Whether you’re making a jump from console to PC or just making a simple upgrade, it makes perfect sense to have a good idea of what the best graphics cards options for PC gaming are.
Now, we all know there is no black and white answer for this but there are a couple of ways you can narrow down your search to make sure you grab the best card for your system.
Before we move on to the best graphics cards for PC gaming, here’s a quick rundown of some of the other components you’ll want to pay some careful consideration to before you make your purchase.
Things to consider:
Before you go blowing all your money on a top of the range graphics card, you’re going to want to make sure the rest of your system can match up. Having a processor that isn’t going to bottleneck your performance is a must if you’re aiming for high-performance gaming.
It doesn’t really matter too much if you go for either AMD or Intel these days, both processor manufacturers make excellent CPUs, albeit at different price points. Recently, AMD has proven to be the cheaper of the two options but, as always, make sure you do a bit of research before picking up any component.
Most graphics cards these days will have an integrated cooling solution that is sufficient enough to keep temperatures down. However, you may run into some overheating problems if you choose to overclock your system but this can be remedied with better fans, water-cooling and good case airflow.
Speaking of airflow, unless you are going for a mini-PC build, having a bit of extra room will make it easier to fit all your components and allow for increased airflow to help keep them cool.
Cases come in many different shapes and sizes these days so you’ll be sure to find something that suits you. If you go for a graphics card that has an interesting design or even some RGB lighting, a case with a viewing window on the side panel will really make your build shine.
Believe it or not, depending on which brand you go for when you buy your graphics card can also impact your monitor choice. If you want to utilise adaptive sync technology, you’ll have to have an AMD graphics card for Freesync and an Nvidia graphics card for G-Sync.
This could all change in the future, but for now, it’s worth paying that extra bit of attention so you can make use of this great feature to keep your games looking as smooth as possible.
AMD or Nvidia?
Things can start to get a bit confusing when you’re looking at a huge list of graphics cards on a shopping website. A good way to start can be to narrow your choice down to a manufacturer.
We could honestly spend an entire article writing about AMD vs. Nvidia but in the end, it comes down to what you can afford and your brand preference. AMD has been a bit of an underdog in the graphics card game recently but their cards are usually priced a bit lower than Nvidia’s.
Nvidia on the other hand often has many more cards to choose from and in some cases more frequent and stable driver updates. This can mean a lot if you aren’t too tech-savvy.
Have an idea of what you wish to play
If you’re only going to be doing a bit of light gaming on your PC there’s probably no need to splash out on a VR-ready graphics card. A good tip is to make a list of some of the titles you know you’ll want to play and see what type of graphics cards are recommended to reach high settings.
This way, you can start to get an idea of the price range you’ll be looking at and set your expectations from there.
If you’re looking for a great budget graphics card and don’t mind playing your games on medium settings or have no desire to play AAA titles, this will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Cards such as the AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB, GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB and the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT will easily allow you to game at 1080p on medium to high settings with relative ease.
If you want to futureproof your build then it may make a bit more sense to spend a bit extra and grab a mid-range graphics card. These will handle most titles at 1080p with settings maxed out, as well as being able to push into higher refresh rates and higher resolution gaming.
Cards such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT will likely handle most of the games in your Steam library, suiting most people for many years to come.
If you are desperate for the best of the best and want to experience the maximum quality and performance that PC gaming has to offer then a top-tier graphics card is for you. These cards will simply blow everything else out of the water – as long as the rest of your system is up to scratch!
Cards such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will be perfect companions for 4K gaming, VR gaming and anything in between! While these cards will set you back a fair chunk of cash, they are simply the best out there at the moment.
We hope this our list of best graphics cards for PC gaming has answered some of the questions you may have had on the best graphics cards out there. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple black and white answer to this question, but armed with a bit of research and some online benchmarks, you’ll have made the right choice in no time!