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.
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Best GPUs For Gaming
3/19/2018 Update: The graphics card market remains priced to reflect serious demand-side pressure (thanks, of course, to crypto miners), forcing gamers to pay dramatically inflated prices or hold off on an upgrade. New cards will of course arrive eventually, though our sources indicate Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs will land no sooner than this summer. So no short-term easing of high prices and/or spotty availability looks to be in sight.
1/26/2018 Update: removed AMD Radeon RX 580 for Best FHD & Good QHD recommendation and replaced it with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. Modified AMD Radeon RX 560, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti entries.
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It’s not a good time to build a gaming PC. There’s just no way to sugar-coat it. Graphics cards, some of which are coming up on two years old, sell out the moment they appear for sale. The beefiest power supplies are similarly in high demand. And it’s rumored that next-gen desktop architectures aren’t far off.
But rather than decry cryptocurrency miners or vilify distributors for taking steep mark-ups, we’ll spend a little time talking about what we see happening in the market.
First off, expect to find nothing but mainstream cards in stock if you’re casually window shopping. Think GeForce GTX 1050 Ti- or Radeon RX 560-class and down. Above that performance level, you’ll see a lot of “out of stock” and “notify when available.” Newegg has several bundles combining graphics cards and monitors or motherboards, diverting some of its inventory to builders who need other parts for their PCs. They don’t add any value, though—you pay a big premium on the card and full-price for the “free” extra.
Although you can sign up for notifications when higher-end cards land back on the shelves, obscene pricing is still a problem. We like to keep our recommendations general, and we rarely call out specific vendors or their models. But EVGA, specifically, is doing a fair job of keeping prices reasonable on its own storefront. Just sign up for an email when your card of choice becomes available and be quick to order when the notice arrives.
Don’t hold your breath for a better supply situation any time soon. We put out feelers to one large distributor, asking for availability on a big order of GP104-based cards. The consensus was that we’d see fewer than 50 boards fulfilled every couple of weeks, and pricing would go up if we didn’t get our order in before February.
If you can hang tight for now, delay that graphics card upgrade. Otherwise, shop carefully. Fans of AMD hardware are at the mercy of vendors bagging hefty profits, unfortunately. Some of Nvidia’s board partners sell direct, giving you a better shot at a decent deal. And Nvidia says its own online store continues receiving shipments of Founders Edition cards.
As such, we’re currently removing AMD’s Radeon RX 580 from our list of recommendations and leaving the GeForce cards (for anyone willing to camp out a “fair” price). Hopefully, the weeks to come surprise us with more hardware gamers can get their hands on. But we’ll keep a look-out for the best deals in case supply stays lean.
Good @ 720p & eSports
Best @ 720p & eSports
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Good @ 1080p
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Best @ 1080p | Good @ 1440p
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Best @ 1440p & SLI | Good @ VR
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Good @ 4K | Best @ VR
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Best @ 4K