Graphics Card Buyers Guide December 2017: Which Graphics Cards Should You Consider? 1080p, 1440p And 4K

Plenty of people have been asking whether now is a good time to buy a graphics card or they should wait for next-generation architectures like Nvidia Volta or Navi. That is where this graphics card buyers guide comes in. In this graphics card buyers guide we are going to talk about the price drops that have taken place and the graphics cards that you should consider buying for 1080p, 1440p and 4K gaming.

The cryptocurrency mining boom caused spikes in hardware prices especially graphics cards but now that is becoming less of an issue. AMD Vega cards were also short in the market but now they are back and we are also getting custom AMD Vega cards from Gigabyte, Asus, XFX and Power Color. Having that said you can rest assured that even more companies will be releasing their custom models.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide December 2017

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti

First, in this graphics card buyers guide we are going to talk about the Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti. The Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti is the newcomer in the mix and it has been released in order to compete with the AMD Vega 56. The GTX 1070 Ti does that pretty well and while it does beat the AMD Vega 56 in most games, that is not the case in all games. We see the AMD Vega 56 performing better in games that are optimized for AMD cards like Hitman and Doom.

Also check out: Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti Vs AMD Vega 56: Which One Should You Buy?

The 1070 Ti is supposed to give users performance close to the GTX 1080 but at a much lower cost and the graphics card does just that. The GPU will cost you 469 euros. One of the advantages of getting this graphics card is that there are a couple partners that are offering custom models of the graphics card.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide

You can check out the best performing GTX 1070 Ti custom model as well as how well the graphics card performs in different games. The specifications of the Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti are as follows:

  • GP104-300
  • 7.2 billion transistors
  • 314mm2 die,
  • 2432 cores
  • 19 enabled SM units
  • 152 TMUs
  • 64 ROPs
  • 8 GB of GDDR5 memory clocked @ 8 Gbps
  • 256 GB/s bandwidth

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: AMD Vega Availability

AMD Vega GPUs are now available and you can buy the AMD Vega 64 for 499 euros. The price has dropped as compared to a few weeks back and you can also get the AMD Vega 54 for 399 euros. The AMD Vega 64 is an alternative for the GTX 1080 and the AMD Vega 54 performs better than the GTX 1070 in most cases.

We have been waiting for custom AMD Vega graphics cards for some time now and we finally have models from Gigabyte, XFX, Asus and Power Color.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: AMD Has A Full Lineup Of Graphics Cards

With the AMD RX 500 series and the AMD Vega graphics cards combined AMD finally has a complete lineup of graphics cards from the entry-level models to the high-end GPUs. In the middle, we have the AMD RX 580 that is an alternative to the GTX 1060. The RX 580 is going for 288 euros instead of 319 euros.

The GTX 1060 is already available for 258 euros. It is interesting to note that while AMD cards have fallen in prices, the Nvidia graphics cards are a bit expensive as compared to a few weeks back but the price to performance ratio is still great for team Green.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Recommendations For Every Resolution

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Best Graphics Card For 1080p

With the modern games becoming more and more demanding with each passing day it is recommended that you have a graphics card with more than or equal to 4 GB of RAM if you are planning on playing something more than DOTA2, LOL or Overwatch. You will need the extra horsepower in order to play AAA titles at decent settings at 60 FPS at 1080p.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide

The best graphics card for playing games at 1080p is the GTX 1060 6 GB. On the AMD side of things, you could get the AMD RX 570. The GTX 1060 will cost you 258 euros and you can get the AMD RX 580 for about the same price as well if you are interested in getting one of those.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Best Graphics Card For 1440p

For 1440p 60 FPS gaming you can opt to get the GTX 1070 or the AMD RX 580 8GB. If you do not want to ramp down the settings and want to play games at 1440p with all settings turned up then you could pay the premium and get the GTX 1070 Ti. Any model will do, get the cheapest one that you can get. You can get the GTX 1070 for 399 euros and the RX 580 for 300 euros.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide

Also check out: Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 NITRO Pictured And Benchmarked

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Best Graphics Card For 4K

If you want to play games at 4K then we recommend that you get the GTX 1080 as the bare minimum. It will cost you around 489 euros. The alternative to this on the AMD side is the AMD RX  Vega 64. If you want to get as close as possible to 4K 60 FPS then you can pay the premium and get the GTX 1080 Ti. Tweaking the settings a little bit will ensure 4K 60 FPS in almost all games.

Graphics Card Buyers Guide

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Graphics Cards At All Price Points

The following are the graphics cards that will offer you great value for money at each price point.

Price (Euros) Graphics Card Games
100 – 150 Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti MOBAs
201 – 300 Nvidia GTX 1060 1080p 60 FPS
Alternative AMD RX 580 1440p
301-450 Nvidia GTX 1070 1440p 60 FPS
451-600 Nvidia GTX 1080 4k
Alternative AMD RX Vega 64 4K
601 Plus Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 4K 60 FPS

Graphics Card Buyers Guide: Buy Now Or Wait?

The graphics cards that are on the market right now are pretty great. Pascal has been tried and tested and AMD Vega graphics cards seem to be getting better with each new AAA game release. Having that said it is recommended that you buy a graphics card now if you can get a good price.

The Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti and the Titan Xp Star Wars edition has been released and that can be an indication that Nvidia will take its time with Nvidia Volta. According to CEO Jensen Huang:

Our Volta GPU has been embraced by every major internet and cloud service provider and computer maker. Our new TensorRT inference acceleration platform opens us to growth in hyperscale datacenters. GeForce and Nintendo Switch are tapped into the strongest growth dynamics of gaming. And our new DRIVE PX Pegasus for robotaxis has been adopted by companies around the world. We are well positioned for continued growth.

Also check out: AMD Vega Getting Better With Every New Release CoD WWII, Wolfenstein II, Star Wars BF2, Destiny 2, Shadow of War Etc

The same can be said about AMD Navi. While there is little that we know about AMD Navi right now, we do have a few roadmaps and it is more than likely that we will be getting an AMD Vega refresh before we get AMD Navi. Seeing how AMD Vega cards are doing on the market right now it is safe to assume that Navi will not come out before H2 2018. According to Senior VP of Globalfoundries, Gregg Bartlett:

“Our 7nm FinFET technology development is on track and we are seeing strong customer traction, with multiple product tapeouts planned in the next twelve months. And, while driving to commercialize 7-nm in 2018, we are actively developing next-generation technologies at 5-nm and beyond to ensure our customers have access to a world-class roadmap at the leading edge”

I hope that this graphics card buyers guide helps you in making your next graphics card purchase decision.