The Best Graphics Card for VR
Complete Reviews and Comparisons
The immersive gaming experience you get from VR is hard to rival. Not only that, but this cutting-edge technology is great for simulations, prototyping, and digital product development. But there’s a catch.
This technology requires quite a powerful machine to drive the computing necessary for a seamless VR experience. And a graphics card is one of the key components of your VR-ready rig. So, what is the best graphics card for VR?
The following sections explore some of the top cards currently available, helping you find the one that fits your set-up and budget.
Best Graphics Card for VR – Reviews
MSI Gaming Radeon RX 5700
With Radeon RX 5700 chipset and 8GB GDDR6 of video memory, this card is a truly powerful piece of gear. Add a 256-bit memory interface and AMD’s FreeSync technology to that, and you shouldn’t have any problems running any VR environment.
As for the FreeSync, it’s designed to be a perfect match for a Radeon RX GPU. This technology synchronizes the refresh rates on your display to facilitate lightning-fast gaming and VR experience. If the impressive specs don’t stop at that.
The RX 5700 sports cutting-edge RDNA architecture that has up to 40 revamped computing units. These offer up to four times better IPC and can produce superior visual effects performance. The areas where this card excels include blur effects, volumetric lighting, as well as the depth of field.
To better response and reduce latency, the RX 5700 features a multi-level hierarchy. The unique architecture provides extreme refresh rates via a DisplayPort 1.4 and Display Stream Compression. And this is also the reason it can handle super-high resolutions on cutting-edge displays and VR environments.
What’s more, the architecture is there to boost TressFX, Radeon Image Sharpening, TrueAudio Next, and more. Plus, it’s engineered to handle different VR technologies to increase performance and user experience.
When it comes to internals, the RX 5700 has solid capacitors – one high-efficiency and low-temperature capacitor and one aluminum core to ensure high stability.
In the memory and core department, the card supports Boost Clock, Game Clock, and Base Clock. The speeds go up to 1905 MHz at 14 Gbps.
- Redesigned and improved architecture
- 8GB GDDR6 video memory
- Speed up to 1905 MHz
- Wireless-control overclocking (iOS/Android)
- Solid capacitors
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060
Dubbed Ventus, this GeForce has all the bells and whistles to provide the VR experience you wish for. But the unit doesn’t come at a price that will burn a hole in your pocket. So what are the specs that put this model on the best graphics card for VR list?
To start with the chipset, the card has NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060, with architecture specifically engineered to support VR. This GeForce combines AI, ray tracing in real-time, and VR rendering to offer the immersive experience that’s hard to rival at that price.
Memory-wise, the RTX 2060 offers Boost Clock and speeds of 1710 MHz at 14 Gbps. There’s 6GB GDDR6 memory, and the card has three DisplayPorts and one HDMI. It would be great if the card had one more HDMI, but this isn’t a deal-breaker by any means.
The card also supports HDR and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC. With these, you get a super-smooth gaming and VR performance and refresh rates of up to 240 Hz. However, the dual-fan setup is indeed the top highlight.
As indicated, the RTX 2060 has two TORX 2.0 fans featuring specially engineered blades. The dispersion fan has steep-curved blades to speed up the airflow. And the traditional fan is there to offer stable airflow to the card’s huge heat sink.
Similar to some other models, this GeForce provides wireless overclocking via iOS and Android apps. MSI Kombustor is there for DrectX12 benchmarking and MSI Predator allows you to record all your games.
- Dual fans
- GeForce RTX 2060 chipset
- Up to 240 Hz refresh rates
- 6GB GDDR6
- One HDMI
PowerColor Red Dragon RX 590
If you’re on a tight budget, the Red Dragon RX 590 should be right up your alley. But don’t let the relatively low price fool you — this graphics card has everything you need to enjoy VR. Therefore, it pays to take a closer look at its characteristics.
The RX 590 is engineered on GCN 4 architecture from AMD and it’s made for GloFo 14nm FinFET. These tech abbreviations may seem a bit overwhelming, but they’re there to boost the card’s performance and VR capabilities.
In addition, the graphics card works with the latest and greatest gaming monitors, and it offers recording and streaming that doesn’t put a strain on the CPU. The RX 590 is AMD XConnect-ready as well, which makes it easy to hook up an external card.
Speaking of which, this technology allows you to connect or disconnect compatible notebooks or two-in-ones. This is done via a Thunderbolt 31 and it’s like having a dedicated USB drive for an external GPU.
The thing that makes this model the best graphics card for VR is AMD’s LiquidVR technology. It unlocks certain hardware features that allow for the seamless integration of different VR headsets. LiquidVR also simplifies the creation of VR content, but not at the expense of quality.
Finally, the RX 590 comes with 8GB of graphics ram and the memory bus width is 256 bits. As for the Engine Clock, you get up to 1545 MHz when boosted. And the card has one HDMI, DisplayPort, and Dl DVI-D.
- Based on AMD’s GCN 4
- AMD XConnect-ready
- Compatible with two-in-ones and notebooks
- 8GB GDDR5
- Can be a bit loud
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
From the revamped Turing architecture to the wide array heatsink, there’s hardly a game or VR environment the GTX 1660 can’t handle. Premium specs do come with an equally premium price, but the GTX 1660 can’t be regarded as expensive. It’s in the great value for money category, and here’s what you get.
This card has 6GB GDDR6 at 192 bits. In all fairness, the memory bus width could have been greater, but this is well compensated with other features. The GTX 1660 has Boost Clock speed of 1860 MHz and it has 3mm x 6mm heat pipes made of copper.
If there is more to its cooling than just copper heat pipes and an aluminum heatsink. The ZOTAC has two fans — one with curved blades and one with wide blades. These elements ensure sufficient airflow and heat dissipation, plus they make the unit very quiet.
The GTX 1660 also has a brand-new Firestorm. This is a software solution with a minimal intuitive interface that helps you fine-tune the card’s performance. You get to tweak the SPECTRA lighting or just monitor the status of your hardware.
But the OC SCANNER is what separates this card from the competition. It allows you to take full advantage of the GTX 1660’s capabilities at a simple press of a button. Once you engage the scanner, the card does its magic and provides you with the best settings for your gear.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is the card’s size. The unit measures 6.83” x 4.38” x 1.39”, which puts it among the most compact in the market. According to the manufacturer, the GTX 1660 fits 99% of configurations.
- Excellent value for money
- Great cooling system
- OC SCANNER
Only 6GB GDDR6
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming
Without a doubt, the GeForce RTX 2070 has hardware that can put a smile on the face of even the most demanding user. Great memory bus width, graphics co-processor, and hardware interface are just some of the components that make it stand out.
The RTX 2070 is based on NVIDIA’s Touring architecture and it offers Ray Tracing in real-time. The AORUS engine is there to provide intuitive controls and the card has RGB Fusion 2.0. The memory interface is an 8GB GDDR6 at 256 bits.
One look at this card, and you’ll understand that the triple-fan cooling system is its major selling point. The WINDFORCE fans measure 82mm, with triangular edges to split the airflow and distribute it without any obstructions.
The cooling system also incorporates six composite heat pipes made of copper. Direct-touch, they work together with the fans to ensure an ultra-high performance without increasing the temperature.
When it comes to connectivity, this model has three DisplayPorts and one HDMI. And the hardware interface is a Pci Express 3.0. Due to triple fans and other hardware, this card is a bit bigger at 11.26” x 4.49” x 1.97”. But somewhat bulkier design is a happy compromise when you factor in all other specs.
- NVIDIA Touring architecture
- Real-time Ray Tracing
- Triple WINDFORCE fans
- 8GB GDDR6
- Core Clock speed of 1815 MHz
A bit pricy
Get Ready to Go Beyond Reality
So, what is the best graphics card for VR? It’s hard to give you a definitive answer because the final decision is up to you. The purpose of this article was to help you make an educated choice regarding your purchase.
First, you need to take a closer look at the hardware you already have and determine which card is compatible. Then, try to balance the memory bus width, RAM size and type, and the co-processor with your budget. Of course, all the cards in this review offer exactly that and more.