactorATXATXATX
    VRM Config10+312+210+2
    RAM Slots
    (max)
    4 (128 GB)4 (128 GB)4 (128 GB)
    RAM Speed
    (up to)
    4400 MHz4400 MHz4400 MHz
    SATA Ports4x4x6x
    M.2 SSD Slots2x
    (1x Gen4 + 1x Gen3)
    2x
    (1x Gen4 + 1x Gen3)
    2x
    (2x Gen4)
    LAN1Gbps
    (Realtek 8118)
    2.5Gbps
    (Realtek 8125BG)
    1Gbps
    (Realtek RTL8111H)
    WiFi---
    USB 3.2 Gen21x Type-A2x Type-A-
    USB 3.2 Gen13x Type-A
    2x Type-A (header)
    4x Type-A
    2x Type-A (header)
    4x Type-A
    4x Type-A (header)
    AudioALC887ALC1200ALC887

    What you are missing out on with the B550 Gaming X in the way of features compared to the Aorus Elite is primarily 2.5 GbE LAN, a somewhat more competent VRM, and better audio. You also sacrifice one PCIe x16 slot (PCIe 3.0 x1) for two additional PCIe x1 slots. Gigabyte’s X570 Gaming X, on the other hand, comes with the greatly enhanced PCIe 4.0 connectivity offered by the X570 chipset. If none of this matters to you, going with the B550 Gaming X will save you around $30.

    The Gigabyte B550 Gaming X

    Not much can be said about the design of the board. It’s not exactly dazzling, but that is to be expected in this price range. The B550 Gaming X does come with RGB headers if you want to get creative. As for the layout, there are fairly large heatsinks for the VRM and chipset areas, but unfortunately, no M.2 heat spreader. If you are building a system that includes a PCIe Gen4 M.2 drive, you might want to opt for a model with a heatsink.

    A plus compared to cheaper boards is that the rear I/O panel is integrated, so you will save a few minutes trying to fit (and not bend) a separate back panel. Otherwise, you will find are no surprises inside the box. It includes the motherboard itself, a SATA cable, manuals, and the driver CD that manufacturers still insist on including for some reason.

    Performance – B550 Gaming X Benchmarks

    Motherboard benchmarks are not known to raise eyebrows, as boards with the same chipset – and all other components being equal – tend to perform about the same as long as no overclocking or other tweaking is involved. Testing is nevertheless important to identify potential weak areas. We will be comparing the Gigabyte B550 Gaming X to the previous-gen MSI B450 Gaming Plus, which was priced about the same at launch. The parts used for testing include:

    • CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
    • CPU Cooler: DeepCool Gammaxx (tower cooler)
    • GPU: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
    • RAM: 16 GB of dual-channel 3200 MHz Crucial Ballistix (16-18-18-38)
    • SSD: Sabrent Rocket Q 1GB
    • PSU: Corsair RM1000

    CPU: Cinebench R20

    Cinebench is a rendering benchmark that taxes the CPU in single-core and multi-core loads. In version R20, the result is presented in the form of a unified score. We are running the Ryzen 5 3600 at stock speeds and OC mode has all cores set to 4.3 GHz. The B550 outpaces the B450 by about 5% here, which is a noteworthy difference in this context.

    RAM: AIDA64 Extreme

    Using the exact same clocks and timings, it’s no surprise that memory performance is not significantly affected by jumping between the B450 Gaming Plus and the B550 Gaming X.

    Storage: CrystalDiskMark

    PCIe 4.0 offers twice the bandwidth over PCIe 3.0, making this one of the main reasons why you may want to upgrade from a previous-gen board to the B550/3rd-gen Ryzen platform. For a more apples-to-apples comparison, this is how the B550 Gaming X measures up versus our reference B450 board (PCIe Gen3) in CrystalDiskMark.

    Sequential performance is practically identical, but interestingly, the Gigabyte B550 Gaming X pulls ahead in the 4K transfer area.

    System Performance: PCMark 10

    PCMark 10 is a general system performance benchmark that emulates a variety of workloads including office apps, rendering, content creation, and loading times. The B550 board comes out slightly ahead of its B450 counterpart.

    Gaming Performance: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    There is no reason to expect anything but marginal differences in terms of gaming frame rates when swapping motherboards. At higher resolutions, 4K in particular, the GPU is the bottleneck and FPS differences tend to even out. It’s still possible to see a marginal difference between the B450 Gaming Plus and the B550 Gaming X at 1080p resolution.

    Gigabyte B550 Gaming X VRM Temperatures

    Gigabyte EasyTune

    Gigabyte’s EasyTune software is quite useful as it provides direct access to BIOS settings without actually entering the BIOS. Depending on your changes, a system restart may nevertheless be required.

    Another plus is that it comes with a sensor overview, which includes temperature data that may be difficult to find otherwise (due to generic naming in e.g. HWInfo64). This gave us some insights into the board’s reported VRM MOS temperatures.

    Using an open chassis, the idle temperature does not go above 32C. After an hour of continuous CPU load, the value peaks at 46C, and with the R5 3600 overclocked to 4.3 GHz on all cores, it reaches 48C. Of course, our Ryzen 5 3600 has a 65W TDP and is therefore quite frugal in any situation, as seen in the low VRM MOS temperatures. By comparison, a 105W Ryzen 9 would be significantly more demanding if you decide to push it.

    Conclusion: An Attractive and Affordable B550 Motherboard

    The Gigabyte B550 Gaming X is not a high-end motherboard by B550 standards (itself a mainstream chipset). But it’s not an overly scaled-down entry-level board either.  All the essentials are still in place, including PCI 4.0 connectivity for the primary NVMe SSD and the graphics card slot. You also get what appears to be a more than adequate VRM, an extra M.2 slot, a USB 3.2 Gen2 port, and support for up to 4400 MHz DRAM.

    Around $30 more may get you some additional features such as 2.5 GbE, a better audio chip, and possibly a slightly more powerful VRM. This is not always the case, however, as a few more expensive B550 boards such as the Asus Prime B550 are not significantly better equipped.

    8Expert Score
    Great Value in the B550 Market

    On the whole, Gigabyte's B550 Gaming X strikes a very good balance between value, features, and performance.

    PROS
    • Great performance
    • Affordable
    • Decent feature set
    • Fast DRAM support
    CONS
    • No USB-C port
    • No high-speed LAN

    The post Gigabyte B550 Gaming X Review appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    The Best GeForce RTX 3080 Cards + Complete Guide

    Any GPU launch is a special occasion for gamers and PC enthusiasts. Nvidia’s announcement of the Ampere-based RTX 30-series was still something out of the ordinary, as the generational performance leap turned out to be on a level not seen for at least a decade. Out of the three initial Ampere GPUs, Nvidia positions the […] The post The Best GeForce RTX 3080 Cards + Complete Guide appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Nvidia AmpereAny GPU launch is a special occasion for gamers and PC enthusiasts. Nvidia’s announcement of the Ampere-based RTX 30-series was still something out of the ordinary, as the generational performance leap turned out to be on a level not seen for at least a decade.

    Out of the three initial Ampere GPUs, Nvidia positions the GeForce RTX 3080 as this generation’s 4K gaming flagship. The GeForce RTX 3090 is the ‘Titan’ equivalent for professionals and prosumers, while the RTX 3070 comes with somewhat more modest specs.

    Compared to the previous generation, the relative performance of Nvidia’s high-end Ampere lineup is nevertheless quite spectacular in all three cases.

    When looking at price versus performance, it’s not surprising that the GeForce RTX 3080 is the most popular of the first three Ampere GPUs. It is significantly faster than the RTX 3070 – and even the much more expensive RTX 2080 Ti – while also offering far better value than the RTX 3090.

    Unsurprisingly, all of Nvidia’s partner manufacturers had several aftermarket RTX 3080 cards on offer from day one – and most of them sold out almost instantly. On the plus side, this afforded prospective buyers time to decide by reading some of the many RTX 3080 reviews, which were ready to go right after the embargo was lifted.

    The Best RTX 3080 Cards

    The purpose of this page is to help you find the best RTX 3080 card for your build by taking a closer look at all available models at the time of writing. All of them are listed below, but to get to the point we will start by listing some of the top cards based on professional review ratings, as well as value.

    1

    Best Overall: Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC

    ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC

    Asus’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix line of graphics cards is incredibly popular – and usually for good reason. This is an all-new Strix design for the RTX 30 series that offers better thermals without making much noise. Prospective buyers need to make sure that they have enough space, however. The Strix RTX 3080 takes up 2.9 slots and measures 12.53 inches (31.85 cm) in length.

    One aspect of this card that stands out (in a less literal sense) is that the Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC comes with the highest factory overclock of all 3080 cards. Using the Asus GPU Tweak software, you will be able to apply the advertised 1935 MHz maximum boost clock. Like several other premium variants of the RTX 3080, this card also uses three 8-pin power connectors, which let the GPU increase its power draw.

    Another nice detail is a small BIOS switch on the card that allows you to switch between performance mode and quiet mode. The performance mode does not give you a boost in FPS by itself but provides better cooling. Additionally, there are two PWM fan headers on the card that allow you to connect two case fans directly to the graphics card. This can come in handy if you want the fans to ramp up or down according to the GPU temperature.

    As usual, you also get some RGB lighting to go with your Strix card, which is relatively discreet in this case. For outputs, you get the three DisplayPorts but you also get two HDMI ports – one more than the reference design model.

    Editors Liked:
    • Comparatively cool and quiet
    • Great OC potential
    • Three-year warranty

    Editors didn't like:
    • Very large
    • High power consumption

    2

    Best Value: Asus RTX 3080 TUF Gaming

    RTX 3080 Graphics Cards
    Yes, it’s another Asus card. One reason is that Asus’ RTX 3080 cards are among the most extensively reviewed so far (including by ourselves in this case). Another reason is the potential problem with some cards using a below-spec combination of POSCAP/MLCC capacitors, which seems to cause stability issues at high clock speeds. Asus uses high-end capacitors and thus avoids this potential problem.

    Perhaps more importantly, the Asus RTX 3080 TUF Gaming keeps the GPU cool while staying reasonably quiet, and not least – comes in at a lower price point than the premium varieties. As you would expect, the cooler is not as sophisticated or RGB-decorated as the Strix version but it’s a major improvement over previous-gen TUF coolers. The card is built like a rock, with an aluminum shroud, a sturdy backplate, and new axial fans that provide additional airflow according to Asus. One of the fans spins in the opposite direction, which supposedly improves cooling efficiency. After having tested this card, it’s hard to disagree. RGB enthusiasts will not come up entirely empty-handed, as the top of the shroud sports an illuminated strip and logo. Another bonus is the dual BIOS setup and a physical switch that lets you choose between more aggressive cooling or silent operation.

    The Asus RTX 3080 TUF is smaller than the ROG Strix version but not really compact by any means, being 2.7 slots wide and 11.8 in (30 cm) in length. Asus also offers the RTX 3080 TUF Gaming in an OC version with a slight factory overclock, but if you want the best possible value we recommend the non-OC variety.

    Editors Liked:
    • All-metal shroud and backplate
    • Runs cool and quiet
    • Comparatively affordable

    Editors didn't like:
    • Not much RGB
    • Less OC headroom than premium 3x 8-pin models

    3

    If Money is No Object: Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme 10G

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme

    The Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme is most definitely extreme in a variety of ways bordering on the insane. But if you want the most lavish, no-expenses-spared GeForce RTX 3080 – and don’t mind paying the equivalent of a decent mid-range GPU above MSRP – look no further. This gets you a card with one of the largest coolers in GPU history that even includes a gratuitous LCD on top. This display can be used to display the current temperature, VRAM usage, or an animated GIF if that’s more to your liking.

    Similar to some previous Aorus cards, Gigabyte has stacked two large fans on top of an alternately-spinning central fan. The fans service a vapor chamber and heat pipes connected to a large copper plate, which also covers the VRAM. All of this results in highly efficient cooling as well as practically silent operation. Of course, this also results in a very thick card that will take up 3.5 (effectively four) slots and it’s still slightly longer than the Asus Strix card.

    Like other premium RTX 3080 models, the Aorus Xtreme comes with three 8-pin power connectors. This, in combination with the powerful cooler, means that the Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme should be one of the best RTX 3080 candidates in terms of overclocking potential. It is also equipped with two additional HDMI outputs compared to the reference design.

    Editors Liked:
    • Extremely powerful cooler
    • Silent under load
    • Lots of RGB and LCD panel

    Editors didn't like:
    • ‘Xtreme’ price tag even for an RTX 3080
    • It’s huge

    4

    High-End Alternative: EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra

    EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3

    EVGA was the only manufacturer that acknowledged the capacitor issue at high clocks and revised its cards accordingly (others, including MSI, appear to have corrected the issue without an announcement). The GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra is the full-featured flagship model from EVGA but still less expensive than some of the alternatives. It is somewhat more compact than other premium cards, but still a sizeable card that takes up 2.75 slots and measures 11.81 inches (30 cm) in length.

    The 1800 MHz max. boost factory overclock may not be as high as in some of the competitors, but the large cooler and three 8-pin power connectors should ensure excellent manual OC potential. There are three 90mm fans that spin in the same direction but the fan in the middle is offset by 10mm, which EVGA claims increases airflow by 16%. Selective cut-outs on the PCB and backplate is another design choice that improves airflow.

    Already at first glance, it’s obvious that EVGA has dedicated a significant part of the shroud to RGB lighting along and there is also an RGB-lit EVGA logo on the backplate, as well as on the end of the card (for some reason). As for the outputs, EVGA went with the reference arrangement meaning three DisplayPorts, and a single HDMI port output.

    5

    Value Alternative: Zotac RTX 3080 Trinity

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity

    The triple-fan, 2.5-slot RTX 3080 Trinity is the entry-level model in Zotac’s 3080 range. What this card lacks in girth it makes up in length, however, as it’s almost as long as the Gigabyte Aorus and Asus Strix cards. Each of the three fans has 11 blades and Zotac claims that this increases the airflow compared to the previous generation. Interestingly, you can customize the speeds of each fan using Zotac’s software.

    Some RGB is also included, in the form of a Zotac logo that you can customize and sync with other RGB components of your build. The dual 8-pin power connectors and default output ports put the RTX 3080 Trinity in line with the reference model and the same goes for the 1710 MHz maximum boost clock (there is also an OC model with a comparatively insignificant factory overclock to 1725 MHz max. boost out of the box). The Zotac RTX 3080 Trinity is nevertheless attractive thanks to its more than sufficient cooling and moderate price tag.

    6

    If You Can Find It: The GeForce RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition

    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founder's Edition

    At the end of 2020, you would be lucky to find any variety of the RTX 3080 at a reasonable cost. Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition cards are typically hard to locate even in normal circumstances, which is a shame since these reference models have been really good in recent years.

    The RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition features a novel dual-fan design with one fan at the backside of the card. This means that, instead of pushing the air across the heatsink and (mostly) out of the chassis, the second fan pulls air through the heatsink to be exhausted via the rear chassis fan.

    As all of the many reviews of the Founder’s Edition can confirm, this solution really works quite well. Temperatures under load usually stay below 80°C (176°F), which isn’t much higher than most triple-fan cards. With the RTX 30-series, Nvidia also introduces a new 12-pin power connector that takes up less space on the PCB than standard 8-pin connectors.

    All RTX GeForce RTX 3080 Cards

    This aspires to be a complete guide to all RTX 3080 video cards on the market. As such, we are listing and comparing the available models from every third-party manufacturer in alphabetical order, highlighting some of the more interesting designs. You will also find links to reviews from around the web, which are recommended reading if you are considering a specific model.

    ASUS

    ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 ROG StrixAsus offers two different varieties of the RTX 3080, each of which is available with a factory overclock combined with the usual price premium.

    The pricier ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix model comes with an all-new cooling design compared to previous high-end Strix cards. It’s a very large, triple-fan solution that will take up three slots in your case – and it’s a good idea to give it some room to spare if you want the fans to perform as intended. Both of the Strix RTX 3080 cards require three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and at 1935 MHz, the OC model (O10G) comes with the highest factory overclock out of all cards from the entire launch lineup.

    As an alternative to the expensive Strix models from Asus, there is also the RTX 3080 TUF models, which are identical apart from a factory OC

    Asus’ TUF line of graphics cards has received less-than-stellar reviews in their earlier incarnations, but this triple-fan design marks a departure from the somewhat small and noisy fans on other TUF models. It seems to borrow some parts from older Strix cards, meaning that the cards’ cooling capacity and noise levels are more than adequate this time around. The cooler is still smaller than the massive Strix version and comes with “only” two 8-pin power connectors, but it does come with a BIOS switch for swapping between Performance or Quiet mode.

    Like many other manufacturers, Asus has introduced perpendicularly mounted fans, with the center fan spinning in the opposite direction to reduce turbulence.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Asus TUF RTX 3080 Gaming
    (TUF-RTX3080-10G-GAMING)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus TUF RTX 3080 Gaming OC
    (TUF-RTX3080-O10G-GAMING)
    1815 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 Gaming
    (ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-10G-GAMING)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.53 in (31.85 cm)
    3x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 Gaming OC
    (ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-O10G-GAMING)
    1935 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.53 in (31.85 cm)
    3x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ASUS RTX 3080 EKWB
    (RTX3080-10G-EK)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    11.2 in (21.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Reviews:

    EVGA

    EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3Like Asus, EVGA’s RTX 3080 lineup consists of two triple-fan designs that come in a few additional variations with different maximum boost clock speeds. The RGB-equipped FTW3 is a large 2.75-slot card available with either a minor factory overclock (FTW3 Gaming; 1755 MHz max. boost clock) or a somewhat larger OC (FTW Ultra Gaming; 1800 MHz max. boost clock).

    Both of the FTW3 models should be well prepared for additional overclocking thanks to having three 8-pin power connectors instead of the usual two.

    If you don’t like the price premiums that EVGA charges for the FTW3 cards – or insufficient room in your case to accommodate one – the more compact 2.2-slot XC3 design might be an interesting alternative. Again, the three XC3 versions primarily differ at the max. boost clock level, but note that the XC3 Black lacks the stabilizing metal backplate found on the XC3 Gaming and XC3 Ultra Gaming.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING
    (10G-P5-3897-KR)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    11.81 in (30 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 GAMING
    (10G-P5-3895-KR)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    11.81 in (30 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 ULTRA GAMING
    (10G-P5-3885-KR)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 GAMING
    (10G-P5-3883-KR)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 BLACK GAMING
    (10G-P5-3881-KR)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Hybrid (10G-P5-3898-KR)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    12-slot /
    11.4 in (28.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Hydro Copper (10G-P5-3899-KR)1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    11.4 in (28.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra Hybrid (10G-P5-3888-KR)1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    12-slot /
    10.4 in (26.3 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Hydro Copper (10G-P5-3889-KR)1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    10.4 in (26.3 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Reviews:

    Gainward

    Gainward RTX 3090 PhantomJust like EVGA, Gainward is an Nvidia-exclusive board partner (owned by Palit) with a set of different cooling solutions that often reappear on cards with different GPUs. As for the RTX 3080 (and also 3090), Gainward offers two choices of triple-fan, 2.7-slot models, each in two differently-clocked SKUs. The higher-end RTX 3080 Phantom and Phantom GS come with three 8-pin power connectors and the highest boost clocks out of the box (1755 MHz and 1860 MHz, respectively).

    If you prefer a more conventional and less costly approach, Gainward’s alternative models are the Phoenix and Phoenix GS. Both use two 8-pin connectors and come with slightly lower maximum boost clocks (1710 MHz or 1740 MHz). Both the Phantom and Phoenix coolers are 2.7 slots wide, but the Phantom is slightly higher and longer.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phantom GS (471056224-2140)
    1860 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phantom (471056224-2119)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phoenix GS (471056224-2010)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phoenix (471056224-1952)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Reviews:

    Galax/KFA2

    Galax RTX 3080 EX GamerGalax and KFA2 are two brands from the same manufacturer and the cards are identical in everything but name and branding. Like most other manufacturers, Galax offers the RTX 3080 with two different coolers, but there are no multiple variations of the two unless you count different color schemes.

    The smaller SG model is arguably the most interesting, as it comes with an additional 80mm clip-on fan that you attach to the backplate of the card, effectively making it a quad-fan card. Of course, this optional add-on also adds to the bulk of the card and might not fit in combination with a large CPU cooler.

    Galax’s higher-end EX Gamer model offers a higher boost clock and is also physically larger, filling up three slots in the chassis. Unlike many of the competing models, however, the RTX 3080 EX Gamer uses the standard dual 8-pin power connectors instead of triple connectors. Both the SG and EX Gamer models are discretely RGB-lit in the fan areas and have the same “1-Click OC” feature (via software).

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    GALAX RTX 3080 SG (38NWM3MD99NN)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    3+12.7-slot /
    12.5 in (31.7 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Galax RTX 3080 EX Gamer (38NWM3MD1JAA)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.4 in (31.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080Gigabyte’s launch lineup of RTX 3080 cards is a bit more extensive than that of most competitors. As expected, the flagship Aorus models come with the largest coolers and most sizeable factory overclocks. Not unlike its high-end predecessors, the Aorus RTX 3080 cooler is one of the beefiest on the market, occupying 3.5 (effectively four) slots. The Extreme model comes with a 1905 MHz boost clock and uses three 8-pin power connectors, while the Master variety has an 1845 MHz boost clock and just the usual two power connectors.

    The Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC is a slight redesign of previous triple-fan Gaming models, which offers a boost clock of up to 1800 MHz out of the box. This also applies to the Vision – a card with identical specs but a different design, aimed at content creators rather than gamers.

    For those who prefer to not pay too much of a premium for plus-sized coolers and considerable factory overclocks, Gigabyte is also introducing the Eagle lineup. One eagle ships with the reference clock speeds and the other with a slight OC.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Extreme (GV-N3080AORUS X-10GD)
    1905 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33.5-slot /
    12.6 in (31.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Master (GV-N3080AORUS M-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33.5-slot /
    12.6 in (31.9 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision OC (GV-N3080VISION OC-10GD)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC (GV-N3080GAMING OC-10GD)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle (GV-N3080EAGLE-10GD)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle OC (GV-N3080EAGLE OC-10GD)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme Waterforce (GV-N3080AORUSX W-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    AIO2-slot /
    9.9 in (25.2 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme Waterforce WB (GV-N3080AORUSX W-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    02-slot /
    9.9 in (25.2 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D

    Inno3D RTX 3080 X4Inno3D has not bothered with separate ‘OC’ versions of the cards in its RTX 3080 lineup, which is rather straightforward but still manages to stand out in a few ways. The smallest card is an unusual dual-fan design, making it a unique option save for a few hybrid or water-cooled RTX 3080 cards that also use less than three fans. However, don’t expect the Twin X2 to fit in your small form factor build, as its dimensions are only slightly smaller than most triple-fan cards.

    The RTX 3080 iChill X3 is the least strange model from Inno3D. This is a triple-fan card with two 8-pin power connectors, a maximum boost clock of 1770 MHz, and about the same form factor as many of its competitors.

    What really stands out in this lineup is the oddly-shaped quad-fan RTX 3080 iChill X4. Its small fourth fan is placed perpendicular to the other three and is allegedly aiming to cool the card’s MOSFETs. Unlike the clip-on variety from Galax, Inno3D’s fourth fan is built into the shroud. Despite its extra fan, the card does not have a third 8-pin power connector so its overclocking capabilities may be limited compared to the competitors in the expensive segment.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Inno3D RTX 3080 iChill X3 (C30803-106XX-1810VA37)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    3N/A /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D RTX 3080 iChill X4 (C30804-106XX-1810VA36)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    4N/A /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D RTX 3080 Twin X2 OC (N30802-106XX-1810VA34)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    2N/A /
    10.8 in (27.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D iChill RTX 3080 Frostbite (C3080-106XX-1810FB)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    02-slot /
    8.9 in (22.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP

    MSI

    MSI RTX 3080 Gaming XThe MSI launch lineup consists of two different cooling designs for the RTX 3080, both of which are triple-fan varieties with MSI’s established Gaming (X) and Ventus brandings. As usual, the Gaming and Gaming X models are the top models and come with triple 8-pin power connectors as well as higher factory overclocks. For the RTX 30 series, the design of the Gaming cards has been updated somewhat, with rearranged RGB accents and new Torx 4.0 fans. The latter allegedly provide a more focused airflow by linking the outer rings of the fans.

    MSI also introduces a triple-fan Ventus version of the RTX 3080. The Ventus name is usually indicative of a more compact cooler design, at least in the mid-range GPU segment, but that is hardly the case here. Although the Ventus cards are a bit shorter than their Gaming counterparts, they still come with three full-size fans and are also slightly thicker. What you are mainly missing out on compared to the Gaming cards are the aforementioned Torx 4.0 fans, the additional power connector, and the higher boost clocks. The non-OC Ventus runs at stock speed and the OC model offers a small overclock of less than 2% from 1710 MHz to 1740 MHz.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio
    1815 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.7 in (32.3 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Gaming Trio
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.7 in (32.3 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3X OC
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.85-slot /
    12 in (30.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3X
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.85-slot /
    12 in (30.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit

    Palit RTX 3080 GameRockFollowing the pattern of many other manufacturers (some of which are Palit-owned brands including Gainward and Galax), the first RTX 3080 cards from Palit come in two different shapes. Both use triple-fan cooling designs and both ship in an OC and a non-OC variety. GameRock (OC) is the larger and more expensive variety with three 8-pin power connectors.

    The RTX 3080 GameRock OC offers a sizeable factory overclock to 1860 MHz, which puts it among the leaders in the overclocking race, while the non-OC GameRock ships with a more modest 1755 MHz maximum boost clock. Palit has dubbed this card “The Dazzling Angel”, referring to the fact that no less than 90% of the shroud is covered in RGB lighting.

    You will still receive a smaller dose of RGB when opting for one of the Palit RTX 3080 GamingPro models. However, this cooler is a bit smaller and lacks the extra 8-pin power connector. Unsurprisingly, the max. boost clocks are also lower. The GamingPro OC will reach 1740 MHz and the non-OC variety comes uses the stock 1710 MHz.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Palit RTX 3080 GameRock OC (NED3080H19IA-1020G)
    1860 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GameRock (NED3080U19IA-1020G)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GamingPro OC (NED3080S19IA-132AA)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GamingPro (NED3090019SB-132BA)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    PNY

    PNY XLR8 RTX 3080 EPIC X Triple-Fan-M Uprising

    Instead of segmenting its cards into OC and non-OC models, PNY has kept it simple by sticking with two different alternatives running at the same (stock) clock speeds. Both of the cards are equipped with triple-fan coolers and there is no option for attaching a third 8-pin power connector on either of them.

    Nonetheless, the XLR8 Uprising RTX 3080 stands out (literally) with a larger cooler that will occupy up a full three slots in your chassis. The XLR8 Revel RTX 3080 is a more compact variety that uses the standard 2.7-slot form factor and is somewhat smaller in every other dimension as well.

    We have no insights into the New Jersey-based manufacturer’s thinking behind the choice of coolers and specs, but there should be no performance advantage out of the box for those opting for the larger cooler. While the cooler layouts and RGB arrangements are different, the specifications are identical.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    PNY XLR8 RTX 3080 Uprising Epic-X (VCG308010TFXMPB)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33-slot/
    12.5 in (31.7 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    PNY XLR8 RTX 3080 Revel Epic-X (VCG308010TFXPPB)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Zotac

    Trinity and Trinity OC are the more affordable alternatives in Zotac’s GeForce RTX 3080 lineup and use the same triple-fan cooler. ‘Affordable’ is of course a relative term in the RTX 3080 space and the Trinity cooler is quite sophisticated, with RGB accents on both the shroud and backplate. The large aluminum heatsink is complemented with seven copper heatsinks. According to Zotac, the new 11-blade fan design improves airflow by up to 10% compared to the previous generation. Using the Zotac FireStorm software, users can adjust independently to find the right balance between noise and efficient cooling.

    The Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo is practically identical in size to the Trinity cards and uses the same two 8-pin power connectors. What mainly differs is a higher factory OC and “Ethereal Aurora” RGB effects on top of the cooler and across the backplate. The RTX 3080 AMP Extreme Holo, on the other hand, is Zotac’s flagship in the lineup. This card is physically larger and equipped with three 8-pin connectors. At 1800 MHz, it also offers the highest boost clock.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 AMP Extreme Holo
    (ZT-A30800B-10P)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.9 in (32.8 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 AMP Holo
    (ZT-A30800F-10P)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity OC
    (ZT-A30800J-10P)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity
    (ZT-A30800D-10P)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Summary and Buyer’s Guide

    The high-end GPU launches in late 2020 (from both Nvidia and AMD) have been massively affected by shortages. Supply issues are common when next-gen hardware is rolled out, but the situation in 2020 is clearly out of the ordinary in more ways than one. Although the RTX 3080 and other new GPUs are currently in short supply, this hasn’t prevented Nvidia’s (or AMD’s) board partners from launching complete graphics card lineups, and many of them have been extensively tested. Once the shelves are restocked and prices return to normal, there is no need to be an uninformed buyer.

    A few general recommendations for purchasing a new GPU, and some specific tips for finding the best RTX 3080 for your build:

    • Factory OC: Paying a premium for a minor factory overclock in an otherwise identical graphics card is rarely (if ever) a good investment. There are many such options in the RTX 3080 segment, such as the Asus TUF/TUF OC and Zotac Trinity/Trinity OC. Improved cooling designs and higher power limits may be worth it if the premium is not too significant.
    • Power supply (PSU): The recommended minimum PSU for the GeForce RTX 3080 is 750W, which is not unreasonable considering the 320W TDP (thermal design power). Asus has put together a more granular table and recommends 750W for Ryzen 5/7 or Core i5/i7 systems, 850W for Ryzen 9, Core i9, or Threadripper/Intel HEDT pairings.
    • CPU pairing: 1080p gaming is typically CPU-limited and here you will see large gains when pairing an RTX 3080 with e.g. a Core i9-10700K, or Ryzen 9 5900X. 1440p is also affected, but to a lesser extend, whereas 4K is GPU-limited and suffers the least when using a mainstream CPU such as a Ryzen 5 or Core i5 (often the difference is in the single-digit FPS percentages).

    Full List of RTX 3080 Cards

    For a better overview, this is an (almost) complete list of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 cards at the time of writing.

    RTX 3080
    Model
    Max. Boost /
    Mem. Clock
    FansSlots/
    Length
    PCIe PowerOutputsCheck
    Price

    Asus TUF RTX 3080 Gaming
    (TUF-RTX3080-10G-GAMING)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus TUF RTX 3080 Gaming OC
    (TUF-RTX3080-O10G-GAMING)
    1815 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 Gaming
    (ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-10G-GAMING)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.53 in (31.85 cm)
    3x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 Gaming OC
    (ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-O10G-GAMING)
    1935 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.53 in (31.85 cm)
    3x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ASUS RTX 3080 EKWB
    (RTX3080-10G-EK)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    11.2 in (21.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING (10G-P5-3897-KR)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    11.81 in (30 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 GAMING (10G-P5-3895-KR)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    11.81 in (30 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 ULTRA GAMING (10G-P5-3885-KR)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 GAMING (10G-P5-3883-KR)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 BLACK GAMING (10G-P5-3881-KR)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.2-slot /
    11.23 in (28.5 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Hybrid (10G-P5-3898-KR)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    12-slot /
    11.4 in (28.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Hydro Copper (10G-P5-3899-KR)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    11.4 in (28.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra Hybrid (10G-P5-3888-KR)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    12-slot /
    10.4 in (26.3 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Hydro Copper (10G-P5-3889-KR)1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    01-slot /
    10.4 in (26.3 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phantom GS (471056224-2140)
    1860 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phantom (471056224-2119)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phoenix GS (471056224-2010)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gainward RTX 3080 Phoenix (471056224-1952)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    GALAX RTX 3080 SG (38NWM3MD99NN)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    3+12.7-slot /
    12.5 in (31.7 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Galax RTX 3080 EX Gamer (38NWM3MD1JAA)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.9-slot /
    12.4 in (31.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Extreme (GV-N3080AORUS X-10GD)
    1905 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33.5-slot /
    12.6 in (31.9 cm)
    3x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Master (GV-N3080AORUS M-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33.5-slot /
    12.6 in (31.9 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision OC (GV-N3080VISION OC-10GD)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC (GV-N3080GAMING OC-10GD)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.75-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle (GV-N3080EAGLE-10GD)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle OC (GV-N3080EAGLE OC-10GD)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.6 in (32 cm)
    2x 8-pin2x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme Waterforce (GV-N3080AORUSX W-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    AIO2-slot /
    9.9 in (25.2 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Xtreme Waterforce WB (GV-N3080AORUSX WB-10GD)
    1845 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    02-slot /
    9.9 in (25.2 cm)
    2x 8-pin3x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D RTX 3080 iChill X3 (C30803-106XX-1810VA37)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    3N/A /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D RTX 3080 iChill X4 (C30804-106XX-1810VA36)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    4N/A /
    11.8 in (30 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D RTX 3080 Twin X2 OC (N30802-106XX-1810VA34)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    2N/A /
    10.8 in (27.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Inno3D iChill RTX 3080 Frostbite (C3080-106XX-1810FB)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    02-slot /
    8.9 in (22.6 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio
    1815 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.7 in (32.3 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Gaming Trio
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.8-slot /
    12.7 in (32.3 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3X OC
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.85-slot /
    12 in (30.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    MSI RTX 3080 Ventus 3X
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.85-slot /
    12 in (30.5 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GameRock OC (NED3080H19IA-1020G)
    1860 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GameRock (NED3080U19IA-1020G)
    1755 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    12 in (30.4 cm)
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GamingPro OC (NED3080S19IA-132AA)
    1740 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    Palit RTX 3080 GamingPro (NED3090019SB-132BA)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    PNY XLR8 RTX 3080 Uprising Epic-X (VCG308010TFXMPB)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    33-slot/
    12.5 in (31.7 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    PNY XLR8 RTX 3080 Revel Epic-X (VCG308010TFXPPB)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.7-slot/
    11.6 in (29.4 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 AMP Extreme Holo
    (ZT-A30800B-10P)
    1800 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    N/A
    3x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 AMP Holo
    (ZT-A30800F-10P)
    1770 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity OC
    (ZT-A30800J-10P)
    1725 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity
    (ZT-A30800D-10P)
    1710 MHz /
    19 Gbps
    32.5-slot/
    12.5 in (31.8 cm)
    2x 8-pin1x HDMI
    3x DP
    N/A

    The post The Best GeForce RTX 3080 Cards + Complete Guide appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


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