The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X is a capable six-core processor with 12 threads for plenty of gaming performance. Matching this CPU with a decent graphics card is a sure way of enjoying even more demanding games at 1440p or 4K. We've rounded up some excellent options to get you started.
XFX AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT RAW II (opens in new tab)
Best AMD for 4K
The Ryzen 5 3600X isn't the most powerful CPU AMD offers, but it's more than capable of keeping up with the RX 5700 XT, which will allow you to go into solid 1440p gaming. It's not quite as good as an NVIDIA RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti, but it's about as good as we're to get from AMD for now and this XFX unit with 8GB of GGDR6 RAM is an excellent example.
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti XC Ultra Gaming (opens in new tab)
Best NVIDIA for 4K
The RTX 2080 Ti is a GPU you likely don't technically need, but it's a card everyone wants. It's an absolute beast at 1080p and 1440p gaming, even taking the fight to 4K. This is one killer GPU that will keep your gaming rig current for many years to come, though you may find the CPU begin to struggle a little as games become even more complex.
XFX AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT RAW II PRO (opens in new tab)
Best AMD for 1440p
For 1440p gamers, the RX 5600 XT is more than good enough for most modern games. With 6GB of GDDR6 RAM, you've got more than enough scope to handle advanced high-res textures and lighting effects. Partnered with the Ryzen 5 3600X, and you've got one excellent gaming PC.
ASUS NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (opens in new tab)
Best NVIDIA for 1440p
The RTX 2060 SUPER is our favorite mid-range card and is recommended throughout other PC building guides for good reason. It's technically on par with a GTX 1070 Ti of last-gen (just shy of an RTX 2070) and comes rocking ray tracing support with an affordable price tag. There's 8GB of GDDR6 RAM on-board for good measure.
XFX THICC II Pro AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (opens in new tab)
Best AMD for 1080p
When talking 1080p and honestly budget-friendly PC builds, you'll want to consider the RX 5500 XT. It's an affordable GPU with PCIe 4.0 support and a whopping 8GB GDDR6 RAM. This thing will master most games at 1080p and can even push into 1440p territory if you upgrade your monitor at a later date.
MSI GAMING X NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER (opens in new tab)
Best NVIDIA for 1080p
You could spot a more affordable GPU than the GTX 1060 SUPER, but it won't run well. This GPU is great for 1080p gaming or a workstation, allowing you to get more done through the day and let some hair down in the evening with a cheeky gaming session. 6GB GDDR6 RAM is present, allowing for reliable 1080p performance, as well as 1440p if you turn down some settings.
Choosing the right GPU
What GPU you should buy largely comes down to the resolution you plan on gaming at, as well as the monitor. Those with AMD FreeSync displays will need an AMD GPU to truly enjoy stutter-free gaming, while NVIDIA display owners will require an NVIDIA GPU - though this is changing with NVIDIA supporting more FreeSync panels.
If you plan on going all out with 1440p or 4K at a later date, you'll want to consider the XFX AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT RAW II (opens in new tab) or EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti XC Ultra Gaming (opens in new tab). These two GPUs will let you game at 4K, though the 2080 Ti is vastly more expensive and powerful.
It's possible to save money without sacrificing performance too much with our mid-tier suggestions. Going with either the XFX AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT RAW II PRO (opens in new tab) or ASUS NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (opens in new tab) will open up a world of 1440p gaming. These cards won't break your bank, nor will they bottleneck the Ryzen 5 3600X. A match made in heaven, if you will. Not seeing a GPU here that catches your eye? Have a look at our pick for the overall best graphics card available now.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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