Best Graphics Card Brands & Manufacturers For NVIDIA & AMD GPUs

Deciding on which graphics card to get is by no means easy. After all, you’re about to spend a good chunk of cash on a piece of hardware that is supposed to last you several years, so it’s only natural to want to get the very best one that you can.

As you might know, there are quite a few graphics card manufacturers to choose from, so how do you find the best one? After all, what even constitutes a “good” graphics card manufacturer and how can graphics cards made by one manufacturer differ from those made by another?

We’ll answer precisely that in this article, and we’ll also list some of the most notable graphics card manufacturers that you’ll come across today, so read on!

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Graphics Card Manufacturers – How Do They Differ?

RTX 2080 Ti
Which graphics card manufacturer produces the best RTX 2080 Ti cards?

First and foremost, we should draw a distinction between a GPU and a graphics card.

A GPU is short for graphics processing unit, and it refers specifically to the specialized chip designed for graphics processing tasks, as the name clearly implies. Meanwhile, the term “graphics card” refers to more than just the GPU – it includes the PCB, the memory configuration, the cooling, the output ports, and the shroud/backplate design.

That said, Nvidia and AMD manufacture and sell GPUs to the companies that are then free to customize any of the aforementioned aspects of a graphics card as they see fit, but they cannot alter the GPU itself in any way.

Of course, the manufacturer can still influence the GPU’s performance, primarily based on the type of cooling solution that they implement. However, the difference in raw performance is usually quite small and borders on negligible most of the time.

AMD Radeon GPU

Now, if we set aside the hardware, there are two other factors that tend to be more important when it comes to picking between different manufacturers, and these are the pricing and the warranty.

Pricing is fairly self-explanatory – some manufacturers price their graphics cards lower, and although cheap isn’t necessarily good, some of them also offer good value i.e. they sell quality hardware at a relatively low price. Just the same, a more expensive graphics card could come with a better cooler, but the performance increase might not be enough to justify the price increase.

Warranty is also self-explanatory – how long is the standard warranty period? Does the manufacturer offer an extended warranty plan? Moreover, how quick and efficient is the manufacturer at repairing and/or replacing faulty products?

Most manufacturers offer a 3-year limited warranty on graphics cards, while some offer only 2. Furthermore, some also offer an extended warranty that can keep you covered for a few more years, provided that you register the product and pay a little bit extra.

Moreover, some people like to keep manufacturer reputation and reliability in mind as well, although this is very difficult to gauge accurately. Why?

Simply because customers’ experiences can vary wildly and while some will swear by a certain company’s customer support, others are bound to have horror stories about it. On top of that, most of the companies listed here are selling dozens of different graphics card models, and it’s inevitable that there will be some faulty cards in every series.

Now, with that out of the way, we can start listing some of the best and most well-known graphics card manufacturers that you’ll commonly encounter today!

Asus is without a doubt one of the biggest and most widely-known hardware manufacturers on the list. This Taiwanese giant makes not only graphics cards, but also laptops, monitors, motherboards, smartphones, as well as a variety of computer peripherals and accessories.

When it comes to graphics cards, Asus is perhaps best known for its Republic of Gamers brand, and their RoG Strix cards are known for their efficient cooling, aggressive and RGB-heavy design, as well as their prices, which can definitely be a bit high compared to some competing models.

Of course, they also have several other series that focus on more affordable solutions, such as the blower-equipped Turbo cards or the more bland-looking but also more budget-friendly Dual and TUF series.

So, all in all, Asus is a versatile manufacturer that can meet the needs of both the average gamer and the more performance-oriented one, though their RoG Strix models can be a bit pricier than some competing models that offer a similar level of performance, as mentioned above.

Much like Asus, MSI is another popular hardware manufacturer based in Taiwan that also sells its own laptops, motherboards, monitors, peripherals, and more. When it comes specifically to the graphics cards, they also offer everything from budget-friendly solutions to high-end ones that would undoubtedly appeal to many an enthusiast.

MSI’s most popular graphics card lineup is their Gaming X series that currently feature not only very sleek and good-looking exterior design, but also very efficient and quiet cooling. Meanwhile, just like Asus, they also have a selection of more affordable cards on offer that would appeal to those who don’t have a lot to spend on a graphics card.

Ultimately, while MSI and Asus are on fairly even terms, we’d be inclined to recommend MSI over Asus at the moment, mainly because we find that they tend to offer slightly better value for your money in overall, plus we’d say they also look better, but that’s a subjective matter.

Next up, we have Gigabyte, which is yet another popular Taiwanese company that sells a wide range of hardware and computer peripherals. Along with Asus and MSI, they are one of the most dominant graphics card manufacturers in the world.

Gigabyte generally tries to offer better value with their cards, at least in the low-end and the mid-range. Namely, while they don’t have spectacular cooling, they tend to be a bit cheaper, and this will always appeal to gamers who are working with a limited budget.

However, in the high-end, Gigabyte’s Aorus brand really goes above and beyond when it comes to design. Namely, Gigabyte Aorus graphics cards usually come with bulky, angular shrouds and heavy RGB lighting that can give Asus’ RoG products a run for their money. But while they would undoubtedly appeal to RGB enthusiasts, others might simply find these designs to be too over-the-top.

Unlike the three manufacturers listed above, EVGA is an American company and they make only Nvidia graphics cards, in addition to some other hardware and accessories. In any case, EVGA is known for the high quality of the graphics cards that they manufacture, and while some of the high-end models can be fairly expensive, they still have something to suit every budget. 

Moreover, it’s safe to say that they probably have some of the best warranty programs out of any company on this list, with extended warranties of up to 10 years being available at relatively low prices. That said, it’s easy to see why so many Nvidia fans swear by EVGA.

ZOTAC is a relatively young Hong Kong-based company that, much like EVGA, currently manufactures exclusively Nvidia graphics cards, in addition to Mini PCs and some additional accessories.

Their product selection isn’t quite as varied compared to some of the larger manufacturers listed so far, but ZOTAC still has something to suit everyone’s needs – from the more RGB-heavy high-end AMP models to some more compact and affordable variants of certain GPUs.

And speaking of which, ZOTAC is probably the best choice at the moment if you’re building a small form factor gaming PC, as their Mini models are quite compact and offer relatively good cooling, too.

PNY isn’t exactly as widely known a name as most of the others on this list. It is an American company that primarily makes flash memory products, but they also have a handful of graphics cards on offer that you might come across.

Overall, the main thing that PNY graphics cards have going for them is their affordability. As you might expect, PNY cuts a lot of corners with their graphics cards in order to make them as cheap as possible, so chances are that their cards will appeal to those who are really pinching pennies and need to spend as little as possible on a GPU.

Now, we get to one of AMD’s exclusive partners, and it’s definitely one of the more popular ones – Sapphire. Based in Hong Kong, Sapphire offers some of the best AMD graphics cards that you’ll find at the moment, and it’s not difficult to see why many AMD fans swear by it.

Their build quality is spot-on, and their coolers are very efficient, too. However, Sapphire offers a relatively short warranty period compared to some of the other manufacturers on the list, so that might put some potential customers off.

Much like Sapphire, XFX is another highly popular AMD partner that focuses on reliability and value above all else. They are an American company, and while their graphics cards don’t offer much in terms of design, they more than make up for that with their great price-quality ratio.

That said, with their simple black shrouds, the latest XFX cards might not look like much, but they offer good cooling and reliability at a more approachable price than some of their competitors. As for the warranty, they offer a 3-year limited warranty on most of their mainstream cards, although some models only come with two.

Conclusion

NVIDIA vs AMD

And so, that would be our selection of what we feel are the best graphics card manufacturers today. Granted, they all differ from one another in several respects, but as mentioned before, it’s simply impossible to generalize and pick the “best” one.

After all, graphics cards are best judged on a case-by-case basis, which is why we suggest checking out our selection of the best gaming graphics cards in 2020, where we take a closer look at what we feel are some of the most appealing graphics cards available today, and we also go over some of the common questions that you might have when it comes to finding the ideal graphics card.

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Samuel Stewart
Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a hardcore gamer & programmer and he enjoys getting more people into gaming and answering people's questions. He closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep you all up-to-date with the latest news.

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