The video card is the star component in your gaming computer. Today we’ll look at the best video cards for gaming at various different price points so that you can get a good idea of the GPU that you’ll use to power your legendary gaming computer.
There is no component that has a bigger direct impact on your gaming experience than your video card will.
And, if you’re looking to build a gaming computer in 2016 and you want to really take your gaming experience to the next level, then you definitely need to make sure you get yourself a solid video card.
A video card basically acts like a second processor.
However, the video card is only responsible for processing graphics-related tasks.
Therefore, having a high-end video card not only helps your system by improving the quality of visual effects that it can display, but also by relieving your main processor of the responsibility of having to carry out graphics-related tasks. This will give your computer a significant increase in performance.
When building a new gaming computer, you want to put a good portion of your budget towards your video card. It’s generally recommended to put at least 20-30% of your total budget into your video card.
In this post, we will take a look at the best video cards for gaming in 2016 at various price ranges for different budget sizes. I’ve broken down the categories into four different video card tiers.
For each video card tier there’s a chart that breaks down the different options and then below a few of those cards are highlighted with an overview. There are definitely other worthy cards made by other manufacturers, but as I update this I try to find the card that’s going to offer the best price-to-performance. So, if a certain reputable manufacturer’s card is on sale when I update this list, then I’ll likely add their card.
TIER 1VIDEO CARDS FOR GAMING
The Tier 1 video card comprise of the video cards you want to get if you have a high budget. While they are very expensive, these video cards will allow you to max out most games on a 2560×1440 monitor.
And, with all of the power that they bring to the table, they will stay relevant for a long time coming.
So, if you’re looking for the best of the best, and you’re planning on using a 2560×1440 monitor for better visuals, then you need one of these cards. For 4K gaming, these cards will get your feet in the door, but to play on max settings, you’ll want to consider running at least two of these cards in SLI or CrossFire configuration.
TIER 2VIDEO CARDS FOR GAMING
These Tier 2 video cards bring a lot of performance to the table. While they aren’t as powerful as the Tier 1 video cards listed above, they aren’t that far behind either.
These video cards will easily max out any game on a 1920×1080 monitor and will even give you high-end performance on a 2560×1440 monitor in most games.
So, if you don’t have an unlimited budget, but you are looking to get a high-end video card, these cards will give you a ton of power.
Tier 2 Video Card Comparison Chart
TIER 3BEST VIDEO CARDS
The Tier 3 video cards are the sweet spot for gamers playing on a 1920×1080 monitor. These cards are powerful enough to max out pretty much any game at 1920×1080 resolution and they’re much more reasonable in price.
They will struggle with more demanding games and at higher resolutions, but overall they are excellent options if you are sticking with a 1080p monitor.
So, if you have a more moderate budget, these cards are the perfect options for you.
Tier 3 Video Card Comparison Chart
Which Video Card is Right For You?
This is not a list of every video card on the market. There are certainly quite a bit of lower tier video cards that can be had. However, a lot of them are comparable to the integrated graphics you can get on a newer CPUs.
There’s also a good chance that AMD will come out with an R9 380X and an R7 370X in the near future. If so, look for those cards to be added to this list as they will definitely be worth looking at.