Best Graphics Card for VR – Guaranteed to Make you Question Reality [2020 Update]

Today's mobile graphic processors are not really up to the task of creating detailed three-dimensional environments with high-resolution graphics. It's hard to feel lost in a virtual environment when you're looking at a pixelated grainy display, dense text, and distant mountains.

For those that want their virtual reality to look a little more, well, realistic would be more interested in today 's strong popular VR goggles, such as the —the Oculus Rift (and the Oculus Rift S), the HTC Vive, the HTC Vive Pro, and the Valve Index. These headsets require a powerful GPU and a computer.

Let’s check out the best graphics card for VR:

Oculus Rift S

Product Roundup

Product

Processors

GPU Base Clock

GPU Boost Clock

Memory Type & Capacity

Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super Overclocked 6GB Dual-Fan Evo Edition

GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER

1530 MHz

OC Mode: 1860 MHz
Gaming Mode (Default): 1830 MHz

6GB
GDDR6

125W

Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580

AMD Radeon RX 580

1257MHz

1366 MHz

8GB GDDR5

185W

XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition

AMD Radeon RX 580

1257MHz

True: 1366 MHz
OC+: 1386 MHz

8GB GDDR5

185W

XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition

AMD Radeon RX 570

1168MHz

1286Mhz

8GB GDDR5

150W

The GTX 1660 SUPER is the 8th GeForce Processor centered on NVIDIA's Turing architecture. The GTX 1660 SUPER is presently directed at the RX 590 which can now be found below $200 with a single game package, although most overclocked systems are valued higher.

The main unit at the core of both the 1660 Super and the 1660 is similar along with the processor clock rate, and the number of Compute Unified Device Architecture cores. The processor is enhanced for the latest games using the Nvidia 12nm Turing processor technology.


None of the processors in the GTX 16- series have any hardware to support the latest ray tracing trend.

The 14Gbps GDDR6 memory of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super performed better than the more exclusive GTX 1660 Ti which has a 12Gbps GDDR6 in terms of speed, putting it in a comfortable position to compete with higher range GPUs.

The processor also showcases some nice physical details that you rarely see on basic GPUs, such as a metallic black plate and special fans that are “0dB”. The fans only rotate when the GPU hit temperatures over 55◦ C and doesn’t make too much noise either.

The processor uses the DirectCU II technology which is a glamorous marketing term used for a set of heat pipes made of copper that directly comes in contact with the processor itself for improved heat transfer. 


PROS

  • Excellent heat management
  • No noise operation
  • Idle fan feature

CONS

  • Only 1 HDMI and displayport each
  • Bulky physical design
Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super Overclocked 6GB Dual-Fan Evo Edition VR Ready HDMI DisplayPort DVI Graphics Card (DUAL-GTX1660S-O6G-EVO)
Supports up-to 3 monitors with HDMI 2.0B, DisplayPort 1.4, and DVI-D ports; Dual-fan cooling provides doubled airflow for 3x quieter gameplay

Essentially, to explain a little bit about the Pulse series, it's a Sapphire product series that looks to maintain the consistent build reliability and performance that we require from Sapphire processors, while at the same time dampening some extra features that are less necessary to keep down the cost.

Affordable doesn't mean losing out though, as this model comes factory overclocked, with a reliable cooling solution, 8 GB of memory and a variety of features including fast attach fans, compatibility for
Radeon Chill, and much more!


A modest factory overclock has been given to this particular RX 580 card: up to 1366MHz boost, which is an extra 26MHz over reference speeds.

The thermal solution consists of a contact zone made of copper, 4 heat pipes of 6mm each, and a range of  metallic fins that maximize the heatsink contact area. The VRAM and VRM chips are cooled using thermal pads in all the appropriate places.

The GPU has power connector of the 8-pin PCle type, and it draws less than 225W.


PROS

  • Swift release cooling fans
  • Compatible with latest Radeon features such as Radeon Chill
  • Sleek design and exceptional backplate design

CONS

  • Relatively low efficiency
Sapphire Radeon 11265-05-20G PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP OC with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics Card Graphic Cards
2 x HDMI; 1 x DVI-D; 2 x DP; 256-bit memory bus; Power consumption: <225Watt; Cooling technology: Dual fan. OS-windows 10,7

This is a whole new class of graphics card which offers an exceptional gaming experience. XFX has been using industry-leading technologies and processes that allow the XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS to give users the chance to play the games without any lag.

The GPU falls under the mid graphics card range and directly competes with the 1050Ti and 1060 by GTX.


The length of the chipset is 10.5”, and has a width of 4.6”. It also comes with a cooler fan and two slots, as do most of the GPUs available today. There is a custom aluminum metal backplate carrying the XFX logo. The backplate is quite thin when compared to the preceding edition and the processor uses a single eight-pin power connector located at the back of the fan.

XFX reported that its latest cutting-edge technology named Polaris 20  improves overall performance.

PROS

  • Sleek design
  • Supports Radeon CHILL
  • 3 Display Ports

CONS

  • Not much faster than Radeon RX 480, despite being larger, and more energy-consuming.

XFX has a record of assembling graphics cards that do well in their price/performance range. The RX 570 XFX falls perfectly into the mid-range. The glory goes always to the family's largest dogs, but we can get a satisfying gaming experience from the mid-range cards as well.

The RX 570 RS 8 GB XXX Edition provides superb FPS levels at 1920x1080 resolution. You could enjoy a resolution of 2560x1440 on most games. The 8 GB VRAM allows for configurations that will require a greater commitment from the VRAM.


The GPU has a strong base that will keep you playing for longer without any fatigue on the system. With support from the XFX developed technology ‘True Clock’, XFX regulates the speeds of the clock to optimize the gaming experience.

The cast on the package's physical side includes a solid backplate made of aluminum to facilitate the PCB, a large heat sink bundle fitted with a composite heat pipe. The 0 dB cooling fan on this GPU is the standard model included in processers of this price range.

PROS

  • True Clock technology
  • Zero DB Fan
  • Low power consumption
  • Dual Bios

CONS

  • No easy swap fans
Sale
XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition 1286MHz, 8gb GDDR5, DX12 VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-570P8DFD6)
Chipset: AMD RX 570; Memory: 8GB GDDR5. 2048 stream processors; Dual bios - Gaming and cryptocurrency mining

VR GPU Buyer’s Guide


What is a GPU & What are the different varieties available?

A graphics card is a piece of electronic hardware that can create complex images and graphics on a display. A GPU or graphics processing unit renders different images on a display when positioned inside a computer hardware system. It converts data from various inputs and displays them on an output unit.

The embedded graphics chip within a system is used, in the absence of a graphics card. It may be enough to fulfill simple display requirements, such as internet browsers and calendar, but when gaming, or displaying a high-end graphics element, it is difficult to get a satisfactory performance.

Managing the pixel ratio on the output display unit and the balance between input and output of data is the job of a graphics card. Hence, a graphics card is essential in the context of virtual reality

There are two main types of graphic cards when it comes to the VR domain with a few different types of form factors

  • Integrated Graphics Cards:

This type of chip is fitted into the motherboard, and no modification is needed. Laptop and computers are the most widely known to use cards of this sort. And to modify integrated GPUs, you'll need to update the system's entire processor. These graphic card forms leave space for separate card add-on

  • Discrete Graphics Card:

This is an extra card that must be inserted into the expansion slot within the PC's motherboard. For those who want to upgrade the GPU in the future, this card is the best GPU for VR. All you'd have to do is swap this card to another.

Discrete GPUs are best suited for individuals who wish to use the PC for video production, gaming, or developing CAD designs

Expansion slots are available in a wide variety of options. Two of the common types are PCI – AGP and PCI – E.

Below are some of the different types of GPU form factors:    

Low profile GPUs: These chips are designed to substitute the built-in cards and can easily support regular low powered work.

Single-slot GPUs: These video card types are typically low-powered because they don't need a fan.

Dual slot GPUs: It's more appropriate for gaming or computer-aided design projects because they're designed to have better coolers/fans and usually easily manages heat the card produces.

Triple slot GPUs: Allows overclocking for graphics cards and comes with considerable cooling solutions.


Can I not use my current GPU?

Virtual reality headsets require a great deal of processing power from a computer, and its graphics card in particular. Although many apps are capable of running in a vast range of configurations and resolutions, mainstream Virtual reality headsets have very particular resolution and need for FPS.

For example, both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift use a 1080 x 1200 screen resolution and each headset has two displays-one for each eye. This brings the total headset resolution to 2160 x 1200, a resolution that is more demanding than conventional 1080p.

More significantly, these displays run at a refresh rate of comparatively high 90Hz.

In contrast, most games are known to run "seamlessly" at 60 FPS on a 60 Hz screen. The game's FPS has to satisfy the 90Hz refresh rate of the monitor to stop screen tearing. Running a 2160 x 1200 screen at 90 FPS is already a hard job for the Graphics card. Adding additional in-game menu options such as increasing graphics settings will be draining the GPU rapidly to the point that you can see a lag.

If your current GPU can handle this with no lag, you don’t need an upgrade. If you aren’t strapped for cash, upgrading won’t hurt you, it’ll just make your experience even better.


GPU clock speed

The GPU working frequency is measured in MHz (MegaHertz) and give us an indication of the number of millions of cycle per second. The higher your clock speed, the higher the number of pixels that can be processed by the GPU in a second.

The performance of a GPU isn’t determined by this alone.

Graphic cards are currently designed to function at fluctuating frequencies. This helps to improve efficiency levels.

Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super Overclocked 6GB Dual-Fan Evo Edition

Memory

Many of today's graphics cards come with memory ranging between 512MB and 11 GB. The most common forms include GDDR5 and DDR3. So when it comes to the highest results in gaming, you'll need a graphic card with decent storage capabilities. For a larger memory, the card 's output is held to optimum levels. The storage role is for the graphical storage of information.


Fill-Rate

The fill rate is measuring the graphics processor's ability to display pixels on the screen. Namely, there are two kinds of fill-rates, the Texel rate, and the pixel fill-rate. The Fill-rate of pixels is based on the working rate of the raster pipeline. If the card's pixel fill-rate is higher this means that pixels are drawn faster by the graphic card.

The Texel rate characteristic is the Texture fetch frequency. It is affected by several units of texture and frequency of operation. These factors are equally important in the modern game scenes. They too have to be balanced.


Supply of Power

Installing a graphics card requires power to work. If you have selected the midrange or a standard card, the motherboard will handle power to the card, but if the GPU is a high-end model, special power adapters would be required to quench their power demand.

The graphics card’s power requirements often go side by side with its system configuration. Aside from express PCl, the GPU may need at least two adapters to meet the power requirement.


Cooling System ( Very IMPORTANT)

When it comes to GPU performance, the heat solution is vital for proper performance. This is because the chip utilizes a great deal of power, and a significant amount of heat is dissipated in the process. If that heat remains unaddressed then the entire GPU system may fail.

From heat pipe to heat sinks alternatives, a manufacturer can take advantage of many possibilities to achieve that. Some heat solutions can cause the size of the graphics card to be significant and its installation leaves almost no room between the card and the frame.

Some common solutions include:

  • Water block cooling
  • Hybrid cooling
  • Liquid cooling
  • Active cooling
  • Passive cooling

Some chipsets come with sizable cooling fans that are quite loud. They may give you the notion of being around huge noisy machines in a manufacturing facility. The noise often gets worse as the temperature rises while the fan tries to double the speed to cool down the entire system.

This can often affect your overall efficiency in the game. Therefore, you need to consider having a noise-free graphics card which will enable you to concentrate better. After all, headset functionality like stealth mode requires all the quietness you might need to avoid the footsteps of enemies in the hideouts.

Remember, the most common way that graphics cards can die is through overheating. So consider all the above-mentioned factors and especially the cooling solution.

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