GTX 1080

Updated April 3, 2017: Even though the GTX 1080 Ti is now available, for gamers we still giving the nod to the GTX 1080 as the overall best buy.

The best

NVIDIA GTX 1080

GTX 1080

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The GTX 1080 isn't NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card, but it is the one to go for if you're a gamer. It's substantially cheaper than the Titan X and the latest Pascal architecture means immense performance, lower power draw and silky smooth gaming. It'll also kick the pants off your VR set up.

Bottom line: The GTX 1080 is perfect for high-end gaming and VR. It's a significant step forward from previous generations.

One more thing: As always, different manufacturers have variants with their own spin on the GTX 1080, so there are lots to choose from.

Why the GTX 1080 is the best

PC gaming isn't cheap and you should always go with the best you can afford. But if you can afford the GTX 1080, it's going to give you the very best experience and be useful for many years to come. The year 2016 saw the long awaited debut of the Pascal architecture, and the new consumer flagship cards built on it. The GTX 1080 is not only much more powerful than its predecessor, the GTX 980 Ti, it's less power hungry, too, while delivering resolutions and frame rates that were once only dreamed of.

Whether gaming in 2D or VR, the 1080 is the king of the hill.

Beyond gaming in 2D, the GTX 1080 is an absolute monster that will give you the very best VR experience, as well. You can spend less and still have a decent VR-capable PC, but the GTX 1080 will deliver much more than just decent.

Even though the new GTX 1080 Ti is more powerful, it's not necessarily worth dropping everything for and getting. It's more expensive, for one, and its arrival has pushed prices down a little on the GTX 1080.

The GTX 1080 has enough graphical power for pretty much any game on the market right now at 4K resolution. It's still the one to buy.

Best mid-tier

NVIDIA GTX 1060

GTX 1060

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Not everyone is shooting for the very highest resolution or 1,000,000 frames per second. Also based on the new-generation Pascal architecture is the GTX 1060, a card for the mid-tier that still delivers a superb gaming experience at 1080p. It's about a third of the price of the GTX 1080 while still having either 3GB or 6GB of memory, and it is available in both reference and third-party configurations. It'll also still power VR, which is pretty fantastic for the price.

Bottom line: It delivers VR and top-notch 1080p gaming at a great price.

One more thing: NVIDIA also made the 1060 in the almost identical form available for laptops.

Best budget

AMD RX 470

AMD Radeon

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AMD has adopted a different approach with its new-generation graphics cards and targeted the more budget-conscious gamers with Polaris. The RX 470 isn't AMD's most powerful Polaris architecture card, but it's very close and has cost savings that are worth taking note of over the RX 480. You'll still be able to get great 1080p gaming performance, it's very power efficient, and it is available in 4GB or 8GB.

Bottom line: It's almost as good as an RX 480 while costing less.

One more thing: AMD "bad" drivers are a thing of the past, and there are now frequent updates for the latest games.

The best

NVIDIA GTX 1080

GTX 1080

See at Amazon

The GTX 1080 isn't NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card, but it is the one to go for if you're a gamer. It's substantially cheaper than the Titan X and the latest Pascal architecture means immense performance, lower power draw and silky smooth gaming. It'll also kick the pants off your VR set up.

Bottom line: The GTX 1080 is perfect for high-end gaming and VR. It's a significant step forward from previous generations.

One more thing: As always, different manufacturers have variants with their own spin on the GTX 1080, so there are lots to choose from.