What are the best GPUs for gaming

Best graphics card for the money: purchase advice & GPU tips from 100 to 500 euros

We'll show you the best graphics cards for little money! If you put together your own PC, you look at your budget and decide: If the total costs for a typical gaming computer are in the mid to high three-digit euro range, a GPU for a gaming PC can estimate half the budget - i.e. up to 500 euros. This is basically a rule of thumb for well-configured gaming computers.

Inexpensive and upgradeable office PCs for around 200 to 300 euros can be made suitable for games to a limited extent with graphics cards from 100 euros. It is clear that you cannot expect performance miracles for less than 100 euros and that your preferred games should ideally not be so technically complex.

That is why it might be wiser for one or the other budget to rely on integrated solutions - provided the computer is still on the procurement list. Current AMD Vega solutions from AMD, for example in connection with small and medium-sized Ryzen chips, are not doing so badly. They are enough for titles like League of Legends, Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition or even Fortnite.

Best graphics cards: focus on lower and middle price ranges

With the price limits of 100 to 500 euros, we cover graphics cards that are suitable for gaming on 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) and 1440p or WQHD screens (2,560 x 1,440). For 4K gaming, you should set the total budget of the computer and thus the graphics card significantly higher.

We are not accepting the new "Geforce RTX 30" and "Big Navi" cards, as they fall in the range (well) over 500 euros. The relevant RTX 3070 is not yet on the market, as is a Radeon RX 6700 (XT). Of course, we take into account price shifts for the entry-level and mid-range models available up to now.

If you currently want to achieve 60 and more FPS (frames per second, images per second) on Ultra HD (3840 x 2060), you should set at least 800 euros - just for the pixel accelerator, and even then not everything runs smoothly in 4K - with current available gaming graphics cards.

Which graphics cards are still worthwhile?

At the moment, most PC buyers planning long-term (and the high-end use case) still have to wait. Owners of 4K hardware have long had an answer as to when new graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD will appear. The RTX 3080 is theoretically on the market, the same applies to an RTX 3090 and an RTX 3070. AMD has had an answer since mid-November. But the new cards for 4K gaming are hard to come by - let alone at recommended retail prices. If you have to buy a graphics card from the budget limits mentioned up to 500 euros, read on here.

The 16xx generation from 2019 takes care of the Nvidia mid-range. With the RX 5700 and 5700 XT, AMD has strong representatives that can be found on offer again and again. Price limits that have already been breached are below EUR 300 in the first case and below EUR 400 in the second.

Like Nvidia's 16 generation, these cards are interesting for you if real-time ray tracing is not an issue for you. How important the topic will be for PC gamers remains to be seen. With the appropriate support from the graphics card manufacturer and the similarly unavailable PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, the prognosis is benevolent - at least for the high-end sector. Since nothing new is pending for the middle and entry-level class - for which real-time ray tracing might be too demanding anyway - the ones that are already available are worth buying if you are currently looking to buy a graphics card.

Buy a graphics card: AMD or Nvidia?

The decision between the two main manufacturers AMD and Nvidia has long since become easier. Since the beginning of 2019, you no longer have to make your decision based on Adaptive Sync features. The question G-Sync or FreeSync Thanks to "G Sync Compatible", it no longer arises, unless you want to use Nvidia's high-end standard "G-Sync Ultimate", which promises 4K, high Hertz numbers and HDR with particularly high luminosity. Apart from the fact that these features are now also available for FreeSync monitors that support Nvidia graphics cards, for 4K you need - as I said - a higher budget anyway.

All you have to do now is ask yourself whether you want to use the aforementioned real-time ray tracing and the AI-based upscaling DLSS. This is currently only available with Nvidia and starts with the Geforce RTX 2060 (without Super) - if still available - at just over 300 euros, but only has 6 GB of RAM. We can represent the limited amount of memory for demanding Full HD gaming with significantly more than 60 FPS or for 1440p games only with stomach ache. With more memory, for example, game assets (textures, models) can be more high-resolution and more complex. A significantly less frequent reloading is necessary, games stutter less and "look nicer" because more detailed. The choice therefore falls on the super variants with 8 GB.

The decision for a graphics card can therefore be made dependent on other factors instead of the GPU manufacturer: price-performance ratio, power consumption, heat generation or volume, for example. In addition to tests, the cooling solutions provide information about the latter. If you don't have a lot of space, i.e. struggle with a lot of waste heat in the case, you could use the blower variants with a fan (which draws in waste heat and blows it outside). But that often brings more volume. For the average PC, solutions with two or three fans (depending on the performance class) would be the better choice.

On the next few pages we take a look at which graphics cards are suitable for which budget. If possible, we will name cards with chips from AMD and Nvidia and reveal what you should be aware of. The current update status: November 23, 2020 at 2:25 pm.

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