These are strange times for PC gaming because we are seeing a huge issue of demand and supply in the market when it comes to PC components mainly graphics cards. The processors too are somewhat affected and that is why most of the modern mainstream processors are priced higher than the MSRP. Thankfully, there are many alternatives to modern processors since we are seeing new-generation processors every year.
Intel Core-series processors are not the crowned king of gaming these days due to the craze of AMD Ryzen processors and although it is true for the latest processors, there is no doubt that there are many better offerings by Intel compared to AMD when it comes to ultra-budget gaming. Yes, many people are still using Intel’s 3rd or 4th-generation processors because they did not feel the need to upgrade since many of the AAA games provide stable FPS on these processors.
Intel Core i7-3770 was considered to be one of the best processors for gaming in its era and there is no doubt that it proved useful for many many years. In fact, it can still play most modern AAA games at stable 60 FPS, especially when you are compromising enough to reduce the graphical settings. It is a quad-core processor that comes with eight threads and it has a base clock of 3.4 GHz while the Turbo clock is 3.9 GHz.
When it comes to suitable graphics cards, there are tons of options to choose from if you are going to couple them with Intel Core i7-3770. We are not going to discuss the latest graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA since they will result in a huge bottleneck. Instead, we will be discussing some of the Best GPU For i7 3770 for an optimized gaming experience. So, let’s have a look at the details.
ZOTAC is now a mainstream vendor just like ASUS, MSI, or GIGABYTE, etc. and its products are fantastic in terms of value for money. ZOTAC has been releasing AMP edition graphics cards for a long time but the design changes with every new generation. The GeForce GTX 1060 6G is a mid-range graphics card from the GTX 1000-series that is why the AMP edition of GTX 1060 is not as beefy as other graphics cards such as GTX 1070 AMP Edition.
The design of the graphics card is pretty basic for the most part. The fan shroud of the graphics card uses a mixture of silver and black while the fans are black. Speaking of fans, the ZOTAC GTX 1060 AMP edition is a dual-fan graphics card that requires two slots. Sadly, the graphics card does not come with a backplate, which might make it look boring if you use it horizontally. The size of the graphics card is pretty small and it is around 8.26 inches in length, which means that it will fix most of the micro-ATX cases easily and all of the ATX cases as long as the motherboard does not provide any obstruction.
The graphics card uses a single 6-pin PCI power connector to power it since it has a low TDP of around 120 watts. The cooling solution of the graphics card is more than capable of handling this much heat and that is why the graphics card stays at around 65 degrees under full load. ZOTAC has always been aggressive about the fan speeds of their graphics cards and if you feel that the graphics card is a bit noisy, you can reduce the speed of the fans using the ZOTAC FireStorm application. As for the output ports, it provides 3 x DP ports, 1 x HDMI port, and 1 x DVI port.
The graphics card has a base clock of 1556 MHz while the boost clock of the graphics card is 1771 MHz. In real-time rendering, you are most likely going to see clock rates around 1800 MHz, going as high as 1900 MHz. There are 1280 shader processing units in this graphics card and it provides 80 texture mapping units along with 48 render output units. Since this graphics card belongs to the previous generation of RTX 2000-series graphics cards, it does not come with RT cores or Tensor cores.
The memory performance of the graphics card is not as good as the modern mid-range graphics cards. NVIDIA has used a 192-bit memory bus in this graphics card in combination with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. With an effective memory clock rate of 8 Gbps, the overall memory bandwidth sums up to 192.2 GB/s, which is pretty mediocre. For this very reason, the graphics card struggles in higher resolutions than 1080P.
The performance of GeForce GTX 1060 is good enough for the latest AAA games at 1080P resolution. You can easily play the latest games using medium settings on 1080P resolution and get around 50+ FPS. Some games might feel a bit problematic such as Red Dead Redemption 2 or Cyberpunk 2077 and, in such cases, you will have to reduce the graphical settings a bit to get stable FPS.
ZOTAC GTX 1060 6G AMP Edition graphics card is one of the best budget graphics cards that you can couple with a Core i7-3770. The mid-range capabilities of this graphics card highly suit the performance of this processor and there is a very little chance of a bottleneck in the system with these two components. The looks of the graphics card are definitely not so heartwarming but with the current ongoing cryptocurrency situation, you should focus less on the looks and more on the price and performance.
Great value for money
Plays most games at stable FPS at 1080P resolution
MSI is one of the leading vendors of graphics cards and it is one of the most reliable companies that design graphics card variants. For most other companies, we would not rely on them before testing them out but we can say about MSI graphics cards that they are no doubt one of the best ones in the market.
MSI Radeon RX 580 GAMING X 8G is the flagship variant of the Radeon RX 580 graphics card. The looks of the GAMING X variants have always been fantastic and the same is the case with this graphics card. It provides very gaming-oriented looks due to the red and black-colored theme. The aggressive fan shroud design also feels pleasant, although the build quality is slightly low since the plastic feels cheap at the touch. This graphics card does come with a backplate and this backplate feels pretty decent for the price. The black-colored backplate provides many arrow-shaped vents that help in keeping the graphics card cool.
The performance of the Radeon RX 580 has been improving since its launch because AMD driver updates provide a substantial performance improvement. This is one of the biggest advantages of using an AMD graphics card that it struggles against the tides of time and keeps its value more than what an average NVIDIA GeForce graphics card would keep.
MSI RX 580 GAMING X 8G comes with a base clock rate of 1257 MHz while the boost clock is rated at 1380 MHz. The graphics card comes with 2304 shader processing units and provides 144 Texture Mapping Units along with 32 Render Output Units.
The memory performance of this graphics card is quite better than the GeForce GTX 1060 despite this that both the graphics cards use GDDR5 memory. The Radeon RX 580 comes with 8 GB of VRAM compared to the 6 GB of VRAM found in the GTX 1060 and uses a 256-bit memory bus instead of 192-bit in the GTX 1060. With the same effective memory clock rate of 8 Gbps, the overall memory bandwidth of the RX 580 becomes 256 GB/s, which is roughly 33% better than the GTX 1060.
MSI Radeon RX 580 GAMING X 8G is one of the best graphics cards that the Core i7-3770 can handle and even though it is a bit pricier than other graphics cards, it is more future-proof than other graphics cards on the list. Moreover, the GAMING X variant is a high-end variant that highly enhances the looks of the rig. If you are not intending to buy a graphics card for another two years, this is your best bet.
EVGA has its own fanbase among computer hardware enthusiasts and that is mainly due to the super-friendly consumer policies of the company. The graphics card by EVGA are known for their quiet operation and the company tries to minimize the noise while compromising on the temperatures. EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SC GAMING is a mid-range variant of the GeForce GTX 970 and it is available at a very low price these days since there are three generations after this graphics card.
The design of the graphics card feels quite sophisticated. The EVGA graphics cards have always been like that although the company changed its priorities with the release of RTX 2000-series graphics cards and began designing aggressive-looking cards. The plain black fan shroud provides a boxy design while the curved EVGA fans hold a nice attraction. There is lighting at the top side of the graphics card where the EVGA logo and the name of the graphics card are lit. The graphics card measures around 9.5 inches, which is not too big and not too small. Sadly, like the AMP Edition GTX 1060, this graphics card also does not come with a back-plate.
The GeForce GTX 970 was a high-end graphics card from the Maxwell architecture and it provided a huge performance improvement from the GTX 700-series graphics cards. The major difference was in the number of CUDA cores and GTX 970 came with 1664 CUDA cores in combination with 104 texture mapping units and 56 render output units.
The graphics card has a base clock of 1165 MHz while the boost clock is 1316 MHz. These clock rates are much lower than that of the Pascal-based GTX 1000-series graphics cards, which is why the GTX 900-series held great overclocking potential. You can easily overclock the graphics card up to around 1400 MHz real-time clock rate while some people have been able to witness 1500 MHz real-time clock rates as well.
The memory performance of the graphics card is pretty good but the memory buffer size is a bit low at 4 GB. With a 256-bit memory bus width and an effective memory clock rate of 7 Gbps, the overall memory bandwidth of the graphics card sums up to around 224.4 GB/s.
The graphics card uses two six-pin power connectors and has a rough power consumption of 150 watts. The company has used a heavy heat-sink in this graphics card and that can be felt by just picking it up. The fans are not very powerful and as mentioned earlier, the fan profile is a bit passive, which is why the graphics card stays at around 70 degrees.
The gaming performance of the graphics card is a bit lower than that of the GTX 1060 but once overclocked, the difference is negligible, especially in the DirectX 11 games. Due to the low amount of VRAM, you will have to keep the texture settings at medium while the other graphics settings can be set between medium and high for most of the AAA games at 1080P resolution.
EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SuperClocked Gaming is one of the cheapest graphics solutions for your gaming needs that you can use with Intel Core i7-3770. This graphics card is available at really low prices these days and you can enjoy gaming at very playable FPS using this graphics card. The only downside is that the low VRAM makes it not so good for people with large screens since low-quality texture settings look ridiculous on such panels.
PowerColor is not as famous as other AMD graphics card vendors but that is why its products provide a better value. There are two major variants by the company, i.e. Red Dragon and Red Devil. The Red Devil variants are more expensive and come with beefy cooling solutions while the Red Dragon variants are slimmer and tend to provide sophisticated looks. PowerColor RX 570 Red Dragon is one of the cheapest variants of the Radeon RX 570 and it can still be found in the market easily.
The graphics card does not feel as professional as the likes of GAMING X variants due to its single black-colored fan shroud, although there is a red dragon figure at the right side of the graphics card. The top side of the graphics card is plain as well and there is no lighting in this graphics card, which is a bit disappointing. The companies should at least use white lighting at the top since it highly changes the aura of the graphics card. Fortunately, this graphics card comes with a thick back back-plate that has lots of small circular vents for airflow.
The performance of the Radeon RX 570 is quite close to the Radeon RX 580 and the major difference lies in the shader processing units and the clock rate. PowerColor RX 570 Red Dragon has a base clock of 1168 MHz while its boost clock is rated at 1250 MHz. Moreover, it comes with 2048 shader processing units compared to 2304 found in the RX 580. The texture mapping units are reduced to 128 while the render output units remain at 32.
Like the RX 580, this graphics card comes in both 4 GB and 8 GB VRAM sizes. The 4 GB variant is significantly cheaper than the 8 GB variant due to the mining craze and that is why it is better to consider buying the 4 GB variant. The memory performance of this graphics card is slightly lower than that of the RX 580 because its memory is clocked slightly lower, resulting in an effective memory clock of 7 Gbps that leads to a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s.
The graphics card uses a single 8-pin power connector to power it and has a TDP of 150 watts. The cooling solution of the graphics card is mediocre at best and the graphics card stays at around 75 degrees during full load. As for the output ports, the graphics card comes with the standard configuration of 1 x HDMI port, 1 x DVI port, and 3 x DP ports.
The gaming performance of this graphics card is roughly 20% lower than that of the RX 580, which means that you won’t be able to use 1440P resolution with any modern AAA game using medium settings. However, this offering is perfect for 1080P resolution and you can easily play the latest games at 50-60 FPS using medium settings at 1080P resolution.
PowerColor RX 570 Red Dragon 4G is a great alternative to the EVGA GTX 970 SC Gaming as it is available at a slightly higher price but provides better performance in the upcoming games due to relatively newer architecture. The overall build quality of the graphics card is satisfactory as well, however, the lack of lighting at this price point is no doubt disappointing.
I have been fond of computer technology for a long time, ever since childhood, and was always meddling with various hardware and software. With graduation in computer engineering from a recognized university like NUST was a dream come true and enabled me to pursue my dreams in swift ways. Currently, I am working for various websites as a hardware reviewer and content writer.
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