5 Best Graphics Cards for the i7-10700K

best gpus for i7-10700k
best gpus for i7-10700k

So you’ve decided to get the newly released Intel Core i7 10700K CPU which is both cheaper and faster than the previous flagship, the Intel Core i9 9900K; they did a good job optimizing the 10700K’s thermals, power consumption and overclocking headroom even if it’s on an old 14nm process. Besides the usual CPU cooler debate and other parts for the build, we still need to have the talk of what GPU to pair it with and that’s more complicated than you think. If you have a limited budget and want to get the best GPU for you, we need to carefully consider what you’ll be using your system for.

Do you want to exclusively game on your PC? If yes, at what resolutions and refresh rates? Do you want a productivity build that will tear through 3D render applications or software programming? Or maybe you like VR and want to try it?

We are trying to address all these questions during this article in which we will analyze and recommend a GPU to pair with the i7 10700K in 10 different categories. We already have some 10700K builds up on our website, be sure to check them out!

This article will help you find the best GPU + CPU pairing based on your budget and build focus in categories such as VR, productivity and various gaming resolutions.


1. NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super

The workstation user who’s an occasional 1080p/1440p gamer or one that needs GPU acceleration in his work tasks. GPU of choice: GeForce GTX 1660 Super

Gigabyte GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC

This first category is more popular than you think. Do you use your home system to work extra on different hobbies or as a secondary workstation besides your job? Do you like to sometimes lean back and enjoy some quality time with your other gamer friends or have a kid that you want to entertain once you finish your work? Then this is the category for you!

The solution to this category is rather simple. You clearly don’t need an enthusiast grade GPU that will just take a lot of money out of your pocket and make your system needlessly power hungry. You need to pay only for the performance that you will use. At first, it would make sense to recommend a good value GPU out of the low/mid range market which would take our minds to something like an RX 580 8GB which has both the necessary power to deliver good FPS in games @ 1080p resolutions and comes in cheap at around $150-180.

The thing is though that the majority of people who want to use their system as a workstation, like graphic designers or just people who love entertainment such as movies will most likely use a 1440p or higher display. The RX 580 we talked about earlier is not a right fit for that resolution because it will feel rather slow in many games that you may be desiring to play. This is why we opted for a different graphics card, one that is a good performer even at 1440p and still comes with a very good value.

Introducing the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super which is a great buy at around the $230 price mark. This efficient Turing card comes with 6GB of GDDR6 memory and its performance levels are on par with the previous generation GTX 1070. A great 1080p performer at any refresh rate and capable of driving a 1440p monitor in the majority of games. This is a great choice for the occasional gamer who doesn’t want to pay for performance they’re not going to use.

On the other side, if you can use GPU acceleration in the applications you work with, the GTX 1660 Super is an inexpensive contender. Software like the Adobe Suite, 3DS Max, Maya and other similar productivity apps can make use of the GPU by leveraging the CUDA capabilities of the graphics card. This way, part of that load that would be previously handled by the CPU alone can be transferred to the CUDA cores and this way the CPU & GPU can work together and more responsive.

Regarding which specific card to buy, you can’t really go wrong with the majority of GTX 1660 Super implementations. This is mainly due to the fact that its not a power hungry card and doesn’t demand a beefy cooler in order to function properly. Normally, we would just recommend getting the cheapest GTX 1660 Super that you like the aesthetic of but at Premium Builds we’re not leaving anything uncovered; here are some of our recommendations for AIB GTX 15660 Super’s based on user experience:

  • The Asus GTX 1660 Super TUF is one of the most inexpensive models and with a rather small footprint, it will fit in even the smallest of cases; it does the job right and comes at a good price.
  • The MSI Ventus XS OC is $10 more expensive and comes with a better-looking fan shroud, better VRMs and slightly increased factory clock speeds.
  • At another additional $10, you can also get the Gigabyte GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC which is a triple fan design; rather overkill for this class of GPU but it looks good and its dead silent during any overclocked load. It’s your decision from here on!

GPU SeriesRecommended Aftermarket CardDesignPrice
GTX 1660 SuperASUS TUF Gaming OCASUS 1660 Super TUF$229
GTX 1660 SuperMSI Ventus XS OCMSI GTX 1660 Super Ventus XS OC$239
GTX 1660 SuperGigabyte Gaming OCGigabyte GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC$249

2. AMD Radeon RX 5700XT

The workstation user who finds pleasure in gaming or the one who wants to try VR in his free time. GPU of choice: Radeon RX 5700XT

Radeon-Navi-5700-XT

Like the previous category, this one is popular as well. There are many consumers out there who may work from home or have jobs that allow them to have daily time for gaming. I know that because I myself am one of them! For such a person, the GPU of choice really depends on the performance levels he’s expecting but we have a good recommendation for you if you’re expecting smooth performance in a large collection of current games. We don’t know what you’re playing but we sure know that you’re going to love this categories’ graphics card.

Both AMD Radeon RX 5700-series cards are based on the same Navi GPU and are manufactured on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process and composed of 10.3 billion transistors, these chips occupy a scant 251 mm². The AMD Radeon 5700XT is the top model in AMD’s NAVI lineup. AMD confirmed that Radeon RX 5700 XT employs a fully enabled version of the Navi GPU; no part of the chip is turned off to improve yields or leave room for a more resource-rich model in the future. It exposes 40 RDNA (the NAVI architecture naming) Compute Units, each with 64 Stream processors, totalling 2560 ALUs across the processor. The CUs host four texture units, just as they did in AMD’s Graphics Core Next design, adding up to 160 in a complete Navi GPU that features 64 ROPs.

Enough with the tech talk, the 5700XT is designed to be a great 1440p performer; it’s around 30% faster than the previous GTX 1660 Super and sports 8GB of GDDR6 RAM which allows it to stretch its legs for an amazing performance at both 1080p & 1440p Triple-A or high refresh rate game titles.

Is VR an interest to you? Have you gotten excited about this rather new technology and can’t wait to try it out but you’re not really a gamer? It’s fine, VR will definitely open new realms for your entertainment. The RX 5700XT in this category is a great VR performer that can hold a steady 90+ FPS in the majority of new VR titles. We say 90 FPS because that’s the recommended frame rate by the majority of VR headsets in order for you to avoid getting dizzy or nauseous. Getting a lesser GPU than the RX 5700XT will limit the games you can play because of this 90 FPS sweet spot.

Some of the best implementations for this RX 5700XT graphics card are coming from MSI and Sapphire. Great value comes out of MSI’s Evoke OC and Sapphire’s Pulse lineup which are built with suitable coolers, decent factory OC, backplates and general quality materials; they are also very silent. A tier above them though is the more expensive Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700XT which is the best RX 5700 XT aftermarket card you can get. Its factory boost clock is the best out of all other implementations, the GPU comes with a triple fan configuration that is very silent and great at cooling even in 100% load.

GPU SeriesRecommended Aftermarket CardDesignPrice
AMD RX 5700 XTMSI Evoke OCMSI RX 5700 XT Evoke OC$389
AMD RX 5700 XTSapphire PulseSapphire RX 5700 XT Pulse GPU (1)$399
AMD RX 5700 XTSapphire Nitro+Sapphire RX 5700 XT Nitro+$433

3. RTX 2070 Super

The workstation user who games competitively. GPU of choice: GeForce RTX 2070 Super

RTX-2070-Super

Or the workstation user who may want to try Ray Tracing on the cheapest GPU which can do it decently. The RTX 2070 Super is not a big leap forward against the previously mentioned card, the Radeon RX 5700XT. It is just 5-10% faster but that counts a lot, especially if you have a 1440p monitor and try to squeeze those extra frames in order to stay over 144+ FPS.

The GeForce RTX 2070 Super comes with 40 SMs (streaming multiprocessors), and each SM contains 1 Ray Tracing core, 8 Tensor cores, 4 texture units, and 64 CUDA cores. Basically, the 2070 Super is like a trimmed down RTX 2080 at the cost of the RTX 2070. The RTX 2070 Super reference boost clock is 1770MHz, which is higher than even the overclocked 2070 Founders Edition boost clock of 1710MHz. That combined with the additional four SMs means performance is theoretically up to 22% faster than the RTX 2070. But theory and real-world results don’t always agree. Since the 2070 Super has the same memory bandwidth and configuration, in practice the performance improvement often ends up being closer to 10% but that’s still great!

The good news is that any added performance relative to the RTX 2070 comes without an increase in price. Of course, RTX 2070 cards have gone on sale for as little as $450 over the past nine months, but we’ll probably see the Super cards sell for less than the launch price at some point. And the arrival of the 2070 Super also heralds the phasing out of the regular 2070. While Nvidia’s RTX 2070 was similar in performance to AMD’s RX 5700XT but cost $100 more, the RTX 2070 Super is 10% better than the 5700XT at the same $499 price as the RTX 2070; it was a quick answer to the great value the 5700XT had over the RTX 2070 at launch.

You will be able to consistently game at 1080p & 1440p Ultra settings and be able to push very high frame rates at those resolutions if you need them in competitive eSport games. The i7 10700K we’re pairing these GPUs with is surely able to handle them.

Here are some of the best RTX 2070 Super implementations from third party manufacturers.

GPU SeriesRecommended Aftermarket CardDesignPrice
RTX 2070 SuperGigabyte Windforce OCGigabyte-RTX-2070-Super-Windforce-OC-Edition$499
RTX 2070 SuperMSI Gaming XMSI RTX 2060 Super Gaming X$549
RTX 2070 SuperZotac MiniZotac RTX 2070 Super Mini$566

The Gigabyte Windforce OC is a great value aftermarket version of the RTX 2070 Super. It retails at MSRP and sports a triple fan design cooler that keeps the card cool during load. The RGB used on it is subtle but well laid out. The MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X aims at a more aggressive factory overclock and the cooler performance and noise levels are on par with the previously mentioned Windforce OC card even if it only has two fans. The card is also overall nicer looks-wise. Or maybe you’re looking for a smaller RTX 2070 Super that can fit in a crowded or tighter case. This is where the Zotac RTX 2070 Super MINI comes in. Its small form factor is great and it doesn’t sacrifice performance for it.

Overall, you generally can’t go wrong with any of the RTX 2070 Supers but we would recommend getting one of the above and staying away from the Founder’s Edition version.


4. RTX 2080 Super

Wanting to be able to work but also own a very capable gaming machine? You have to take a look at the high-end GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition

One of the great things about the RTX 2080 Super is that it slots in at the same price as the superseded RTX 2080. Essentially, if you’re not already an owner of an RTX 2080, the Super version is a good buy if you’re looking for that kind of performance. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super is an improved RTX 2080 with 128 more CUDA cores, a higher base clock / boost clock and better, 15.5 GB/s memory compared to the latter’s 14 GB/s. Its memory bandwidth is also up to 496 GB/s.

This card offers solid shader performance, and for a bit of fun and giggles, you get to play around with RTX/DLSS if you desire. It’s the second best graphics card that handles Ray Tracing in a decent way. While we can still argue DLSS and RTX are not yet polished enough for consumer use, you do need to realize that the industry is at a clipping point, hardware-based ray tracing is coming, whether that is from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel. You are paying a price premium to be that early adopter with a handful of games to actually test it on. But you can’t blame NVIDIA for pioneering with technology. They refreshed the RTX 2080 to be faster and cheaper, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The RTX 2080 Super’s performance figures are great! Its the first card in this category list that we can comfortably call a 4K card. Its performance is somewhere around 15% better than that of the RTX 2070 Super and that’s enough to propel it into the great 4K performer that it is. Don’t get us wrong, you can use this card at any resolution and get comparable performance gains. You can, for example, play at 1440p and aim for 144 FPS with higher graphics details than you could use on the RTX 2070 Super. It’s overall, a very good card appealing to the high-end users that want exquisite gaming performance at a decent price proposition.

GPU SeriesRecommended Aftermarket CardDesignPrice
RTX 2080 SuperZotac GamingZotac RTX 2080 Super Triple Fan$709
RTX 2080 SuperMSI Gaming X TrioMSI-RTX-2080-SUPER-GAMING-X-TRIO$759
RTX 2080 SuperGigabyte AORUSGigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Super$769

The RTX 2080 Super is a rather beefy card and thus needs adequate implementations in order to perform how it should. One good value card that retails very close to the $699 MSRP is the Zotac RTX 2080 Super GAMING video card; its nothing exciting but the triple cooler design does its job very well to keep the card and its very fast GDDR6 memory under 80 degrees even under heavy load. Its design is rather simple but there are some bells and whistles around in the form of RGB.

Following, we have one of the best performing RTX 2080 Super in the whole lineup, the MSI Gaming X TRIO which is a binned card with a high factory overclock and high overclocking capabilities. Its cooler is excellent and the card has a pleasant aesthetic, the RGB customisation being through the roof.

The third RTX 2080 Super card we can recommend is the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super AORUS which comes in with a very unique triple fan design. Users that are willing to pay a small premium for good looks are going to love this card. Its also the most silent RTX 2080 Super version out there and performance levels are not far from the MSI Gaming X Trio, when overclocked.

Overall there is good implementation diversity for the RTX 2080 Super, allowing you to find the style and performer you like most.


5. RTX 2080 Ti

Enthusiast gamer that needs top performance or a workstation user that needs the most powerful GPU acceleration and enough fast memory. Or an aspiring VR enthusiast. GPU of choice: The GeForce RTX 2080Ti

Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition

Budget isn’t a problem and you don’t really care about value. You only care about having all the performance that you can muster into a 2020 PC build, be it for gaming, workstation acceleration use or VR. Then the RTX 2080Ti is the card that will make your dreams a reality.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the latest consumer flagship graphics card from NVIDIA and it has been fitted with the TU102 GPU. This GPU has a whopping 4352 active shader processors, which is substantial when compared with the previous generation GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It sports 11GB GDDR6 graphics memory, and with that 11 GB, you will get a 352-bit wide memory bus. Ray tracing acceleration is performed by a new RT Core processing, the TU102 has 72 of them with 576 tensor cores and 96 ROP units. For clock frequencies, we’re looking at a 1350 MHz base frequency, with Turbo allowance towards 1635 MHz; keeping some margin in mind for the board partner clock frequencies. Even though that boost clock seems low when compared to other Turing GPUs, most AIB RTX 2080Tis with capable VRMs and coolers can be overclocked to around 2GHz.

The RTX 2080Ti is not a card for the masses. It’s not the card that Nvidia sells the most; quite the contrary. But its a gamer’s or workstation’s guru dream. It allows you to play the most demanding games at smooth frame rates, especially when paired with a capable CPU such as the Intel Core i7 10700K. It basically is the pinnacle of consumer GPU performance and will not care about any game that you throw at it, regardless of graphics settings and resolutions; and that is because game studios optimize their games to have peak performance on the best GPU of each generation and that is the GeForce RTX 2080Ti in this case.

Workstation users will be delighted to use the full capabilities of the 4352 CUDA cores together with boosting machine learning tasks with its whopping 576 Tensor cores. Many applications from the likes of Adobe, 3Ds Max or Autodesk are updating their software tree in order to benefit from this GPU’s acceleration features. Getting an RTX 2080Ti means getting the best performance with no compromises and it also means future-proofing your system.

The RTX 2080Ti is also the best graphics card that you can buy for a high-end VR setup. The GPU is able to hold high frame rates in any Virtual Reality game out there meaning that you can explore the worlds with no compromises or headaches. There’s no VR game out there yet that can tank the RTX 2080Ti under 90 FPS; the i7 10700K sure helps that process as well with its incredible performance. Moving on, the following implementations of the RTX 2080Ti have been carefully selected for you. There have been some inadequate examples of cooling solutions stuck to RTX 2080Tis but you’re not going to find them here. Here’s the list.

GPU SeriesRecommended Aftermarket CardDesignPrice
RTX 2080 TiGigabyte Gaming OCGIGABYTE RTX 2080 Ti GAMING OC$1299
RTX 2080 TiMSI Gaming X Triomsi-rtx-2080-ti-gaming-x-trio$1239
RTX 2080 TiGigabyte AORUS XTREMEGigabyte AORUS GTX 2080 Ti XTREME$1299

Starting this list we have the close to MSRP offering by Gigabyte, the RTX 2080Ti Gaming OC. It sports a similar cooler design with the one on the RTX 2080 Super but has a thicker heat sink to deal with the heat coming from the 300W and higher power consumption. Overall, nothing exciting but Gigabyte’s implementation has good value and it surely performs well. Next up, we have one of the best performing RTX 2080Tis out there, the MSI Gaming X TRIO. It’s a personal favorite of ours as we are frequently using it in many of our builds. For the price increase of just $10 over the previous card, you are getting a stellar cooler and heat stink combination, together with a sturdy triple fan RGB’ed design. The card comes highly overclocked from the factory but it doesn’t consume much more power than other RTX 2080Tis; this means it’s well binned and can overclock even further. The last choice of ours in this list is the Aorus Xtreme implementation by Gigabyte (again). This card is the top-end product from Gigabyte and gets a futuristic cooler design. Everything is well laid out, built extremely well and very customizable. It also sports a 4-year warranty, proof that they are not fooling around with this design.


Closing Thoughts

As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to pair a high-end CPU like the i7 10700K with the most expensive GPUs out there. There are choices that need to be made based on what you’re going to be using your PC for. As an analogy, think about how it would feel to get a car that sports high horsepower but you’re only able to drive it slow in the city traffic. It would sound good, of course. It will also look nice. But you’ve just paid a lot more for something that gets bad fuel consumption and you’re not going to use to its fullest potential.

This is why it’s important to try and fit yourself in one of the upper categories. What do you need from a GPU? Are you a power user? Which games are you playing? Which resolution would you like to try now or in the future? These are all questions that need answers before deciding what graphics card to buy. We hope that we helped you leap forward in deciding what to pair your high-end CPU with.

Our recommendations should be of help to you regardless of what you decide to use your system for since we tried to cover almost every use a consumer has from a high-end PC, be it gaming or productivity acceleration. Happy building!

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