The best

NVIDIA GTX 1080

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 cheaper than the last generation 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.

Sadly, since recent price increases linked to demand from cryptocurrency miners, getting a GTX 1080 right now can cost between $800 and $1,000.

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 used 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 budget

NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti

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 1050 Ti, a lower-cost card for the entry level that still delivers a superb gaming experience at 1080p. It's about a third of the price of the GTX 1080 while still having 4GB of memory, and it is available in both full-sized and mini card sizes.

The 1050 Ti gets the nod over the GTX 1060 in part thanks to recent (ridiculous) price increases across the board on graphics cards. You can get a decent one from EVGA for $229.

Bottom line: Solid 1080p gaming and still available at an attractive price for budget PC builders.

One more thing: Mini cards also available great for space-saving PC builds.

Best value

NVIDIA GTX 1070

The GTX 1070 line of GPUs is the ideal middle ground between saving money on budget cards and splashing out on a GTX 1080 Ti that you probably don't need. The 1070 is ideal for 1080p gaming with all settings set to maximum or 1440p at very high (if not maximum) settings.

The 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM matched with some high clock speeds and OEM factory overclocking make this series perfect for gamers who are looking to upgrade but aren't going to be purchasing a 4K monitor anytime soon. Unfortunately, in the current GPU climate, you can expect to pay out around $600.

Bottom line: It's the best value card series if you have a CPU to match it.

One more thing: You can run this card with a 500W PSU.

Best for 4K

NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti

Apart from the Titan Xp, the 1080 Ti is NVIDIAs most powerful consumer graphics card to date. And at a fraction of the cost of a Titan, you get performance that matches it very closely.

You get 11GB of GDDR5X memory, and as with other Pascal based cards, ultimate power and efficient power consumption. If you want to game at 4K, the GTX 1080 Ti is the card to get, and it'll deliver eyeball-shredding performance at other resolutions, too.

The normal asking price starts around $800 and up, but thanks to the recent market increases, you'll be paying over $1,000 for any brand new 1080 Ti right now.

Bottom line: Ultimate power for the best 4K gaming experience on the market today.

One more thing: Unlike years past you won't need a monster power supply for one of these. 600W and above is enough.

Conclusion

Early 2018 isn't a great time to be in the market for a new graphics card with cryptocurrency miners having helped force prices to their highest in recent memory. But if you're in the market, the GTX 1080 is still the best all-rounder, while the 1050 Ti offers a great entry point, while the more powerful 1080 Ti is the best shout for those looking to hit 4K gaming hard.

The best

NVIDIA GTX 1080

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 cheaper than the last generation 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.

Sadly, since recent price increases linked to demand from cryptocurrency miners, getting a GTX 1080 right now can cost between $800 and $1,000.

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.

Updated April 05, 2018: The GTX 1070 has been added as an ideal middle ground.