Over the past twelve months, graphics card manufacturers have updated their product line quite well. In order not to drown in the analysis and comparisons, we suggest you study our material, in which the best at the moment video cards are divided into the main price categories – budget, standard and premium.

In each of them, we have collected several most relevant cards. In this case, the prices are indicative, without reference to a particular company-producer. The reason is that almost all manufacturers take reference versions of cards from AMD and Nvidia as a basis, and create different models on their basis. One and the same GTX 1080 can have different characteristics and, accordingly, prices, depending on who made it – MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire and so on.

Also, for each category of graphics card, there is a list of games you can play on them. The standard resolution is 1920×1080, and the target frame rate is 60 FPS. Default settings are maximum (Ultra). This information was obtained using the Game-Debate test service.

Video card plugs: better than nothing

They are called “plugs” because most often such cheap video cards are bought in order to complete the corresponding slot in the motherboard. That is on the principle of “better than nothing”. Sometimes instead of these cards and you can use built-in graphics, but this will have to buy a relatively modern motherboard. And this often goes against the very idea of super-budget gambling.

Which graphics card to buy at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 - we choose a card for any wallet.

Which video card to buy:

Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
AMD Radeon RX 550
Which games you can play:

Battlefield 1 (low);
Far Cry 5 (low, 30 FPS).
Fortnite (average settings)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (medium-high)
Dota 2 (medium-high)
GeForce GT 1030 and Radeon RX 550 graphics cards allow you to comfortably play many popular online games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, even at medium-high settings. But mostly in 1080p. Of course, you can try higher resolution, but then have to sacrifice frame rate up to 30. By the way, you can even try to launch new releases if you want, but you will have to twist the graphics. Maybe even to potato mode.

Graphics cards of the middle class: power with reserve

This is where things get a lot more interesting. Prices are much higher, but you can finally touch higher resolutions like 1440p. And without affecting the graphic settings. Video cards of the middle class are the golden mean in the market, but what is more important is that these cards have a good life expectancy. Buying one, you can be sure that in two or three years it will “pull” modern projects, even if sometimes you have to think about reducing the settings.

Which graphics card to buy at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 - we choose a card for any wallet.

Here, in the middle class, for the first time appears the possibility of gambling with the technology of ray tracing. It is supported by video cards in the “RTX” prefix from Nvidia. However, the price of them still bites a little.

What kind of graphics card to buy:

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
AMD Radeon RX 5700
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
What games you can play:

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (1440p);
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2;
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt;
The Outer Worlds;
Total War: Three Kingdoms.
If you are not interested in “rays”, you can take GTX 1070 or RX 5700. These are especially good options for those who do not have a very powerful processor. However, to unlock the potential of any of these graphics cards, you will need at least the actual Intel Core i3 or one of the AMD Ryzen 5 models. And if you want something more helpful, but without entering the next price category, it is better to take RTX 2060 Super from Nvidia.

Pre-TOP graphics cards: why pay more?

Everyone who has picked up components for a new computer knows that the price of top “iron” is always a little overpriced. It’s a fee for owning a flagship model. Therefore, if you do not want to pay for air, it is better to prudently buy a video card pre-top segment. Even though it will be a little weaker, but if the difference is expressed in 2-4 FPS, then why pay more? Nevertheless, the prices here are still high.1

Which graphics card to buy at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 - we choose a card for any wallet.

Which video card to buy:

AMD Radeon 5700 XT
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
What games you can play:

Red Dead Redemption 2;
Metro Exodus;
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands;
Borderlands 3.
But the price range is also the most unusual. In fact, this category of cards is something average between budgets and flagships, so you need to focus on power. That is 5700 XT and 2070 Super are different video cards in terms of power, but they are in this category because you can’t call them a budget, but they don’t reach the top either. However, besides the price, there are other factors to rely on.

Which graphics card to buy at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 - we choose a card for any wallet.

For example, the target resolution and frequency of the monitor. The higher the first and second, the harder it will be to squeeze good performance from the initial cards – 5700 XT, GTX 1070 Ti and RX Vega 64. If you need to raft, there is only one acceptable option – RTX 2070 Super. Exactly “super”, the usual can not pull the high frequency even in 1080p with the maximum settings. But why is it cheaper than GTX 1080, which “rays” do not support at all?

The answer is quite simple: the GTX 1080 is still a very powerful graphics card, which has the potential to produce 60 frames in 4K resolution in many AAA titles from the past and the years before. But you have to remember that the time of this card is coming to an end. In 2020, even the GTX 1080 Ti will not “drag” 4K@60fps in fresh blockbusters. And the ruler RTX 20XX at least rationing in the asset, so from the point of view of obsolescence GTX 10XX clearly worse, although it costs more.

Leading graphics cards: all to the max.

Well, it’s simple: we take the creamiest and we don’t spare the wallet. You can’t save money here, because the flagship video cards are the best that manufacturers can offer. Currently, the proposed models have focused on 4K-gaming and a large stock of video memory. This year the bar has grown to 11 gigabytes – that’s how much Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GTX 1080 Ti have. But will we need that much in 2020? That’s a big, very big question.

Which graphics card to buy at the end of 2019 - beginning of 2020 - we choose a card for any wallet.

Which video card to buy:
AMD Radeon VII
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
What games you can play:

Red Dead Redemption 2 (1440p)
Metro Exodus (1440p);
Borderlands 3 (1440p);
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (1440p);
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (1440p);
Looking at the prices, you might wonder: GTX 1080 Ti or RTX 2080? In terms of performance they are almost identical, but the first one has 11 gigabytes of video memory that will often be idle. Even new AAAs often require less than 6-8 GB. But the stock can be useful for other tasks such as video and stream rendering. But if your goal is gaming, then take the RTX 2080, you won’t lose anything, but you’ll get rafting support.

Also you may have a question about AMD Radeon VII. Is it really comparable in power with RTX 2080? Alas, no. It has a lower frequency, but the power consumption is, on the contrary, higher. Also, it has 16 gigabytes of video memory under the hood, which makes no sense to use in games. But this is the only video card from AMD that attracts you to enter the top segment. And its performance is still higher than in the previous category.

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