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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST GRAPHICS CARD OF 2021

Last updated on June 15th, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Nothing affects frame rate quite as much as your graphics card. But which GPU? Which manufacturer? Which clock/memory configuration? All of these factors come into play – making the difference between choppy frames and silky smooth action.

Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti

The RTX 3060 Ti is another highly impressive GPU from Nvidia. For 1080p or 1440p gamers, perhaps those hanging onto a GTX 970 or GTX 1070, this is a natural upgrade, and it is simply excellent value, offering the best cost per frame of any GPU to-date when using the £369 UK MSRP.

 

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Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+

While the Nitro+ utilises a PCB which looks very similar - if not identical - to the reference design, Sapphire has increased the power limit significantly, with the default Performance BIOS drawing an extra 40W compared to AMD's reference card. This allows the GPU to tap into its seemingly vast frequency headroom, resulting in the fastest RX 6800 XT we have tested to-date.

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ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC

In a nutshell, the TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC is a stellar offering from ASUS and it has been a joy to test. It is a significant improvement on the Founders Edition for only £40 more, with very low noise levels while the GPU remained at under 70C at all times during our testing.

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AMD RX 6800

The RX 6800 draws almost 20W more power than the RTX 3070, but when factoring in the increased performance on offer from the RX 6800, it is actually a match for the Nvidia GPU when looking at performance per Watt. That means AMD now has a GPU which is tied for the top-spot in terms of performance efficiency. It is a truly remarkable turnaround for AMD.

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MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio

MSI has upped the clocks by 105MHz compared to the RTX 3070 Founders Edition, and that results in a small boost to overall frame rate. Not a whole lot to be sure, but the MSI card is on average 2% faster at 1440p, and 3% faster at 4K. Crucially, that also means MSI's offering is 1% faster on average when compared to the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition.

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