A great GPU is essential for any serious gamer. Our GPU Hierarchy will help you find the best unit out there. Sometimes we get so into the gaming, that we overlook our GPU. Before we know it there will be new games out there and the GPU you’ve got won’t be up to scratch. I’m certainly a culprit of GPU neglect. That’s why I’ve put together this hierarchy. To make sure you’ve got reviewing your GPU at the top of your agenda. I’ll cover everything you need to know in our GPU Hierarchy: Three rounds of great competition!
Top GPU Performance Hierarchy Table
|Top Picks||GPU Memory||Bandwidth||Others||Buy On Amazon|
|Top Picks||Tier 1 - Enthusiast GPU|
|Nvidia Tesla v100 16GB VIDEO CARD||16GB HBM2||900 GB/sec||NVIDIA Tensor Cores:640 | NVIDIA CUDA Cores:5120|
|NVIDIA TITAN V VOLTA 12GB HBM2 VIDEO CARD||12 GB HBM2||640 TENSOR CORES||640 TENSOR CORES | 5120 CUDA Cores (single precision)|
|PNY Quadro P6000 Graphic Card - 24 GB GDDR5 VIDEO CARD||24 GB GDDR5||432GB/sec||3840 NVIDIA CUDA Cores | 1,200 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|Top Picks||Tier 2 – High-end GPU|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition Gaming, 11GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDR5X||484.4 GB/s||11000 MHz | 3584 CUDA Cores|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition Gaming, 11GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDRX5||484.4 GB/s||11,232 MHz Memory Clock Speed |3584 CUDA Cores | Base & Boost Clocks: 1507 MHz /1721+ MHz|
|MSI GAMING GeFroce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB GDRR5X DirectX 12 352-bit VR Ready Graphics Card||11GB GDRR5X||1600 MHz||1480 MHz Memory Speed|
|ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 TI 11GB VR Ready 5K HD Gaming Graphics Card||11GB GDRR5X||1600 MHz||1632 MHz Memory Speed|
|Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Windforce OC GV-N1080WF3OC-8GD Graphics Cards||8GB GDDRX5||10010 MHz Memory Speed|
|ASUS Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB Overclocked 2048-Bit HBM2 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card||8GB HBM2||1,590 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP 8GB GDDR6 256-bit Gaming Graphics Card||8 GB GDDR6||14,000 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|Top Picks||Tier 3-Mid-end GPU|
|ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG STRIX Graphics Card||8192MB GDDR5||1,835 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti SC Gaming ACX 3.0 Black Edition, 8GB GDDR5,||8192MB GDDR5||256.3 GB/s||8,008 MHz Memory Clock Speed |2432 CUDA Cores|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black Edition, 8GB GDDR5||8,192 GB GDDR5||256.3 GB/s||1,594 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready||8GB GDDR5||1,386 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDRR5 GPU||6GB GDDR5||8100 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|Top Picks||Tier 4-Budget GPU|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 6GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR5||1,607 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|MSI VGA Graphic Cards RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC GPU||8GB GDDR5||8,100 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
|Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WINDFORCE OC 6G GPU||6GB GDDR5||Boost Clock 1797 MHz|
|ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini, 4GB GDDR5 DisplayPort 128-bit Gaming Graphic Card||4GB GDDR5||7,000 MHz Memory Clock Speed|
Our top GPU performance hierarchy table will help you compare your current GPU with other options on the market. You can compare different types of graphic cards and find the best value for you. There is no doubt that there are often too many options on the market, and even a quick search will probably leave you confused. Thats why our table is broken down into tiers, from the best performing GPUs available, to the most affordable options. We’ve broken everything down so you can easily and quickly find out everything you need.
Tips & Thoughts: GPU Hierarchy
First things first, some of my top tips and thoughts on GPU hierarchy.
Know your current spec – When thinking about upgrading your GPU you need to know what you’re working with. You might only need a small upgrade, you may not need the top of the range GPU.
Know your budget – Be realistic and think about what budget you have to spend. Unless you are a full-time gamer who can keep up with all the latest game releases, then you probably don’t need the latest model GPU.
Know your dream spec – Have an idea of what you want to get out of a GPU. Think about what you want to play and know the system requirements you need.
If you know your current spec, have a budget, and know what you want to get out of a new GPU, then you can guide your search and find the right GPU for your needs.
Part#1 GPU Hierarchy 2018: 5 Tier
Our five tier cake of GPU will help you compare and contrast the different options. From our top tier of the absolute best performers, to our more value and affordable solutions, as well as everything in between, we’ve grouped a whole host of GPUs, so you can browse through hassle-free.
Tier 1 :The Absolute Best
- Nvidia GeForce Titan V
- Nvidia GeForce Titan Xp
- Nvidia Ge Force GTX 1080 Ti
About These Absolute Best GPU
The tier 1 GPUs are the best of the best. Our top tier features the best of the best in GPUs. These are aimed at real gamer enthusiasts. At this level it really is all about Nvidia. Nvidia is the only brand to offer GPUs at this level, and they give you an amazing 60 FPS 4K spec. But they are pricey. What comes with cutting edge technology is expense. So all of our top tier GPUs will leave you with deep holes in your pockets!
Tier 2: Superb Performance
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
- Nvidia Ge Force GTX 1070
- AMD RadeonRX Vega 64
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
About These Superb Performance GPU
Our second tier GPUs aren’t too far behind the top tier in performance and experience value. They will all deliver 30-60 FPS, with 4K resolution. They are very much still superb performers at the top end of the market. That’s why Nvidia continues to be the driving force at this level, as the real top-dog in GPUs. AMD also features at this tier, but their Vega models are quite expensive, because of their HBM2 memory capacity.
Tier 3 – Good Performance at Reasonable Prices
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
- AMD RadeonRX 580
- AMD Radeon RX 570
About These Good Performance GPU
At our third tier, we enter the middle of the GPU pyramid. At this level you will find some of the most popular GPUs on the market. This is no surprise, because at this level you get a really good quality, solid GPU, which isn’t crazily expensive. All of the GPUs at this level will get to 30-60 FPS in 2K resolution, and they perform really well at 1080p. Both Nvidia and AMD feature some good options at this tier, with AMD really coming into their own and giving Nvidia a run for their money.
Tier 4 – Great Value for Those on a Budget
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
AMD Radeon RX 560
About These Value GPU
Not all of us will be able to afford the best and most expensive GPUs out there. Also, it isn’t always a good idea to start at the top. If you’re newer to gaming, or don’t have a tonne of time to devote to playing every game that is released, then a tier 4 option is probably best for you. You still get a good level of gaming performance at this tier, with 60 FPS 1080p with most games. Both Nvidia and AMD offer some affordable, yet solid options.
Tier 5 – Affordable Solutions for the Less Demanding Gamer
- Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
- AMD Radeon RX 550
About These Affordable GPU
Our final and bottom tier gives you the most affordable options. But these are definitely only options for gamers who don’t want a lot from their GPU. They will run 60 FPS 1080p, but will probably really start to struggle with 30 FPS games. If you really don’t have a lot of money to spend on a GPU or any of your hardware, then this is where you will have to start. Don’t expect a high level of performance, this tier is recommended for low level gamers. If you just want to play some multiplayer games or sports games, then this tier will be enough for you.
Part #2 Desktop & Laptop GPU Hierarchy Lists (Updated)
We’ve updated our desktop and laptop GPU hierarchy list, to help you work out if your current graphics card is the right option for you. We’ve looked at performance and come up with some recommendations. Instead of grouping together similarly performing graphics cards like in our Part #1 GPU hierarchy, we’ve separated these out into desktop and laptop options.
Desktop GPU Hierarchy
When thinking about upgrading your desktop GPU, firstly only upgrade if you think you will want a card that is three level better than what you currently have. There can be really small differences between cards, so unless it is a good few tiers up, there isn’t much point in trading up. However, there are some really excellent desktop GPUs out there. Some of the best include the Nvidia GeForce Titan XP, X and GTX 1080 range, as well as the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. Nvidia offers options all down the value scale, with Intel really only offering lower end options.
Laptop GPU Hierarchy
Traditionally laptop GPUs have always been associated with worse performance compared to a desktop GPU option. This comes down to less space and worse overall performance. When you line up performance scores side by side a desktop GPU will probably come out on top every time. However this is changing and Nvidia are realising much better laptop GPUs, with only about a 5% difference compared to desktop versions. This is great news, as portable gaming will finally become as good as desktop gaming. Unsurprisingly most of the best performers come from Nvidia and include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 SLI, 1070 SLI and the Quadro P42000.
Part #3：GPU Roundup Time:
There’s no doubt we all know and agree that the GPU or graphics card is one of the most important things to think about when gaming. If you don’t have the right GPU then your gaming visuals will be below par and the overall experience will be really disappointing. So, with this in mind, lets roundup the GPU competition.
I’ve already emphasised the importance of knowing three things – what level GPU you currently have, your budget and what you want your dream GPU to do. However, there are a two more quick tips to add to help you.
Do you want portability? If you want to be able to easily game anywhere, then you should seriously think about a laptop over a desktop GPU. Think about how important this is on your list, as sometimes a laptop GPU may sacrifice performance quality for portability.
What games do you want to play? Think hard about what games you want to play now and what you want to move onto in the future. Remember you might become more advanced or your tastes may change, so think about this and look for the GPU that has the specs you need.
AMD Radeon RX 480 Roundup
This AMD GPU will give you excellent 1080p performance and a decent enough 1440p performance. It is a cheap VR-ready GPU if you ever want to get into VR. However, although it is good value, it can be a bit noisy and isn’t much faster than the GTX 970 model.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Roundup
This is one of the best value GPUs you can get. It is a great GPU to start gaming with and is reasonably prices. It offers full HD 1080p, and potentially even 1440p and 4K. The only downside is that it doesn’t have any SLI compatibility.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Roundup
This is a great GPU for QHD gaming. It can really master 1440p gaming with a great overall performance and experience. A couple of downsides include the fact that it gets pretty warm when you are gaming and uses a lot of energy.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Roundup
This GPU offers an awesome GPU power. It has a high CUDA core count and a high speed video memory. It does come in at an expensive price for most, but this is probably outweighed by the amazing gaming experience you get.
How To Build A Gaming PC
If you’re adventurous enough to think about building a gaming PC from scratch, then you’ll need a number of components. Like with choosing a normal laptop or desktop you need an Intel or AMD CPU, decent RAM, graphics card, storage, as well as the extra bits for building like a good motherboard, case, and power supply unit.
Best GPU For Gaming
Its hard to say whats the best GPU for gaming, as you never know what is coming next. Rumour has it Nvidia has some really powerful GPUs about to be launched, but do you want to wait around? Ultimately the best GPU for gaming is one that offers the most for its price, so the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 could both be contenders.
Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy
Aside from Nvidia, Intel and AMD are the only other GPU options. In the top tier you will find most of the Intel Core i7, i9 and i5 range, as well as AMD’s Ryzen GPUs. At a mid-tier level you could choose from an Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom, and at the lowest end of the range you are looking at the likes of an Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon.
The GPU of Tomorrow
Right now the Graphics Processing Unit is the most important part of any computer. This won’t change. It renders everything onscreen, as well as helping out the CPU. That’s why I’ve emphasised the importance of investing in a great GPU. This is even more important when it comes to gaming. Who knows what is to come with GPUs of tomorrow. There will be undoubtedly be more affordable 4k gaming and more models to choose from on the market. The important thing to think is about is what do you want from your GPU of tomorrow? What do you want to play in the future and how do you want your GPU to perform? When making the leap into buying a new GPU the answers to these questions are really important.
Amazing PC Building:Read These Ultimate Guides
The Final Verdict
AMD and Nvidia dominate the GPU market. There really isn’t much more choice beyond these too brands. At the top tier level Nvidia are continually dominating over AMD. Their GPUs offer better performance, technology and high-level quality. If you aren’t on a budget, then these are the GPUs to go for. They are powerful and astonishing bits of kit. But if you’re looking for a bargain, then AMD is the one for you. They have a few great products out there, including the RX 480, which offers good value and performance. Overall there are different levels to the GPU Hierarchy, but there will definitely be a tier and product that’s right for you.