If you’re thinking about getting a high-end graphics card in 2021 to take on 1440p or even 4K gaming, your first and most cost-effective option (as far as the latest models are concerned) would be the RTX 2070 Super.
Being an updated version of the original RTX 2070, this GPU brings all the key features of its predecessor to the table (most notably, real-time ray tracing). All the while also packing a decent performance boost that is bound to come in handy when tackling QHD and UHD resolutions in demanding new games.
So, if you have your sights set on this particular GPU, here are the best RTX 2070 Super graphics cards that you can buy.
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ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini
Boost Clock: 1770 MHz
Connectors: 3x DP, 1x HDMI
- Highly compact
- Good performance
- MSRP pricing
- Fans get loud under load
- Not much overclocking headroom
As it often seems to be the case with our graphics cards buying guides, we’re kicking the list off with a (relatively) affordable and compact model from Zotac – the ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini.
On the outside, it looks pretty much like the rest of Zotac’s Mini lineup, featuring a fairly simple dark gray shroud with some sharp angles, and it also comes with a backplate. Much like the other Mini models in this price range, it also features dual-fan cooling that allows the card to offer good performance despite its diminutive size, with a solid boost clock of 1770 MHz.
However, just like most compact graphics cards, this model suffers from the usual shortcomings: high temperatures and high noise generation. Granted, the temperatures that the Zotac RTX 2070 Super Mini reaches when under load aren’t as bad as with some other cards, but the fans get quite loud.
Needless to say, this won’t be your go-to card if you want to get the best performance that you can out of an RTX 2070 Super. However, due to its small size, it is a perfect pick if you want to build a compact gaming PC.
EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 Super BLACK GAMING
Boost Clock: 1770 MHz
Connectors: 2x DP, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C
- Good overall value
- Solid overclocking performance
- No backplate
Moving on, if you’re looking for a full-sized RTX 2070 Super that can offer better performance without going beyond the MSRP, then you just might be interested in the EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER BLACK GAMING.
With this model, EVGA used the same shroud design that they introduced with the very first Turing cards i.e., a fairly simple black shroud and fans dotted with the EVGA logo.
However, this particular card sadly lacks a backplate, which is not a big issue, but it is a bit jarring to see it missing in a high-end card now that backplates have become common among mid-range and even some budget models.
Much like the above Zotac model, this EVGA RTX 2070 Super comes with a factory boost clock of 1770 MHz, but with its larger heatsink, there is a bit more overclocking headroom than with the Zotac RTX 2070 Super Mini and the card runs more quietly.
In any case, while it may not be the best RTX 2070 Super out there, this model from EVGA definitely offers good value for your money, as it doesn’t go far above the MSRP pricing.
MSI Gaming X GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Boost Clock: 1800 MHz
Connectors: 3x DP, 1x HDMI
- Great performance
- Good overclocking potential
- Very effective exterior design
- A bit on the pricey side
Now, we get to a solution that offers even better performance, albeit at a slightly higher price tag: the MSI Gaming X GeForce RTX 2070 Super. MSI did a really good job in general when it comes to the new Turing GPUs, and the RTX 2070 Super is no exception.
Firstly, there is the new design that the company introduced with the original Turing models, boasting a neutral dark gray shroud, as well as RGB lighting for some mid-range and high-end models, this one included. Needless to say, this makes for a much better and more flexible design than their old models with heavy red highlights.
Secondly, when it comes to the performance, the card tends to run a bit hot, although the fans are rather quiet, and the GPU clock can be pushed beyond 2000 MHz, which makes this RTX 2070 Super a great all-around solution for gaming.
So, if you want a GPU that not only looks good, with a sleek shroud and customizable RGB lighting but can also offer good overclocking performance without getting too loud when under heavy load, then this is the graphics card for you.
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Boost Clock: 1935 MHz
Connectors: 2x DP, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C
- Great overclocking potential
- Good triple-fan cooler
- Dated design
No graphics card list would be complete without an Asus RoG Strix card, and as usual, Asus’ well-known gaming brand focuses on delivering brilliant performance, even though a design refreshment may be long overdue.
The RoG Strix RTX 2070 Super features a highly familiar exterior that you have probably already seen in Asus’ older models. While there is nothing wrong with the design itself, it does feel a bit bland compared to what companies such as MSI, Zotac, EVGA, Gigabyte, and others have to offer in 2021.
But on the performance front, things could hardly be better. The card features a hefty factory boost of 1935 MHz, which means that the card will be running faster than most models out of the box. With some tweaking, this can be pushed up to 2100 MHz, making this one of the best air-cooled RTX 2070 Super models available.
However, the RoG Strix RTX 2070 Super is quite a bit pricier than most other models, so whether the relatively small boost in in-game performance that an overclocked RTX 2070 Super would net you is worth the extra expense is a very subjective matter.
How To Pick The Right Card For Your Needs
Now that we have gone over our selection of the best RTX 2070 Super models available at the moment, what are some things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a graphics card?
When compatibility is concerned, one of the main factors to consider (especially when it comes to bulkier cards) is the physical size of the card. If you want to ensure that the card you’re getting can fit inside your case, the two key dimensions to keep in mind are length and width.
Some graphics cards are longer than others, be it due to a longer PCB or a longer cooler that extends past the PCB. In either case, you should always make sure that the card won’t be obstructed by the HDD/SSD rack.
As for width, some cards take up more vertical space inside the case due to having a bulkier cooler, usually due to a thicker heatsink. This can lead to two potential issues:
- They might obstruct some of the PCIe slots on the motherboard, thus preventing you from installing any additional PCIe expansion cards in those slots.
- They might be too close to the bottom of the case, and even if there is enough room to fit the card, being too close to the bottom or to a bottom-mounted power supply could inhibit the cooler’s air intake, thus leading to higher temperatures and higher noise generation.
Now, the RTX 2070 Super is hardly a compact card, and even the Zotac Mini version is a bit bulky. That said, it’s always a good idea to be on the safe side and check the dimensions of the card you’re getting, as well as the dimensions of your case i.e., the case that you plan on getting in the future.
The graphics card is where most of the heat generated by your PC comes from, and like any other component that generates a lot of heat, it needs active cooling. Modern GPU often utilize one of the three following types of cooling:
Open-air coolers are the most common, and all of the graphics cards currently listed in this article utilize them. For the most part, open-air coolers are the best solution for the majority of gaming PCs because they feature good overall heat dissipation and can benefit more from case fans. These coolers can utilize anywhere from one to three fans, but in the case of high-end cards such as the RTX 2070 Super, they usually come with two or three.
As for blowers, they contrast open-air coolers in that they present a closed heatsink and a single blower fan that blows the hot air out of the back of the card, directly out of the case. This prevents heat buildup inside the case, which makes the blower good for smaller cases with limited airflow. However, it also makes them louder and less efficient overall.
Finally, liquid cooling is the most efficient cooling method by far, which makes it perfect for overclocking. Liquid-cooled GPUs can hit higher clock speeds, all the while running at noticeably lower temperatures than their air-cooled counterparts. However, they are not necessarily quieter, as they still need a pump to cycle the liquid and fans to cool the radiator.
Moreover, since liquid coolers are often quite expensive and can easily add over $100 to the price of a graphics card, they will mainly appeal to enthusiasts who can afford to invest in a proper high-end card in the first place.
Now that we have touched upon cooling, we have to say a few words about overclocking. In case you’re not familiar with it, overclocking is the act of pushing a GPU’s clock speed beyond the default clock speed set by the manufacturer.
Now, the RTX 2070 Super is a fairly powerful GPU, so how much extra performance can you squeeze out of it through overclocking?
Well, generally speaking, an overclocked GPU can get you roughly 5-15% more frames per second compared to a card running with reference settings, but this will inevitably vary from game to game.
In the case of weaker mid-range or budget GPUs, this is a mostly-negligible boost. However, with some tweaking, you could get some extra FPS out of the card that would smooth out your gaming experience, especially if you’re struggling to maintain a stable framerate.
In any case, the kind of performance offered by all the models here is relatively similar, and the differences in temperature and noise generation are more noticeable than the difference in in-game performance, which usually ends up being only a couple of frames.
You’ve probably noticed that we talked about the card design a lot in the article. And sure enough, aesthetics are more important than ever, what with the rising popularity of translucent cases and RGB lighting. As a result, the OEMs are trying harder than ever before to make their cards visually appealing, both because of that and because a better-looking card makes for a more marketable product.
So, if you’re getting a translucent case or are building an open rig and want to make sure your setup looks good, what should you keep in mind when it comes to your future graphics card’s design?
First and most noticeably, we have color. Just a few years ago, many graphics cards had specific color highlights that served as something of a manufacturer’s signature. For example, Gigabyte had orange, Zotac had yellow, and MSI had red, although the design varied from series to series.
However, most OEMs have moved away from this design approach, and for two reasons: consistency and RGB lighting.
Naturally, for it to look aesthetically pleasing, a build must have a consistent color scheme, and by painting their shrouds and backplates a specific color, OEMs made it more difficult for their cards to blend in with different setups. Now, cards mainly have black shrouds with more subtle gray or white highlights, something that makes them more neutral.
Then, there’s the RGB lighting, which is a better solution on virtually every front if you want to add some color to your setup. It is flexible and allows you to easily establish and change the color scheme across different components whenever you feel like it, not to mention that it is cheaper than ever and is now quite commonplace even among the more affordable graphics cards.
Finally, there’s the backplate. Much like RGB, backplates are slowly making their way to the lower price ranges, and in 2021, it’s not uncommon to find them even in budget graphics cards such as the GTX 1650 Super.
Most of us agree that backplates can look really gorgeous, but what purpose do they actually serve?
Well, the main purpose of a backplate is just that – they look cool. In practical terms, however, they do protect the PCB, preventing it from bending, and they also make it easier to get the dust off the back of the card, which is always convenient.
Something that a backplate does not do, however, is help with the cooling. Despite what some OEMs might claim, tests have shown that having a metal backplate doesn’t help with heat dissipation at all, so graphics cards with backplates won’t be hitting higher clock speeds or running any cooler than their backplate-less counterparts.
Conclusion – The Best RTX 2070 Super For 2021
So, at the end of the day, which of these graphics cards is the best?
Well, as is usually the case, there is no one-size-fits-all, as different people will have different requirements and different budget constraints.
If you’re struggling to fit the RTX 2070 Super into your build (price-wise), we say go with the EVGA variant, as it offers good performance at MSRP pricing. On the other hand, if you think you might end up struggling to physically fit the card inside the case, the Zotac model is definitely the most compact RTX 2070 Super model that you’ll find right now.
However, if you’re willing to spend a little bit extra, you could get better performance and a very sleek looking card with the MSI RTX 2070 Super. As we’ve mentioned before, it is currently the best model that pretty much “has it all” – performance, cooling, design, and good pricing.
But if you want all the performance that you could possibly squeeze out of an RTX 2070 Super, then the Asus RoG Strix version should be your go-to choice. As we’ve already mentioned, RoG Strix cards are in dire need of a redesign and this particular model is fairly pricey. However, if you feel that the performance boost might improve your gaming experience, it just might be worth the extra cash.
And those would be our choices for the best RTX 2070 Super models currently available! We do our best to keep our buying guides up-to-date, so if you notice that some of the models listed here are dated or if there are some newer models missing, that means that the guide is slated for an update in the near future. In the meantime, if you notice any overlooks or errors, feel free to let us know in the comments!