Best Graphics

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

November 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: How To Build A PC

MORE: Best Builds

Best @ 720p & eSports

MORE: Best Cases

MORE: Best Cooling

Good @ 1080p

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops

Best @ 1080p | Good @ 1440p

MORE: Best Memory

MORE: Best Monitors

Best @ 1440p & SLI | Good @ VR

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: Best Power Supplies

Good @ 4K | Best @ VR

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: Best Virtual Reality Headsets

Best @ 4K

MORE: Best Deals

MORE: Hot Bargains @PurchDeals

Follow us on FacebookGoogle+RSSTwitter and YouTube.

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject
19 comments
    Your comment
  • GTAPC
    The GTX 1080Ti is right around the corner and was sooner than I expected. With a reveal this January 2017 at CES. I guess I'll wait for this before I go upgrading.
    0
  • belegCZE
    well obviosuly 4k gaming aint still affodable, gonna stick with ym current GTX970 and fullHD monitor for sure.
    Hopefully the next gen GPUs will be real deal to 4k gaming.
    2
  • Olle P
    I wonder how much driver improvements since the GPU reviews has been taken into consideration?

    Example:
    When the Radeon RX 480 as well as the GeForce GTX 1060 were released they were both fairly good at 1440p. Now they're very capable at 1440p, with only a few titles unplayable at maxed image quality.
    0
  • WickedPigeon
    That's a big jump from the GTX1050Ti @ $150 to the RX480 @$425. Isn't there anything in the middle? I'm so confused.
    -1
  • ScrewySqrl
    Anonymous said:
    That's a big jump from the GTX1050Ti @ $150 to the RX480 @$425. Isn't there anything in the middle? I'm so confused.


    the 1050ti maxes out 1920x1080. so why pay more for 1920x1080 use? the 480 and 1060 are playable 1440p so the next step up.
    0
  • Olle P
    Anonymous said:
    That's a big jump from the GTX1050Ti @ $150 to the RX480 @$425. Isn't there anything in the middle? I'm so confused.
    The RX480 isn't $425, but rather $225 (for the 4GB version).
    The tricky thing is that there are RX470 selling at the same price point as GTX1050Ti, and the RX470 perform better!

    I'd recommend RX470 for "Good" 1080p (Can't do all games at maximum settings.) and have GTX 1050Ti as an "honourable" because of low power consumption.

    The RX480 8GB (as well as GTX 1060 6GB) is "Good" 1440p and maximum 1080p.
    0
  • CaptainTom
    Honest question for everyone here: WTF happened to Tom's Hardware?


    The Haswell review had a "Yawn" in the title for only having a 10% IPC increase over IB, and yet now a near ZERO increase merits a glowing review?

    When did TH become a puff-piece website that does nothing but shill marketing? I used to recommend this place to all of my new-to-PC friends, but now I avoid it like the plague. Nothing but ads and misinformation.

    This is the website that in-depth analyzed micro-stuttering and proved that the R9 295X2 was fine with a 650w PSU.


    Now TH considers a $400 1070 t be "Good for the money" over a $260 R9 Fury?!?!?!?! WTF?! This is pathetic!
    0
  • CaptainTom
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    That's a big jump from the GTX1050Ti @ $150 to the RX480 @$425. Isn't there anything in the middle? I'm so confused.
    The RX480 isn't $425, but rather $225 (for the 4GB version).
    The tricky thing is that there are RX470 selling at the same price point as GTX1050Ti, and the RX470 perform better!

    I'd recommend RX470 for "Good" 1080p (Can't do all games at maximum settings.) and have GTX 1050Ti as an "honourable" because of low power consumption.

    The RX480 8GB (as well as GTX 1060 6GB) is "Good" 1440p and maximum 1080p.


    I remember when "Best for the Money" meant "Best for the money". Now this is just a list of the newest graphics cards lmao.

    The fact that they would even list the 1050 Ti or 1080 at all is a massive joke.
    1
  • RedJaron
    CaptainTom, you keep copy/pasting that complaint and it will be acted upon.

    What's a joke about the 1050 Ti? It's comfortably and readily available for $140 right now. It handily trounces the 460, which forced the 460's price drop. The 470 and 480 are far above the 1050 Ti, but both those cards are at least $40 more. Considering most people set money caps for themselves when buying new components, a lot of people will be asking themselves, "What's the best GPU I can get for $150 or less?" Answer - 1050 Ti.

    Yes, the 470 is on sale a few places right now in the $150 - $160 range, but if you're such an ardent reader as you claim, you'd know the monthly Best Of articles don't go by momentary sales such as Black Friday. Once those sales end, the card is back up to $180.

    And if you would like to demonstrate a GPU that can serve up better 4K and VR performance than the 1080 for less money, I'm sure everyone is breathlessly waiting on your wisdom and insight.
    0
  • Olle P
    Anonymous said:
    Yes, the 470 is on sale a few places right now in the $150 - $160 range, ... Once those sales end, the card is back up to $180.
    Looking from my own horizon, Sweden, we've had 470's at about 1800 SEK since a week after GTX 1500 was released. (For example Sapphire OC cost 1790 from Oct 10 to Nov 24, and has then been fluctuating a bit. Hardly a "sale" price.)
    When I wrote my previous post yesterday it was still true. As of today it seems like prices are more stable around 2000 SEK, possibly due to the last month's higher exchange rate.
    By comparison most GTX 1050Ti right now come in the 1650 to 1800 price range.

    Picking a recommendation today for 1080p gaming is tricky, to put it mildly. The optimum recommendation depends on budget vs what level of performance is "good enough" for the user.
    Is it "good enough" to run today's games at moderate settings, or does one want to run the games released in 2019 at high settings as well? There are video cards available to cover that spectrum, with a price range to match!
    -1
  • leandromg
    They were confused when putting the prices, they put the link of the GTX 1070 instead of the RX 480!
    0
  • RedJaron
    Olle, we go off US pricing since we can't track the many different VAT and other international prices factors. Most vendors still have the 470 in the $180 - $200 range, minus a few select models on sale this last week. I believe such a pricing note is in the article. If a particular component is priced more competitively in your country, that's a nice change for you.

    The Amazon price links are dynamically generated by the site code, so if those prices are off, it's a code glitch and not representative of the writers using wrong pricing data in their recommendations.
    0
  • RedJaron
    Anonymous said:
    what about these GPU's here?
    That lists the 460, 750 Ti, and 950.

    The 460 is already included in TH's list. It's faster than the 750 Ti and at this point only marginally more expensive.

    The 950 has been replaced by the 1050 and 1050 Ti.
    0
  • kiniku
    I have an O/Ced 970 on a 2K 27". I play mostly MMOs with a shooter once in a while. For me upgrading with this gen would be throwing money away. But I definitely will keep an eye out for Vega and eventually the 1100 series?
    0
  • TechyInAZ
    I wouldn't of added the Titan X. Instead put a GTX 1080 SLI configuration as that costs almost the same and brings better performance.
    0
  • Rexer
    Sometime this month and the beginning of January '17, AMD is bringing out RX 490 and Nvidia's 1080ti. Probably after CES. Maybe we'lll see prices dropping for 480's and 1070's respectively. I hope, I hope, I hope. I'm a cheap guy. I gotta buy according to my budget and woman so I'm pretty much counting the moths in my wallet, too.
    0
  • PCDesignerR
    Just get a Titan Z and that will solve any issues you have related to graphics...
    0