So you’re thinking about upgrading your graphics card? Don’t know where to start, what to look for or who to ask? Well you’re in the right place. Read this guide to be briefed on the current landscape of the GPU market and what to buy and what not to buy. See what GPU’s would best suit you and which wouldn’t.
Throughout this guide I will be using words and/ or abbreviations that you may not understand. This is a quick glossary just so you can see what they mean.
GPU – Graphics Processing Unit
CPU – Central Processing Unit
Video Card – Is a graphics card
VRAM – The amount of video memory that a card has available
Crossfirex – AMD’s software/ feature that allows you to use 2 graphics cards at the same time.
FPS – Frames Per Second
Clash of the Titans
In the world of graphics cards there are 2 superpowers. AMD and Nvidia. Which one is best? Well that is actually up for debate, and you will get mixed answers depending on who you ask.
In years gone AMD has always been the more cheaply priced company who brings out GPU’s with high amount of VRAM and that can use Crossfirex which means you can use multiple cards at once!
Nvidia however has always been seen as more premium hitting the more luxury market with their expensively priced cards. Nvidia has always won on overall raw performance but you have to take into account the price for performance ratio.
Nvidia was the dominant force for years in the GPU market, with their ever so popular GeForce series of cards ranging for GT, GTX and even RTX in the more modern era, you can bet that an Nvidia card will get you the performance that you need.
Nvidia cards last a long time, crank out minimal heat and crunch frames like egg shells. They are super reliable and are actually working with multiple game studios to optimise games for their cards and their drivers.
They own software elemetns such as hairworks and PhysX. They have their own niche elements in cards which you could argue, makes them superior.
The drawback of Nvidia though is that they’re super expensive and very much overpriced. The RTX series of cards makes this abundtly clear. You have to think, is the RTX 2080 Super worth paying the extra money over the AMD RX 5700XT? Well it may reach higher frame rates, but it will also cost you a heck of a lot more. Are those measely frames that you won’t even notice justifying your purchase?
Well it depends, do you want to future proof your machine? It might be worth spending that extra bit of cash now.
AMD was seen as the underdog for many years, usually less expensive than Nvidia but not as premium and not able to reach as many frames. However in recent years. AMD has made a huge comeback, not only in the CPU market but the GPU one as well.
With the release of the Radeon VII card, AMD kickstarted the race again and made Nvidia start taking them seriously. Although the Radeon VII was well recieved, it left fans wanting more.
Enter, the RX 5700 & RX 5700XT. These cards are some of the most powerful around and are based on AMD’s Navi architechture. They’re modern, fast and powerful. They’re a bit more expensive that what AMD usually retails their cards for but every penny is worth it.
What GPU’s should you buy in 2019?
Wanting to upgrade? Well read the list below of recommended cards in 2019, ranginf rom budget, mid-tier and high-end AMD and Nvidia cards.
PowerColor AXRX 580 8GB/OC – £180
EVGA XC GAMING Nvidia GTX 1650 – £160
Gigabyte GAMING OC RX 5700XT – £409.97
Gigabyte WINDFORCE OC 2060 Super – £432.30
MSI GAMING X TRIO RTX 2080 – £795.84
EVGA Black RTX 2080 ti – £1160.52