Best Gaming PCs of 2020 for the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

Best Gaming PCs of 2020 for the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

There are currently 1,315,400,000 active PC gamers in the world. With such a large user base it’s no wonder why tech companies put a lot of research and development into making the perfect PC. Today it’s easy to find a machine that delivers some exceptional gameplay elements.

But if you want to find a PC specifically engineered to support the newest games, then you’re going to need to do some research. One study found that 66% of game developers make their games with a PC audience in mind. As such, you need the best of the best to capture the full experience of the game.

In this article, we’ll go over some of our picks for the best gaming PC of 2020. We break the products down into different price range groups. At the end of the, we’ll select the PC that offers the best overall experience for the value offered. Let’s take a look at the products.

Best 2020 Gaming PC Options Under $500

Here are some options that deliver great performance without breaking the bank.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Ultra GUA3120CPG Desktop Gaming PC

  • GPU: AMD Radeon R7 240 2 GB Video Card
  • CPU: AMD FX-6300 Processor, 3.5 GHz, Six-Core
  • Storage: 8 GB DDR3, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse? Yes

If you’re just getting your first gaming pc, then this CYBERPOWERPC pre-built offers some dependable beginner features.

It runs smoothly and quietly while playing videos and most games. Some games do experience a bit of a blur during quick movement on games like Fortnite.

If you want to update your graphics card, then you can fix a lot of the issues. But, as it stands, this PC is a great entry-level product.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 550 4 GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Processor, Quad-Core, 3.50 GHz
  • Storage: 8 GB DDR4, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

This HP Pavilion packs a punch for its price tag. The AMD Radeon GPU on the PC gives it the performance capabilities to handle more involved games.

Anything along the lines of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Starcraft, and Deliver Us the Moon runs nicely on it.

The only problem with the product is that it often comes with some audio/visual syncopation issues if you connect it through Bluetooth devices. This feature might dissuade some streamers who need syncopation with their webcams.

Best Gaming PC Options Between $500 — $1,500

These computers are more expensive, but they come with some noticeable performance increases.

SkyTech Oracle X Gaming Desktop Ryzen 7 2700X [RTX 2060 Version]

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB GDDR6
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor, 8-Core, 3.7 GHz
  • Storage: 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: No

The SkyTech Oracle X is another pre-built gaming PC that can handle all the games in 2020. Even at maximum graphic settings for a game, this computer can maintain a minimum of 60 FPS.

The biggest problem with the device is the amount of noise that it makes. When you play more complex games, then the PC engages a loud cooling tunnel.

You can turn on a quiet mode, but this disables the features needed to play on high graphics settings.

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC Computer Desktop Intel i7

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700k Processor, 8-Core, 3. 6 GHz
  • Storage: 16 GB DDR4, 1TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

One impressive aspect of this iBUYPOWER PC is the i9-9900K chip and the RTX2070 (MSI) that comes with the device. These components alone are worth around $1,000 on their own.

Most people can run the latest AAA titles at the highest settings and get smooth performance.

Unfortunately, some people did experience game crashes when they operate at the highest setting. So, you may need to reduce the graphic level if you want to play some 2020 games.

Best Gaming PC Option Over $1,500

When you get above $1,500, then things start getting technical. If you want something specific out of your PC, then check out these options.

CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K Processor, 8-Core, 3.6GHz-5.0GHz), 95W (Liquid Cooled)
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe Solid State Drive, 2 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

One thing that separates the CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC from a lot of the competition is the professional wiring on the product. The inside of the PC looks amazing and it contributes a lot toward the smooth running of games.

You can easily handle any game set at 1440p ultra settings. Another great thing about the device is the customer service. If you have any set-up or support questions, then make sure to call the helpline. They’re friendly and professional.

The computer does come with some wind noise (it has six fans), but this feature is easily offset if you turn up the volume.

Our Pick for the 2020 Gaming PC that Provides the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

If you want a fantastic gaming PC and don’t care about the price tag, then the CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC is the build for you.

Not only can the setup handle the toughest graphics, but it also displays some stunning color. It also features a setup entirely geared toward performance gaming.

But obviously the more expensive product wins the competition. But what if you’re on a budget?

If you need to save money and still want a dependable PC, then the best bang for your buck is the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer.

This product can handle most games on standard running settings. Plus, great streaming and web functions make it more ideal for everyday use.

Find Out What Professional Streamers Use

Hopefully one of the products on this list will provide you with the most excellent gaming PC. We understand if you’re still on the fence though.

The best way to find out what professional PC build you want is to find out what your favorite streamers use. Luckily, we collected all of that information for you at this link here.


FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town

The Top 5 Lightest Gaming Mice

The Top 5 Lightest Gaming Mice

When buying a gaming mouse, it’s important to look for one which is both comfortable and lightweight. Using heavier, larger mice can often lead to wrist fatigue and even injuries, so choosing a lightweight mouse can be a great way to minimize these risks. The lightest gaming mice are lightweight, quick-moving mice with unobtrusive cables to ensure maximum comfort and mobility when gaming. 

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Mouse

DPI: 

One useful metric to compare mice with is DPI or Dots Per Inch, a value used to measure the sensitivity of a mouse. DPI measures the number of sensors in each mouse, sensors which detect any movements when a mouse is being used. The higher the DPI value, the more sensitive a mouse will be due to the increased number of sensors. Yet a higher DPI does not correspond to a better mouse, but only one which is more sensitive to movement. Most modern mice have a range of DPI values, allowing for a fine-tuning of the mouse’s sensitivity depending on the user’s needs. 

Wired/Wireless Mice: Pros and Cons

Another consideration when buying a gaming mouse is whether to choose one with a wired connection or a wireless connection. Wired mice have the advantage of never needing to be charged and not suffering from any input latency due to having a direct connection to the PC. The disadvantage most cited for wired mice is the cable can often become tangled and prevent a full range of motion. It also serves as another possible point of wear and tear for the mouse. Thankfully, most quality wired mice have addressed these problems by incorporating longer, braided cables made from lightweight and durable materials.

In contrast, wireless mice are connected through USB adaptors or bluetooth connections, allowing for a cord-free experience. The downside to this flexibility is the need to continually charge a wireless mouse or replace its batteries. 

Extra Buttons: 

Modern gaming mice often come with additional buttons in a variety of places on the mouse. Often on the sides or around the scroll wheel, these additional buttons can offer quick shortcuts and often be assigned to specific hotkeys in-game. Whether this extra customizability will be useful to you will depend on what games you play and your personal preferences regarding the ergonomics and utility of your mouse. 

Our Lightest Gaming Mice Recommendations

1. Glorious Model O

  • Weight: 67g (58 for model O-)
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: 6

First on the list, the Glorious Model O is a full-featured, lightweight gaming mouse with an impressive number of innovative features. The Glorious Model O offers excellent airflow to your hands with its lightweight yet durable honeycomb-like shell. With their proprietary “ascended cord”, the cable has a generous 6.5ft length with a flexible cable for unhindered mobility. The mouse is also available in a smaller “O-” version, for an even more lightweight gaming experience at 58g!

The Glorious Model O also comes with a complete RGB setup, well-stocked with multiple color effects, togglable RGB lighting, and advanced customization through their “Glorious”software program. Available in a matte or glossy finish with two respective colorways for each finish, the Model O is a great choice for anyone seeking a solid, lightweight RGB mouse.

2. FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town

  • Weight: 47g
  • DPI: 3,200 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 5 + DPI Switching Button

Next up, the FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town comes in as the lightest gaming mouse on our list, a feather-light 47g. Even more impressive, the Cape Town (a name derived from its creme and dark orange colorway) comes with FinalMouse’s “Infinity Skin”, a proprietary foam skin included with the mouse which molds to your hand to create the perfect fit. Available in multiple thicknesses to provide a personalized fit for every hand shape, the Infinity Skin offers unlimited flexibility for anyone seeking a unique fit. 

It should be noted, with a max DPI of 3,200, the Cape Town may not be suitable for anyone seeking extremely high sensitivity in their gaming mouse. 

3. Cooler Master MM710

  • Weight: 53g
  • DPI: 16,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 6

Third on the list, the Cooler Master MM710 is a lightweight mouse with an impressive DPI range. Maxing out at 16,000 DPI, the mm710 boasts an unmatched speed and sensitivity on the list. When precision and accuracy needs to come before speed, the mouse features controls for real-time DPI adjustments to instantly change its sensitivity on the fly. Also featuring CoolerMaster’s new lightweight ultraweave cable, the MM710’s speed won’t be interrupted by restrictive cable. 

Unique to the list, the shell of the MM710 comes treated with a special coating to combat the buildup of dust and protect it from moisture. Whether by sweaty palms or an accidental spill, the coating offers a nice peace of mind for anyone considering the MM710 and shows a great attention to detail by Cooler Master. The MM710 comes available in matte or glossy finishes in all black or all white colorways.

4. CTBTBESE Z100

  • Weight: 65g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: 6

The fourth mouse on our list, the CTBTBESE Z100 is a great plug-and-play mouse with a full featured RGB setup. Through a special cloud based software, users can easily customize the mouse’s lighting effects and speed, as well as change any button configurations to suit your gaming needs. Any changes to the mouse’s settings will sync directly to the free cloud software included with the mouse, with multiple profiles available for any alternative mouse settings you may want for different games. With a well programmed, easy to use interface, the CTBTBESE Z100 can be adjusted to the perfect lighting settings and button setup for any situation. 

5. G-Wolves Hati HT-M 3360 Ultra Lightweight

  • Weight: 61g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 6

The final mouse on the list, the G-Wolves Hati HT-M 3360 Ultra Lightweight is a solid, no frills mouse with a classic matte finish. Often compared to Logitech’s G-Pro mouse due to their similar size and shape, the Hati features a great ergonomic shape with a rear that flares out to fill in the space of your hand. With its rubber side-grips, the Hati provides a comfortable and slip-free gaming experience. 

As a final note, with its teflon feet (the part in contact with the mousepad) compared to the standard PTFE material used on most mice, some users may wish to buy custom feet for the Hati.

When choosing a lightweight gaming mouse, the best model will come down to a number of personal preferences. Most importantly, the size of the mouse relative to your hands will be the biggest factor in determining comfort, along with the various styles of holds used when gaming (claw, tip, palm, etc.) The DPI of the mouse should also be taken into account, depending on the type of games you will be playing. In the same vein, additional buttons may or may not be useful when choosing a mouse. Finally, the importance of RGB features in a gaming mouse will vary from user to user.  


Best Cooling Fans for Your Gaming PC

Best Cooling Fans for Your Gaming PC

When building a new gaming PC, it’s important to choose the correct case fans to optimize performance for your gaming rig. The best cooling fans for your gaming PC will depend on a number of factors, such as the space available in your case. 

My top recommendation is Corsair’s LL120 line – I have 6 of them in my own latest build and they look incredible.

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

How to Choose Fans for Your Gaming PC

What size fans do I need?

The standard sizes for cooling fans are 120mm and 140mm, with many fans available in both sizes. Be sure to check your PC case’s dimensions to ensure which fans will fit and whether your motherboard has slots for multiple fans. A fan hub may be necessary if your mobo does not support more than one fan. 

Fan Airflow & Why It’s Important

One important consideration when purchasing cooling fans is airflow needs of your CPU. The airflow of a fan, measured in CFM (cubic feet of air moved per minute), determines how well a fan will be able to cool your PC. The more demanding a game or application is on a CPU, the more airflow and higher CFM it will need to prevent the PC from overheating. 

If you only have a couple of fan spots on your case, you need to go for higher CFM output. Note that typically the higher the CFM, the louder the fan. 

Fan Noise

Another factor to consider is how loud each fan will be when running, measured both in dBA (decibels) and RPM (the fan’s rotations per minute ). The higher the dBA and RPM of the fan, the more noise it will produce. Fortunately, any fans with 4-pin connections now come with manual controls to lower or raise the RPM, so that even fans rated at a higher dBA can be set to run at a lower RPM for a reduction in noise. 

RGB Fans – Are they worth it?

The final aspect to consider when choosing a cooling fan is whether you want a fan with RGB lights. While having no impact on performance, RGB fans offer a great way to personalize your gaming PC with countless lighting configurations. With the rise in popularity of RGB lights in PC builds, any fans including RGB lighting will still be competitively priced compared to non-RGB fans. 

Pin Connection

Cooling fans come with one of two types of connecting pins which hook into your mobo. The difference between ¾-pin connectors and 4-pin connectors does not relate to power, but whether the fan speed can be adjusted. The additional pin connection in the 4-pin connecting fans allows the user to have manual control over the speed of the fan. This can be useful if you want to perform a light task on your PC which does not need the full CFM output of your fans or when you want to reduce the noise of the fans while running. It should be noted both pin connection types are equally compatible with the fan slots available on your gaming PC. 

Fan Recommendations and Features

1. Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB 120mm

  • RGB: Yes
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 600-1500 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 43.25 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

First on the list of cooling fans is the the Corsair LL Series LL120RGB, which are actually the fans I use in my own gaming PC.

Featuring a hydraulic system in which the bearings and axles of the fan are immersed and sealed in liquid, the Corsair LL Series offers excellent airflow and quiet operation without sacrificing on performance. By submerging the fan’s components in liquid, the hydraulic system is able to operate at quieter levels while reducing friction, adding to the total lifespan of the fan. Better still, the fan comes with a fully customizable RGB experience through Corsair’s own lighting software “iCue”. Any peripherals with iCue compatibility can also be synced with the fan’s RGB, including keyboards, mice, and LED strips. Overall, the Corsair LL Series provides a respectable CFM while offering a full-featured RGB software for unlimited customizability.

2. Corsair AF120 LED Low Noise Cooling Fan

  • RGB: Yes
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 1400 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 52 CFM
  • Connection: 3/4-pin

Second on the list, the Corsair AF120 LED Low Noise Cooling Fan is a great choice for anyone wanting a solid, high performance fan with high airflow and low noise levels. Available in three LED configurations including white, blue, or red, the opaque fan blades of the Corsair AF120 diffuse the lighting to offer a simple but striking RGB experience. Available in packs of one or three, the Corsair AF120 is an excellent RGB fan for anyone seeking additional customization options for their gaming PC. 

3. Corsair ML120

  • RGB: No
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 400 - 2400 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 75 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

Topping the list with the highest airflow rating at 75 CFM, the Corsair ML120 offers maximum airflow for even the most demanding of CPU needs. For anyone considering maxing out their in-game graphical settings or interested in installing mods in their next playthrough, the ML120 stands out as a strong contender. While typical fans max out around 1400-1600 RPM, the ML120’s use of magnetic levitation technology and a custom rotor design allows it to reach an RPM of up to 2400! Best of all, if the ML120’s impressive cooling capabilities prove to be overkill for simple day-to-day tasks, the fan can be adjusted to an inaudible whisper at 400 RPM. The best of both worlds.

4. Rosewill 120mm

  • RGB: No
  • Size: 120mm
  • Rated Speed: 1200RPM ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 38.2 CFM
  • Connection: 3/4-pin

Coming in as the best budget option on the list, the Rosewill 120mm fan provides a great value to anyone with less intensive PC gaming needs. As the quietest fans on the list, the Rosewill 120mm is perfect for anyone placing a premium on a silent gaming rig. For those with multiple fan slots, the Rosewill 120mm can also be purchased as a four-pack to compensate for its lower CFM. Overall, the Rosewill 120mm is a great choice for anyone looking for a cooling fan at a great price point. 

5. Noctua NF-P12 Redux-1700 PWM

  • RGB: No, but customizable with colored anti vibration pads
  • Size: 120mm
  • Rated Speed: 1700RPM ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 70.5 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

Last on the list, the Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM offers premium cooling at an almost inaudible 25.1 dBA. Using a combined system of hydrodynamic bearings with a self-stabilizing magnetic support system for the rotor axis, Noctua’s fan combines unparalleled cooling performance with a whisper-soft fan. In addition to the silent operation and outstanding long-term stability provided by the Noctua NF-P12 redux, the fan is compatible with a number of optional accessories including low-noise-adapters, Y-cables, ¾-pin adapters/extension cables, and even colored anti-vibration pads. Available in a black, red, blue, white, green, and yellow, the anti-vibration pads allow for a variety of color schemes for your build while also dampening minute vibrations for silent operation. 

While all the fans mentioned offer great performance and value, the best cooling fan for your PC build will depend on your own gaming needs and priorities. Planning on installing 300 mods on your next RPG playthrough and pushing your CPU to the limit with maxed out graphics? You’ll need a cooling fan with a high CFM to keep your PC running smooth and cool. Want to run a noiseless PC setup that can’t be heard when running? You’ll need a fan that runs at or can be adjusted to a low dBA. Whatever your needs, be sure to check your case dimensions and motherboard slots to ensure that any fan you choose is compatible with you gaming PC


What Is a Good Ghz? How to Choose the Best CPU in 2020

What Is a Good Ghz? Choosing the Best CPU in 2020

It’s widely known that the single most expensive component is the graphics card, and many gamers and streamers spend copious amounts of time researching the best graphics load-outs. Less significantly well researched and relatively unknown is the what and how behind CPU terms.

The CPU is a component that breaks the usual “bigger is better” trend that shopper brains like. Instead, you have to compare generations with architecture and in the matter of what is a good GHz, the downside of heat accrual.

Every year new chips hit the market with tweaks in the sizes, speeds, and reliability. Most of this means only gradients to the public but takes some serious engineering on the back end.

If you want to make an informed choice when it comes to your next CPU, keep reading.

Understanding CPU Terms

To get a proper grasp of what’s going on with a system, it’s good to start with the key terms.

Socket Type

Have you ever purchased a CPU motherboard combo deal out of fear of getting mismatched components? No? You only did it for the savings?

Not every CPU fits in the same motherboard. The socket type tells you what generation of processor is will fit. Typically this is constrained by the dimensions of the chip and the arrangement of pins.

The two most common socket types currently are the Intel LGA 1151 and the AMD AM4.

Your motherboard choice also determines your RAM choices.

Generation

Much like the generations of cell phone technology, the terminology isn’t strictly relevant to major updates or changes. For the most part, generation refers to changes in underlying architecture, how the chip is laid out and configurations of memory modules and instructions.

Higher generations don’t always boost performance but provide a larger overhead for other components to use.

For Intel users, your basement is the 7th gen and your newer purchases should aim for 9th gen. For AMD Ryzen users, look for 2nd or 3rd generation, though announcements on the 4th generation are expected before 2020.

3, 5, 7?

Also, the number 9 is showing up more in these lists, but you get the idea. Both Intel and AMD use these numbers to indicate families of processors.

The 3 line offers basic performance for workstations. The 5 sees a lot of mixed and gaming use. The 7s end up in high-end machines and the 9s aren’t worth it unless you happen to be doing your own rendering or asset creation.

Depending on the generation, power consumption, and speed not every 3 is worse than every 5 and so on.

Cores and Threads

The more cores a CPU offers, the more it can do. The doing is performed by threads which always come in pairs with the cores.

More cores and more threads generally mean more tasks can be handled simultaneously, but an Intel 1151 CPU with 4.1 GHz speed and 4 cores will do a small set of tasks faster than a 2.3 GHz 6 core processor.

Base Clock

Which takes us to the basic clock and the speeds it runs at (before all that spiffy overclocking). The base clock represents the idle speed in billions of pulses per second (GHz).

The higher the base clock, the more power draw and the hotter the chip gets. No getting around it, it’s a basic principle of conductance.

What is a Good GHz?

There’s a direct translation between a boost in GHz and a boost in the performance of CPU-intensive processes.

The number of GHz doubling on the same number of cores would mean roughly twice the speed. There are a few other aspects that will push those numbers up and down, including the frequency of RAM but generally, the math holds.

It gets more challenging when you factor in other cores. A 2.0 GHz 6 core CPU versus a 3.0 GHz 4 core CPU isn’t a level field. Even assuming they are both running a single task, depending on the architecture and processing allocation, they may handle things differently.

That said, it’s better to go with a higher GHz as long as your cooling can handle it. The power consumption of a 2.0 GHz chip versus a 4.0 GHz chip of the same cores also doubles.

Overclocking

The ratio between the base clock and the boost clock or overclock is not the same from chip to chip. This also comes down to the architecture and how well the voltage travels through a chip.

You may find it easier to overhead a chip on one motherboard over another. While some types of overclocking are fairly basic, there’s a reason that the process voids warranties and isn’t recommended for everyone. That reason has nothing to do with making sentient machines and everything to do with frying chips. It takes a lot of tweaking to do right.

Cost Concerns

The best way to evaluate the difference in GHz to your needs is to start with a baseline chip that meets the minimum recommendations on a game or program. From there, calculate the difference in price to the next chip up in the same family.

If the GHz goes up by more than the cost, that’s going to give you the best value hardware. If you are paying 20% more for a chip that is 5% faster, you are doing yourself a disservice.

CPU by Slot

For those running an overpowered AMD TR4 motherboard, get yourself a Threadripper 2950X and enjoy having more power than you know what to do with at the third-highest base clock of any chip out there.

For anyone looking to run a serious gaming rig, the AMD AM4 slot Ryzen 7 3700x brings the right number of cores and a 3.7 GHz base clock to you.

For an Intel purist, the LGA 1151 socket Core i7 9700k gives you that 3.7 GHz base and some extra headroom for content creation.

For those looking to do content creation and rendering of their own graphics and assets, the LGA 2066 socket Core 19-7900x gives you a solid 3.3 GHz base for the 10 core chip.

Build Right

Nowhere else in a build or a streaming setup do you have to make as many tight choices as with the CPU. While you can watch a dozen benchmark videos and read a lot of reviews, the real answer lies in what you use it for and what annoys you about computers.

When it comes to what is a good GHz if you hate noise and don’t mind slow processing the answer is a 2.8 GHz base. If you love speed and wear a headset anyway, shoot for that 4.6 GHz and higher sweet spot.

Once you know the speed of the processor you want, it’s time to decide between AMD & Intel.


AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

Looking to buy your first graphics card?

Graphics cards are among the most vital parts of PC building. Building a gaming PC without one will only result in a giant paper weight that can’t even run minecraft.

When deciding which graphics card to buy, you will find yourself confronted with 2 choices. You can either go with AMD or with Nvidia.

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia is a choice that most people have trouble with. This is because they don’t understand what a graphics card does. This can happen to you, too, if you know nothing about these two brands.

Read below to learn which graphics card is the best option for you. We’ll compare each of them in the factors that matter the most.

1. Hardware

Nvidia comes on top because of the quality of their hardware.

Their cards don’t overheat as much as AMD’s do. They also consume less power, leading to a more efficient graphics card.

They also have a slimmer design compared to AMD graphics cards. This isn’t much of a factor, but the design choice may matter when installing the card into your PC.

Nvidia has the technological edge over AMD in every factor.

You shouldn’t disregard AMD graphics cards yet, though. They have a better memory bandwidth on their low-cost cards compared to the ones Nvidia sells at the same value. While they still overheat and consume more power than Nvidia cards, know that the gap between the two companies is getting smaller every year.

AMD got a big leap in their sales when they introduced the 7-nanometer workstation graphics card, the first-ever of its kind.

2. Software

Despite the large gap they have with their hardware, both brands are at a tie with their software.

Both brands do their due diligence in giving people their money’s worth. They both have proper drivers and user interfaces that fit the bill at which they’re sold.

Nvidia has a slight lead in their drivers, though. They have better consistency and are more stable overall. This will help keep your hardware updated and your PC visuals optimized.

AMD isn’t that far behind, though. Nvidia only has a slight lead because of their reputation.

Other than that, though, Nvidia has nothing else going on for their software.

This is clear in their user interfaces. Nvidia’s interface looks outdated compared to the clean, modern interface that AMD has. This makes the AMD control panel easier to understand for people who aren’t familiar with it.

Nvidia’s interface looks complicated. This is because of all the drop-down tabs it has that makes navigation difficult. You won’t know what you’re doing unless you have experience handling their software.

3. Performance and Prices

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia comes down to the graphics cards’ performance.

The performances of the brands are both affected by the price of the graphics card. This sets a clear divide that tells us which brand is better at what price.

For products at the low end of the spectrum, you can find AMD cards to be better. As mentioned above, their products are seeing a great increase in efficiency and reliability. You’ll be able to see this improvement in their cheaper products.

Nvidia also has products that perform like AMD’s graphics cards. Though they cost much more than the latter does. It’s often AMD that makes you feel you’ve spent your money in the best way possible for cheaper graphics cards.

This makes AMD a more viable option when you’re planning to have a multiple display setup. Monitors need little to be appealing to your eyes. They only need a good enough graphics card to display sharper images and colors.

With mid-range graphics cards, though, Nvidia will favor you more than AMD.

Nvidia has a better understanding of high-end processors and GPUs. AMD may cost less and offer the same specs, but their graphics cards will heat and burn out faster.

It makes Nvidia the only option when you’re running a high-end setup for your PC. They’ll cost you more, but you can expect their products to keep up with how you use them.

4. Features

Both brands have unique features for their graphics cards.

They also have the same features but with different names for each brand. Take the Nvidia CUDA cores and AMD stream processors as an example.

Both are GPUs that perform the same function. They have no notable differences in performance when they’re running their basic functions. Nvidia has better software optimization, though, with the Nvidia PhysX and Nvidia HairWorks available at the user’s discretion.

Both brands also have recording features. They function the same way but with small differences. Nvidia’s Shadowplay offers better video quality.

AMD’s ReLive is better for streaming, though. It faces fewer crashes when you’re streaming and it doesn’t interfere with as many applications. Consider getting a capture card if you want to use these features.

They also have their replacements for vertical synchronization. This is the feature that prevents screen tearing when you’re running applications in full screen. Both features that each company offer have a lot of positives including having no input-lag and increased screen refresh rates.

A notable advantage that Nvidia has is its upcoming 5G integration.

This will put Nvidia back on top if they will release it soon. This will mean that Nvidia’s support will have better connectivity with their customers should they have any problem with the software.

Choose Between AMD vs. Nvidia Today

Picking between AMD vs. Nvidia is a difficult choice if you don’t know what you’re getting.

Choose the right graphics card for your setup with the help of our guide! Make the right choice and optimize your PC today!

After you’ve chosen your graphics card, you’ll be faced with another key decision: an AMD or Intel processor.


Best Equipment for a YouTube Streaming Setup

Best Equipment for a YouTube Streaming Setup

Last year YouTube introduced a new gaming hub that has made it easier than ever to start streaming live on their platform.

There’s no better time to start streaming your games on YouTube but you can’t start without first getting the right equipment.

If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own streaming setup for YouTube then get started now. We can help! Check out this complete guide to start your own streaming setup.

Value of the Best Streaming Setup

Anyone can jump into the fray of streaming their games live on YouTube. That’s why the competition is steep. While having the right personality and style help, you also need to have the right setup in order to stand out from the crowd.

It takes a lot of processing power to not only load your game but also to stream it live. Viewers get frustrated if the video freezes or the audio cuts out constantly—meaning they’ll probably stop watching once they lose patience with your video.

If you’ve chosen YouTube as your main streaming platform, then you should know that it tends to work better on Android devices. This means if you plan to stream on your phone, having an Android phone is a plus. This is probably thanks to YouTube being owned by Google.

Can Your PC Handle It?

If you’ve chosen to use your computer to live stream your games, then it will need to have the following recommended capabilities. An Intel Core i5-4670 or the AMD equivalent.

You should also have at least 8GB of RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium or later and a graphics card running DirectX 10 or above. YouTube, unlike Twitch, doesn’t set these as its minimum requirements. However, having the baseline equipment can only help your channel.

To be honest, you may want to invest in better hardware. With the bare minimum mentioned above, you’re not going to be able to even play a AAA title at higher resolutions.

If you’re not prepared to build your own PC, Alienware and Origin are a reliable starting point. Plus, they guarantee their parts are optimized to work well together. You can always opt to upgrade individual components when more power or memory are necessary.

Internet Hook Up

Streaming online doesn’t just rely on the ability of your computer or devices. You also need to have a great internet connection with decent upload speed. The bare minimum for quality is going to be around 3 Mbps, but to stream in HD at a high FPS you’ll need closer to 20+ Mbps.

You can determine what your actual current Internet Service Provider’s speed is by using an online tester like this one to find out. Always aim for higher than the bare minimum requirements, and not that actual speed is often lower than advertised speed.

Capture All the Action

You can’t start streaming without the right equipment to record you playing. That includes a webcam and a quality audio feed. Part of the reason your fans are tuning in is to watch and listen to your candid reactions.

Some computers already have a decent webcam and audio recording. You may not even need to invest in additional devices. It’s worth testing them out with some recordings prior to going live to see if you need an upgrade.

Picture Perfect

If your webcam can use an upgrade then an HD 1080p webcam should do the trick. Especially one that will adjust accordingly to lower light. Some webcams will even blur out the background of the recording and only focus on you.

Crystal-Clear Audio

Viewers won’t miss a word with a separate microphone to capture all of your candid reactions. Some include different modes such as cardioid mode that isolates audio coming from someone directly in front of the mic. It’s specifically designed for gamers.

If you’d rather not waste precious desk space on a whole microphone hook-up you can also opt for a versatile headset. You’ll get the benefits of hearing amped up sounds and also communicate with confidence to all your listeners.

Broadcasting Applications

Now that you have all of your tech ready, you will still need to choose your broadcasting application. A broadcasting app is what takes your gaming stream and sends it to YouTube as it is happening live.

We’d recommend an app like OBS Studio. It is free to use and easy to install.

XSplit Broadcaster is another popular choice by gamers and has some pretty powerful offerings. Keep in mind that it only works on Windows. You can install this app for free. However for video resolutions that are higher than 720p you are required to make monthly payments. Still, it’s known for being easy to use and straightforward when it comes to setup.

Your broadcasting app will allow you to overlay your webcam video, plus audio on top of your game feed. That way your viewers can take in all of the action at once. You can also add a watermark using the apps mentioned above.

This is a great way to label your video content and create brand awareness as you build your audience.

Pros and Console

If you’d prefer to stream from your gaming console, then the setup is simpler. Consoles tend to have their hardware built into the machine itself. It’s easy to set up your video and audio using cameras designed for your specific console.

Plus, Playstation 4 makes it easy to connect by simply using a DualShock 4 controller that has a “Share” button built-in so you can instantly start streaming live once you’ve logged into your computer.

Xbox One players will need a capture card to live stream on YouTube. This allows you to send your stream to a computer first. Typically they opt to stream on Twitch instead, which is much easier for them.

Capture cards such as the Elgato HD 60S, will sit between your console and television. It sends a separate feed to your computer so you can take more control over how your stream looks. You also have the option to take content from another console.

Quality is Key

When it comes to streaming live don’t skimp on your streaming setup. It’s easy to get your channel started with the right tech. Then you can save time for the fun part, gaming with your favorite people.

Looking for more advice and pro tips on live streaming and other insights? Check out our blog for the latest news in the PC gaming world.


AMD vs Intel Values Compared: Which Processor Is Better for 2020?

AMD vs Intel Values Compared: Which Processor Is Better for 2020?

According to the Steam Hardware Survey, around 80 percent of gaming PCs run Intel CPUs. For years, Intel and Nvidia were the way to go. But now, with the new Ryzen 3000-series CPUs, people are starting to question Intel’s value.

Going into 2020, you’d be right to wonder which CPU truly offers the best value. For the first time in years, AMD is outselling Intel CPUs. The Ryzen 5 3600 alone is selling more than the entire line of Intel CPUs.

Is now the right time to make the jump? In this article, we’re going to compare AMD and Intel value and let you know which CPU belongs in your new machine.

Ready to find out which CPU should be part of your streaming equipment? Then read on!

Intel vs AMD: Price and Power

Speaking generally, AMD offers superb power to those on a budget.

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X undercuts Intel’s value dramatically. The AMD processor offers twice as many processing threads and the MSRP cost is $50 less than its competitor, the i7-9700K.

If you need to use your processor for CPU intensive activities like rendering, AMD CPUs generally offer far more cores than Intel. The 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is available for just $499 MSRP, yet it competes with Intel’s $1199 i9-9920X.

If you’re after budget power, AMD will typically beat Intel on value. However, there are some exceptions.

Single-Core Performance

In terms of single-core performance, Intel stomps AMD. This isn’t an issue for a lot of applications, but there will be some which will run better on Intel than AMD.

If single-core power is a top priority of yours, the i9-9900K will smash an AMD Threadripper 2970WX.

Graphics

Pitting integrated graphics against a dedicated GPU would have gotten you laughed out of the room in the past. For example, if you were to look at Intel HD Graphics vs Nvidia GPUs, the GPUs would have humiliated them.

Perhaps not for much longer.

Intel value is up with Ice Lake. These processors, which are designed for ultrabooks, offer integrated graphics on par with a low/medium-spec graphics card. For example, if you want to play Fortnite, you can!

AMD Ryzen CPUs have been offering a decent graphical solution for budget gamers, but Intel could have them beaten soon. This is particularly the case with all Intel CPUs featuring onboard graphics, while only certain AMD CPUs do.

Overclocking Capabilities

One of my best gaming PCs ran an i5-3750K, overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Back then, AMD wasn’t even in the running. Today, AMD tends to offer better value to overclockers.

You can overclock a whole host of AMD CPUs. Only select Intel CPUs (those whose model numbers end in a K) can be overclocked.

It’s true that Intel CPUs can usually run faster with their Turbo Boost technology, however. The i9-9900K can go up to 5 GHz from a base speed of 3.6, compared to the Ryzen 7 3800’s max speed of 4.5 GHz from a base of 3.9.

If you’re looking for a great budget gaming solution, which you can overclock to your heart’s content, AMD is the company for you. They are dominating the overclocking market and crushing Intel’s value.

True Value: AMD and the Decline of Intel Value

If value is important to you, AMD is the clear winner here.

Sure, Intel’s value is better for single-core performance but AMD’s included goodies just help edge it out.

For example, if you buy a Ryzen 3 3200G, you also get a 1200 MHz Vega GPU. This APU is cooled by a Wraith Stealth cooler. Go for the Ryzen 5 3400G and you get a Wraith Spire cooler.

The Wraith coolers are fantastic value and far better than most stock heatsinks. You don’t get anything like as good a heatsink on Intel CPUs.

They are a better proposition for gamers too. The number of cores on some of the Ryzen CPUs is insane and will help you hit high framerates in any game you care to name. The clock speeds may not be as high, but you’ll barely notice.

Hardware Compatibility

One area where AMD does come a cropper is with hardware compatibility. Due to Intel’s market dominance, AMD motherboards and heatsinks can be tricky to find.

Some heatsinks will require you to purchase an AM4 bracket to fit them to a Ryzen. A lot of motherboards will not fit AM4 chipsets at all. You’re going to have to shop around if you want to find top quality tech components that are compatible with AMD.

The Verdict

AMD used to be something of a laughing stock. Not anymore. Today, their combination of sheer value has smashed Intel’s value as a gaming CPU into the dust.

They are powerful, cheap, and feature enough cores for anything you could care to do. If you’re building a new gaming PC, there is no alternative: the Ryzen is where it’s at.

AMD and Intel FAQs

We’ve reached a verdict, but we’re sure you have questions. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common ones.

I’m Not Comfortable Overclocking: Which is Better Value?

If you don’t want to overclock your CPU, Intel CPUs are not worth it. AMD CPUs offer a lower price point and sufficient power for your needs.

Is AMD Better for Streaming?

This is a definite yes. If you’re going to be streaming, AMD’s increased number of cores will help you multitask more efficiently.

Can I Pair an AMD CPU and an Nvidia GPU?

Your computer’s CPU and GPU run independently of each other. There is no need to run an AMD CPU with a Radeon GPU.

Final Thoughts

Intel’s value is under severe attack by AMD, and that’s a fantastic thing. Competition is good for business, and we, as consumers, can get a far better deal.

For those looking to build a futureproofed computer, AMD is the answer. It may run slightly slower in terms of single-core performance, but that’s not going to trouble many. We wholeheartedly recommend grabbing an AMD chip for your new build.


The Top 5 Best Headset Microphones

The Top 5 Best Headset Microphones

If you’re interested in either streaming or chatting with your friends while gaming, then in addition to decent streaming software, you’ll need to get a good microphone.

Below, we’ll show you what the top 5 best headset microphones are.

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. Astro Gaming A10 Headset

Astro Gaming is one of the big names in high-end gaming sets. So you’d expect the A10 headset to be pricey as well.

However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see its MSRP price tag is just around $60. In fact, this is Astro Gaming’s first attempt at a sub-$100 headset, so it’s sure to be high-quality.

This is a wired headset that has stereo sound. When you compare it to any other headset in this price range, it outperforms them by far.

There’s a boom mic that’s attached to the headset and it has some piping on it. It’s permanently attached; when you flip it up, it automatically mutes. The mic is also very sensitive, which means whatever you say will be sound crisp.

The headset is very ergonomic, as it has felt-wrapped earpads and plush headband padding. If you’re used to having long gaming sessions, then these will feel great on your head.

2. HyperX Cloud Mix Headset

Bluetooth is a technology that’s heavily underused, especially in gaming. If you have a computer with Bluetooth capabilities but have nothing to pair it with, here’s an option: the HyperX Cloud Mix headset.

While it functions normally as a wired headset, you can also use it as a wireless one by syncing up the Bluetooth.

The boom mic comes with a connector, which means if you want, you can disconnect it and hook it up to your computer for recording if you don’t want to use your headset at any time.

Sound quality for the microphone is better when you use the headset in the wired mode; this is because it uses the boom mic. When you switch to Bluetooth, the headset uses a pinhole mic that’s in the left earcup. As a result, the sound quality isn’t as good, although it’s still clear.

The HyperX Cloud Mix costs around $200 MSRP, which makes it one of the most expensive headsets by HyperX. However, when compared to other higher-end headsets, this isn’t a bad price at all.

3. Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

If you’ve been gaming for a while, then you’re probably familiar with this brand name. Even if you haven’t, you probably recognize Logitech since they make many electronics for computers.

The Logitech G Pro X gaming headset is a good midrange one that has just the right amount of features. This is an upgraded version of their older model, the G Pro. It comes with a detachable boom mic that has an inline mic mute switch.

The greatest feature of this headset is all the microphone menu options it has with Blue Microphones’ Blue Voice. You can adjust things like the gain and sidetone to create the perfect settings to record in.

You can also create some presets for easy recording. Another feature is the esports pro presets. As you can tell, this Logitech headset has unprecedented customizability that other headsets don’t have.

The only issue with the mic on this headset is there may be some problems with sibilance when using the default Broadcast settings. However, you can adjust the settings and reposition your mic to easily remedy this issue.

This Logitech headset retails at around $130 MSRP, which makes it a reasonably priced one.

4. PDP LVL50 Wireless Headset

Not a fan of cords? But don’t have the budget to shell out three figures for a wireless headset? Don’t worry; we’ve got you.

The PDP LVL50 wireless headset is exactly what you need. It comes in at just $80 MSRP, which makes it one of the best budget wireless headsets around.

On the left earcup, you’ll find the boom mic, which is covered in foam. You flip it down to broadcast and flip it up to mute.

When in use, the mic is good enough for your teammates to hear what you’re saying. But overall, it’s a bit fuzzy, which means it’s not the ideal microphone to use for streaming.

However, considering it’s a budget wireless headset, it’s pretty good. Especially when you consider it’s only $80. So if you only need your headset for talking with friends and teammates, this headset should be good enough.

5. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Headset

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the SteelSeries Arctis Pro wireless headset. As you can guess, this headset costs a pretty penny; it costs around $330 MSRP.

One of the key features of this headset is its dedicated transmitter where you can adjust different sound elements, all without having to use your computer. You won’t need to charge it either, as it’s powered by batteries.

Like the other headsets, the Arctis Pro has a boom mic. However, whenever you’re not using it, it retracts into the left earcup. There’s also a mute button on that side.

You’ll be pleased to know that although this headset is wireless, the microphone is very good. You won’t have problems with sibilance.

Get the Best Headset Microphone to Improve Your Gaming

With the best headset microphone in your gaming setup, you’ll have a great time communicating with your friends in-game and creating fun videos for your Twitch channel.

As you can see from our list, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a quality headset microphone. So get to shopping and improve your gaming experience now!

Want to learn more about becoming a great streamer? Then check out the equipment we recommend to buy to make your stream more professional!


Best Value Hardware: Top VR Headsets for 2020

Best Value Hardware: Top VR Headsets for 2020

Are you looking for the best VR hardware for your PC setup?

While previously unattainable to the average gamer because of the cost and complexity, virtual reality setups are popular among most PC users today. Most companies even produce easy-to-understand setups for novice users.

VR rigs have also seen an explosion in their popularity in streaming platforms. This is because a lot of popular gaming franchises are getting VR ports. With their viewers demanding to see them play it, looking for the best value hardware became one of their priorities.

If you’re looking for the same hardware, give what we’ve prepared below a read. We’ll talk about the top VR headsets that will prove to be your money’s worth.

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. Oculus Rift S

Despite having the Oculus Quest released a few months after it, the Oculus Rift S is still the better choice for those looking to pair a VR setup with a PC. It is also easy to link up to your streaming setup. This makes it the most popular VR headset for 2019 for gamers and streamers.

Its LCD screens also help sell these products. It boasts 1280 by 1440 pixels for each of its screens. It also has a refresh rate of 80 Hz refresh rate.

This means you won’t experience any screen tearing on your headset, the PC’s mirrored display, or for your stream viewers.

Another great aspect of the Oculus Rift S is that it removes the need for external sensors. It has an Insight Tracking feature that helps you stay inside the boundaries of your area. This reduces the setup difficulties most people have with other VR setups.

This feature also makes way for better stream lighting. You won’t have to worry about blocking any sensors with your lights with the Oculus Rift S.

2. HTC Vive Pro

This VR headset is the most underrated and overlooked product in the market today. This is because most people find their price tag unfavorable. This is many times more powerful than the Oculus Rift S, though.

It comes down to the specs of the HTC Vive Pro. The headset has a higher pixel-per-eye resolution compared to the Oculus Rift S. It also has a higher refresh rate to help with the greater display.

You also don’t have to worry about knocking into things with the HTC Vive Pro. This setup has a larger tracking area for you to play in. As long as you have a big room, you’ll use the HTC Vive Pro to its fullest potential.

It’s also lighter than the Oculus Rift S. This helps you avoid dropping it from a sudden head movement. It also has a gesture control feature that lets you perform more movements and signals with your hands while you’re logged in.

Having the Vive Pro doesn’t mean you have to pick from a small pool of games. You have a library of games that’s said to rival that of Steam. This will ensure your stream doesn’t go stale playing the same games.

3. Sony PlayStation VR

If you enjoy streaming more console games than PC games, then the Sony PlayStation VR is for you. This headset is easy to port to your PS4 and will also be easy to port to your streaming setup.

You won’t even need a PC to help you stream with the Sony VR headset. This is because the PlayStation still has a clunky relationship with PCs. This makes removing the PC from being a factor in console streaming Sony’s only choice to keep up with the streamer trend.

Don’t despair, though, the PlayStation VR is the best headset for console gamers today. It has a lower pixel-per-eye display than other high-end headsets available. This isn’t a problem as console games have lower graphical requirements.

It makes up for this with a 120 Hz refresh rate. This is the highest refresh rate in the market. This is for those who use their virtual reality headsets for other applications such as watching movies in 4k resolution or exploring areas with armchair tourism.

4. Valve Index

Being the latest product in the market, the Valve Index is the best value hardware today. Valve understands gamers and you can expect to get the best experience when you get this headset. Their partnership with HTC in the past also gives them insight into how VR headsets work.

You’ll notice that the headset itself is heavier the moment you put it on. This is because of the high-quality construction that went into the hardware. It provides you with comfortable cushions and built-in speakers.

With fasteners in the right places to support the headset, it provides you with a comfortable and immersive experience while you are gaming and/or streaming.

Speaking of immersion, you’ll find more of that once you handle the Valve Index’s controllers. They have a different feel from other controllers because you can adjust them to fit your hands. The LCD panels are also worth your investment on their own.

These panels offer different refresh rates to choose from. This means you can have any processor with the Valve Index. You can choose a fitting refresh rate for the current setup you have.

These panels also have high resolutions display for your stream viewers to enjoy. The Index also has a USB expansion slot on the front of the headset. This means you can expect further updates to apply the current headset you have.

It makes the Valve Index a potential candidate as a long-term investment. This makes it a good first choice for your first VR headset.

Grab the Best Value Hardware Today

VR setups are trending today in the streaming business. Getting a high-end headset allows you to expand your stream and appeal to more viewers. Grab the best value hardware and set up your VR stream today!

Looking to keep yourself updated on the latest streaming trends and news? Check our The Builder Blog, your go-to source for gaming product information, trends, and advice.


Best Graphics Cards for 2020. Plus How Long Do Graphic Cards Last?

Best Graphics Cards for 2020. Plus How Long Do Graphic Cards Last?

With the cryptocurrency mining rig shortage of 2017 fading into rearview, it’s no longer a blood-letting to purchase a graphics card. The downside of this boom in availability is now you have to make a real decision on what card to slot into your rig.

Adding to this difficulty is the question, “how long do graphics cards last?” Should you ride how a sub-par card for a price drop or upgrade now. Buyers remorse and the grass is always greener hit hard with every decrease you push in quality settings.

Graphic card choice also suffers from what is good enough to what is worth it for the near future. Especially as AMD and Nvidia fight to achieve that coveted real-time ray tracing power.

This guide offers some nuts and bolts advice on how to choose a card and what to look for in performance and longevity. If you want the TLDR, our overall choice for perfomance is the RTX 2080TI.

Jump to Graphics Card Recommendations →

Jump to Graphics Card Life Expectancy →

Breaking Down GPU by Features

One of the easiest mistakes in buying a graphics card is to just grab something because it’s expensive. The idea that high price means high performance has its roots, but it misses the point of every other thing component you put in a gaming rig.

You want components that provide the performance you need, and that work well together. Rig building is every bit as much about nuance and knowledge as souping-up a car. Balance and knowledge are key.

Know what you want in each of these areas to pick up a GPU that will deliver without breaking the rest of your build.

Ray Tracing

Many cards claim to have the ability to perform real-time ray tracing. Outside of the newer RTX cards and the AMD Navi, what you get is upscaled rasterization. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with rasterization for another couple of years as long as the specs let you hit your target quality.

Video Memory Type

The first place to think about longevity, in particular, is with the VRAM. Your GTX 1000 line uses DDR5, the pinch point for that aforementioned mining snafu. The newer RTX cards are looking at GDDR6 or going into the HBM2 realm with Navi and 7nm Vega 2.

The thing to be concerned about is the speed of your processor and how it handles RAM. Running a GTX 2080 through an i5th gen or lower chip will bottleneck your performance severely.

Display Ports

The next most common error in purchasing a top of the line card is not accounting for the display ports. Most new GPU support display input or HDMI. It’s getting harder to find a card with DVI-D and almost nothing covers VGA.

An adapter will at least let you use an older monitor, but you lose a lot of quality in doing so.

Size

The card needs to fit in your case, not break the slot off your board, and not ram into your fans. Measure your case and pay attention to the height and length of any new card to avoid this embarrassing error.

Heat and Noise

Water cooling GPUs is still a newer thing, it saves you some noise but tests are iffy on if it saves you much in the way of centigrade. Blower-style cards have some great temp control but are not the option for an on top of the desk rig.

Remember that coil whine, while annoying, isn’t detrimental to your card and can happen to any card of any manufacture.

Best in Power

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

To get the best in 4k ready, UWHD performance for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 or next evolution in CoD you need a serious card.

This means you are looking to pick up an Nvidia 2080 Super or the RTX 2080 Ti. If you are an AMD fan or are interested to see how well the Radeon RX 5700 XT stacks up, the answer is a bit murky. The next line of AMD CPUs will play nicer with the Radeon cards and are outpacing their Intel counterparts.

If you are pushing for extra power for streaming, consider swapping to a second PC setup with a better capture card to bridge performance gaps.

Best in Price

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

For the budget-minded shopper, the GTX 1660 Super ($300 range) and the Radeon RX 590 ($200) will get you to a 1080p experience fast.

For a bit more you can look for the RX 5500 early in 2020 which also upgrades to DDR6 VRAM.

Best for Space

 

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If you have a micro ATX build that needs a GPU to fit in a small form case, the GTX 1650 comes in a variety of smaller units. Though if you are going really small, the RX 570 has a few manufacturers that come in under 11 by 8.

For a budget card for a small case, the GTX 1050 Ti has a few low-profile options that make for a solid travel machine.

How Long Do Graphics Cards Last?

Obviously, in asking this question you are asking about a full-load and at 8+ hours a day. If you game once a week on Sunday to get to and from church, then you have no business buying your own components, j/k.

The thing is, a card will last you longer than you care for it to last. Even at full load, a GPU has a five-year lifecycle. That’s before the heat starts to get to it and it starts to suffer from decreases in performance. Fans or other cooling may give out sooner, depending on friction and vibrations.

A five-year-old card still functions perfectly well. And you might have fun pulling some old GT750s out of some rig somewhere bought used, but that card isn’t going to run a 3D FPS in 2020.

Sadly, three years is the most you can expect to get out of a card to maintain enough power to run a newer game at even medium settings.

Build Yours

That should do you on an upload of information for selecting your next best GPU for an upgrade or new build. Since the GPU still costs almost half of a solid gaming build budget, asking how long do graphics cards last remains an important question.

For more reviews or information on the builds used by your favorite streamers, check out our knowledge base on the PC specs of top Mixer and top Twitch streamers.