Best Graphics Cards

At the time of purchase, PC gamers need to know what the best GPU for the money is. And if you don’t have the time to research the benchmarks, fear not, we've compiled a simple up-to-date list of the best GPUs for gaming at the most popular resolutions, virtual reality, and eSports.

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

October 2016 Updates

After a flood of summertime graphics launches, AMD and Nvidia remained relatively quiet over the past month. But that doesn’t mean your two favorite purveyors of discrete GPUs sat idle.

No doubt, both companies strove to satisfy demand for their creations built using 14 and 16 nm manufacturing technology. The last time we took stock of the market, back in August, prices on Pascal- and Polaris-based cards were through the roof compared to where AMD and Nvidia told us we’d find them. We don’t have an official explanation from AMD as to why its Radeon RX cards are out of whack, but an Nvidia rep did suggest that GeForce add-in board partners are playing a game of chicken. Everyone is selling at a premium. Everyone is making more money. And nobody wants to be first to go lower because cards continue moving at the higher prices. Really, the only way to stop that train is easing demand.

Fortunately, Nvidia’s Pascal-based cards are coming down slowly. Its 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060s really do start at $200 now, and the 6 GB version shows up on our radar at $250—right where the company originally told us it’d appear three months ago. GeForce GTX 1070 was supposed to start at $380, one model is listed at $390, and more of the cards sell for $400. But that’s definitely better than last month’s $430 price tag. The same goes for GeForce GTX 1080. We originally expected partner cards to go for $600. You can finally find them around $630. And again, that’s an improvement from the $650 we reported a few weeks ago.

We’re still waiting on a little more relief from AMD. While 2 GB Radeon RX 460s do start at $110, that’s where 4 GB models are supposed to be. In turn, 4 GB cards command at least $130, similar to last month.

Moving up the hierarchy, there’s one Radeon RX 470 selling for $185. It’s only a bummer the 470 never really piqued our interest. It’s a little slower than the RX 480 4 GB and supposedly a little less expensive, though lately the 470 has taken over the 480 4 GB’s $200 price point. Perhaps the announcement of Asynchronous SpaceWarp and reduced Oculus Rift minimum specs are encouraging sales of the middle Polaris offering. Right now, if you want the quicker 480, you have to pay $230 or more. We don’t really think 8 GB of GDDR5 is necessary on the RX 480, but if that’s more your style, expect to find it starting at $260 rather than AMD’s $240 launch price.

Because this was a relatively calm month, our recommendations are mostly the same. Barring a price drop on the RX 460, we still like the Radeon R7 360 at $90. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 950 remains a strong contender for as little as $130. It’s quite a bit slower than the Radeon RX 470, but mostly faster than the 4 GB RX 460 selling around the same price.

With the GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB dropping from $290 to $250, it’s harder to shrug off. If you still play a lot of older DirectX 11 games, the 1060 is quite a bit faster than AMD’s 8 GB RX 480. Newer games like Hitman go the Radeon’s way. You’ll have to make a judgement call there for great frame rates at 1920x1080 and playable performance at 2560x1440. Both cards satisfy this category.

Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

Best @ 720p & eSports

MORE: Best Cpus

MORE: Best Memory

Good @ 1080p

MORE: Best Cases

MORE: Best Cooling

Best @ 1080p | Good @ 1440p

MORE: Best Monitors

MORE: Best motherboards

Best @ 1440p & SLI | Good @ VR

MORE: Best Power Supplies

MORE: Best SSDs

Good @ 4K | Best @ VR

MORE: Best Virtual Reality Headsets

Best @ 4K

MORE: Best

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  • RCFProd
    Best Gaming GPU's that have, in my opinion, been forgotten/overlooked:

    AMD RX 460 - GTX 950 level performance at a 40% cheaper price.

    Video Card: XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB Video Card (£109.10 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £109.10
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-19 15:48 BST+0100


    AMD RX 470 4GB - Better performance per dollar compared to the RX 480

    Video Card: XFX Radeon RX 470 4GB Triple X Video Card (£179.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £179.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-19 15:46 BST+0100

    AMD XFX R9 Fury Nitro

    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 Fury 4GB Triple Dissipation Video Card (£289.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £289.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-10-19 15:49 BST+0100
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