Picking a graphics card is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when trying to optimise your gaming experience. This handy guide is here to help you on your decision making journey, highlighting some of the best graphics cards on the market today.
Why is a graphics card important?
Regardless of the task you’re carrying out, your PC will be utilising a graphics processing unit (GPU). This can be part of the computer’s motherboard or processor, or part of a more powerful expansion card – the graphics card. This serves to perform much more powerful tasks on the computer, such as playing the very latest first-person shooter. Having a more powerful graphics card will improve the computer’s gaming ability, so it’s important to choose the right one.
Nvidia GeForce RTX™ 30 Series
Released in September 2020, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series is right at the forefront when it comes to graphics cards.
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Based on the Nvidia Ampere graphics architecture, the RTX 3080’s level of performance and power efficiency is hugely superior to its 2080 predecessor. This graphics card has a massively impressive 50-80% performance advantage over the RTX 2080. Once upon a time, gamers found themselves sacrificing their frame rates so they could incorporate ray tracing-capable cards. With the RTX 3080, this is no longer an issue. This is one of the best graphics cards for gamers looking to enjoy a glorious 4K experience.
Although we may have witnessed a similar level of performance in other graphic cards, the RTX 3070 is fantastic value for money. Where previously some gamers may have been priced out of 4K, this graphics card has made it more accessible to a wider audience. This means that more gamers will be able to enjoy a high resolution gaming experience without having to sacrifice other elements of their settings. With excellent performance coupled with great value, the RTX 3070 is for sure one of the best graphics cards on the market.
RTX 3060 Ti
If you’re looking at going even cheaper, then you may be looking at the RTX 3060 Ti. While this graphics card is only capable of some entry-level 4K gaming, it offers an optimal performance at 1080p or 1440p. A solid graphics card, most PC gamers will be satisfied with a 1080p experience while cracking up the rest of their settings to the max. If it is 4K you’re looking for, there is a little room to adjust your settings, but it is recommended to go for the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080.
Nvidia GeForce GTX SUPER™ Series
GTX 1660 Super
The GTX 1660 is one of the best graphics cards for entry-level PC gamers. It uses the TU116 GPU and is quicker than any standard card you’ll use. With its generous price point, the GTX 1660 Super is an easy recommendation.
GTX 1650 Super
The GTX 1650 is widely considered to be the best graphics card on the market in terms of value for money. At its incredible low price, this graphics card will still deliver an amazing 1080p, even dipping its toes into 1440p territory – although it’s worth noting that for the highest in-game settings you’ll need to run at 1080p. Recognised widely in the industry, this is a good graphics card at an affordable price.
AMD Radeon™ RX
With the RX 5700, you’ll be able to play the very best PC games at 1440p while having all the settings turned to the max. This graphics card offers excellent performance and it’s very good value for money at £350. It’s not built to run games at full speed in 4K resolution, but you will still get a very good gaming experience on all the very latest games.
RX 5600 XT
If you’re willing to sacrifice resolution further, then the RX 5600 XT may be the best graphics card for you. This graphics card will provide you with an excellent 1080p gaming experience with it coming in at a lower cost. The RX 5600 XT still offers a fantastic level of performance, delivering high frame rates for gamers.
And if you really want to splash the cash
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Although this series of Nvidia graphics cards was mentioned at the start, the list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the RTX 3090. Performance-wise, it trumps everything else. Great things are expected, with it being held up as the replacement for the Nvidia Titan RTX and the RTX 2080 – both excellent bits of kit.
Choosing a new graphics card is never easy. The factors you’ll need to consider are price and performance – are you willing to sacrifice one for the other? While there are graphics cards that can be considered the best, you may be happy with slightly less performance, while paying a lot less.