6 Best GPU For Game Development [Reviewed & Rated]

Having a decent graphics card is an important component when it comes to game development and design.

Because you can’t do without them when developing games.

In this article, we list the best GPU for game development and design.


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GDRR6X 320-Bit HDMI/DP 1920 MHz Ampere Architecture OC Graphics Card (RTX 3080 Suprim X 10G)
Sapphire VCX 11306-01-20T Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming OC 12GB GDDR6
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
What You Need To Know About The GPU

Get this if you want the best performance in game development.

A factory overclocked card that rivals the NVIDIA RTX cards. That's the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

The best GPU for those on a tight budget. The price-to-performance ratio on the RX 580 is insane.

Prime
-
-
Rating
-
Position
First Place
Snapshot
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GDRR6X 320-Bit HDMI/DP 1920 MHz Ampere Architecture OC Graphics Card (RTX 3080 Suprim X 10G)
What You Need To Know About The GPU

Get this if you want the best performance in game development.

Prime
-
Rating
-
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
Sapphire VCX 11306-01-20T Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming OC 12GB GDDR6
What You Need To Know About The GPU

A factory overclocked card that rivals the NVIDIA RTX cards. That's the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

Prime
Rating
Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
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
What You Need To Know About The GPU

The best GPU for those on a tight budget. The price-to-performance ratio on the RX 580 is insane.

Prime
-
Rating

Last update on 2021-08-02 at 23:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Rating
Cores and VRAM
 
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 10GB GDRR6X 320-Bit HDMI/DP 1920 MHz Ampere Architecture OC Graphics Card (RTX 3080 Suprim X 10G)

8704 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and 10GB
Sapphire VCX 11306-01-20T Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming OC 12GB GDDR6

2560 Stream Processors and 8GB
ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition Graphics Card (PCIe 4.0, 12GB GDDR6, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, Dual Ball Fan Bearings, Military-Grade Certification, GPU Tweak II)

3584 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and 12GB
Gigabyte Gv-N1660OC-6GD GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 6GB 192-Bit GDDR5, Video Card

1408 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and 6GB
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

2304 Stream Processor and 8GB
XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-580P8DFD6)

2048 Stream Processor and 8GB

Best Graphics Card (GPUs) For Game Development (Unity, Unreal Engine, Houdini, etc.)


Where To Buy

$2,078.00

Buy on Amazon

Pros

  • Top-notch performance
  • Excellent choice for 4K game development

Cons

  • Pricey

Clock Speed: 1440 MHzNVIDIA CUDA Cores: 8704VRAM: 10GBMemory Bandwidth: 912GB/s

The NVIDIA RTX 3080 is an expensive card and for a good reason. This card is for game developers who want to design the best and most beautiful games in terms of detail.

Furthermore, with the NVIDIA RTX 3080, you will be able to design games on 4K resolution since it is a card that can handle 4K gaming.

The ray-tracing feature also makes the graphics more realistic. However, the software is still in its infancy.

Overall, the RTX 3080 is the best GPU for game development and design. The performance it has make it easy to develop and design games.

Games played by gamers with powerful PC rigs rigs.


Where To Buy

$940.00

Buy on Amazon

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Amazing value
  • Solid build quality
  • Runs cool

Cons

  • Driver issues
  • Limited ray-tracing performance

Clock Speed: 2321 MHzStream Processors: 2560VRAM: 12GBMemory Bandwidth: 384GB/s

Comparable in performance to the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti. The AMD Radeon 6700 XT is the rival to NVIDIA RTX cards but at the same time being more affordable.

A solid card that can be used for developing demanding games that are to be played on 1080p and 1440p resolution.

The only thing holding the AMD Radeon 6700 XT from its full capability are the incomplete drivers from AMD. Hopefully, AMD is working hard on making their drivers better.

Overall, if you want a great alternative to the NVIDIA RTX cards. Then the AMD Radeon 6700 XT is the best graphics card for game development you can start with.


Where To Buy

$799.99

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Excellent Performance
  • Great price-to-performance ratio

Cons

  • None

Clock Speed: 1320 MHz NVIDIA CUDA Cores: 3584VRAM: 12GBMemory Bandwidth: 360GB/s

The NVIDIA RTX 3060 is the most popular RTX card and for a good reason. It provides excellent performance and it’s quite affordable. Not too expensive to break the bank.

The RTX 3060 is a solid choice for developing games that you want it to be played in 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

In addition to that, games designed on this card can be played by several players.

Coupled with its ray tracing technology you can pretty much develop some awesome looking games.

To sum it all up, the RTX 3060 provides the best bang for the buck when looking for a GPU to develop games. Highly recommended if you have the budget for it.


Where To Buy

$576.76

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great Performance

Cons

  • None

Clock Speed: 1530 MHz | NVIDIA CUDA Cores: 1408 | VRAM: 6GB | Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s

The NVIDIA GTX 1660 is the best budget card for starting out and at intermediate levels when developing 1080p games.

The performance is high enough to create fairly demanding games whiles at the same time not worrying about getting a new GPU.

In other words, you have a GPU that can be used from having a beginner to intermediate expertise. However, this might be overkill for 2D games.

Still, this is one of the best budget GPUs for game development and design.


Pros

  • Best performance for those on a tight budget

Cons

  • None

Clock Speed: 1257 MHz | Stream Processor: 2304 | VRAM: 8GB | Memory Bandwidth: 256GB/s

There are no downsides when you get the AMD Sapphire Radeon RX 580 for game development. Because this has the best performance to dollar ratio.

That means for the price, you have a very powerful card. It is 9 per cent slower than the GTX 1660. And for under $200 that is a steal. Plenty of VRAM and fast clock speed.

The AMD Sapphire RX 580 is a monster at that price. Overall, a solid option if you want an affordable graphics card with amazing performance to design 1080p games.


Where To Buy

$599.99

Buy on Amazon

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Can be overclocked

Cons

  • Not suitable for developing demanding 3D games

Clock Speed: 1168 MHz | Stream Processor: 2048 | VRAM: 8GB | Memory Bandwidth: 224GB/s

The AMD Radeon RX 580 is another great card for those on a tight budget. But, still want to develop games.

This 1080p gaming card has better performance than the GTX 1650. And so in designing low to mid demanding games. You wouldn’t have a problem.

This makes it perfect for a beginner and someone who just entered the intermediate level in game development. A solid card for game developers who want gamers to run their games on 1080p 60fps.


Software Used in Game Development

There are software that game developers and designers use. And each of them has their own system requirements. Here are the most popular game development software:

  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine
  • CRYENGINE
  • Vulkan
  • Game Maker

NVIDIA Quadro or GeForce For Game Development?

Go with NVIDIA GeForce graphic cards. Because they have been designed and optimised for playing and handling games.

NVIDIA Quadro, on the other hand, has been optimised for handling professional graphic applications such as Rhino, SolidWorks, Autodesk Revit, etc.

You will get much better performance when you use a GeForce card for game development and design.

Which Graphics Card is Best for Game Development? Buyer’s Guide

So you are looking for a GPU that will give you the best performance when developing and designing games? Here are a few things to look out for.

Clock Speed

Just like CPUs, GPUs also have clock speeds. Clock speed is how fast a GPU can complete instructions and it’s measured in GHz or MHz.

The faster the clock speed the faster an instruction is completed and powerful GPUs have high clock speeds. However, you can’t depend solely on clock speed to judge the performance of a GPU.

For example, the RTX 2060 has a clock speed of 1365 MHz. The GTX 1650 has a clock speed of 1485 MHz which is high than the RTX 2060.

But, we all know which graphics card is more powerful. Don’t only look at clock speed when judging the performance of a graphics card.

NVIDIA CUDA Cores or Stream Processors

Just like how CPUs have their own cores. GPUs also have cores except that GPU cores are far more numerous than CPU cores. Furthermore, the more powerful the GPU. The higher number of cores it has.

For example, the RTX 2060 has 1920 NVIDIA CUDA Cores whiles the RTX 2070 Super has 2304 NVIDIA CUDA Cores.

Also, NVIDIA calls their cores NVIDIA CUDA cores whiles AMD refer to theirs as Stream processors.

VRAM

Just like how having a lot of RAM helps in system performance and multitasking. VRAM is RAM specifically used by the GPU.

That means the more VRAM a GPU has the more it can handle graphical loads. At the same time, it allows you to game on multiple monitors and higher resolutions.

Graphic cards with a high amount of VRAM are more often powerful cards.

For example, the RTX 2060 has 6GB of VRAM whiles the GTX 1650 has 4GB VRAM. The RTX 2080 Ti has a whopping 11GB RAM.

Memory Bandwidth

To put it simply, it’s how fast the GPU can transfer data. The higher this number (measured in GB/s) the more powerful the graphics card and the faster the data transfer.

How To Really Determine Which GPU Is Best For Game Development?

Your level of expertise, budget and how demanding the game you are designing greatly determines the GPU for game development.

If you are an experienced game developer. You might develop lightweight, demanding games or both.

If you are a beginner, it doesn’t make sense to get an NVIDIA RTX Titan. An NVIDIA GTX 1650 or 1050 Ti will suffice. In most cases, an integrated graphics card will suffice especially when it’s a 2D game.

Next is your budget. In a way, your budget influences the type of game you will develop.

Games that are going to be very high detail will need a powerful graphics card. And those are quite expensive.

So you need to determine how much you are willing to spend in order to create an awesome game.

Finally, how demanding you want the game to be for players. Don’t expect to design a game using an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti and expect players to run it smoothly with a mid-range graphics card.

They have to reduce the graphic settings for it to run smoothly. Which might or might not work.

Unless you want it to be demanding. You can use a GPU as a baseline for system requirements.

Once you get these three right. You will know which GPU is best for your game development needs.

What Graphics Card Do Game Developers Use?

The graphics card used by game developers depends on how demanding they want the game to be.

A 2D game developer is going to use a different and less powerful graphics card than a 3D game developer.

Final Thoughts

A great GPU will go a long way in developing games. However, the best GPU will not only go a long way but will make sure your player’s PC or laptop can handle the games you develop.

That’s it for the best GPU for game design and development.

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