Where To Start??
If we take a look at the steam hardware survey we can see that the most popular graphics card is and has been for a long time the GTX 1060 from Nvidia. And rightly so this card is a fantasic mid range card that was and still is very capable at playing even modern titles around 60FPS at 1080p resolution. So let’s just grab a 1060 6GB and get it over with right? Well in 2020 that may not be the best idea.
Looking at used prices for the 1060 they can range from around £140 to £180 for a 6GB version of this card, and you might think okay thats not bad. but lets dig a little deeper, if you were to buy one of these cards used you wont get any kind of warranty from the seller. You may be able to make a warranty claim with the manufacturer but given the age of these cards they are unlikely to entertain that idea. Our favourite second hand retailer CEX sells these cards for £165 (previously they were listed at over £200) CEX claims to offer a 24 month warranty on all items purchased from them however I have not tested this warranty out so I am unable to verify if this warranty covers wear and tear through normal use.
So what about a cheaper 1050ti? Surely that has to be a good budget option right? Well no, not really, these cards are showing their age now and although they can still be found for around £125 new, which may sound like a fantastic deal the card is just not really worth it in 2020.
What do you suggest??
When Nvidia released the 2000 series graphics cards they also released a few 1600 series cards. Sort of a middle ground which would be a great upragde from older cards for people with lower budgets. Most of the cards featured GDDR6 memory over GDDR5 and over the few years since release Nvidia has updated the GDDR5 1600 cards to now feature GDDR6 as the stock of GDDR5 slowly runs out.
I know what you must be thinking, the new cards are going to be more expensive…right?? Well not really, a brand new entry level 1600 series card for example the 1650 GDDR6 version will set you back around £125/£130 and will achieve on average around 10FPS more in games than a 1050ti. These cards are a great idea for low power systems as most of the 1650 cards don’t require any external power. This is especially good for OEM systems such as a prebuilt HP, Dell or Lenovo which has limited power connections available. But personally I would recommend paying around £20 more and grabbing a 1650 Super 4GB, as long as your PC has the appropriate power supply connection and enough power then this budget card is an absolute bargain.
A 1650 Super will net you on average around 30-40FPS more than a 1050ti! This is a massive boost and will make your gameplay buttery smooth as well as the option to run more intensive games or just being able to turn up the graphical settings to make the game look a lot better. As well as a framerate boost or a nicer looking game you can also take advantage of 1440p and still achieve 60FPS easily. You may find that at 1440p you need to turn down graphical settings to maintain a smooth 60 but it will still perform massively better than a 1050 or 1050ti.
I always recommend getting the best graphics card that you can afford, that power supply can handle and that wont be bottlenecked by your CPU otherwise you may find yourself upgrading nearly all of your system.
Check out a video from our good friend that looks at the 1650 Super in more detail.
We will talk about Bottlenecking, what it is and the adverse affect it can have on your system.