Graphics card is definitely the most important component when you want to play the games on high or ultra settings. With a powerful cpu only you cannot expect to play at 60fps maxed out but if you are willing to pay $100-$200 for a decent graphics cards like listed below, then you are most likely to end up at least 2 years playing on at least high settings.
Some graphics cards for under $200 can max out almost any game at 1080p and this is also the sweet spot for many gamers. These graphics cards are mid ranged cards which are meant for 1080p 60fps or at least 40+ fps when you bump the settings to ultra.
For a build that come under $500 or $600, these graphics cards are best choice and are best matched with Intel core i5 processors or Amd fx 8000 series processors. Many of these graphics cards are newly released and are fully directX 12 compatible so you won’t be regretting your choice if you buy anyone of the listed below.
ASUS Rog Strix Radeon RX 460 4GB OC
RX 460 4gb is an entry level card from AMD recently released. It comes in two versions: 2gb and 4gb. As newer games require more than 2gb of VRAM for high or ultra settings at 1080p, make sure you get the 4gb version as cheap as you can. This is from ASUS and uses strix cooler which has a very good heatsink and design. It uses only 75 watts but it’s provided with a 6 pin power port for making headroom for overclocking.
As compared to the previous generation cards like R7 360 and even with Nvidia’s entry level gtx 750 ti, it easily outperforms both of them with a noticeable margin. With this card you will be able to play many games on high-ultra settings at 1080p with 40+ fps. However games like the witcher 3 will struggle running on ultra settings, you can do some tweaking or lower down the settings to high for smoother framerates.
However in games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, DOOM and Hitman, this card is a total boon for AMD lovers as it gives a lot of boost as compared to the newer Nvidia cards as well as Maxwell family graphics cards. So it’s definitely a future proof for DX 12 games. Not only this, the ASUS Strix is equipped with RGB lights which will create some good lighting effects in your case if you are using a side windowed panel case.
- 1236MHz(Gaming mode), 1256MHz(OC mode)
- 4Gb GDDR5 7000MHz Memory
- Memory Interface: 128-bit
- Display: 1xDVI-I x D, 1xDisplay Port, 1xHDMI
GOOD For 1080p High Settings
EVGA Geforce Gtx 1050 ti SC 4Gb
When you want to play the games at 1080p ultra settings, you can not compromise with the Vram. It’s a fact that all the latest games like Gta V, the witcher 3, Rise of the tomb raider etc. use more Vram than simple games like CSGO or Overwatch. It makes more sense to go with a 4gb card if you don’t want to compromise with the graphics quality.
The gtx 1050 ti is the successor of gtx 1050 and is 20% faster. I have not included the gtx 1050 cause it only has 2gb of Vram whereas most of the games requrie 3gb or more.
This card is based on the Pascal architecture which is very much power efficient and doesn’t require a 6 pin or 8 pin power connector. It’s a very good card for the price you pay as it’s an intermediate between gtx 1050 and Rx 470. Although Rx 470 is much more faster but I feel that Nvidia has fill in the gap between the $110 and $170 price range by introducing a $130 card.
The EVGA SC edition is completely identical to the EVGA gtx 1050 and can be fit into any case. So for compact gaming pc’s these two are very good choices and will be best for budget gaming builds with a small mini Itx case. As this is factory overclocked, you will get a small boost in performance as compared to the other brands like Zotac.
|Core Clock||1354MHz/1468MHz boost clock|
GOOD For 1080p High Settings
ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon Rx 470 4GB
The best card for 1080p under $200 from AMD which can play any game on ultra and max out everything without breaking a sweat is again the new RX series graphics card RX 470 which is available in 4gb and 8gb version. The 4gb version is priced at $179.99 officially but it’s hard to find one at this price. You can get one for $189.99 or $199.99. Still the price difference is not that great and is affordable.
This card is a sweet spot for 1080p gamers and is already a huge success. The 4gb version is all you need to bump up the settings to ultra. The 8gb version is around $240 which is equal to the price of RX 480 4gb. Which makes it a bad choice for the money. 8gb is an overkill and you won’t need that much for 1080p. Talking about it’s specs, it is a 256 bit card that runs on a 6 pin power connector(again very power efficient) and has CrossfireX support.
If you want to compare this card to any of the previous generations you can say it fills the gap between a R9 380X and R9 390. It can play an game at 60fps maxed out settings and performs best when equipped with an Intel core i3 6100, i5 6400 or Fx 8350 if you want the best value for the dollars spent. If you want to make your pc future proof for 1080p as well as 1440p then this card is the way to go as it will help you achieve good framerates when you put two of these together for higher resolutions.
Specs and Features:-
- Polaris architecture
- 4 GB 256-bit GDDR5 Video Memory
- 1206 boost clock
- 2048 Stream processors
- 2xDVI, 1xDP, 1xHDMI
- VR ready
GOOD For 1080p ultra Settings
OK For Virtual Reality
Zotac Gtx 1060 mini 3gb gddr5
The latest 1000 series graphics card from Nvidia is the gtx 1060. This is the mini edition and has 3gb of gddr5 memory and is similar to the 1060 6gb edition. While the Rx 480 matches the performance of gtx 970, this one is near to the gtx 980 but as the cuda cores and memory are cut out, it will perform slightly better than the gtx 970 and a little slower than the 980.
3gb of memory is enough for maxing out most of the settings at 1080p like details and shadows but textures in some games like middle earth shadow of mordor requires 6gb. So you can’t max out that setting. The core clocks are also massive. It easily reaches over 1800Mhz in games and provides extra boost.
This one is shorter and can fit into any case, be it a mini itx case or a mid tower case. The heatsink is very basic just like the older generation and has one 90mm fan just above it. The card has 6 pin power port and requires less power as compared to the previous generation cards. As the price of this card is just $200, It won’t be a good choice to go either for the gtx 960 or the R9 380X.
Check out the $600 gaming build.
Specs and Features:-
- Powered by NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture
- 3 GB 192-bit GDDR5 Video Memory
- Cuda cores: 1152
- Virtual Reality Ready
- 1x Dual-link DVI-I, 3x DisplayPort (version 1.4), 1x HDMI (2.0b)
- Engine Clock: Base- 1506 MHz, Boost: 1708 MHz
- Extended warranty included with every graphics card purchase, User registration required on ZOTAC website.