GPUs are vital for playing competetive games at the highest level – this is part of your PC that deals with the graphics. That makes it important both for playing new games with flashy graphical fidelity, but also for getting a decent high frame rate alongside the CPU. The GPU isn’t just for nice visuals though, getting the right visual performance gives competitive advantages. The best GPU for Fortnite can be one of the most important parts of your PC, boosting its power and helping you perform as highly as possible.
While GPUs are important, they aren’t always simple to shop for. Even if you’re going for a top-of-the-line GPU, it can be difficult to find it with the crypto craze currently going on. With the influx of aftermarket cards, things are even trickier if you’re a newcomer. We’ve broken down the best GPUs for Fortnite, along with a buyer’s guide to help you understand what makes a good or bad GPU for Fortnite, and why it is important.
What Makes the Best GPUs for Fortnite?
GPUs are what make your games tick. They are responsible for processing all the graphics and images you see when playing Fortnite. GPUs these days are incredibly powerful and handle a lot of the games’ computations. A good graphics card could be the difference between enjoying your game and gameplay and throwing your keyboard across the room.
A good Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) isn’t hard to find given how big the market for gaming PCs has gotten. However, what if you want quality, a decent, budget, and longevity? That’s a bit harder.
If you know what a CUDA core is and understand TDP ratings, you probably already know what you’re looking for. Although, if this is your first upgrade, you’ll want to pay close attention to our guide and look before you leap into the first card that promises high-level graphics.
Hardcore or Casual Gamer?
Before you think about dropping hundreds of dollars on a new GPU, you have to consider the types of games you play. You’re obviously not here if you’re playing jewel-poppers in your browser, so when we say casual, we mean weekend warriors and people that pick up specific titles. Casual gamers don’t need a top-tier card which opens the doors to a wealth of possibilities and price points. Even if you only play Fortnite or LoL, a great graphics card will make a huge difference. However, you can still find a balance with your budget if you know what to look for. Especially with the best GPUs for Fortnite, since the game is well-optimized.
If you’re a hardcore gamer, the field narrows considerably as some cards are just incremental upgrades and only a handful takes major leaps. You also have to consider the overall systems requirements of your machine. That said, if you want to game in full 4K with high graphics, go straight to the premium graphics cards. That isn’t the biggest issue for Fortnite, but the game can look good on high settings, especially in these newer chapters.
AMD and NVIDIA
When looking for the best GPU, NVIDIA and AMD are the two main brands. Each company has a tiered system with premium, mid-range, and budget-friendly cards. In some cases, the budget-friendly cards are just older. When a new card drops, prices on the previous generation tend to drop, so you can find deals on occasion as well.
While either brand of card can provide you with enough power to game, there are a few significant differences between the two. It is debatable which area each excels at, and some gamers are ardent fans of one over the other. NVIDIA is often behind some of the biggest innovations in graphics cards. However, AMD has caught up well and often offers better value cards. However, there are features onboard each GPU that make them different beyond just power.
If you’re looking for the best GPUs for Fortnite, you should consider both. Naturally, one or the other is going to end up having a feature that you prefer though.
FreeSync and G-Sync
FreeSynx and G-sync are two separate but similar technologies that help to bridge the gap between GPU and monitor. They work a bit differently but are close in what they actually do. G-sync and Free Sync synchronise your display refresh rate to your GPU, to match your FPS. It aims to get rid of screen tearing and lag for your monitor.
FreeSync is AMD’s technology while NVIDIA’s solution is G-Sync. These could limit your options for monitors if you want to get the most out of each feature since compatibility isn’t 100% but both systems can function with a lot of gaming monitors now. Both are also preferable to V-sync though, which should largely be turned off.
Form and Size
Outside of concerns like power, budget, and brand, you’ve got to think about your PC itself. Form factor matters and high-end cards can take up 2 – 3 slots. If you don’t have enough room for the card, you could be in trouble straight out of the box. You’ll also need to consider the space required for fans or liquid loops depending on how you plan to set your system up. When in doubt, always check the length, width, and height of the graphics card beforehand.
Reference vs Third-party Designs
As the name implies, a reference graphics card or Founders Edition cards are straight from the manufacturer and unaltered by third parties. It’s something that can lead to confusion if you’re new as well when you’re looking at 20 variants of the 1080 Ti at wildly different price points.
While a third-party card can be tempting, the differences are usually cosmetic or involve cooling. It can be something as simple as an extra fan and solid backplate, or a complex water-cooling system with RGB lighting. It’s also an area that directly affects the price of your card, so think about what you need. Check benchmarks for how it actually impacts performance if you’re unsure.
In addition to the power requirements and the size of the GPU, you’ll have to take a few other technical areas to take into account including memory, power requirements, and ports…
- Clock Speed – This is a factor that you’ll see quoted a lot looking for the best GPU for Fortnite. This basically just means how fast the cores of the unit are at processing graphics. This is the main part of a GPU so naturally, it’s pretty important.
- Memory – You’ll see this referred to as VRAM more often than not. The more a card has, the better off you generally are. That doesn’t mean you need to pay a premium, however, as you don’t need 8GB of GDDR6 to run something at 1080p. Memory bandwidth is important as well, considering it’s the rate that data stored on the chip can be read. As with the interface width and almost every other tech spec, bigger is generally better – especially if you want to run 4K games at a stable rate.
- Power Requirements – Dual 8-pin connectors are common in high-end cards while mid-rangers are usually 6-pin, but some cards can have both Every manufacturer will have a recommended wattage for the PSU as well in case you need to pick up a new supply or an adapter to go along with your powerful new card.
- Ports – This one is self-explanatory as it all boils down to your monitor and how many you plan to use. Every GPU on our list has several DisplayPorts, and you won’t find one without an HDMI as well. USB-C is a bit more exotic, and DVI is hit or miss. Again, keep your monitor in mind and think about any plans to upgrade as well.
The Best GPUs for Fortnite
That’s everything you’ll need to watch out for in GPUs. It should give you an idea of what you’re looking for, but what’s the best GPU for Fortnite? We’ve looked at the GPUs available from all angles, along with things like price and how they’ll specifically run with Fortnite. These are the best GPUs we’ve found for the game, to get high-level competitive performance at any budget level:
- Great 4K Performance
- 11GB of GDDR6
- Ray tracing and AI
The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti from NVIDIA is one of the highest-powered graphics cards we’re looking at here. It can handle difficult things like 4K without too much trouble. Since it isn’t as new as it once was, it’s gotten better for price too.
This graphics card uses Turing architecture along with the TU102. That means you’ll have real-time ray tracing and advanced shading technology along with Tensor Cores. Those new cores work to give your system a boost. This isn’t exactly needed for most Fortnite players, but it’s great if you want to play a variety of games. Even in the Battle Royale, this isn’t going to struggle with Chapter 3 fidelity at a competitive quality.
The Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti comes with 11GB of GDDR6 with a speed of 14 Gbps. The interface width is 352-bits and the bandwidth clocks in at 616 GB/s. The base clock speed of 1,350 MHz while the OC rate is 1,635 MHz. NVIDIA upped the CUDA cord count by around 800 to a whopping 4,352 compared to the GTX 1080 Ti.
The obvious downside is that this is much more expensive. However, this can handle more advanced modern games so you’re not going to need a replacement for the foreseeable future. It comes with a 3-year warranty, and there are dozens of variants of this card if Founders Edition isn’t for you.
- 11GB Memory
- 2 Fans
- Real-time Ray Tracing
The GeForce RTX 2080 is another powerful GPU from NVIDIA, it’s more than enough for the highest level of Fortnite. You won’t have to worry about frame rate costing you in an edit fight. On top of that, this can handle advancements in games such as VR too.
You’re getting 8GB of GDDR6, and a bandwidth speed of 448 GB/s. As this is from NVIDIA’s RTX line-up, you can expect all the goodies you’d find on their premium card. That includes features like NVLink, HDCP 2.2, Ansel, and Ray Tracing. Thanks to the Turing architecture; you’ll get AI-enhanced graphics as well along with 2,984 CUDA cores and the max resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 is the same as the rest of the pack. The RTX 2080 has three DisplayPorts, HDMI 2.0b, and a USB-C port. It’s a bit larger than the regular edition, however, at 302mm x 139mm and takes up 2.75 slots.
The extra size comes into play for two reasons, RGB lighting and iCX2 cooling tech. There are three HDB VGA fans located on this GPU which keeps things running cool along with some help from the company’s iCX2 cooling system. The RGB lighting is adjustable, and we’re fans of the EVGA X1 tuning software as well.
If the 2080 Ti is out of your league, you may have found the perfect GPU in the EVGA’s 2080 FTW3. It’s still not the cheapest, but you’re getting a lot for the price here.
- 6GB memory
- 1710 MHz
- Real-time ray tracing
- Afterburner overclocking utility
The MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 is a great GPU at a lower price point than the others we’ve covered so far. This is a great pick for one of the best GPUs for Fortnite that doesn’t have to be the most expensive component in your PC. This GPU still has plenty of cool features though, like Learning Super Sampling and Ray Tracing. Its memory interface width is 192-bit, the speed at 14 Gbps, and the bandwidth at 336 GB/s. This should make it a great fit in most builds.
For playing Fortnite, this GPU is going to be able to get you a great frame rate. You might not even have to turn down visual details. Although, if you’re going for the best competitive performance then you might still want to use the best Fortnite settings.
The MSI RTX 2060 Ventus features three DisplayPorts and an HDMI, and you’ll only have to deal with one 8-pin connector this time around. It has 6GB of GDDR6 with a top speed of 1,710 MHz boosted and measures 226mm x 128mm x 41mm. The TPU is 160w, and the company recommends you have at least a 500w PSU.
What sets this card apart from the standard edition is the cooling. In this case, it’s the TORX 2.0 system that utilizes a traditional dispersion fan blade. Those two fans give you more coverage for the heatsink. Another perk would be Afterburner, which allows you to make adjustments with ease.
The GeForce RTX 2060 is going to be a solid upgrade for most folks unless you’re already rocking one of its siblings. This card has an attractive price point and punches above its weight.
- 8GB memory
- 1607 MHz base clock
- Supports four displays
When you have a build with a smaller form factor, finding a solid card with enough power can be tricky. If you dig NVIDIA and are looking for some compact and affordable power, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Mini definitely comes in high on the list of best GPUs for Fortnite for you.
Before NVIDIA introduced its Turing architecture, Pascal was the only way to go in a top-tier GPU. This chip takes advantage of that platform, so you won’t get Ray Tracing or DLSS. Ansel, G-Sync, and everything else though are available on this VR-ready card. Needless to say, it has plenty of power with 2,432 CUDA cores and base/boost ratings of 1,607 MHz and 1,683 MHz respectively.
Video memory is solid in this GPU as well with 8GB of GDDR5 at 8 GHz. It can also support four monitors courtesy of three DisplayPorts, HDMI 2.0b, and DL-DVI-D. The power requirements are about what you’d expect at 180w, but the size is the real star of the show. This GPU measures 211mm x 125mm x 41mm and takes up two slots. This is going to fit in the majority of PCs, even if your space is really limited.
As this is a third-party card, you’re going to get some extras from ZOTAC. The biggest would be the IceStorm cooling system which utilizes two fans and direct copper contact to pull heat away from the GPU. There are also thermal pads between all the vital components and a small white LED light that looks good against the Gunmetal Grey shell. The Firestorm software is a cool perk as well and gives you total control of your card.
This card won’t be for everyone, but it’s ideal if you need to save some room and don’t want to break the bank. It manages an impressive performance both on Fortnite and other more demanding games. It even comes with a 2-year warranty.
- 8GB RAM
- VR ready
- Enhanced memory cooling
If your rig is still in the 1080p realm, but your card needs an update, then the Radeon RX 580 from XFX is the best option for gamers on a budget. This GPU might not hit the higher graphical benchmarks, but you can definitely play Fortnite on the highest level with a great frame rate here.
One of the main appeals of this graphics card is the price point. It is definitely coming in on the cheaper end, but you’re still getting plenty for your money. The RX 580 will definitely give your system a boost with 2,304 stream processors, and 8GB of GDDR5. The memory bus width is 256-bit with a true speed of 8.0 GHz while the boosted rate is listed at 8.1 GHz.
This card has a true clock speed of 1,366 MHz and 1,386 overclocked. It should also cover even setups with more monitors, including an HDMI, three DP ports, and a DL-DVI-D port.
AMD’s tech tricks are present on this one with FreeSync 2, WattMan, CrossFire, and all the other bells & whistles. XFX added its own unique features to the mix including True Clock hardware tuning and enhanced VRM cooling which can reduce noise levels by 5% and temperatures up to 20 degrees. A unibody heatsink increases thermal efficiency as well along with composite heat pipes and an aluminum backplate.
This GPU can handle high performance with ease for Fortnite. We chose the 8GB version here, but a 4GB variant is available along with Black and Black Core Editions of the RX 580. Every version of this GPU comes with a 3-year warranty from XFX too, so you get some peace of mind.
- Small compact design
- One-click overclocking
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 is another pick here that has a smaller form factor. This one is only 167mm in length, helping to fit into just about any build easily. This is also one of the best for budget, clearly sitting on the cheaper end. However, it can still get you great performance out of Fortnite. You’re going to be able to achieve competitive quality, even if there are a few adjustments that you’ll need to make to settings.
This GPU features connectivity with one dual-link DVI-D, a DP, and two HDMI ports. You’re going to be able to support up to four monitors here. The core speed is 1442 MHz, or 1417 in gaming mode. It even includes 4GB GDDR5 integrated.
One nice feature is one-click overclocking, part of the EXTREME engine utility. You can fine-tune how the card performs without having to know how to manually overclock. This is on the lower side of the budget for the best Fortnite GPUs. However, there is a lot here to like. You’re still getting a great graphics card.
Which is the Best GPUs for Fortnite is for You?
If you’re still having trouble picking between, think about the titles you play now along with any upcoming games, and stick to your budget if you want the best GPU. While it’s tempting to go for a big card that looks great in your case and gives you bragging rights, it could be overkill for your rig and prices generally drop when a new generation is released. For playing Fortnite at the highest level, all of these GPUs will work when paired with the right build and set-up. It’s just a matter of how much more you want to do, with factors like 4K and VR being more limiting