How to pick the graphics card that’s right for you

It's time to update your graphics card. If you have been waiting for a while, either to lower prices or to publish GPUs with the correct specifications, now you have many options. There are expensive graphics cards, such as the powerful RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti from Nvidia and the AMD Radeon VII, and there are inexpensive cards, such as the Nvidia GTX 1660 and AMD RX 580. A modest improvement over your current configuration will not cost you much, but the maximum price is quite high if you have money to spend.

Before the most economical GPUs of the RTX 20 series, like the RTX 2060, were available, looking for a better offer on a GTX graphics card that was more or less equivalent in power, it was encouraged, but it is no longer well, even if technically they can venture into ray tracing. Since then, they have been discontinued and, unless you want to save some money by betting on a restored model, it's not worth chasing them.

Finding the right graphic card is still a difficult process, but the decision of what and when to buy is much easier than a few months ago. Keeping these factors in mind will help you reduce things further.

Graphics cards are often the most expensive component in a PC compilation. Fortunately, you do not need to replace them frequently (or at least you should not if you are buying intelligently).

If you have not yet purchased a graphics card, you are in a really good position to save some money or get a better value than a few months ago. If you want to save money on top of everything else, consider reviewing the $ 219 Nvidia GTX 1660 or the $ 279 GTX 1660 Ti. These are currently the most affordable Nvidia current generation GPUs, and both offer a decent performance increase over the GTX 1060, although the gains are much higher compared to the older models in the 9 series. If you have more money to spend, it might be worth saving for cards like the RTX 2060 or the RTX 2070.

Taking the time to save for the graphics card you want (not to be confused with the GPU you want to afford) is worth it. It's something I wish I had done a few years ago. I had a GTX 970 on my PC, but that update came after (unfortunately) the purchase of the GTX 960 due to its cheaper price. The cost of both graphics cards together could have been directed towards a better card at that time, such as the GTX 980 Ti or even the GTX 1070, but I could not afford to upgrade again with that amount of money.

Few Applications require the power that today's high-end graphics cards can easily provide, so it may not be entirely necessary for you to invest heavily in a new GPU that is out of your budget. Popular games like League of Legends Fortnite Dota 2 Cuphead and Overwatch can run (albeit with mixed results) only in the integrated graphics of many processors, so even buying a low-level graphics card will greatly improve the experience.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or the AMD Radeon RX 560 should be enough if you like casual games and do not want to spend more than $ 150 on a graphics card. Keep in mind that these are likely to be unable to run demanding games that are below the average or low settings, or to do so without problems at a resolution of 1080p.

The GTX 1660 and the RX 580 are the next steps, and both are capable GPUs of around $ 200 that can run most of today's games in a medium to high graphics configuration with some compromises if you're planning spend so much, you are at a crossroads: should you dive now or save for a few more months for the sub-400 RTX 2060 and the sub- $ 500 RTX 2070? The latest options will bring considerable advances in the performance of the cheapest GPUs, and will perform better in the future as new waves of graphically demanding games are launched.

If you're looking for the best in details and high frame rates, be prepared to pay for it. The $ 699 RTX 2080 is among the best cards in its class, though you're not alone. AMD's Radeon VII eclipses 2080 in terms of the amount of video RAM inside (16GB versus 8GB), and, as you may have guessed, is another option if you're interested in playing on a 4K monitor. However, similar to how the ray tracing capability of the RTX is not yet a proven feature, AMD's high-end graphics card, with its large amount of video memory, still does not result in a significantly better experience. . If money is not an object, you'll want to turn your attention to the RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia's most powerful and expensive graphics card. It will cost you $ 1,199 for the Founders Edition.

For those who expect to save some money on an RTX 20 series card (or really, any of the cards mentioned above), manufacturers such as Asus, EVGA and Zotac have launched their own respective versions that are usually a bit cheaper than those manufactured by Nvidia or AMD. Prices can go down to $ 100 cheaper, although some will cost a bit more, explaining the various improvements made in the design, the number of fans and the clock speed of each card.

how to pick the graphics card thats right for you

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The benefits and limitations of enthusiastic graphics cards are not as noticeable in a 1080p monitor as in a 1440p or 4K monitor. Therefore, if you think that at any time during the life of your GPU, you will buy a high specification monitor with high update rates, that should make the decision you make for a GPU. The RTX 2060 and the RTX 2070 currently fit the 1440p games well at a relatively smooth frame rate, but going higher will give better results in the future and, therefore, will have a better value. The new RTX 20 series will fit better if there is a 4K screen in your future.

Fortunately, it has become more affordable to acquire a capable gaming monitor. At the time of this update, Nvidia has added G-Sync support to 15 FreeSync monitors through a driver update. You will need a GPU of the GTX 10 or RTX 20 series to take advantage of the function and, according to our tests, you should expect some pretty good results. Nvidia insists that the most expensive G-Sync monitors with their integrated processors are better, but if you have a limited budget, buying a decent monitor does not have to exhaust your account. You can even have positive results when activating G-Sync on an unsupported FreeSync monitor.

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