Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

The graphics card (GPU) is one of the most important components for gaming on a PC. It's what handles all the pretty eye candy on-screen, working with the CPU, RAM and display to offer an immersive gaming experience. The issue — especially for new system builders and new PC gamers — is that there is a wide collection of GPUs available. So which is right for you? We've got some recommendations.

Figuring out just how much you should spend depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Screen resolution.
  • Budget.
  • Future proofing (upgrading the monitor at a later date).
  • System specifications.

The last point can be covered quickly by recommending an Intel Core i3 and i5, or AMD Ryzen 3 and 5, processors for 1080p and 1440p gaming. Intel Core i5 and i7, or AMD Ryzen 5 and 7, processors are best suited for more advanced 1440p gaming and 4K. The amount of RAM you should have in 2018 is at least 8GB, and preferably 16GB. As for budget, you really should fork out for the most expensive GPU you can afford. It's better to spend more now than having to upgrade again soon.

We should warn potential GPU buyers that prices for graphics cards are fluctuating right now due to high demand for cryptocurrency mining. So it's worth shopping around.

Best Graphics Cards

The right GPU for your gaming resolution

1080p and your GPU

Zotac GTX 1060

Picking up a monitor with a resolution of 1080p is still a popular option for many gamers. The best part about this amount of pixels on a display is it doesn't require much processing power. It's easy to get away with a less powerful processor and more affordable GPU. Still, if you wish to enjoy a more fluid visual experience and take advantage of a monitor with a higher refresh rate, more power will make all the difference.

The GTX 1050 Ti is one of NVIDIA's most affordable desktop GPUs, but don't allow the pricing to fool you into assuming it's not powerful enough for gaming in 2018. You'll be able to enjoy most titles at medium settings for visual quality. Stepping up to the GTX 1060 takes everything up a notch.

Prices currently range from $250 to $400.

1440p and your GPU

ASUS GTX 1070

The GTX 1060 may struggle at sending pixels to a 1440p monitor, and you may need to turn down a few settings, but it's good to know the card is capable of moving up from 1080p displays. That said, picking up a GTX 1070 or 1070 Ti offers an incredible experience for the price. This resolution is the sweet spot for many gamers, and NVIDIA's medium range of GPUs really shine. Just don't expect any of these GPUs to work with 4K.

Prices currently range from $400 to $900.

4K and your GPU

GTX 1080 Ti

These GPUs are overkill for both 1080p and 1440p but can be used with the latter when taking into account mods and really demanding titles at maximum settings. What these expensive components offer is the capability to game at 4K. The GTX 1080 from NVIDIA is the entry point at this resolution, and the 1080 Ti offers even more power without forking out for a Titan.

Depending on what kind of screen you hook up to the PC, as well as what connections are available, you may be locked to 30 frames per second (FPS) at 4K, which isn't too good. It's worth double-checking all the equipment you'll be buying to make sure you get the best experience for the money.

Prices currently range from $900 to $1,800.

And that's it for our recommendations! Check out our guide below for more helpful information on choosing the right GPU.

Ultimate GPU buyer's guide

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