Best Graphics Cards of 2016


ASUS GeForce GTX 980Ti Strix Gaming
The ASUS Strix GTX 980Ti is one of the fastest GPU’s on the market. Based on NVIDIA’s GTX 980 Ti GPU, the Strix GTX 980Ti has a core clock of 1216MHz up to a boost of 1291MHz. With a 7200MHz memory clock that out-runs the competition and a massive 12GB of RAM, this GPU is closer to NVIDIA’s Titan X than a standard GTX 980. Do not let the 980 denomination fool you–the Asus Strix 980Ti is a fantastic component.

In fact, despite the blistering speed of this GPU, the card remains quiet. Even under the heaviest usage, the fans never exceeded 47% of their max speed during testing. However, the outstanding performance does come with a price. You can choose this GPU with less GB of RAM for a price as cheap as $600, however, the price only rises from there.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti7317_25_msi-geforce-gtx-980-ti-lightning-video-card-review
This GPU is a silent, cooling graphics card that is perfect for use in 4K gaming and virtual reality. While it costs around $669 at its cheapest online, some gamers may find this price tag worth it for the variety in gaming options this GPU provides. 4K UHD requires GTX 980 Ti and above, so this fits the bill. This GPU is also DirectX 12 Ready, Virtual Reality Ready, and includes Gamestream to NVIDIA Shield.

Here are some of the tech specs: Base clock of 1102 MHz, Boost clock of 1190 MHz, Memory clcok of 7010 MHz, CUDA cores: 2816, and a memory detail of 6144MB GDDR5.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
The 1080 is the flagship gaming card of late by NVIDIA. This GPU is build on the latest Pascal, which delivers amazing performance gains, pumped up virtual reality capabilities, as well as improved power efficiency over the Maxwell models of the past. You get all of these improvements without much of a jump in the price.

For $699, this GPU is one of the most advanced GPU’s for a reasonable price.images (3)
Powered by NVIDIA’s new Pascal architecture, this GPU can deliver up to three times the performance of previous-generation GPU’s, not to mention the addition of new gaming tech capabilities such as Virtual Reality experiences.

The GTX 1080 has been designed to run cool using a superior heat dissipation vapor chamber and premium materials. The frame buffer is an improvement on the GTX 980’s–featuring an 8 GB GDDR5X frame buffer, gaming has never looked so smooth. This GPU also boasts a relative boost clock of 1.4x, an actual boost clock of 1733 MHz, and a memory speed of 10 Gbps.

All of these specs are vast improvements over previous generations and cannot be ignored. Your Virtual Reality experience will be truly incredible and the improvements are ground breaking.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
This GPU may be unrealistic to place on this list, but it would not be complete without adding it. Sometimes, we need a little window shopping. The Founders Edition of the GTX 1080 costs around $810 and is an incredible high performance purchase–that is, if you do not mind spending the money for it.
This GPU is of course, built as a reference or stock design by the manufactueres. NVIDIA has decided to release their Founders Edition. While Founders Editions are typically the most basic version you can buy, the 1080 has over-engineered versions and includes an advanced vapor chamber cooler and an improved power circuitry. This means one thing: money.

This GPU has a significantly higher price than a typical reference GPU, to the tune of over $800.


Virtual Reality Ready


In addition to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, NVIDIA has created a GPU intended specifically for VR: the NVIDIA GeForce GTX VR Ready for Virtual Reality gamers. If you prefer AMD, you can purchase the Radeon VR Ready Premium.


Radeon R9 390 or the GeForce GTX 970 are both an excellent choice for $215 and $300 respectively. For those who are watching their budget but want that extra boost, the GTX 970 is a great decision–in fact, this is the most popular GPU on Steam. As an extraordinarily popular GPU, keep the GeForce GTX 970 on your list.

The GTX 970 has a 4GB GDDR5 video memory, a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600, support for up to 4 monitors, and is Virtual Reality ready for intense gameplay. For a bit of a cheaper price than the GTX 970, you can purchase the AMD Radeon R9 390, which offers specs that are just as good as the 970 at a cheaper price. In fact, the R9 390 offers a max screen resolution of 4096 x 2160.


No matter which GPU you choose from this list, 2016 has been a groundbreaking year for outstanding graphics cards that have not only improved upon previous models, but have become innovative and ready for gaming’s next steps: 4K UHD and Virtual Reality.