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Best Graphics Card for VR (Oculus Quest 2 / Rift, HTC Vive Pro, Valve Index) 2020

Looking for the best graphic card for VR? These are the good quality video cards for Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift / Quest, HTC Vive Pro, Cosmos, HP Reverb G2, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality. 

Finding a vr ready graphics card is bit difficult, as the new gpu for vr with upgraded features are releasing every year.

To make the best selection, we base ourselves on the minimum specifications offered by the vr manufacturers. Here is what it appears on the manufacturers’ sheets:

VR Headset Requirements 

Oculus Quest 2:

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2.
  • RAM: 6GB.
  • Resolution: 1832 x 1920.
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz.
  • Storage: 64GB / 256GB.
  • Integrated speakers and microphone.
  • 2-3 hours battery life.
  • Adjustable IPD with three settings for 58, 63 and 68mm.

Oculus Rift S:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or better
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti / Radeon RX 470 or better
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • 1 USB 3.0 port
  • Windows 10

HTC Vive:

  • Processor: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 or better
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 or better
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • 1 port USB 2.0 or higher, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or higher,
  • Windows 7, 8 or 10

HTC Vive Pro:

  • Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 or better
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / Quadro P5000, AMD Radeon Vega 56 or better
  • RAM: 4 GB or more
  • 1 port USB 3.0 or higher, DisplayPort 1.2 or higher,
  • Windows 10

Valve Index:  

  • Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD RX480
  • RAM: 8 GB or more
  • 1 USB 2.0 port AND 1 DisplayPort required
  • Windows 10  

Windows Mixed Reality:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4590, AMD Ryzen 5 1400 or better
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • 1 port USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or higher,
  • Windows 10 Fall Creators or higher
  • 15 inch or larger screen

The graphics cards or new generation of GPUs deliver optimized performance for VR or Virtual Reality. They offer the opportunity to enjoy total immersion at a level of realism beyond comprehension. For example, GeForce® RTX GPUs provide the ability to enjoy display sequences with minimal latency and incomparable graphics performance.

List of Best Graphics Card For VR

  1. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1660 OC Video Card
  2. MSI Geforce GTX 1660 Gaming X
  3. RTX 2060 and 2070 Super, AMD RX 5700 (XT)
  4. RTX 3080 and RTX 3090
  5. EVGA Geforce RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming
  6. ASUS Geforce RTX 2060 ROG STRIX OC
  7. Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Windforce
  8. MSI Geforce RTX 2070 Gaming Z
  9. MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio
  10. ASUS Geforce RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX OC Gaming

1. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1660 OC Video Card

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1660 OC Video Card

The Taiwanese manufacturer Gigabyte is used to declining its models in different ranges. In France, we have access to the Geforce GTX 1660 OC and its Gaming OC version. The one we have chosen has the advantage of being shorter, 22 cm against 28 cm for very slightly lower performance. The Gaming model is equipped in return with three fans.

Don’t worry, the Windforce design with two propellers gives good results. The board climbs to a maximum of 72 degrees. Also, semi-passive mode cuts the air flow below 50 degrees Celsius. The performance is just a bit below a GTX 1070 for an unbeatable price. This VR Ready graphics card will be perfect for playing with an Oculus Rift or Rift S and will be able to run most titles on the HTC Vive. We advise you to combine it with a Ryzen 5 2600 processor so as not to suffer from bottlenecks. The PC in question will cost under 1000 dollars.

  • Manufacturer: Gigabyte
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory interface: 192 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1830 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 8000 MHz
  • Power connector (s): 1XPCI Express 8 pin
  • Video outputs: 3 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female
  • Length: 224 mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 135 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 450 Watts 80+ Bronze

2. MSI Geforce GTX 1660 Gaming X

MSI Geforce GTX 1660 Gaming X

Here again, MSI offers an original overclocked VR Ready graphics card for maximum power. Slightly more efficient than the previous one, it has a metal backplate which allows it not to deform under its weight over time.

Likewise, heat dissipation is improved. Tom’s Hardware testers noted a maximum temperature of 61 degrees after a 4K gaming session on The Witcher 3. Low noise, the Gaming X also offers RGB lights for those who want to visually customize their setup. Its price necessarily climbs to 800 dollars minimum. You also gain a few frames per second.  

  • Manufacturer: MSI
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory interface: 192 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1860 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 8000 MHz
  • Power connector (s): 1XPCI Express 8 pin
  • Video outputs: 3 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female
  • Length: 247 mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 130 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 450 Watts 80+ Bronze

3. RTX 2060 and 2070 Super, AMD RX 5700 (XT)

RTX 2060

VR glasses such as HTC Vive Pro, Cosmos, Samsung Odyssey + and, thanks to Link, also Oculus Quest require a little more GPU power than the Rift S, which is why the investment in a faster graphics card pays off quickly. In general: there is not too much graphics performance, the power can always be converted into even prettier graphics, if necessary via supersampling. With the RTX 2070 Super, we were able to conjure up consistently smooth frame rates on the headset in the test of the pre-production model of the HP Reverb G2, which was viewed on MRTV – so you can safely strike here if you have decided to buy the G2.

It is precisely this higher performance class that AMD recently started to offer again: The RX 5700 is dueling with Nvidia’s RTX 2060, the RX 5700 XT takes on the RTX 2070 – they are still a few percent away from the new super models from Nvidia , whereby the gap is shrinking due to constant driver optimization. Because of these cards, called RTX Super, our recommendations in the middle class have changed completely compared to the previous month: RTX 2060 and 2070 without Super are being phased out because the Super models take their place in terms of price, but offer significantly more performance.

You can save a few dollars compared to the 2060 Super by buying an RTX 2060 – the 2060 is available from 329 dollars , the Super only from 399 dollars. In return, the RTX 2060 Super offers a performance on par with the RTX 2070 and 8 instead of 6 GB of VRAM. We would therefore only recommend the 2060, which has been severely curtailed from these points of view, in exceptional cases, especially since it will soon disappear from the market. Instead of a GTX 1660 Ti, however, it looks good and costs only 30 dollars more.

The situation is similar with the RTX 2070 and 2070 Super: The Super version performs at the same level as the RTX 2080, but costs significantly less with prices starting at 469 dollars. An RTX 2070 is no longer that easy to find and if it is then often uninteresting in terms of price – a 2070 Super is currently always the better and faster choice. The significantly more expensive RTX 2080 Super is not t3hat much faster – although we would urgently recommend waiting for the RTX 3070 and available RTX 3080 in these price regions.

At AMD you finally have an alternative again: The AMD Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT, based on the new 7nm production and the RDNA architecture, duel with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 and 2070, but without “Super”, as these are only available as Response to AMD have appeared. AMD has the older RTX models under control, but the super versions are still a few percent away. The custom models that have been released in the meantime do not provide much more performance, but quieter and more efficient cooling solutions than AMD’s reference cards.

In terms of price, the difference between the 5700 and XT is shrinking, which is why we would urgently recommend the noticeably faster XT model. And even if the 5700 XT is not on the compatibility list for Oculus Link (Quest): It works great with it (Update: With Oculus version 19 there are currently problems with the current AMD cards!)

With the RTX 2070 Super, we were able to conjure up consistently smooth frame rates on the headset in the test of the pre-production model of the HP Reverb G2, which was viewed on MRTV – so you can safely strike here if you have decided to buy the G2.


4. RTX 3080 and RTX 3090

RTX 3080

With the appearance of the RTX 3000 cards and the upcoming AMD RDNA2 cards, the price structure changes massively. We can no longer recommend the high-end cards 2080 Super and 2080 Ti recommended so far with a clear conscience. If you can wait a bit: order an RTX 3080 or hope for availability with the RTX 3070. You will regret buying a RTX 2080 Super as new, as the RTX 3070, which has already been announced for 499 dollars, will bring at least this performance. The RTX 2080 Ti is no longer in production and has disappeared from most shelves, but if you find such a card on the used market for less than 600 dollars you can strike with a clear conscience.

Whether it was due to Corona, bad planning or a general buying frenzy: Nvidia has taken over with the production of the Ampere cards and cannot keep up with the deliveries. Some dealers offer the option of pre-ordering an ampere card and very rarely there are options to buy it now (but rather with the RTX 3090, which is rather uninteresting due to the excessive price). Try your luck, the performance is impressive. And the 10 gigabytes of the 3080 are currently and probably not particularly disturbing in the next 1-2 years.

Even with an RTX 3070 you should be able to beat an RTX 2080 Super – for 499 dollars as a Founders Edition from Nvidia directly and probably a little more expensive than a custom card everywhere else, a more than good offer.


5. EVGA Geforce RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming

EVGA Geforce RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming

Most consumers don’t have too many questions and trust MSI marketing. However, competitors offer interesting products like this VR Ready graphics card from the brand mentioned above. As the name suggests, we are no longer there to mess around, but to provide the means to play in VR optimally.

Here, the HTC Vive, its Pro version and the Oculus Rift variants will perform wonderfully. In terms of temperatures, it does not exceed 40 degrees at rest and 70 degrees under load. Without flinching, this GPU is equal to the performance of a GTX 1080. And again, the Overclocking capabilities of EVGA products leave you the headroom to grab precious frames per second.   

  • Manufacturer: EVGA
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 192 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1830 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Power connector (s): 1XPCI Express 8 pin
  • Video outputs: 2 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 DVI Female, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female
  • Length: 269 ​​mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 175 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 550 Watts 80+ Gold

6. ASUS Geforce RTX 2060 ROG STRIX OC

ASUS Geforce RTX 2060 ROG STRIX OC

With its Republic of Gamers range, Asus likes to titillate overcloking enthusiasts. If on paper, this VR Ready graphics card takes the technical sheet of the EVGA model, it actually offers the performance of a factory RTX 2070. In other words, this monster of 30 centimeters requires two power rails and no longer just one.

The three 90mm diameter fans keep the board below 60 degrees even under load. They switch off when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Clearly, it presents itself as a better option than the first prices in the upper range. Hats off to Asus. Small counterpart all the same, it is not as quiet as the other products of the brand.

  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 192 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1830 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Connector (s) Power supply: 1XPCI Express 8 pin, 1XPCI 6 pin
  • Video outputs: 2 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 DVI Female, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female, 1 USB type C
  • Length: 300mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 180 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 550 Watts 80+ Gold

7. Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Windforce

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Windforce

Gigabyte VR Ready graphics cards typically take the place of entry level in each of the categories detailed here. The RTX 2070 Windforce is no exception to the rule. This large card has three fans to keep the temperature below 70 degrees under load. A completely honorable performance. Most games can be upgraded to ultra for a beautiful look. Here, the compromises are minimal. This component takes the characteristics of the Founder Edition which is similar to the powerful 1080 Ti.

Please note, the overall consumption of the configuration goes to 320 Watts under load. As much as a big freezer. Another small detail, the semi-passive function is triggered at 55 degrees. It is better to deactivate it and adjust the fan triggering thresholds yourself. However, this VR Ready graphics card has the best quality / price ratio in this comparison.  

  • Manufacturer: Gigabyte
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 256 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1620 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Connector (s) Power supply: 1XPCI Express 8 pin, 1XPCI 6 pin
  • Video outputs: 3 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female, 1 USB type C
  • Length: 280mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 225 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 600 Watts 80+ Gold

8. MSI Geforce RTX 2070 Gaming Z

MSI Geforce RTX 2070 Gaming Z

1.4 kilograms on the scale. This 30.5 cm behemoth offers the Twin Frozr 7, a super efficient and quiet cooling system. The boosted chipset frequency allows it to offer performance only 14% lower than the RTX 2080. Like the Gaming X, it stands out with its design and its slightly bling-bling LED lighting. The overclocking possibilities give you the headroom to gain even more valuable FPS. Some might be concerned about his weight.

Do not worry. MSI has thought of everything and provides a square to avoid bending your motherboard. This luxurious product is arguably the best RTX 2070 on the market.

  • Manufacturer: MSI
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 256 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1830 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Connector (s) Power supply: 1XPCI Express 8 pin, 1XPCI 6 pin
  • Video outputs: 3 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female, 1 USB type C
  • Length: 307 mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 225 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 600 Watts 80+ Gold

9. MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio: No Compromise Long Live VR ULTRA

MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio

MSI still offers here a titanic VR Ready graphics card. Three fans bring the temperature down to 70 degrees on load without a sound, while your eyes will say thank you in any VR game. Solid backplate, weight 1.2kg, lets you play most of your titles in 4K 60 FPS. That is to say.

On the other hand, it is better to accompany it well. A 650 Watts Gold certified power supply and an Intel Core i7 (8700K, 9700k) or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processor, or even ThreadRipper are required so as not to slow down the beast unnecessarily. Likewise, its size requires a good size case. For this, we recommend the Cooler Master, NZXT, Fractal Design or Corsair products. These manufacturers are used to leaving a large space for the on-board graphics card.  

  • Manufacturer: MSI
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 256 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1860 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Power connector (s): 2XPCI Express 8 pin
  • Video outputs: 3 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 1 HDMI 2.0 Female, 1 USB type C
  • Length: 327 mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 250 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 650 Watts 80+ Gold

10. ASUS Geforce RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX OC Gaming

ASUS Geforce RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX OC Gaming

Here we are addressing extensible purses, performance fanatics who will not shy away from any expense. At this level, we can say that it is total abuse. This model is more efficient than the Founder Edition, which is already well boosted. Here, 4K 60 FPS is a formality in most games. Such a card reinforced by its blackplate offers golden silence (or practically) thanks to its Quiet mode.

Temperatures remain higher than usual: 81 degrees under load, but the fan shuts down below 55 degrees. Once again, the name ROG Strix ensures a sympathetic aesthetic oriented Gamer with an arobase.

  • Manufacturer: ASUS
  • Overclocked: Yes
  • VRAM: 11 GB GDDR6
  • Memory interface: 352 Bits
  • Boosted Chipset Frequency: 1665 MHz
  • Memory frequency: 14,000 MHz
  • Power connector (s): 2XPCI Express 8 pin
  • Video outputs: 2 x DisplayPort Female 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 Female, 1 USB type C
  • Length: 304 mm
  • Format: Dual Slot
  • Consumption: 250 Watts
  • Recommended power supply: 650 Watts 80+ Gold

Which brand for my graphics card?

The graphics card market is divided between two manufacturers: AMD on one side and Nvidia on the other. Subsequently, the various GPUs of these two brands are found in dozens of “custom” cards produced by the big names in the sector. We are thinking in particular of brands such as ASUS , Gigabyte , MSI , EVGA , Zotac or Sapphire.

Keep in mind that these different versions are all based on the original versions of the GPU in question and the performance differences are usually quite minimal. In itself, the manufacturers offer more or less improved versions of the GPUs from AMD and Nvidia, by adding more efficient and silent cooling systems, frequencies slightly revised upwards or even more elaborate designs (backplate, RGB lighting … ).

But back to the dilemma of many gamers: AMD or Nvidia? Today, Nvidia is clearly a cut above its direct competitor, with cards generally offering better performance at often more affordable prices. In short, a much more interesting quality / price ratio for players wishing to upgrade their gaming PC.

This balance of power is all the more visible at the top of the range, where the various GTX 1070, 1080 and 1080 Ti largely dominate their competitors RX Vega 56 and 64. At the entry level, the difference is less noticeable and some models from AMD can be particularly interesting (RX 570 rather than GTX 1050 Ti for example). As the sector is constantly evolving, it is often the price that can switch between AMD or Nvidia when selecting future graphics cards.

Another important point that can tip the scales in favor of Nvidia or AMD: Adaptive Sync . As we explained in our PC gaming monitor buying guide , most current monitors are equipped with technology to match the refresh rate to that of FPS. A considerable asset if you want to enjoy permanent fluidity during your games.

Problem, two technologies are available today. On the one hand, G-Sync, only compatible with Nvidia cards, and on the other, FreeSync, only compatible with AMD cards. If you have a FreeSync screen (often more affordable), moving towards an AMD card might make sense. The same goes for Nvidia graphics cards, which we will necessarily recommend if you have a G-Sync compatible monitor.

Buying Guide for Graphics cards For Virtual Reality

The advancement of VR technology has opened a door for us to a whole new dimension. It gave us a new experience of games and simulation: a new world in a way!

 It is now possible for everyone to fully immerse themselves in the virtual world. To fully benefit from the potential of this technology, the only condition is to have suitable equipment.

The graphics card is one of the essential peripherals for a more than convincing experience of virtual reality. There are many graphics cards out there and the choice is not always easy.

To make your quest for the best graphics card easier, we’ll walk you through identifying the features to consider. We have put together the important points for you that will improve your overall use.

The Different Types of Graphics Cards

For the perfect beginners, a little explanation is in order. There are two types of graphics cards. Each is assigned to its own location. They also differ in their performance and use. They are intended for different uses each.

Integrated graphics card

Very common, this GPU is integrated into the motherboard. The integrated graphics core processor will perform both CPU and GPU operations at the same time. This type of CG is used for a usual display of the screen (normal use of a computer, internet). It is therefore not suitable for virtual reality or even for video games. Especially since it has no memory to process the image data.

This graphics card uses the system’s graphics card which limits its capacity. Likewise, the whole processor will have to be fully updated if one wishes to upgrade its CG. Despite all these drawbacks, it is still possible to add a dedicated / discrete card to your system.

Dedicated or discrete graphics card

It is an additional graphics card and is separate from the CPU . It only supports processes related to graphics. Its capacity is therefore more extensive. It also has its own video memory which gives it instant access to data. This is the CG that is used for game programs and VR because it is more powerful. The location of this extension is on the system motherboard. This makes it easier to replace the card and upgrade the system. Nowadays, the PCI Express or PCI-E standard is used for the connection of the CG on the motherboard. Access to CPU and RAM is through this standard slot.

The shape of this device is one of the first factors to consider when making your purchase.

Here are a few things you should know about its physical structure:

  • single slot : it is a single slot  CPU. It is normally low power and therefore does not need a cooler . It takes up very little space on the motherboard.
  • double slots  : Double slot CGs are designed to accommodate large coolers . These come to temper the heat generated by the card. These are best suited for games as well as virtual reality.
  • triple slot  : these are overclocked and overpowered graphics cards . They heat up easily and require considerable cooling systems.

The price and classification by range

Price is probably the most underrated feature although it is very important when choosing. There are 3 product lines depending on the price range and quality. In a range, there are many categories and references for a card of the same architecture. They differ in their power, functionality and cooling system.

Obviously, buying a high-end card will cost you a lot more than an entry-level card.

However, keep in mind that a graphics card is not a device that you will buy every day.

Sometimes a high-end card with the features it can offer may not be the best option for your needs. Also, don’t go for the cheapest option that doesn’t even have the functionality you need. It is always advisable to evaluate all the characteristics of the product before making your decision.

For a VR card, however, it is advisable to choose between the medium range and high-end cards.

Mid-range graphics cards

For a better HD experience, it will cost around 250 to $500. In addition, you will have better rendering of images and a satisfactory frequency. The midrange is perfect if you want to have enough quality without breaking the bank. It is also preferred if you only plan to use VR occasionally.

High-end graphics cards

In this category, quality is essential. It will be necessary to plan at least $500 of budget to obtain a card of this range. And again, $500 is at the limit. Increased power, high level of sharpness, excellent fluidity, stunning detail and precision; this is what this range has in store for users. But the price can put off buyers as it can climb to over $ 1000. What is certain is that this is pro material.

It is really the must to live an unprecedented VR experience.

Energy consumption

It is data very often neglected by the users. This is an important point, however, as it is a factor that could limit the ramping up of your GPU. The power required will also depend on this characteristic.

Consumption is measured in watts and generally varies between 75 to 300 Watts. A powerful, high-performance graphics card will tend to be very energy intensive as well. It is the overlocked GPU that consumes the most while simple graphics cards only use 50 to 100 Watts. Also, when using VR, the card will require much more power than when using simple.

Conclusion

Virtual reality is an enjoyable and fun experience, even confusing. Now you have all the information you need to start your own.

You will still need to invest in good basic equipment. There are many graphics cards out there and each of them has its own unique GPU configuration. At the same time, if you are just starting out, it might be worth opting for a cheap model to start with. Once you have experienced the virtual simulation, you could upgrade your hardware. You can then invest in a more powerful model like the Asus Dual NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mini OC. Now you can make your choice and fully enjoy your virtual reality.

Best Graphics Card for VR Black Friday Deals 2020

We have created a list of the most discounted cheap and best Graphics Card for VR Black Friday deals and Graphics Card for VR Cyber Monday deals for this year’s holiday season 2020.

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