Building your own PC can be a hugely rewarding but financially crippling experience, so it’s important to get the balance right between price and quality of function in each part. For gamers, in particular, one of the most important pieces of equipment to buy is the graphics card as it can make the difference between a visually stunning game and a jerky, laggy mess. The type of card you get can hugely improve your playing experience, so it’s important to choose the right one.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top three graphics cards for PC, factoring in price, noise rate, FPS, RAM and supplemental software.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G
The 1070 is the first graphics card in our list and unfortunately also the most expensive, coming in at a cool £450. However in our opinion the money is worth it if what you want is the best you can get for advanced gamers without entering into the blindingly expensive territory held by the fastest cards in the business. It provides huge power efficiency and the gaming performance is a massive leap ahead of any previous card Nvidia has created. With 8GB of RAM, you’ll never have any problems memory-wise unless you are a super hardcore player, and although the card is a little slower than the 1080 version, it’s definitely not so much slower to justify buying the more expensive model – and we can definitely confirm it’s still built for speed. It’s also fairly big, meaning it easily stays cool and works efficiently and quietly, meaning games run absolutely lag-free.
AMD Radeon RX 480
A slightly more mid bracket option, the AMD Radeon comes in at around £215. The card is fantastic value for money, letting you play up to 1440p with Full HD features (meaning the 1080p settings are sensational). It is also one of the cheapest cards you can get that supports virtual reality gaming like Oculus Rift. It has 8GB of memory which is enough to satiate any mid level gamer with loads of extra memory for future games. The card also contains a feature called asynchronous computing, meaning that the card can perform multiple different tasks at the same time in order of the priority you give them so your games will experience less stuttering. It gets a little noisy when it comes under pressure, but with a cheap case around it that stops being a problem instantly.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB OC Edition
The cheapest graphics card on our list, the Zotac starts at £140. You can play pretty much every major game at 1080p with a smooth, un-glitched frame rate and can push the card up to High and even Ultra quality. It’s £40 more expensive than its brother the 1050 2GB but the Ti version we think gives you more bang for your buck. It’s small and quiet, meaning it’ll fit in the majority of PCs and supports the most recent graphics APIs. The 4GB is enough to support a very fair number of games so it’s pretty much the best you can get within its own price bracket.