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What is a graphics card? It is a key component if you want to build a gaming PC. The graphics card takes care of rendering the graphics of video games and then displays them on your monitor.

The more powerful the better, because a powerful video card allows you to have high performance, so a smoother video game experience, but also to higher graphics settings, so you can see more details.

Performance and detail are tied to resolution. Using an FHD (1080p) monitor you need a good video card but that’s it so you can save some money.

If, on the other hand, you have a 4K screen and want solid performance, the GPU investment will be significantly higher.

The graphics card market has experienced some updates recently: Nvidia has launched three “GeForce 16 series” GPUs (the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, the GTX 1660 and the GTX 1650). These are Turing cards but without the RT and Tensor units cores. The first two are very good but quite pricey. The GTX 1650 is not recommended for now since the Radeon RX 570/580 can be found for Check on Amazon/$199.00.

Nvidia seems to have finished updating its range for now. On the AMD front, there was no news after the Radeon VII. The next Radeon cards, based on Navi, are expected for the second half of the year.

The bare minimum for a gaming PC: Sapphire Radeon RX 560 Pulse 4GB

The bare minimum for a gaming PC Sapphire Radeon RX 560 Pulse 4GB

  • ARCHITECTURE: GCN 1.3
  • CORE NUMBER: 1.024
  • FREQ. BASE GPU: 1,284 MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 4,096 MB
  • TDP: 90 W

The Radeon RX 560 ($124.99) is nothing more than a Radeon RX 460 with more stream processors (1024 vs 896) and higher frequencies. It will allow you to play most games in Full HD, as long as you don’t go all out on the detail settings.

Best GPU for Full HD: Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8GB Nitro+

Best GPU for Full HD Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8GB Nitro

  • ARCHITECTURE: GCN 1.4
  • CORE NUMBER: 2304
  • FREQ. BASE GPU: 1,411MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 8,192MB
  • TDP: 150W

The Radeon RX 580 8GB ($264.97) offers the best Full HD gaming performance. It is based on the Polaris 20 GPU with 36 Compute Units, around which we find 2304 stream processors.

Best GPU for WQHD: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2060 Twin Fan

The best GPU for WQHD ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2060 Twin Fan

  • ARCHITECTURE: Turing
  • CORE NUMBER: 1920
  • FREQ. GPU BASE: 1.365 MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 6,144 MB
  • TDP: 160 W

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 ($349.99) is your best solution for 2560×1440 pixels gaming. It is also the cheapest video card that allows you to activate ray tracing in games that support it. For now, these titles are very few, but in the future, this number will increase. This is the best future proof GPU you can buy at an acceptable and steadily decreasing price.

Best GPU for 4K Ultra HD: Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Advanced Edition

The best for 4K Ultra HD Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Advanced Edition

  • ARCHITECTURE: Nvidia Turing
  • CORE NUMBER: 4352
  • FREQ. BASE GPU: 1350 MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 11GB
  • TDP: 250W

The GeForce RTX 2080 ($1,241.45) offers you 4352 CUDA cores, 11GB of GDDR6 memory and a 352-bit memory bus. It is the fastest video card on the market and the only one capable of delivering top 4K performance. Thanks to the new RT cores it is also ready for hybrid rendering a process that merges rasterization with ray tracing.

The bare minimum for virtual reality: Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB

The bare minimum for virtual reality Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB

  • ARCHITECTURE: Pascal
  • CORE NUMBER: 1280
  • FREQ. BASE GPU: 1,506 MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 6,144 MB
  • TDP: 120 W

Not everyone can afford a video card like the GTX 1080 for virtual reality, so those you can fall back on the GTX 1060 ($379.99) and enjoy both adequate performance for traditional gaming in Full HD, and virtual reality.

Best GPU for virtual reality: Asus Dual GeForce RTX 2080 OC 8GB

Best GPU for virtual reality Asus Dual GeForce RTX 2080 OC 8GB

  • ARCHITECTURE: Turing
  • CORE NUMBER: 2.944
  • FREQ. BASE GPU: 1.515 MHz
  • MEMORY QUANTITY: 8.192 MB
  • TDP: 215 W

The GeForce RTX 2080 (Check on Amazon) provides 2944 CUDA cores, 8GB of GDDR6 memory at 14 Gbps and has a 256-bit memory bus. It’s not as powerful as the RTX 2080 Ti, but it’s definitely a solid GPU that offers similar gaming performance to the GTX 1080 Ti. It’s also equipped with RT core, so it’s also ready for hybrid rendering.

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