Best GPU For Game Development


This going to be so much fun. Good lord careening on a bike, I am writing an article about the best and most beautiful GPU’s on the market in the gaming industry, with an eye for development. The good news is the requirements for Unreal Engine 5 development are not that steep on the GPU end, it is more CPU limited than GPU limited, so you can afford to spend a little less on the GPU to buff up your CPU, and get better results. Usually it is the opposite, you’re most of the time going to be hacking away at your CPU to put money into the GPU for gaming, but Unreal 5 development is unique in that you would be well off to do the opposite.

Before we get going on this, check out our article on the best RAM for Game Development.


The best graphics cards available now

  • NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090 ($1499) [Best on the market.]
  • NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3060 ti ($399) [Most economical]
  • NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080 ($699) [Very powerful, best value for money]
  • PNY NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090 24GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB Triple Fan Edition ($3299 [The most powerful card in human existence right now]
  • NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 (out of production) [The baseline for Unreal 5 development at high settings]

Is the 2080 still good?

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is the baseline for Unreal 5 Development, and still a powerful card for gaming in 2021. It can’t do 4K 60 FPS or ray tracing, but it can run almost anything well, and runs great at 1440p. A good card indeed.

Do you need good GPU for game development?

Yes of course you do, you’re developing games, you will need a card to run them, but even a modest RTX 2080 with a strong processor is enough to develop games at high settings in Unreal Engine 5 with advanced features enabled. But you may wish to upgrade to make truly beautiful games.

A word on Unity Development

In terms of Unity Development, you can get by with just about anything. Here, allow me to recommend the GTX 1080 ti. A fine card from many leagues in the past, it will run Unity at a minimum baseline, but you might want to check out some of the other cards we’ll be discussing today, because I did run into bottlenecks with that card and my i7 7700K and I’m not sure which was the culprit, probably both. So even for Unity, I would suggest you get a good card.

Gamesradar had a good article on GPU’s, it’s no ‘my article’, I am Baskin, but it is still a fine professional breakdown which comes to similar but less refined conclusions.

The Best GPU for Unreal 5 Development (This applies to Unity as well)

So, i’ve done a little bit of research and uncovered that the current most powerful and beautiful card in human existence, is the following:

PNY GeForce RTX 3090 24GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB Triple Fan Edition ($3,299.99)

Let’s say, you wish to prove to your girlfriend, you truly love her, so you buy her the PNY GeForce RTX 3090 24GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB Triple Fan Edition for $3299.99 USD. Your girlfriend, who doesn’t play videogames, will thank you with Frank, and genuine gratitude. Soon she will take up gaming, I am sure. haha

But, that minor tragedy aside, you will when the ashes settle, be sitting there with the most powerful graphics card in human existence. Your twitter friends will cry with jealousy. But seriously, if money is no object, and you’re just flat out rich as my newest song is smug, then this is objectively the card to get.

Most people can’t afford it, you’d have to be either rich, or storing away money like a squirrel gathers nuts, to be able to afford a graphics card like this for your game dev career. Even prospective employers will look at you funny if you have a card this good. Game developers will scratch their head as to what they’re supposed to develop that this thing can’t run into the ground. Your boss will ask you, why do you even need this job if you’re rockin that card, did you take out a loan, or come into a windfall? It’s not just good, it’s not just the best, it’s too much.

This card is too good.

Away with this.

Let’s look at a more sanely economical option, while still qualifying as the best you can buy on the market by most sane definitions. Like, most of these blogs are not going to even bother to recommend the card I just listed, they will list the following as the same card:

NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090 ($1,499.99)

If you really love your girlfriend, and want to give her a gift so she knows what you mean to her, buy her diamonds, this card is for you isn’t it?

Yes, the NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090, the market standard as the best card you can buy for your computer right now, as of 2021-08-30, simply look at the memes, to make your determination as to it’s powah.

As you can see, the card is authentic.

This thing…. To say this will run everything at max settings is a bit misleading. This is the card at the top of the food chain, all other cards are judged by whether or not they are as good as the RTX 3090, and to what degree they are worse than it.

So just save up, buy this card, I recommend not blowing all your money on the super mega ultra version of this card, a regular 3090 is fine. You will have the best card on the market.

Not much more to say, if you’re developing games for Unreal Engine 5, or even Unity, this card will take you very far, it’s worth the price for the beautiful graphics you get.

ok moving on. Budget cards….

So you’d still like to max out Unreal Engine 5, but you don’t want to shell out the exorbitant costs of the 3090, but you still have enough to buy the 2080, and you don’t have the time to just wait, and save up money, and get the best card on the market…. hmm…. what an unusual situation you are in. You must really value your time, but not in a long game perspective, or something…. I dunno…..

As I’m looking for this card to recommend it to you, I notice it is out of production or something, and looking around the room, I actually found this for $399 USD.


For $399 US dollars, this is a respectable card, you can max out Nanite and the Valley of the Ancients with this card if you have a good processor, it won’t be the demon high speeds of the 3090 or it’s bloated big brother, but when you’re dealing with lightning speed cards of this nature, it’s not a huge difference to be honest. I can barely tell the difference between 40fps and 60fps. I usually just max out the graphics on my games and don’t worry about FPS. Or I did once…. *weeps*

Yeah, you can build a game dev PC with everything you need to have to develop for the highest quality settings of Unreal Engine 5, without breaking the bank, for around 1500-2500 bucks you can do it. It’s not hard.

For Unity this card will blow the Engine out of the water. You don’t even really need anything higher than this…. It will max out everything you could possibly ever make in Unity, at least for the better part of a decade.

Yeah, this is a really good card,
This is nothing to turn your nose up at if you’re sane…
This card will buy you a career in game dev, pretty handily, if you don’t neglect your processor.

Wish I could say it’s also good for gaming, but who games anymore? In a gold rush, sell picks and shovels.

I don’t game. Don’t play the things anymore, doesn’t interest me. I know what kind of game I want to make, and all I want to do is make games, for the rest of my life. It’s so much more fun and rewarding and challenging than buying and playing games ever could be, I hope you feel the same.

ok moving on….

Check out our subscription service

Oh before we do, I’d like to talk to you about our subscription service,, it’s a really decent way to learn how to make games without spending too much money. We can teach you everything you need to know about game dev, we can take you from making your first game, to honing your skills in advanced techniques and tools like 3DS Max, Maya, Blender. If you need to know about Unreal 5, this is the place to go, or any game engine like Unity, just stop by our site and have a look.

A career in game dev can help you make money in self employment in an industry with a future, you can do something you love, and work from home, so you can always be around your family, instead of toiling away at Mcdonalds forever, and never getting to see your spouse or loved ones.

I can’t recommend it enough and to say it worked for me is an understatement, it saved me. I have a good job now, thanks to game dev. You can too, and we can help, so check it out if you have time.



This is a nice median between the super expensive 3090 and it’s big expensive brother (you should just buy two 3090s in SLI if that’s even possible) and the somewhat underwhelming but still very nice budget card at $399 for the RTX 3060 ti. This is actually REALLY good value for money, a 3080 is the best compromise short of the 3090 and it’s not really that expensive. I think if you’re building a mid range machine this is the card to go for, your game dev career will be good for 10 years on this rig, there’s really not reason not to.

I guess if you want to cheap out on the card, you can get the 3060 ti, it’s not that expensive…. Or you can just stick with the card you’ve got, if you want to save money.

Overall, I think is one of the best options you could possibly ever buy. It’s not too expensive, it’s not too cheap, it’s a really good solid card, an impressive card that you would be proud to own. Really, go with this card, or save up for the 3090 but it’s a big jump in price from $699 to $1500. Yeah, probably if money is not, an insignificant factor, but you still need the best, this card is just right for you.

Go for it!

Final thoughts

As I wrap this up, my thoughts tend towards my extreme displeasure at rocking a GTX 1080 ti in 2021. It’s like….. everyone else has steel swords and I’m using a bone club.

However, if you are in the market for a GPU, these are the best options I could find for you as of August 30th 2021. The market moves so fast in 5 months there will be a new king. But for now, this is a good cross section of your available options. I think you would be happy with any of these cards if you’re developing games for Unreal Engine 5. The RTX 2080 is really all you need, and you should focus on the CPU bottleneck, not the GPU. But if you have the money to spare, there’s really no harm in saving up for the best of the best. The RTX 3090 is a bit expensive, but considering you’ll be with this machine for the forseeable future, don’t cheap out on your card. Would be my advice.


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