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Buying the right Graphics Card

Choosing a graphics card for your new system is fairly easy. The best way to go is to pick a budget that you want to spend over all and then spend about 40% of that on a graphics card if you are getting a gaming system. The graphics card will have the biggest impact on your gaming experience. For example, if you are getting a £1,000 gaming PC the GTX 1070 is a very good graphics card to go for. If you go lower than that you won’t get the best performance and if you go higher than that you will end up creating bottlenecks elsewhere in your system.

If you are looking at a cheaper system (Below £700) then going with 40% of the budget on a graphics card will be difficult due to the inherent cost of a base system. You would be best spending around £200 on a graphics card in a £700 system to ensure you get a well-balanced computer. If you were to go lower than this then you would be creating bottlenecks elsewhere in the system limiting the additional performance from having the better graphics card.

As you spend more and more on a graphics card you get diminishing returns. The middle of the range graphics cards tend to have the best price/performance ratio. The GTX 1070 is a very good graphics card for the price and while the GTX 1080 is a lot better than the GTX 1070 the price increase is more than the performance increase. While this won’t matter for the highest end of systems (Spending £1500 or more) if you are going bang for your buck then dropping down a tier or two will save you a lot of money without a massive impact on performance.

With the new 10 series graphics cards from Nvidia they have limited SLI support to 2 graphics cards rather than the four it used to be. Even with this reduction you are still better off going with a single better performing graphics card rather than 2 lower performing ones. This is because not every game will have SLI support and the games that do support SLI will not get the full benefit of having 2 graphics cards so rather than a doubling in performance you are more likely to get 70-80% in most games and in some games slightly less or slightly more.

 

Relative Performance Table

Slowest

AMD RX 560

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nvidia GTX 1050

Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti

AMD RX 570

AMD RX 680

Nvidia GTX 1060

Nvidia GTX 1070

Nvidia GTX 1080

Fastest

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti