Most Expensive GPU in 2022

Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On January 2nd, 2022

When it comes to gaming, a good GPU can make all the difference, whether it’s getting that competitive edge of 144Hz in Apex Legends or taking in the sights of that smooth volumetric fog in RDR2. GPUs are gamers’ bread and butter.

Everybody would like to build a high-end gaming PC (see also gaming PC under $700) with the most powerful parts, but not everybody has the good fortune to do so.

So, I’ve taken the opportunity to search for the most powerful GPU and along the way I had some concerns: Is it reliable to compare performance by price? Are there actually cheaper GPUs with higher performance? The short answer to all these is that a more expensive GPU is a more powerful GPU.

So to test this out, for the sake of Science, I have combed through the internet to bring you a list of very expensive GPUs, and I have grouped them by their MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) in ascending order. We’ll see if price and performance are directly proportional.

Primary Role of the GPU

In most basic terms, the GPU is used to aid the CPU in graphics and video rendering, it’s most often used in video editing, 3D modelling, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency mining, and of course, gaming.

A GPU is similar to that of a CPU but it is strictly delegated to provide graphical processing power, whenever the CPU requires it to do so. However, in the modern day and age, people have found ways to utilize the GPU to perform other, more computationally intensive tasks that are not related to graphics at all. A couple of these include: training artificial intelligence machine learning models and mining cryptocurrency.

So from these new technologies, it seems like the GPU is becoming more and more versatile. In the future there might be a GPU with an onboard CPU or even a CPU with good onboard graphics. Say, one that’s able to run CS:GO at 60+ FPS, a CPU that’s manufactured not from Intel, but from the underdogs, like AMD, they might even have a funny name for it, like “APU” or something. Who knows? The future is very uncertain. We also have an article here about the best CPU GPU combination.

GPU Specs

Before we head on down to the GPU specs it’s important to know what most of these specs mean, so in this section I’ll list out a few of the most important specs to look out for, so that it’s easier to understand the scope of the GPUs you are dealing with.

Recommended PSU Rating

This is by far, the simplest spec you need to keep an eye out for. Although it’s not directly involved in performance it’s useful to know this beforehand, so you won’t make an expensive mistake.

I’ve gone more in-detail about this spec in my article of the top 4 GPUs for 1080p 144Hz. But, in simple terms, this spec recommends the capacity of the PSU you should install, in order to make sure that this GPU will run without any power issues.

If you would like to know what happens when you undersize a PSU, check out my other article of the best PSU brands.

Dimensions

The overall dimensions of the GPU are also very important to take into consideration when you are planning out your build. Especially when getting a new case or making sure there’s enough room for your DIY water cooling reservoirs. There are two dimensions you need to factor in: the length of the card and how many slots it occupies.

Length: This spec measures how long the GPU is going to be. If you have seen many older models, like a GTX 560, they are somewhat short, when compared to newer models. But newer models such as the RTX 3090 are about 12 inches long. So, depending on your case, it might get a little cramped in there if you don’t account for the length of your new GPU.

Width/Slot Size: This spec details how much PCI backplate covers you will need to remove, in order to accommodate this GPU, something like a GTX 770 would take up 2 plates but an RTX 3090 might take up 3. So take note of that as well because it might interfere with any other expansion slots you might have already occupied.

Clock Speed

The clock speed measures how fast a GPU is capable of performing processing cycles. A typical GPU, such as an RTX 3080-Ti; that’s built for gaming, would generally achieve clock speeds of about 1.0 to 1.5 GHz.

But comparing all GPUs in terms of clock speed has now become a very unreliable method, just like CPUs that have different components and architecture, GPUs also have differences between their models. So comparing a 2070 Super with an RTX 3080 Ti, by clock speed alone won’t help you determine which is faster.

So instead of using base clock speed to compare how well your GPU might handle frame rates, I’d recommend online tools such as a GPU user benchmark. These tools provide a lot of details about the GPU of your choice. You can even pit two GPUs against each other and see how well they perform, what most users think about them and even how much average FPS you can expect from these, in certain video games.

GPU Memory

Modern graphic card for personal computer. Isolated on the white background.

Also referred to as VRAM, this spec dictates how much image data that the GPU can instantly access, just like the CPU uses RAM to quickly access stored data. The VRAM ensures that gameplay can be smoother and that the frames can be easily processed, without any issues.

Many beginners make the mistake of confusing VRAM with clock speed, and some beginners may even try to download more VRAM in order to squeeze out more performance from their GPU, spoiler alert: you can’t download more VRAM, or RAM for that matter.

VRAM alone won’t increase your framerate, it is only used to aid the processor. In most cases, a lot of VRAM gets severely underutilized when the GPU doesn’t have a high enough clock speed to keep up with the demand.

There are several other specs as well, such as resolution, number of displays, display ports, PCIe version.etc.. But these are very specific use cases and for most typical PC builds, those do not need any special attention.

If you also want to know the best GPUs under a specific budget of yours, we have an article here about GPUs under $400 and also for GPUs under $1000.

The Most Expensive GPU

The Geforce GTX 770 may not seem like much today, but back in 2013, this was the bomb. It looked amazing and people were clamouring all around it. This GPU is still remembered fondly as the absolute minimum GPU requirement on most modern AAA video games; it’s that good. (or that bad, depending on how you look at it). 

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 600W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1046 MHz base clock
    • 1085 MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 7.0 Gbps memory speed
    • 2048 MB memory size
    • GDDR5 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 115th/667

Review

Although it’s golden days are done, there’s still demand for a GTX 770. It could still power through most recent AAA titles at low graphics and that’s why, after eight years, it is still considered a viable option.

It was also very well received by the community, as this range of Nvidia GPUs had an unparalleled price to performance ratio. So far they have managed to be a solid GPU that could handle single display setups at 1080p resolutions.

Considering the specs, it was the successor to the GTX 670 and now, the 770 managed to cross the 1000 MHz mark. It had PCIe 3.0 compatibility along with NVIDIA’s signature features such as SLI support and NVIDIA PhysX.

What We Like
Price - This GPU was very well received as it boasted a somewhat affordable price tag, relative to most high-end GPUs at the time.
Performance - Considering the overall performance it could still hold its own against modern titles, but at the bare minimum graphical settings, however if you’re feeling nostalgic, you could still use this to play games like GTA V and Bioshock Infinite at medium-high graphics.
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Almost Obsolete - Most gamers would tell you to shy away from the 770, as of right now, it is not even considered to be a budget GPU. But, considering the current GPU crisis, I guess this is as desperate as you’re gonna have to get, anything lower than that is not going to be worth it. 
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From the GTX 770 to an RTX 2070 Super, that’s quite the leap. For this list, these two are the closest in terms of price, but the furthest in performance. NVIDIA really did a number on these GPUs by labelling them “super” and upping the performance specs. It’s quite a nice strategy to market a more expensive GPU.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 650W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1605 MHz base clock
    • 1770 MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 14.0 Gbps memory speed
    • 8 GB memory size
    • GDDR6 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 26th/667

Review

This GPU also marks another pivotal point in gaming history, this is when NVIDIA announced their new Ray Tracing technology, hence termed “RTX”. Therefore, the 2070 Super was one of the first GPUs to have real time ray tracing. Although it would take a while for ray tracing to really kick off, this line is what started it all.

The 2070 Super when compared to the previous GTX 770 has a very big difference in specs. Although it is not as beloved as the 770 it is much more recent, and consists of better overall performance.

The number of CUDA cores is almost double, at 2560. The Base clock runs at 1605 MHz, so it’s obvious that there’s a significant improvement.

Compared to the GTX 770 there’s no change in dimensions; it’s almost the same size. This could be a good thing because now, you could easily upgrade to this card without ever worrying about the case.

If you’re ever in such a situation, I’d highly recommend upgrading the PSU and the CPU, along with making sure that there are no bottlenecks or power issues.

What We Like
Price - This card has a somewhat reasonable price. Just like it’s previous entry, this card was also well received because it provided good performance, along with the more exciting Ray Tracing feature.
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Performance - If you aren’t that much worried about light reflections and the whole Ray Tracing situation, this card has a relatively lower performance than a 1080Ti, (which we will also get to, further up in this list). So, if raw power is what you seek, you could do a whole lot better by coughing up a few more dollars for a 1080-Ti. 
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Another old timer from 2013, although it’s performance was superior to the GTX 760. The AMD Radeon R9 290X was one of the best GPUs of it’s time. Many users can still squeeze out some smooth frames from this GPU on most modern titles. A tried and true classic, lost to time itself.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 600W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.8 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1000 MHz base clock
  • VRAM
    • 320.0 GB/s memory speed
    • 4 GB memory size
    • GDDR5 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 88th/667

Review

There’s not a lot of buzz surrounding the R9 290X right now but, it used to be one hell of a beast back in the day. Most gamers fondly remember the R9 290X as one of the more durable and higher performing GPUs out there.

During that time it was more akin to AMD’s flagship GPU, the price to performance ratio on this GPU was impressive, and this was one of the key moments that helped propel AMD to the top.

Compared to it’s contemporary NVIDIA counterpart, the GTX 760, the R9 290X has a significantly higher performance. According to user benchmarks: it’s 46% faster than the GTX 760.

Although this was a very high performing GPU, it didn’t attract a lot of sentiment mainly due to the fact that many gamers were still weary of AMD and that it was more expensive than the 760. Many felt that the GTX 760 provided a much higher value for money. AMD aimed for the stars, but in the process they lost the moon.

What We Like
Performance - This GPU has got some good specs on it, it can still be used for many modern games at low settings. For a GPU that’s almost 8 years old, it is still very reliable. I recommend this if you aren’t worried about graphics in newer titles and just want to stick around to the good old days.
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Almost Obsolete - This card is just starting to retire and in most modern AAA titles, you won’t be able to get a decent enough framerate at 1080p. It had its day in the sun for a solid 8 years and now, it’s days are numbered.
Price - Relative to the GTX 760 this is slightly more expensive, but like I’ve said before, it is completely justifiable. The performance on this is almost equal to a 1650 Super, therefore, for budget gamers I’d recommend starting out with this, if you happen to find one at a good bargain.
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Another flagship of NVIDIA, another job well done. The 1080Ti was an impressive successor to the plain old GTX 1080. Despite its lack of ray tracing and DLSS, the 1080 Ti does boast an impressive performance rating, a rating that is much better than its predecessor and the aforementioned 2070 Super.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 600W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1481MHz base clock
    • 1582MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 11Gbps memory speed
    • 11 GB memory size
    • GDDR5 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 16th/667

Review

During the first quarter of 2017, NVIDIA launched their new “Ultimate Geforce”, the 1080Ti. At that time, this GPU was their flagship entry that was ready to handle 4K and VR.

Many gamers fondly remember the 1080-Ti as being one of the many intimidating GPUs at the time, mainly because it succeeded the plain old GTX 1080 by having 30% better performance.

The boost clock on this was also impressive as it was slightly faster than their Titan X Pascal. With this new addition, NVIDIA also managed to overshadow AMD’s release of the new Vega GPU line, another win for NVIDIA.

This was before NVIDIA doubled down on improving their price to performance ratio, and during those days the 1080Ti was a beast of a GPU, both in terms of performance and how much it ripped a hole in someone’s wallet.

Despite the high price, the 1080-Ti had amazing performance. It is faster than the 2070 Super, which was surprising to me at first, because how could a newer GPU be less faster than an old one? But then I realized that the 2070 Super wasn’t meant to be flagship, and its main purpose was to showcase the RTX potential and also to beat AMD at their own game.

What We Like
Performance - For an older GPU released in 2017, this is one hell of a machine. The 3584 CUDA cores and 1582MHz clock speed was very impressive. Despite the lack of Ray Tracing and DLSS, this GPU could pump out enough frames to enjoy a solid 4K and VR experience. It won’t disappoint, if you manage to get your hands on one.
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Price - This was before NVIDIA started to cheap out on their GPUs, therefore, the price to performance ratio is actually not worth it, and the lack of ray tracing and DLSS is the final nail in the coffin for this GPU. I wouldn’t recommend this over the 2070 Super.
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Another beast of a GPU by AMD, and another important milestone for them. This GPU barged it’s way into the gaming scene and solidified its presence as a more competent competitor to NVIDIA’s newest line of RTX 3080s.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 750W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 2.5 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 2015MHz base clock
    • 2250MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 16Gbps memory speed
    • 16 GB memory size
    • GDDR6 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 12th/667

Review

AMD made waves with this new GPU when they announced it during the end of 2020. This was their new high-end GPU that was going to be able to compete against NVIDIA’s RTX 3080.

AMD’s RX 6800 XT became a solid hit among most gamers because of its affordability. The price was too good to pass up because AMD provided a cheaper option to get started with 4K gaming. This was a good selling point for AMD and they capitalized on it.

The specs on this GPU were far better than AMD’s previous iterations. The triple fan cooler was a welcome addition and the extra VRAM made it possible to showcase this GPU as one of the top dogs.

The RX 6600 XT provided almost the same performance as the 2080 Ti but at half the price. This is what made NVIDIA rethink their price-to-performance ratios.

What We Like
Price - The release of this GPU was a wakeup call for NVIDIA, it showcased the raw potential of AMD to produce a GPU that was powerful but cheaper. The value provided by this GPU is worth it, and if you're one of those rebels on team red, this is the GPU you need to get.
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Performance - AMD still has a lot of work on their hands if they really want to beat NVIDIA. This GPU came close, but NVIDIA rose to the occasion and stole the show, again. If you can afford these types of high-end GPUs I’d recommend saving up a few more bucks and getting the 3080 instead as it is 30% faster.
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Another Ti, another dollar. NVIDIA is raking in cash with another entry that knocks it out of the park. The specs on this card are impressive and its capabilities are much higher than the 1080Ti. The final cherry on top: Ray Tracing along with the new Turing architecture.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 650W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1350 MHz base clock
    • 1545 MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 14Gbps memory speed
    • 11 GB memory size
    • GDDR6 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 9th/667

Review

NVIDIA didn’t calm down after their previous success with the 1080Ti and the 2070 Super. Once again, they reached for the stars and delivered the new RTX 2080 Ti which outperformed both these entries in terms of performance and new features.

The new Turing architecture and Ray tracing definitely made this very much desirable by high-end gamers, The 2080-Ti created a new market where you got enough capabilities to support 4K and VR along with Ray Tracing.

The 4352 CUDA cores, a boost clock of 1545MHz, 11GB or GDDR6 VRAM all combined make one hell of a GPU, almost enough to tame its predecessor, the 1080-Ti by 30%.

Despite this however, the 1080-Ti had hogged all the fame, even after the release of the 2080-Ti, many were still hesitant to purchase it because of its hefty price tag, which was almost double the amount of the 1080 Ti. Therefore, it failed in providing good value for money, especially for mid-range and budget enthusiasts.

Although NVIDIA’s ambition must be accredited for, it would still be a while until ray tracing would finally kick off.

While AMD was trying to please wallets, NVIDIA was thinking long-term and trying to please the senses.

What We Like
Performance - As of right now, it’s performance is unmatched to any other cards we’ve seen so far, the Turing architecture has helped NVIDIA take the lead. The added benefits of ray tracing and DLSS are a welcome surprise. This GPU is definitely worth a buy, considering the specs and the future-proof features it has on offer.
Know Before Buying
Price - If you thought the 1080-Ti was expensive, wait till you hear about the 2080 Ti. This is almost twice the cost, at only 30% of performance improvement. This is one of the reasons why it wasn’t able to gather a huge following as the 1080-Ti did. This card was just not worth the price for a majority of PC users. I won’t recommend this for a mid-level build.
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Another new series, another new step; hopefully, in the right direction. NVIDIAs new 30s line was yet another impressive series. Just two years after their previous 20s series, these new cards were deployed and they landed, right where they wanted to: the top of the GPU food chain. For gamers, there’s nothing better than an NVIDIA 30 series GPU.

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 750W
  • Dimensions
    • 12.3 inches long
    • 3 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1400 MHz base clock
    • 1700 MHz boost clock
  • VRAM
    • 24 GB memory size
    • GDDR6X memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 2nd/667

Review

A beefy card, for a beefy setup. This card is second only to the RTX 3080-Ti in terms of power. Released in the third quarter of 2020 this NVIDIA’s 30 series flagship dominated the competition and AMD couldn’t come close to what these cards were offering.

With an even newer architecture: The Ampere architecture, this card was able to serve up higher power efficiencies with maximum performance. The 10,496 CUDA cores were an impressive feat, couple that with 328 tensor cores and you’ve got an absolute unit that could finally handle minecraft, in all it’s RTX glory.

This flagship entry of NVIDIA beats their previous flagship by 30% in solid performance. The 3090 is also the first pioneer to venture into 8K territory, although that’s an impressive feat it is still too early for many of us to start enjoying 8K.

What We Like
Performance - Looking for a good, future proof GPU? Then look no further friend, here is the one for you. It’s right up there in 8K territory along with all the fancy bells and whistles NVIDIA has to offer. As of right now, Ray tracing and DLSS have properly established themselves, so say goodbye to your worries of finding a future-proof GPU.
Know Before Buying
Price - The high VRAM is almost unnecessary for gamers, it’s much more suitable for other workstation applications, such as making games, instead of playing them. The price to performance ratio is not worth it and, you could make a much better investment by getting a plain 3080 at half the price. I do not recommend this, especially in these trying times.
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Ah yes! Why is it when expensive GPUs get mentioned, it’s always these three? And more specifically why is there no AMD GPU on the final list? I’ll tell you why, unlike NVIDIA, they actually have compassion for the typical gamer, or maybe they just can’t produce a GPU that’s powerful enough to justify a higher price tag. Whatever the case may be, the RTX 3080-Ti is the end of the line for gamers. 

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 750W
  • Dimensions
    • 11.2 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1370MHz boost clock
    • 1670 MHz base clock
  • VRAM
    • 12 GB memory size
    • GDDR6X memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 1st/667

Review

Well here we have it folks, the best GPU for gamers. Just a year after NVIDIA released the plain 3080, they came out with this bad boy, the 3080-Ti.

Almost double the price of the 3080 this GPU beats every other competition on the market with it’s 10,240 CUDA cores, 1.6 GHz boost and the newest Ampere architecture.

As of right now, this is the best you’re ever gonna get, anything higher is just workstation material and not for the typical consumer.

NVIDIA did a great job of releasing this GPU and, I’m sure it helped them buy more time to develop their next version, the 40 series, which is rumored to be released in the third quarter of 2022. So there’s plenty of time to play around with this GPU, until the 40 series rolls out.

What We Like
Performance - This is the ideal GPU frame, you may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like, who am I kidding, this GPU looks cooler and performs just as well. Highly recommend it if you want that sweet sweet 8K setup for your future video games.
Know Before Buying
Price - If you’re thinking of getting the 3080-Ti over the 3080, don’t, it’s just not worth it, the 3080 is much better at half the price, especially for a mid-high range gaming rig. The performance of the Ti is impressive and all, but do you really need those extra clock frequencies to get an edge in Minecraft? Didn’t think so. Let’s just get the 3080 and invest the rest in crypto. 
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Away from gaming territory and now, we are moving towards more workstation related GPUs. The NVIDIA Titan RTX is, of course, a powerhouse of raw graphical processing power. Perfect for creators and researchers, this GPU will get it done, by itself,and you won’t have to wait any longer to train those models or to render those videos. 

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  • Recommended PSU
    • 650W
  • Dimensions
    • 11.2 inches long
    • 2 slots wide
  • Clock Speed
    • 1770 MHz boost clock
    • 1350 MHz base clock
  • VRAM
    • 14 Gbps Memory rate
    • 24 GB memory size
    • GDDR6 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 6th/667

Review

NVIDIA has always held on to the spot for the “Most Expensive GPUs” for quite a while now, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. The Titans were always there, and now with the RTX Titan, they’ve returned much stronger than ever.

Based off of the Turing architecture, the RTX Titan boasts 4,608 CUDA cores along with 576 Tensor cores, this is by no means built for gaming, but for data science and machine learning, this is one hell of a beast. Training models that would take days on a typical GPU can now be performed in a matter of hours.

For video game developers, this is an amazing find, as NVIDIA allows you to edit 8K videos in real time, as the 24 GB of VRAM is more than enough to handle this demand.

What We Like
Price - This is way out of my league, but compared to the Quadro RTX A6000, this is a relatively much cheaper GPU. Gamers, stay away from these cards, it will do you no good, but for content creators and researchers this might be right up your alley.
Know Before Buying
Performance - Compared to NVIDIA’s quadro line of GPUs this one lacks a little “oomph”, not by a lot, but by 10% and that 10% could probably be worth an hour of waiting. I think it’s best if you re-evaluate your requirements before getting this card.
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Here it is, NVIDIA’s most valued GPU, The RTX A6000, built only for the most cutting-edge workstations and PCs. This is strictly business, not pleasure. It’s a well-built future-proof GPU that is guaranteed to provide the best bang for your buck, provided that you have a huge sum of bucks if you want to afford this bang.

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  • Power Consumption
    • 300W
  • Dimensions
    • 10.5 inches long
    • 4.4 inches high
  • Clock Speed
    • 1770 MHz boost clock
    • 1350 MHz base clock
  • VRAM
    • 14 Gbps Memory rate
    • 48 GB memory size
    • GDDR6 memory interface
  • Speed Rank
    • 4th/667

Review

This monument of raw graphical power, is built only for true pioneers and not for gamers. Utilizing the new Ampere architecture, this GPU is quite a leap over the previous RTX Titan.

It’s faster and more efficient with it’s second generation RT cores, third generation Tensor cores and the superfluous 48GB of VRAM makes it the most sought out workstation GPU.

The special feature of this GPU includes support for NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) software that enables remote access to fully utilize it’s full capabilities in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Entertainment industry and many more.

What We Like
Performance - NVIDIA touts a lot of specs for the GPU, but it’s got a lot to prove to us gamers over here. If it can’t run Crysis, then what’s this all been about? Kidding aside, this is a very powerful GPU for creators and researchers to get, and for their applications, the performance is very well upto standard.
Know Before Buying
Price - This GPU didn’t take the number one spot for nothing, it’s a very expensive GPU that is not for gamers, I repeat, not for gamers. Even for most content creators it will be better if you could stick to the Titan but, that’s your decision. This GPU is so expensive, I might get billed $100, just for staring at it.
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Conclusion

So there you have it folks, the most expensive GPUs in the market. Considering the trends we have observed as of now, it is safe to say that performance is directly proportional to price. Despite many attempts by AMD, NVIDIA still takes the top spot in terms of raw performance. Maybe this will change in the future, but one thing is certain: AMD GPUs are less expensive and provide a more acceptable price-to-performance ratio.

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