Central to any high-quality gaming build is of course, graphics. The GPU will effectively be the heart and soul of your machine for gaming purpose. With so many choices in today’s market, it can be difficult to decide what you need. Also, what you want and what will actually perform best for you and your machine may be two different things.
In this piece we will attempt to narrow down the choices. This will help you make a more informed decision on purchasing some of the best available GPUs. Focusing on two giants within the GPU market, EVGA and MSI, we will run down some of their best offerings and make sure that you purchase the most suitable GPU for your needs.
In this extensive review, we will look in depth at three products from each brand and outline all of their key attributes and features. Let’s get started.
EVGA are a California based company who have produced GPUs and motherboard for almost 20 years. They have positioned themselves as a market leader thanks to the top quality of their offerings. In recent years they have also begun to offer top quality products in a number of other areas such PSUs.
EVGA GTX 1080FTW
Starting out with the 1080FTW and setting the bar high from the beginning in our review. A clear show of confidence from EVGA is the use of “FTW” which is “For the Win”. This shows the belief that they have in their product and this is not misplaced.
The GTX 1080FTW has garnered positive reviews from all around the internet and is a fantastic starting point for any experienced or aspiring gamer.
Straight out of the box the FTW offers a powerful 1721 MHz base clock which boosts up to 1860 MHz. This is a strong start in terms of its rivals and propelled further by the ACX 3.0 cooling system which EVGA have effectively implemented.
EVGA is also well known for producing well designed and aesthetically pleasing video cards. The GTX 1080FTW is no exception, with some very slick LED lighting catching the eye. The back of the card features a single piece plate for ventilation and its dimensions match those of many dual slot graphics cards.
The EVGA logo is placed at the top of the card along with two, eight –pin power connectors at the end. The FTW is quite refined in its design comparative to some other cards, but its performance more than makes up for that.
Overall, the GTX 1080FTW is a highly powerful, well designed card which has quickly collected a superior reputation over its rivals. It is also one of the brightest GPUs on the market, making it a must for those who like to stand out from the crowd.
EVGA GEFORCE GTX 1080Ti
Next up in our review of some of the best available GPUs is the EVGA GEFORCE GTX 1080Ti. This is another innovate and powerful offering from EVGA with sensor-controlled fans offering even more raw data to the enthusiastic user. It has quickly risen to become one of the most respected dual slot cards. This shows bravery from EVGA to think outside the paradigm and have fantastic foresight.
The size and power of the 1080Ti make it quite the challenge in terms of cooling and noise control. EVGA however do a great job to ensure efficient cooling as well as keeping the card as quiet as possible given the size and power it produces.
Due to the design constraints, there is not all that much flexibility in terms of overclocking speed with a high speed of 2037MHz produced from the 1080Ti under testing. This is an increase from the 1569MHz produced as standard from the 1080Ti.
From a design perspective, the 1080Ti is heavy relative to other cards and quite long at 30.2cm. This is certainly something to keep in mind when planning your build. The cover is predominantly plastic and silver in color. It looks superb. There is a backlit EVGA logo as well as LED “FTW3” on the top of the card which both catch the eye too.
In terms of performance, the 1080Ti is a beast and blows most of its competition out of the water. If you have the space in your build and are not too conscious about some minimal fan noise, this is certainly a fantastic choice for you.
EVGA GTX 1050Ti
In our final EVGA product review, we will take a look at a more value for money alternative. Still producing amazing performance, the GTX 1050Ti combines that with great budget value. In today’s market there is a spike in the price of many GPUs thanks to cryto-mining, however the 1050Ti is a great option for a regular gamer.
The 1050Ti produces a base level clock speed of 1290MHz which can be boosted up to a maximum of 1392Mhz and 4096MB of GDDR5 memory. This model also has ACX 2.0 cooling which means that it cools quite well and runs quietly with its single fan set-up. A
In terms of design, the 1050Ti is compact. It measures just 145mm in length meaning it will fit in to even the most compact of gaming builds. Remember though, it is dual height so that is something to keep in mind when putting your rig together. As with all of the EVGA offerings, visually the 1050Ti is impressive and sure to catch the eye.
This model represents a combination of fantastic value and also excellent, high end performance for the regular gaming user. It is more than capable of facilitating quality gaming over an extensive period of time without breaking the bank.
MSI or Micro-Star International are a Taiwanese based company founded in the 1980s. They develop a broad range of computer peripheral and machines as well as a selection of other electronics. They have become renowned for their high quality graphics cards and are a huge force within the market. Let’s take a look at some of their key products.
MSI GEFORCE GTX 970
Beginning with a fantastic value for money option from MSI. The GeForce GTX970 offer powerful performance at a wonderful price for the budget conscious gamer. Despite its great price, do not be fooled. The GeForce GTX970 still packs a punch mean enough to tackle the most intensive games.
Its 4Gb memory also supports 4K monitors which is an excellent plus at its price range. It is combined with the Twin Frozr V cooler which allows for its fans to operate quietly whilst still outputting awesome power and keeping the components cool and functioning well.
The GeForce GTX970 also produces some excellently high clock speeds, turning your PC into a mean gaming machine. Also looking mean and dazzlingly good is the design of the 970. Its striking red and black combination catches the eye right away and give an equally ferocious look. An excellent choice for those looking to match casing and components for a vibrant, strong look. It would combine well with some of the equally sharp PSUs on today’s market.
The GeForce GTX970 is a fantastic value choice which also provides spectacular performance for all level of gamers.
MSI ARMOR 2X GTX960
Next up in our extensive GPU review is the awesome MSI ARMOR 2X GTX960. This is a delightful 4GB GPU with a 128-bit interface. It has a striking design which is matched by its wonderful performance under testing. The GTX960 has won fantastic plaudits for its reliability under pressure.
With clock speeds of 1178MHz, this is a GPU powerful enough to perform basically any task. Higher speeds are of course attainable with overclocking. Your gaming experience will be greatly enriched with this model which also supports 4K monitors as standard.
It possesses three DisplayPorts and a HDMI port for excellent connectivity and dual propeller blade fans which help to generate greater airflow for cooling. Needless to say, this is a great advantage for improved performance.
Design wise again MSI does not fail to impress. With its white detailing combining well with the copper piping and slick MSI logo in the center of both fan blades, the ARMOR 2X GTX960 looks the business. As the name would suggest, it is also highly durable and comes with an extensive warranty in case of problems.
The ARMOR 2X GTX960 represents another quality offering, so if increased performance along with ravishingly good looks are what you are seeking, the GTX960 could be right up your street.
MSI R9 390
Delving into the 8GB high performance graphics card market for our final offering from MSI with the R9 390. This is one with the power to leave you breathless and take on those high-definition games with complete ease.
The clock speed of this beat is by far the highest in our review at an astonishing 6100MHz operating within a 512 bit GPU interface. Power certainly comes easy to the R9 390. The ZeroFrozr technology which is implemented within the model also helps to ensure maximum noise reduction by stopping the fans when they are not required.
The R9 390 also features the innovative dispersion blade design which helps to generate up to 9% more airflow, keeping things cool all the way. This is combination with the twin Frozr coolers mean that you can trust on sustained operation without stress on components over a very long period of time.
Again the R9 390 excelles in terms of visual design with its head-turning red detailing and blade centered logos. Perfect for those gamers with clear towers who want to show not only superb performs but also look awesome.
In terms of value, while the R9 390 will not come as a budget choice, you do get some serious bang for your buck with this GPU. It has monstrous capability which in reality only a select few highly intense users would even come close to. The R9 390 will also stand the test of time. It is highly likely you can re-use this GPU in several upgrades should you decide so in the future.
Before We Go
So, there we have it. Six fantastic offerings from two of the most respected companies in the industry. Whether you are a highly intense Crypto-Currency miner, casual gamer or anything in between, there should be something to suit you in this review.
Make no mistake, all of these GPUs possess immense power, enough to completely transform your system in terms of gaming capability and experience. They are not for the faint of heart. That is certain.
As well as performance, there is a model to suit everybody’s budget. That can be a challenging task in today’s market so hopefully we have provided a clear path.
Regardless of your choice, once you have evaluated your needs and selected a model you are interested in, head on over to Amazon to check out the most up to date pricing on any of the models featured above. Happy gaming!