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The Best Gaming Graphics Cards of 2017
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The Best Gaming Graphics Cards of 2017

Tom LiJuly 22, 2017

Picking out the best graphics card for your PC is one of the hardest decisions for a gamer. Finding the best graphics card at the right budget can take hours and hours of research and can be a daunting task even for those well versed in technology. To make things easy, we’ve researched and compiled a list of the best gaming graphics cards whether you’re planning on doing casual gaming, competitive eSports, 4K gaming, VR gaming, or anything in-between.

 

Best 4K & VR Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Nvidia recently rounded off its Pascal lineup with the announcement of the 1080 Ti. With impressive performance and a more affordable price than the Titan X, it easily won the spot for the best enthusiast graphics card for 4K gaming and VR.

The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti uses the same Nvidia GP102 GPU as the Titan X. Compared to the previous enthusiast contender, the GTX 1080, the GTX 1080 Ti has 1,024 more SMPs. The memory capacity has been raised to 11GB, and the memory bus to 352-bit from the 256-bit on the GTX 1080.

All these improvements mean that the GTX 1080 Ti has similar gaming performance as the GTX Titan X, but at a fraction of the price. Though it still asks for $699, when you take into consideration the $1,200 price tag for the GTX Titan X, it seems much more palatable.

If $699 is still too painful for your wallet, then the GTX 1080 is still a fantastic choice for 4K gaming with most eye-candies turned up.

 

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Best 1440P & 1600P Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1070

With the lack of a competing card from AMD, the Nvidia GTX 1070 completely dominates the high-performance scene. It delivers excellent performance at 1440p and can comfortably handle most VR titles.

As the (slightly) smaller cousin to the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 comes with 1,920 SMPs clocked at 1,506MHz (1,683MHz boost), 8GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 256-bit memory bus. Its 150W TDP requires only one 8-pin power connector to drive.

Currently, the GTX 1070 can be found for around $420. It’s $100 cheaper than the GTX 1080 and delivers about 80 to 90% of the performance depending on the title.

 

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Best 1080P Graphics Card

AMD Radeon RX 580

The AMD Radeon RX 580 and the Nvidia GeForece GTX 1060 basically runs neck and neck. Both can easily handle demanding games at 1080p and run adequately at 1440p. We chose the AMD Radeon RX 580 because it can be had for about $10 less on average compared to the Nvidia GTX 1060.

AMD’s Polaris architecture made some huge waves last year. Made using TSMC’s 14nm FinFET process, AMD has finally been able to make strides in power consumption and performance. Their shining showcase product, AMD Radeon RX 580, is the perfect candidate for the job.

The AMD Radeon RX 580 uses the Polaris 10 GPU with 2,340 SMPs and can be configured with up to 8GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus. It delivers almost the same performance as the AMD Radeon R9 390 while drawing almost half as much power (150W vs 275W)

 

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Good 1080P Graphics Card

AMD Radeon RX 570

The AMD Radeon RX 570 slots into a peculiar slit between the GTX 1060 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti. In terms of performance, the AMD Radeon RX 570 wins hands down against the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. With that said, it does cost $30 more on average. We feel like the price premium is worth the extra bit of performance considering $170 is still a very palatable price for most budget conscious gamers.

The Polaris 10 GPU used for the AMD Radeon RX 570 has two Compute Unit disabled, with a total of 2,048 SMPs instead of the 2,340 on the AMD Radeon RX 580. Memory is configured at 4GB GDDR5.

For a sub-$200 card, the AMD Radeon RX 570 delivers good 1080p performance across the board. If you’re looking to put together a mid-range gaming rig, then the AMD Radeon RX 570 should be at the top of your consideration list.

 

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Best 720P & eSports Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

The AMD Radeon RX 560 recently submerged its price to an enticing sub-$100 pricepoint. That alone, however, wasn’t enough to edge out the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 more than justifies its meager $10 markup in performance, beating out the AMD RX 560 in most titles.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is Nvidia’s entry offering using its Pascal architecture. Compared to the integrated graphics, the GTX 1050 brings a huge step up in performance.

While it will struggle to handle triple-A titles with all effects turned up, the GTX 1050 has no problems churning out high-frame rates in popular eSports titles such as Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, DOTA, and Starcraft. It can even comfortably handle older demanding titles such as GTA 5.

 

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Final Thoughts

Question about why we chose X and not Y? Ask us in our community forums! All you have to do is visit our forums, register, and post in the appropriate section! If you’d like more immediate help, feel free to swing by our community Discord channel.

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About The Author
Tom Li
Tom has a strong passion for computer hardware and technology. In his downtime, he enjoys gaming, playing guitar, and photography.