It’s amazing how long a year can seem when you’re looking to play the latest and greatest games. Graphics card prices were sky-high for a long time due to a memory shortage on the GDDR5 & HBM memory used in the best graphics cards, as well as the usage of graphics cards to satisfy the cryptocurrency boom.
With that being said prices are finally coming down, the GTX 1060 3GB, 6GB, GTX 1070, and the GTX 1080 can all be found for near MSRP. Even the elusive RX 570, & 580 cards aren’t too far above MSRP (they’ll probably never hit it in their lifespan).
You’ve decided now is the time to buy a card, mostly because you’re a smart person. So what do you get? Well it’s simple, here are the economical options as it stands today. We’re not including cards below the 1050 as they are typically not great value. If you HAVE to get what get the GTX 1030 (make sure you get the GDDR5 variant), or look for an older used card within your price range. We’re also not including the 1070 ti, as you should just get the 1080 given the prices, or the 1080 ti as it’s not good value. But if you want a 1080 ti, just do it, cause you can afford it and you’ll be the coolest nerd in town.
All prices are based off of Newegg’s lowest price model that’s not the “Mini” version of said model. The prices are before rebate options.
Nvidia GTX 1050 ($180)
Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti ($230)
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB ($335)
AMD Radeon RX 570 8GB ($360)
Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB ($310)
AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB ($360)
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB ($380)
Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB ($400)
AMD Radeon Vega 56 ($650)
Nvidia GTX 1070 ($550)
AMD Radeon Vega 64 ($800)
Nvidia GTX 1080 ($660)
Our conclusion? Get the most expensive Nvidia card you can afford, unless you have a $400 budget, in which case get the 8GB Rx 580. The logic is old but true, you get a better card, it lasts you longer, therefore you spend the same or less per year on a GPU while getting the best gaming experience today.
Most AMD cards are still not a competitive value. The RX 570 doesn’t match up to the 1060 3gb in performance, and is more expensive. The Vega line is too expensive still, and not as well optimized as they’re Nvidia powerhouse counterparts. The Rx 580 is actually quite the competitive card, and we’d recommend getting one if you bleed red, or simply want good value.
As for the GTX 1070 & 1080, get those if you can afford them, the amount of frames you can still pump out on these given their cost is awesome.
We wish there was more competition, but being in a position where we can once again recommend you get the best GPU you can afford is pretty cool.