Ray tracing allows game developers to light in-game environments with a level of depth and realism that previously wasn't possible, and ray tracing can also be used in graphics-related workflows as well. However, to actually use ray tracing, you'll need to be equipped with a ray tracing-compatible graphics card (GPU). GPUs that can handle ray tracing are some of the best graphics card options on the market, but knowing which one to choose can be a little tricky. Here's an overview of 10 awesome ray-tracing graphics cards.
- Best overall: MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- Best elite: ASUS NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- Best mid-range: ZOTAC NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
- Mid-range alternative: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- Best budget: GIGABYTE NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- Budget alternative: ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
- Rock bottom: GIGABYTE NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super
- Best for prosumers: NVIDIA Titan RTX
- Best for workstations: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000
- For elite workstations: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000
The RTX 2080 Super can handle ray tracing while consistently maintaining high frame rates in-game, and it's also a great pick if you want to enjoy 4K resolution as well. It's also priced nicely, making it our overall favorite.
The RTX 2080 Ti is an absolute monster of a GPU, able to support 4K and ray tracing with ease. If you want the best of the best, the RTX 2080 Ti is for you.
The RTX 2070 Super is the perfect graphics card for people who want to game at 1440p with ray tracing. It can push a bit into 4K territory as well, though you'll probably have to turn a few settings down.
The RTX 2060 Super is a little less powerful than its 2070 Super counterpart, but it's also less expensive, making it a more affordable mid-range alternative.
The GTX 1660 Super is the best budget card that works with ray tracing. You'll be able to enjoy the feature at 1080p with decent performance, which is excellent considering the low price.
This card is a bit weaker than the 1660 Super, but it's also considerably more affordable. It's a strong budget choice, but you'll need to turn some settings down.
The 1650 Super is the most affordable GPU out there that can handle ray tracing to an okay degree, but as with the 1660 Super, be prepared to lower those settings.
This mighty GPU delivers performance greater than even the RTX 2080 Ti, and is an excellent choice for people who do graphics work and also enjoy gaming.
The NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 is the best overall workstation-focused ray-tracing GPU, offering performance close to the Titan RTX while also coming with more extensive support for CAD programs.
If we had to choose
All of these graphics cards are excellent, but if we had to choose just one, it would be the MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super. Equipped with the power to handle ray tracing as well as 4K comfortably and priced at a level most PC users serious about ray tracing can reach, it's our pick for best graphics card right now.
For folks who want something more affordable, the EVGA NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super is a fantastic option. It's a lot less expensive than the RTX 2080 Super, but you won't need to turn settings down when using ray tracing nearly as much as you would with the budget options on the list.
Lastly, people who don't game and simply need a powerful ray tracing workstation GPU should choose the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000. It's only a little less capable than the more powerful Quadro 8000, but it's a lot less expensive and still comes with all of the advanced Quadro CAD drivers and support.
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