NVIDIA Graphics Card Buyers Guide

What is an NVIDIA GeForce GPU / Graphics Card?

Though many modern CPUs are equipped with integrated graphics, these are only really suitable for basic tasks such as web browsing and office applications. Therefore you should seriously consider buying a separate graphics card if you want to play GAMES or edit videos.

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and is the main ingredient of a graphics card, the most important component in a gaming PC. The frontrunner in graphics cards is NVIDIA, and its range of GeForce GPUs offer something at every imaginable price point. The key specs to look out for when choosing a GeForce graphics card are the number of cores and amount of memory, with more powerful cards having more of both. A faster and more powerful graphics card will enable your PC to run games at higher quality settings at a smooth frame rate and allow you to take advantage of super sharp high resolution monitors, making everything look better. In this buyers guide we’ll give a recommendation of the optimum monitor resolution for each graphics card.

NVIDIA is constantly updating its product range which could make it confusing to know if you’re buying the latest and greatest version.

The easiest way to tell is to look at what series the graphics card is, this essentially refers to the generation of that product which you’ll always find in the product description.

The NVIDIA GeForce hierarchy

With prices ranging from around £1,500 to as little as £130, there’s an NVIDIA GeForce GPU for every gamer. The range is divided into two product groups, GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX, each with their own set of features and benefits, which we’ll explain in the next section. To make the selection process a little easier to discern, we’ve also divided all the GPUs into four main categories in descending performance: Ultra High-End, High-End, Mid-Range and Entry-Level.

RTX 3090, RTX 3080 Ti
Ultra High End
RTX 3080, RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3070
High End
RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, GTX 1660 Ti,
GTX 1660 SUPER
Mid Range
GTX 1650 SUPER, GTX 1650
Entry Level

NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics Cards

The most powerful and advanced NVIDIA gaming graphics cards belong to the GeForce RTX 30-series. The range comprises close to a dozen models spanning all the way from Mid-Range GPUs costing hundreds of pounds all the way up to Ultra-High-End GPUs that cost over a thousand pounds.

DXR Real Time Ray Tracing

GeForce RTX 30-series GPU are based on the Ampere architecture. Launched in autumn 2020, Ampere enables real time ray traced graphics in games. Unlike traditional rasterised graphics, ray tracing simulates how light beams and shadows actually work, providing far more rich and realistic graphics. While ray tracing as a technique has been used for decades in pre-rendered films, what makes Ampere GPUs unique is that they are powerful enough to produce ray traced graphics in real time.

star-wars-image

The RT cores in GeForce RTX GPUs work with Microsoft DXR to enable stunning ray traced graphics.

direct-xii-logo

GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs also support the latest Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate standard, which further improves DXR ray tracing as well as adding three new rendering techniques.

Variable Rate Shading

VRS enables games to dynamically change the rate at which they shade different parts of a scene. For instance, as the human eye can’t pick up as much detail on fast moving objects as slower moving objects, fast moving objects can be shaded at a slower rate than the rest of the scene, freeing up the GPU to render the whole scene faster.

Mesh Shading

Mesh Shading is a similar concept to VRS and is a way of dynamically changing the amount of geometric detail on peripheral objects, freeing up the CPU to focus on other tasks.

Sampler Feedback

Sampler Feedback is a new method of saving the GPU from non-essential rendering. The concept is that rather than rendering every frame from scratch, there are frequently lots of objects that barely change in colour or size between several frames. Sampler Feedback analysis these objects and cuts down how often they are rendered, saving the GPU from rendering them every frame, and enabling it to focus on more visibly beneficial tasks.

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an advanced AI-powered rendering technique unique to NVIDIA graphics cards that uses the Tensor cores to increase frame rates. DLSS enables you to ramp up the resolution to enjoy higher quality graphics, without sacrificing performance. DLSS is supported by hundreds of games, with more being added every month. There are several DLSS modes to choose from, the very best of which upscales games from 1440p to 8K for stunning visual fidelity.

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an advanced AI-powered rendering technique unique to NVIDIA graphics cards that uses the Tensor cores to increase frame rates. DLSS enables you to ramp up the resolution to enjoy higher quality graphics, without sacrificing performance. DLSS is supported by hundreds of games, with more being added every month. There are several DLSS modes to choose from, the very best of which upscales games from 1440p to 8K for stunning visual fidelity.

RTX Voice is a plugin for popular voice communication applications such as Discord and Skype, and is also compatible with streaming programs such as OBS Studio and XSplit. RTX Voice employs AI algorithms to intelligently remove unwanted background noise, improving the user experience.

NVIDIA Reflex delivers the ultimate competitive advantage.
The lowest latency. The best responsiveness. Powered by GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA® G-SYNC® monitors.

Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of technologies to measure and optimize system latency for competitive games.

NVIDIA Broadcast is a new software suite aimed at streamers offering AI enhanced features designed to set your broadcasting apart. Firstly, removal of background noise from your microphone feed, be it a dog barking or the doorbell ringing, ensures a clear transmission. You can also create a virtual background - removing the natural backdrop of your camera feed and replacing it with game footage or other imagery. Finally, the auto frame function zooms in on you and uses AI to track your head movements, keeping you at the centre of the action even as you shift from side to side. With these three great features, NVIDIA Broadcast is like having your own professional studio and cameraperson.

NVIDA RTX IO is a suite of technologies that enable rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating performance for NVMe SSDs. When used with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API, RTX IO bypasses the CPU and RAM, delivering data directly from the SSD to the GPU VRAM, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.

NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima ensures creating rich and compelling machinima content has never been easier. Through NVIDIA Omniverse, creators can import assets from supported games and many third party asset libraries into the platform. Tools for character posture, voice and facial construction work seamlessly with background and scene creation facets to result in physically accurate and dynamic content.

RTX 3090

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3090 is the flagship GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This ultra-fast graphics card packs in 10496 CUDA cores and 24GB of memory and provides stunning gaming experiences at the most demanding resolutions, 8K, 4K and UW-QHD.

Gaming 10
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution8K, 4K or UW-QHD

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3090 GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3080 Ti

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3080 Ti is the second most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This ultra-fast graphics card packs in 10,240 CUDA cores and 12GB of memory and provides stunning gaming experiences at the most demanding resolutions, 8K, 4K and UW-QHD.

Gaming 10
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution8K, 4K or UW-QHD

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3080 TI GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3080

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3080 is the third most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This ultra-fast graphics card packs in 8704 CUDA cores and 10GB of memory and provides stunning gaming experiences at the 4K and UW-QHD.

Gaming 9
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution4K or UW-QHD

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3080 GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3070 Ti

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3070 Ti is the fourth most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This super-fast graphics card packs in 6,144 CUDA cores and 8GB of memory and provides stunning gaming experiences at 1440p.

Gaming 8
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution1440p

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3070 TI GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3070

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3070 is the fifth most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This super-fast graphics card packs in 5888 CUDA cores and 8GB of memory and provides stunning gaming experiences at 1440p.

Gaming 7
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution1440p

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3070 GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3060 Ti

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3060 Ti is the sixth most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This fast graphics card packs in 4,864 CUDA cores and 8GB of memory and provides a great gaming experience at 1080p.

Gaming 6
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution1080p

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3060 TI GRAPHICS CARDS

RTX 3060

Titan RTX Grahpics Card

The RTX 3060 is the seventh most powerful GeForce 30-series gaming graphics card. This fast graphics card packs in 3,584 CUDA cores and 12GB of memory and provides a great gaming experience at 1080p.

Gaming 5
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution1080p

VR READY

VIEW ALL RTX 3060 GRAPHICS CARDS

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Graphics Cards

The current crop of GeForce GTX 16-series cards is based on a cut down version of the Turing architecture. This means they share the same great power efficiency as the GeForce RTX cards, but lack RT cores so don’t support DXR ray tracing or some of the other features from DirectX 12 Ultimate. That said, GeForce GTX graphics cards are excellent value for money thanks to their competitive pricing and some of the more powerful models are even powerful enough to use in VR.

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics Card

The GTX 1660 Ti is the most powerful GeForce GTX graphics card. This mid-range graphics card packs in 1536 CUDA cores and 6GB of memory and provides a great gaming experience at 1080p.

Gaming 4
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution 1080p

VR READY

View all GTX 1660 Ti Graphics Cards

GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER

GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER Graphics Card

The GTX 1660 Super is the most affordable mid-range NVIDIA GeForce graphics card and thanks to its 1408 CUDA cores and 6GB of memory it still packs in quiet a punch when gaming at 1080p.

Gaming 3
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution 1080p

VR READY

View all GTX 1660 SUPER Graphics Cards

GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER

GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card

The GTX 1650 Super is an affordable entry-level gaming graphics card. It packs in 1280 CUDA cores and 4GB of memory and provides a great gaming experience at 1080p.

Gaming 2
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution 1080p

VR READY

View all GTX 1650 Super Graphics Cards

GeForce GTX 1650

GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card

The GTX 1650 Super is the most affordable NVIDIA gaming graphics card. It packs in 896 CUDA cores and 4GB of memory and provides a good gaming experience at 1080p.

Gaming 1
0 5 10

Optimum Resolution 1080p

View all GTX 1650 Graphics Cards

NVIDIA GPU Summary

Still not sure which NVIDIA graphics card is right for you? This table shows the key characteristics, rated out of 10, of the main models.

RTX 3090 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080 RTX 3070 Ti RTX 3070 RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3060 GTX 1660 Ti GTX 1660 SUPER GTX 1650 SUPER GTX 1650
Gaming 10 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Ray Tracing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
VR Ready
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Optimum Resolution 8K/4K/UW-QHD 8K/4K/UW-QHD 4K/UW-QHD 1440p 1440p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY
GeForce RTX 30-Series, 20-Series, GTX 16-Series & 10-Series Card Specifications
Model RTX 3090 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080 RTX 3070 Ti RTX 3070 RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3060 TITAN RTX RTX 2080 Ti RTX 2080 Super RTX 2080 RTX 2070 Super RTX 2070 RTX 2060 Super RTX 2060 GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 GTX 1070 Ti GTX 1070 GTX 1660 Ti GTX 1660 Super GTX 1660 GTX 1650 Super GTX 1650 GTX 1060 6GB GTX 1060 3GB GTX 1050 Ti GTX 1050
Architecture Ampere Ampere Ampere Ampere Ampere Ampere Ampere Turing Turing Turing Turing Turing Turing Turing Turing Pascal Pascal Pascal Pascal Turing Turing Turing Turing Turing Pascal Pascal Pascal Pascal
GPU GA102 GA102 GA102 GA104 GA104 GA104 TBC TU102 TU102 TU104 TU104 TU104 TU106 TU106 TU106 GP102 GP104 GP104 GP104 TU116 TU116 TU116 TU117 TU117 GP106 GP106 GP107 GP107
CUDA Cores 10,496 10,240 8,704 6,144 5,888 4,864 3,584 4,608 4,352 3,072 2,944 2,560 2,304 2,176 1,920 3,584 2,560 2,432 1,920 1,536 1,408 1,408 1,280 896 1,280 1,152 768 640
Tensor Cores 328 320 272 TBC 184 152 112 576 544 384 368 320 288 272 240 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
RT Cores 82 80 68 TBC 46 38 28 72 68 48 46 40 36 34 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reference Base Clock 1,400MHz 1,370MHz 1,440MHz 1,580MHz 1,500MHz 1,410MHz 1,320MHz 1,350 MHz 1,350 MHz 1,650 MHz 1,515 MHz 1,605 MHz 1,410 MHz 1,470 MHz 1,365 MHz 1,480 MHz 1,607 MHz 1,607 MHz 1,506 MHz 1,500 MHz 1,530 MHz 1,530 MHz 1,530 MHz 1,485 MHz 1,506 MHz 1,506 MHz 1,290 MHz 1,354 MHz
Reference Boost Clock 1,700 MHz 1,670MHz 1,710 MHz 1,770MHz 1,730 MHz 1,665MHz 1,780MHz 1,770 MHz 1,545 MHz 1,815 MHz 1,710 MHz 1,770 MHz 1,710 MHz 1,650 MHz 1,680 MHz 1,582 MHz 1,733 MHz 1,683 MHz 1,683 MHz 1,770 MHz 1,785 MHz 1,785 MHz 1,725 MHz 1,665 MHz 1,708 MHz 1,708 MHz 1,392 MHz 1,455 MHz
Memory 24GB GDDR6X 12GB GDDR6X 10GB GDDR6X 8GB GDDR6X 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 12GB GDDR6 24GB GDDR6 11GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 6GB GDDR6 11GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR6 6GB GDDR6 6GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR6 4GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5 3GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5
Memory Controller 384-bit 384-bit 320-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 384-bit 352-bit 352-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 352-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit
TDP 350W 350W 320W 290W 220W 200W 170W 280W 260W 250W 225W 215W 175W 175W 160W 250W 180W 180W 150W 120W 125W 120W 110W 75W 120W 120W 75W 75W

There you have it, everything you need to know when choosing a new NVIDIA GeForce graphics card for your gaming PC. We hope you've found this buyer’s guide helpful. Don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly advisors for more advice if you still have questions on how to select the perfect graphics card.

Shop now for the best NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards

Shop now for the best NVIDIA GeForce gaming PCs