Best Graphics Card (GPU) for Minecraft Windows Central 2020
Minecraft, the sandbox game that essentially lets you do whatever you want, might just be the best-selling game of all time. It appeals to all ages; it can be played as a survival challenge or a creative outlet, and, perhaps most importantly, it can be played on both wimpy and beefy PC hardware. We've put together this collection of graphics cards (GPU) that will deliver a varying degree of performance so you can get the right hardware for your Minecraft PC.
- Great price, great performance: ZOTAC NVIDIA GTX 1650
- Ultra budget pick: EVGA NVIDIA GT 710
- Standard budget pick: XFX AMD Radeon RX 560
- Mid-range performance: MSI NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti
- High-end gaming: XFX AMD RX 5700
- RTX performance: MSI NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super
This GTX 1650 from ZOTAC brings 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, a 128-bit memory bus, and a 1,695MHz boost clock, suitable for pushing framerates above 200 FPS at 1080p on Max settings. If you have a 1440p monitor, this is likely as low as you want to go to still get smooth frames without lowering in-game settings. This GPU will run some lightweight Java shaders, but don't expect stellar performance.
Despite having just 2GB of DDR3 VRAM and a 64-bit memory bus, the NVIDIA GT 710 should deliver a smooth 1080p Java and Bedrock Minecraft experience on High settings. Just don't attempt to use Java shaders with this GPU and don't buy it in preparation of the Bedrock RTX enhancements. For a budget PC build, this is about as cheap as you'll find.
The AMD RX 560 has 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a 128-bit memory bus, making it a better fit for 1080p Max settings with a framerate above 100 FPS. It's still not going to handle Java shaders or Bedrock RTX upgrades, but it is a better choice than the GT 710 if you'd also like to enjoy other games besides Minecraft.
With 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, a 192-bit memory bus, and boost clock up to 1,830MHz, you're going to get a stellar Minecraft experience from the GTX 1660 Ti. It will easily max out your monitor's refresh rate at 1080p and deliver a smooth 1440p experience. This GPU will handle Java shaders, though don't expect high framerates.
If you're interested in high framerates at 1440p and want to check out Java shaders without NVIDIA prices, the AMD RX 5700 is a solid choice. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM with a 256-bit memory bus, as well as a boost clock up to 1,750MHz. For a high-end Bedrock or Java Minecraft experience, this is an excellent GPU at a great price. It'll also easily handle modern AAA games when you're not enjoying a blocky world.
Not only will the NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super handle Java shaders at a smooth FPS, but it is also ready to tackle future RTX upgrades coming to Bedrock Minecraft. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM with a 256-bit memory bus, a boost clock up to 1,770MHz, and has all the RTX features — like ray tracing and AI — ready to go. If you want an excellent GPU for Minecraft and just about any other game on the market, this is it.
How to pick the right GPU for Minecraft
Thanks to relatively low GPU requirements, you can get away with integrated graphics and still have a good time. However, if you'd like to crank up the graphics settings to make the vanilla game look as good as possible and still get a high framerate, a dedicated GPU is recommended. While there are some truly budget options that will give Minecraft a substantial boost, we recommend checking out the ZOTAC NVIDIA GTX 1650. It's a GPU that will deliver smooth framerates at 1080p and 1440p, and it will even afford you the ability to run some lightweight Java shaders.
This GPU is also a good option for playing other games. It's not going to push modern AAA titles to their limit, but it will deliver the performance needed to play less-intensive indie and competitive games at a high framerate.
If you're interested in Java shaders and want to give your Minecraft world a much more realistic look, a higher-end GPU like the AMD RX 5700 or NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super is recommended. And if you're eagerly anticipating the RTX upgrades to Bedrock Minecraft, a high-end NVIDIA card is what you want.
When choosing a GPU, keep in mind that Minecraft also relies heavily on the processor (CPU). Even if you have an expensive, powerful GPU, an aging or underpowered CPU is going to cause a significant bottleneck. If you're building a new PC from scratch, be sure to have a look at our collection of the best CPUs for a custom rig.
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