For those purchasing their first graphics card as well as those undergoing their upgrade cycle, finding a product which meets the spec of your wallet and your gaming experience can be quite troublesome. Should you wait for the next generation of GPUs or buy something now while the prices are good? And what of performance – does the current line-up of products offer enough horse-power for long-term use in regards to the way you wish to experience your games?
At Dino PC we’re able to make things easier for you – shed a little light on the GPU landscape, offer some insight to the current series of graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia, deliver solid advice for those intending to buy at this current time. At this current time however, there has been an influx of GPU bitcoin mining running rampant on the prices of graphics cards. For some, this has meant an obscene increase in price meaning some gamers have been forced to hold off on buying or seeking alternatives which they would rather do without.
Buying a graphics card has always been a primary factor of gaming performance, particularly rooted in the display resolution for the latest games. Serving as a measurement of performance for how this feature will be structured, each graphics card will be based on the best price to performance for the desired gaming experience.
Best Graphics Card for Entry-level Gaming:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
Being able to deliver 60 frames-per-second in the latest titles with visual settings that either match or exceed those offered by a games console is where Nvidia’s entry-level graphics cards clearly dominate. Priced at an average of £110 with certain models falling lower or higher depending on the manufacturer’s chosen design and implementation, the GTX 1050 is the perfect card for those new to the scene.
Moderately light on specs with 640 Shader Cores at 1455MHz with 2GB of GDDR5 memory at an incredibly fast 7000MHz transfer speed. The Pascal architecture is one that’s so well refined that while it appears quite low, it’s actually ahead of the competition while being priced competitively. With a large number of different configurations in terms of cooling structure and shroud design, the Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Pheonix OC edition is small, light and quite. Along with overclocking advantages this GPU allows for extra performance with minimal effort.
Best Graphics Card for 1080p Gaming:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (3GB)
Delivering a level of performance that’s drastically ahead of the leading game consoles, the GTX 1060 (3GB) is the perfect card for high frame-rates and maximum visual settings for those gaming at 1080p. With enough headroom for entry-level 1440p gaming, higher resolutions and premium details are easily within reach of hardcore gamers. With1152 Shader Cores tapped at 1708MHz, the 3GB of GDDR5 memory delivers a level of efficiency within its 192-bit memory bus that’s perfectly suitable for ultra-high textures and demanding settings.
Competing directly against AMD’s Radeon RX 570, the lower price tag of £250 (on average) allows the GTX 1060 (3GB) a slight advantage. Performing just as well and in some instances superior, the custom cooling solutions give Nvidia’s advanced GPU architecture an aggressive lead in overclocking where the RX 570 just can’t compete.
Best Graphics Card for 1440p Gaming:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Dominating the competition once again, Nvidia’s GTX 1070 graphics card is my chosen recommendation for 1440p gaming. Priced significantly higher than the AMD RX 580, the 1920 Shader Cores and impressive clock speed that the GTX 1070 is able to drive is something the RX 580 just can’t compete with – meaning it’s perfectly justified within its price range.
Great for overclocking with plenty of cooling solutions to assist, not only does the GTX 1070 prove capable of 1440p gaming, entry-level 4K gaming is also on the charts with certain titles being playable at max settings and at high frame-rates. Priced at £444 the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Turbo is the go-to card for the most hardcore of gamers looking to push the boundaries of PC gaming.
Best Graphics Card for 4K Gaming:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Seated at the top-end of Nvidia’s current selection of graphics cards, the GTX 1080 is the only card capable of delivering a true 4K gaming experience without having to compromise on visual settings or high frame-rates. While 4K gaming is indeed possible on lower tier cards as previously mentioned, those looking for a graphics card that will be great long-term – competing with upcoming cards in the near future – will find the GTX 1080 to be an incredible purchase decision.
As Nvidia’s top-tier card, the GTX 1080Ti maybe more powerful than the standard GTX 1080, but the premium spending that’s required to get there isn’t in anyway justifiable. Priced with an average of £540, Nvidia’s power-efficiency and gains in overclocking performance give the GTX 1080 an edge, with no card present from AMD being able to challenge it. Those looking for a GPU that serves as a perfect companion for 1440p gaming on 144Hz displays will find the GTX 1080 to be a perfect choice.
As with all graphics cards, there will always be something new and more powerful just waiting around the corner. Many will choose to wait, hoping they’ll be something available that’s worthy of the purchases they chose to dismiss. As this takes place on an annual basis, choosing to wait may not always be the best choice, as GPU refreshes are also a factor. For those looking to gain extra performance from the current GPUs, overclocking will always be the best bet for prolonging hardware.
Shop at Dino PC for the full range of graphics cards and step up your gaming today.