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Updated on September 27, 2023

Minecraft — possibly the most popular sandbox game to date. And when it comes to designing your own setup to best suit your DIY digital shelter demands, much like the game itself, you need very little to start, and lots of room for maximum apocalyptic zombie-slaying potential.

To start things off, you might think – does a game that seems like it was designed in the 1990s need the latest and greatest graphics cards to work smoothly?

Well, for starters, Minecraft was actually released in 2011 by Mojang, and as you may have undoubtedly realised, you don’t really need an RTX 2000 series and above GPU to begin things off.

On the contrary, you can run Minecraft properly with an absolute basic configuration, and by that, we mean a suitably strong CPU with integrated graphics.

Here’s a list of the minimum system requirements for Minecraft (Java Edition):

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz / AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) or AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line) with OpenGL 4.4*
  • GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 400 Series or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4
  • HDD: At least 1GB for game core, maps and other files
  • OS:
    • Windows: Windows 7 and up
    • macOS: Any 64-bit OS X using 10.9 Maverick or newer
    • Linux: Any modern 64-bit distributions from 2014 onwards

As a result, we now know that a graphics card isn’t a need for the game. Isn’t it possible that we don’t want to settle for “just enough?”

Suppose we’d like to play Minecraft with all of the cool mods and shaders.

Why not run the game with ray tracing to see how it works? We’ll be looking into upgrading our graphics card arrangement in order to do so.

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For the most part, none of us have a clue about what a graphics card does.

The most expensive credit card may be easy for those of us with larger wallets, but for those of us on a smaller budget, appropriate research must be done.

If you’re seeking for the greatest graphics card for Minecraft, keep reading for some advice:

Find The Right Price for the Right Graphics Card, Not the Other Way Around

You can use your budget as a useful guide when making a purchasing decision for any item of equipment.

Having a budget in mind will help you narrow down your options for graphics cards.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t waste your time looking at the most powerful graphics cards on the market right away.

Instead, look around for models that are within your price range, and you’ll be more likely to find a nice one.

In this case, higher-priced models can serve as a benchmark for how much value you can expect from the graphics card you’re considering, but don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that a more expensive model will meet your needs better because it will last longer.

If you’re a novice computer builder, spending $100 more on a graphics card may also mean you’re skimping on a high-quality monitor.

Is that trade-off worth it? That is up to you to decide.

In any case, even the most modestly priced Minecraft GPUs can provide a noticeable speed boost over a system without one.

Your General PC specifications

For those who currently own a PC and are looking to upgrade their graphics card for Minecraft, compatibility is the first thing to check.

Power, size, and other hardware specifications can all be affected by this.

Higher-end graphics cards take more power from your power supply (PSU), so if you’re already near the limit of your power supply’s capacity, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger PSU or purchasing a less expensive graphics card.

Choosing a graphics card may also be influenced by the motherboard you’re using.

A new graphics card needs to be backward compatible with your system if it’s running outdated gear that utilises PCI Express 2.0 or another version altogether, even though most recent computers normally have PCI Express 3.0 slots.

The amount of pins on your board must also be taken into consideration.

The most powerful GPUs may require two ports instead of just one, and this can be either a 6-pin or an 8-pin connector.

Graphics cards and PC cases rarely have size issues, but it’s still crucial to know if the GPU you’re considering buying can fit within your computer’s chassis.

Additional components like additional RAM, a larger PSU, or even liquid cooling solutions will require a larger chassis to accommodate them all if you plan on using a video card that comes with its own fans.

Vanilla vs RTX vs Java Shaders

There is no requirement for a high-end graphics card to run Minecraft smoothly, but if playing with the default settings isn’t your thing, you might want to consider upgrading your hardware.

Fortunately, when it comes to Minecraft, there are a myriad of options for doing so. Some of these may be available as shader packs or mods if you’re using the Java Edition of Minecraft.

Also recently released and available for Bedrock Edition is the usage of ray tracing.

Do keep in mind that a 64-bit version of Windows 10 is required to play the latter game.

It should go without saying that installing RTX or shaders will necessitate hefty GPU upgrades.

Ray Tracing (RTX) on Minecraft – Yay or Nay?

Let’s take a look at Minecraft with RTX support first.

According to the Minecraft RTX FAQ, the following are the minimum GPU requirements:

GPU: DirectX hardware ray tracing capable GPU such as NVIDIA GeForce® RTX 20 Series and higher, and AMD RadeonTM RX 6000 Series and higher OS: Windows 10 64-bit
Virtual reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) headsets are not supported by the game’s software.
Processor: Intel Core i5 or better
As much as 8 GB of RAM
A Minecraft version of 1.16.200 or above is required
As you may have seen, an NVIDIA 2060 graphics card is required for Minecraft RTX on the GPU side of things.

This is because the RT cores included into these cards enable the hardware acceleration for ray-tracing calculations, which explains why.

As a result, if you want to play Minecraft RTX, you’ll need a more capable graphics card.

There is no escaping the fact that CPU and RAM needs are not to be sniffed at either.

Aside from that, even with RTX turned on, you will not be able to obtain the’smooth AF’ experience you desire.

Lower frame rates and rendering distances are the result.

It will cost you more than just a few dollars to acquire that sharp, scenic image and hit those high FPS figures, and you’ll have to determine if you’re willing to make such an investment.

The good news is that ray tracing can still be enabled with an older video card if you’re not ready to invest $300 on a video card for Minecraft just yet.

You may now try out some of NVIDIA’s RTX features thanks to the latest driver release. An NVIDIA 1060 6GB or greater is all you need.

After that, all you have to do is go to the GeForce Experience app and download the updated driver.

So if you can’t buy an RTX 2000 series or above video card, but you still want to experience the game’s ray tracing features, you may choose from a variety of more reasonable solutions.

This is self-explanatory by now: a non-RTX card will not produce a playable frame rate.

Playing with Mods & Shader Packs

Java shaders will be the next topic of discussion.

In Minecraft, things aren’t quite as simple as when RTX is enabled.

There are many different shader packs available, each of which has its own set of visually appealing features at the expense of GPU processing power and RAM space. This is just the beginning, of course.

Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaded (SEUS) and Continuum shaders require a high-end GPU in order to perform at their full potential in games like Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto V.

An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080/RTX 2070 or AMD RX 5700 or above is required at the absolute least.

If you’re interested in running Continuum shaders in Minecraft, here are the minimal system requirements:

The vast majority of Intel/AMD dual-core processors from the past five to seven years.
GPU: AMD RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1060 (or similar)
4 GB of RAM is recommended.
Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit or later (MacOS not supported at this time)
Using a lower-end GPU does not necessarily mean you have to sacrifice quality or frame rates because of the abundance of shader packs available.

Even for those of us running more frugal setups, there are comprehensive guides to the best shader packs available.

However, if you want to play Minecraft at its most visually stunning settings, you’ll need a powerful computer.

You can choose between using RTX and using custom shaders based on what you desire. In order to function properly, both alternatives necessitate graphics cards with considerable horsepower.

Although some high-end AMD cards can theoretically run ray tracing, they still lack upsampling technology like DLSS that would allow you to play the game at a reasonable frame rate.

Because shaders are playable regardless of the GPU manufacturer you choose, and certain mod packs have recorded greater performance numbers with some AMD graphics cards over NVIDIA’s, they are more adaptable.

Minecraft GPU Top Picks 

Now that you know what to look for in a graphics card for Minecraft, here are the five finest options we think you should take into account.


Versatile High Performance

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The MSI GeForce RTX 2070 SUPERTM GAMING X is poised to give cutting-edge Java shader experience with no glitches in the FPS category.

There is an 8GB VRAM on the card, which can be increased up to 1770MHz, and it is connected to the memory bus through the 256-bit memory interface.

It has 2560 shading units, 160 texture mapping units, and 40 ray tracing acceleration cores….

Because of this, it will perform admirably while using the RTX features in Minecraft Bedrock, not simply for rendering computations.

Summarized Technical Specifications:

Graphics Processing Unit  NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 SUPER™
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
Cores  2560 Units
Core Clocks  Boost: 1800 MHz
Memory Speed  14 Gbps
Memory  8GB GDDR6
Memory Bus  256-bit
Output DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a)HDMI x 1(Supports 4K@60Hz as specified inHDMI 2.0b)
Power consumption  215W
Power connectors  6-pin x 1 / 8-pin x 1
Recommended PSU  650W
Card Dimension (mm)  297 x 143 x 56 mm
Weight (Card / Package) 1421g / 1969g
Multi-GPU Technology  NVIDIA® NVLink™ (SLI-Ready), 2-way
Digital Maximum Resolution  7680 x 4320

2. ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650

Great Value for Money

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The ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650 OC is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-performance GPU at a reasonable price.

Playing with the highest settings and a 1080p monitor will still offer you over 200 frames per second, and a 1440p monitor will still deliver a respectable amount of performance.

Although it can execute some Java shaders efficiently with its boost frequency of up to 1695 MHz, its 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a 128-bit memory interface, this low-cost graphics card’s performance degrades slightly with the addition of larger modules.

RTX is technically supported, but don’t expect to be able to play anything with it.

Summarized Technical Specifications:

Graphics Processing Unit NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
CUDA Cores 896
Core Clocks  Boost: 1695 MHz
Memory Speed  8 Gbps
Memory  4GB GDDR5
Memory Bus  128-bit
Output DisplayPort 1.4HDMI 2.0bDual Link DVI-D
Power consumption 75W
Recommended PSU  300W
Card Dimension (mm)  151 x 111.15 x 38.8 mm
Multi-GPU Technology  N/A

3. MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710

Best Entry-Level Choice

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As far as budget-conscious gamers are concerned, the MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 is one of the best bargains out there today.

At high settings and a 1080p resolution, frame rates in Minecraft Bedrock and Java should be about 60 FPS.

If you want to run any form of shader pack, you’ll need more than just a graphics card.

However, if you’re looking to play the original version of Minecraft, this GPU will be more than adequate without squeezing your wallet too much.

Summarized Technical Specifications:

Graphics Processing Unit  NVIDIA GeForce® GT 710
Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16 (uses x8)
Core Clocks  954
Memory Speed  1600
Memory Size 2048
Memory Bus  64-bit
Output HDMI x 1(Supports 4K@30Hz as specified inHDMI 1.4)Dual-link DVI-D x 1D-Sub x 1
Recommended PSU  300W
Card Dimension (mm)  146 x 69 x 19 mm
Weight (Card / Package)  1421g / 1969g

4. XFX AMD Radeon™ RX 5700

The AMD Alternative

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The XFX AMD RadeonTM RX 5700 is a more economical alternative if you don’t plan on using the RTX capabilities in Minecraft, but it still provides excellent performance with Java shaders.

Take advantage of an 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, a 256-bit memory bus, and an internal clock speed that can be raised up to 1750 MHz, and enjoy some truly immersive gameplay and great images without having to spend a fortune on NVIDIA’s high-end pricing.

Summarized Technical Specifications:

Graphics Processing Unit  AMD Radeon™ RX 5700
Interface PCI Express 4.0 x16
Stream Processors 2304
Core Clocks  Boost: 1750 MHz
Memory Speed  14 Gbps
Memory  8GB GDDR6
Memory Bus  256-bit
Output DisplayPort x 3HDMI x 1
Power connectors  6-pin x 1 / 8-pin x 1
Recommended PSU  650W


Best Mid-Range Performance

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You’re looking for a high-performance graphics card and aren’t afraid to spend a little extra to get it?

The MSI NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti might be a good fit for you if it sounds like your situation

There’s no limit to what this graphics card can handle when it comes to Java shaders, with a boost frequency of up to 1830 MHz and up to 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM spanning 192 bits.

With this GPU in the driver’s seat, you can expect strong frame rates and crystal clear images, with only the most resource-intensive shader packs affecting performance.

Summarized Technical Specifications:

Graphics Processing Unit  NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 Ti
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
Cores  1536 Units
Core Clocks  Boost: 1830 MHz
Memory Speed  12 Gbps
Memory  6GB GDDR6
Memory Bus  192-bit
Output DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a)HDMI x 1(Supports 4K@60Hz as specified in HDMI 2.0b)
Power consumption  120W
Power connectors  8-pin x 1
Recommended PSU  450W
Card Dimension (mm)  204 x 128 x 42 mm
Weight (Card / Package)  669g / 1028g
Digital Maximum Resolution  7680 x 4320


We’ve covered Minecraft’s graphics card requirements extensively in this article.

We already know that the game only uses a small amount of GPU computing power in its most basic form.

A dedicated GPU is required if we want to get more out of the game. To help with this, we’ve examined some of the things to look for when shopping for a good graphics card.

Finally, we’ve examined some of the greatest models on the market and provided our comments on why we believe they could be the appropriate fit for your requirements.

It would be an honour if you would continue to refer us to your friends and family for all of your gaming requirements based on the information we’ve provided.

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