Whatever your budget plan, there’s an overwelming range of alternatives when it come to graphics cards. Several variations on a theme from each supplier, coupled with impenetrable acronyms and an unpronounceable product names can make picking one a daunting task. However, stay with a couple of standards and the whole procedure ends up being a lot simpler.
Best graphics cards in 2016: buying guide
If you want a high-performance card for video gaming you’ll need to want to spend anything ranging from around $345 to as much as some might think about investing in an entire PC. Spending plan then, will be your first restriction.
Being available in at the bottom of the enthusiast price variety at the moment, we have the GeForce GTX 970 from Nvidia and AMD’s slightly newer Radeon R9 390 GPUs, priced at around the $350 mark. We don’t have any of the older, but still existing GTX 970 products including in the group test this time around but you can examine our previous reviews for more information of those. Either of these GPU types will supply smooth gameplay with high quality graphics levels at reasonably high resolutions. You may even get away with some 4K gaming, although we would not suggest aiming for a 4K video gaming rig at this level.
Increasing your expected investment by around $90 to $150 will get you a Radeon R9 390X or an Nvidia GTX 980. In this cost bracket we would absolutely recommend the Nvidia item. It does come in rather more expensive than the AMD-based cards, however we feel the efficiency boost of an R9 390X over the conventional R9 390 often isn’t sufficient to justify the included price premium. Fortunately R9 390Xs are commonly quite discounted as a result, so you may still find a bargain.
Investing $650+ will get you an Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, a really various beast from the conventional GTX 980, an AMD Radeon R9 Fury or its more effective liquid-cooled sibling the Radeon R9 Fury X. Lots of gamers will not require a card with this level of performance, but High-quality video gaming at 4K resolution, 3D, Virtual Reality, high refresh-rate screens and multi-monitor setups can all require a big quantity of processing power, and in those scenarios these high-end cards are there to provide the grunt. Don’t stress, there are plenty of reasons you can make use of to justify your pricey purchase.
Where it gets more complicated is that not all graphics cards based upon a certain GPU are developed equal. Specific makers will customize the recommendation designs in a range of methods, including functions and increasing efficiency along the method.
Best graphics cards: overclocking
Many graphics cards you can buy in US can be overclocked to some degree, and the amount of overclocking available can be greatly increased through using upgraded parts and powerful customized cooling systems. The better-designed graphics cards will come from the factory pre-overclocked to take advantage of the enhanced hardware and this is why we start to see differences in efficiency between graphics cards using the same GPU types. Often speed boosts are minimal, but on celebration a more radical redesign can achieve larger speed increases, taking the graphics card into the same territory as non-overclocked cards from the next tier above. Factory overclocked cards can often for that reason provide outstanding value for cash.
The majority of graphics card suppliers have a naming system they utilize for each type of GPU which explains the added features of the boards. For instance, MSI refers to its existing dual-fan heatpipe cooler as TwinFrozr V. An effective cooler will allow the underlying components to run quicker without overheating, offering you increased frame rates. But it’s also important to consider the sound output from the fans. The best examples will remain peaceful as well as turn off entirely until needed as it is for first-person shooters.
The option in between AMD or Nvidia-based cards can be tricky, however if you have a great idea of which games you wish to play, you will discover that a lot of them are optimised much better for on one supplier’s GPUs than the other. This might be enough to sway your choice.
1. Asus GeForce GTX 980Ti Strix Gaming
- Rating: 5/5
- Estimated price: $810
In spite of the high cost, the GTX 980Ti Strix Gaming provides considerable value for money to those who can afford it. It might costs over $125 more than numerous other cards based on the exact same GPU, however its tangible performance advantages and exceptional construct quality make it fairly apparent where that money is going.
2. Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Edition
- Rating: 4.6/ 5
- Estimated price: $690
The Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Edition carries out well and comes at a sensible price. It’s not as impressive than the Asus Strix GTX 980 Ti, but the Zotac is around $125 much cheaper, and has an encouraging five-year warranty.
3. MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G
- Rating: 4.5/ 5
- Estimated price: $530
The MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G is an outstanding graphics card for those who wish to run games at the highest quality settings, but who don’t desire, or cannot manage a 4K setup. The factory overclock, control applications and Twin Frozr V cooler allow for full control over efficiency, usage and sound output.
4. Club3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen
- Rating: 4.1/ 5
- Estimated price: $385
Noise concerns aside, the Club 3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen makes a great option for a first enthusiast-level system. It also serves at a hassle-free drop-in performance increase when teamed up with an existing AMD card, even from the previous generation. Give, the low price, it probably makes more sense to purchase one of these than to step up to a Radeon R9 390X.
5. XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition
- Rating: 3.8/ 5
- Estimated price: $370
The Radeon R9 390X isn’t always a good value for money option when compared with a basic R9 390, but discover this card at the right cost and it’s one of the much better examples thanks to its Double Dissipation cooler. However, it’s still noisier and slower than the more expensive GPUs. Stay listed below 4K resolution and this card will serve you well.
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