A gamers most important PC component is the graphics card, it is what separates a gaming PC from a different type of PC build. It is the component that drives our games graphics, what makes our universes so real, so immersive.
Essentially what a graphics card does is take the information given to it and draw a picture. It then helps to display said picture onto a monitor so that you can see it. Drawing that picture usually takes a lot of juice. The GPU should take up a lot of your budget, this and the CPU are where most of your money is going to go. That is unavoidable, but you can get a good deal on your GPU.
In my personal build, I am using a Geforce GTX 960. Since I was working within a budget I had to make some tough choices about what parts I should buy. I probably spent the most time researching GPUs and which ones were out. Looking back, I could have done things differently. But I didn’t and that’s ok because I am still very happy with the GPU I ended up buying. I happened to buy my GPU just 2 months before the next line of GPUs were released which dramatically dropped prices. And yet, my GPU is awesome and I am very satisfied with it.
Basically, this GPU comes loaded with the full suite of Nvidia features. Normally I would not recommend a GPU based on its features, but the 960 sits in its arena so evenly matched with every other similar GPU that it is the only discerning feature. But if you have the money then you most certainly should go for a higher GPU such as the 970 or 980. Especially nowadays since you have the 1070 and 1080 released. Both of those new GPUs have a new architecture and more powerful graphics.
However, if you are on a budget then the previous generation of GPUs is worth a look. These provide a powerful GPU that will play modern games at high setting with good FPS, but for a cheaper price. This happens every time there is a new generation of GPUs.
How well does my GPU perform?
Very well. I play every game that I want at high settings with 60 FPS. For example, when The Division came out I was playing it with maxed out settings at 60 FPS and no issues. I could run nearly every game and several other programs at max settings. This includes Battlefield 4, The Division, Overwatch, CS:GO, and Civ 5. I played other games but they are all older and aren’t worth mentioning.
I have owned the computer since April and have had no issues with any of the parts. I built it myself so having everything work is important to me since I have no warranty.
What about other GPUs
If I had the money I would buy a new GPU and the one that I would buy would be a Titan X. But I would need about $1200 and for the cards to come back into stock. Without a doubt, the Titan X is the best card in the world. It will not come prepackaged in any PCs. It is only available for those who build their own computers and have over a $1000 to spend on a single part.
If you do not have that much money to spend on a single part but still want a higher end GPU then you should look at the GTX 980. It is a high-quality card that is running for a price of about $580 on Newegg. The price has dropped dramatically since 1080 got released which makes the price for value even better than it was when it was released. This is perfect for the slightly more than average gamer.
If you are just an average gamer, a simple weekend warrior then a card around the $200-300 range should suit you nicely. If you feel like spending a little more than the GTX 970 is quite an improvement over the 960. The 970 retails for around $300 on Newegg, but for that extra $100 you get quite a bit more value. I decided to put more of my money into my CPU so I could do faster video and photo editing. If it was purely a gaming computer then I would have put that extra money into the 970.
Before you are going to buy a GPU you should do your research. Especially if you are building it yourself. If you are getting someone else to build it you should do your research so that you don’t get ripped off by an overeager salesman. Even just a bit of knowledge about what GPU’s are good could be enough to put a salesman on their heels. And anyone should know what is on their computer.
There are 2 manufacturers of GPUs. AMD and Nvidia.