Best Gaming Graphics Cards June 2017: Top Value AMD and NVIDIA GPUs

top value gaming graphics cards 2017
Last Updated: May 24th, 2017

We’ve dissected the current GPU market like mad scientists and rounded up the best gaming graphics cards of 2017 from both AMD and Nvidia to help you get the most bang for your buck when building or upgrading your gaming rig.

Your choice of graphics card plays a pivotal role in how well your PC will perform when gaming, specifically the quality of the graphics displayed on screen and the frames per second (how smoothly your games will be rendered).

Before purchasing a video card you’ll want to do your homework to ensure you spend your money wisely and pick one that will give you the performance you’re after in the types of games and applications you’ll be running. As well our constantly-updated recommendations on this page, we also manage a detailed Graphics Card Buying Guide if you want to go deeper with your research.

Keep in mind our recommendations are aimed for gamers who wish to play the latest graphically-demanding games with the in-game graphics settings turned up to high or the maximum. If you play older or indie games or you don’t mind playing the latest games with less graphical detail then these cards are likely more power than you actually need.

 < $100 (entry-level)< $150 (casual)< $200 (budget)< $300 (mid-range)< $400 (high-end)< $600 (hardcore)< $1000 (extreme)> $1000 (monstrous)
Our Pick:RX 460 2GBGTX 1050 Ti 4GBRX 570 4GBRX 580 4GBGTX 1070 8GBGTX 1080 8GBGTX 1080 Ti 11GBTitan Xp
1080p Performance: *Average-GoodGoodGreatGreat-FlawlessFlawlessFlawlessFlawlessFlawless
1440p Performance: *PoorPoor-AverageGoodGoodGreatFlawlessFlawlessFlawless
4K Performance: *UnplayableUnplayableUnplayablePoorAverageGoodGreatFlawless
VR-Ready:NONOYESYESYESYESYESYES

* Our performance rankings assume you’re playing modern PC titles on high-ultra settings and are just a general estimate so simply use them as a way to compare cards.

Performance Rankings Explained
Unplayable:Just as the name suggests, no fun to be had here.
Poor:Annoying visual lag that comes up too often to enjoy the game.
Average:A mixed bag; sometimes smooth and sometimes quite laggy, especially during chaotic parts of the game.
Good:Pretty smooth overall usually averaging around the 40-60 FPS mark.
Great:Over the super-smooth 60 FPS mark the majority of the time, if not all the time.
Flawless:Easily over 60 FPS at all times and therefore no visual hiccups at all.

Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $100 (entry-level)

AMD Radeon RX 460 2GB (check current price)

 
best gaming graphics card under 100If you’re on a real tight budget of under 100 dollars, at this point in time the RX 460 2GB is your best bet in terms of the best gaming performance for your hard-earned coin. It currently comes in at just under that price mark, however this is the minimum card we would recommend if you plan on playing modern games in 1080p (1980 x 1080 resolution, the standard these days) and want to enjoy them without real annoying lag.

Choosing a lesser card than this such as a card under 60-70 dollars just isn’t worth it when it comes to gaming and isn’t something we can recommend to anyone, unless you’ll be solely playing less-demanding, older (or indie) PC titles, or if you don’t mind playing in 720p resolution (or turning down the graphics settings in 1080p).

The RX 460 is efficient and doesn’t require much power, and it runs nice and quietly too. For the enthusiasts out there it also overclocks nicely. Overall, a great budget-conscious choice for casual gamers and hard to beat in terms of gaming performance for the dollar.

The performance between the two versions of this card is hardly noticeable and so the 4GB version doesn’t warrant the extra price in our opinion. That extra money would be better off being put towards a better graphics card, or to another component such as your CPU/memory/etc if you’re building a new PC.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $150 (casual)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (check current price)

 
best gaming graphics card under $100Moving on up and we have the compact Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti 4GB which is hands-down the best bang for your buck gaming graphics card under 150 dollars right now.

It’ll run modern titles very nicely in 1080p; expect around 40-50 FPS in the more graphically-demanding games, even with the graphics settings cranked up.

The closest competing AMD card is the RX 470, which provides roughly 25-30% more performance, but at around $20-30 more. So if you must stick to under 150 dollars, the 1050 Ti can’t be beat.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $200 (budget)

AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB (check current price)

 
best gaming gpu under 200 for 2017At this price point it’s a tough call between AMD and NVIDIA’s offerings in the Radeon RX 570 4GB and GTX 1060 3GB, but the recently-released 570 edges out as the slight winner at this point in time due to slightly better gaming performance overall.

The RX 570 is basically a re-brand of the RX 470 except for a higher base clock rate, and now takes the 470’s place as our top pick for the best gaming graphics card under the 200 dollar mark. With this card you can expect excellent HD performance in the latest games and a decently smooth experience if you bump up to 1440p resolution.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $300 (mid-range)

AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB (check current price)

 
best gaming gpu under 300 for 2017Once again we give AMD the nod in this category with their awesome new 500 series of cards, specifically the RX 580 4GB which edges out the 1060 6GB in terms of value for money.

Technically the 1060 6GB is the best graphics card for gaming under 300 dollars, however our focus here is bang for your buck and therefore why we opted to include the 580 here even though it’s considerably less than 300.

The 580 has the same Polaris 10 GPU as the older 480 but with higher clock rates, and at its current price it’s one of the best bang for your buck gaming graphics card going around.

Expect flawless 1920 x 1080 (1080p full HD) resolution gaming with maxed out settings, and it’s also no slouch if you crank things up to 2560 x 1440. We suggest the 4GB version as the better value option, as the minor performance difference between the 4GB and 8GB versions doesn’t warrant the extra cost in most cases.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $400 (high-end)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB (check current price)

 

best gaming graphics card under 400 for 2017As we start getting into the top-tier graphics cards for gaming, Nvidia GPUs dominate the market and simply cannot be beat. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is a clear choice around this price range and will have you gaming flawlessly on maxed out settings in both 1080p and 1440p, as well as offering fairly decent 4K performance.

The 1070 comes with a large 8GB of GDDR5 V-RAM on a 256 bit bus, 1920 CUDA cores, and 120 texture units, making for a power-packed card that’ll handle almost everything you throw at it with ease, yet it’s also surprisingly fairly power efficient for such a beast.

Overall, if you want to max out 2560 x 1440 then this is the card for you. Maxed out 4K (ie flawless 60 FPS +) would be better off with the 1070’s bigger brothers in the 1080 and 1080 Ti which are next in our lineup of the best gaming graphics cards for 2017.

Furthermore, the GeForce GTX 1070 is the card we’d suggest for a solid experience with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. You could realistically use a lesser card for VR such as the above recommended AMD Radeon RX 580, but if you want to play VR in all its glory you’ll definitely want to get your hands on a 1070 (or above).

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $600 (hardcore)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB (check current price)

 

best gaming gpu under 600 for 2017The next logical step up from the 1070 is the mighty Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 which has roughly 15-20% better performance and is the perfect card for gamers wanting 60 FPS in 4K in many games, and absolutely flawless 1440p performance in all titles.

The 1080 won’t max out 4K in the most demanding games going around, but it’ll get fairly close and offer very playable, enjoyable performance. It’s also a very good card for VR as you can imagine. Unless you have solid reasons to do so, a video card of this caliber is enough to please 98% of gamers and there’s no point splashing more cash than this.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $1000 (extreme)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB (check current price)

 
top extreme gaming graphics card 2017Once again the next tier up is a simple choice with no competitors in sight. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti allows for yet more graphical grunt than the 1080 and is capable of almost perfect 4K performance in basically every title out there.

The 1080 Ti has the same GP102 architecture as the monstrous Titan X, and boasts a massive 3384 CUDA cores, 224 textures units, and a whopping 11GB of GDDR5X memory which all make for a blistering fast gaming GPU unrivaled by any card out there. Well, except for the all-new Titan Xp which we’ll get to next.

But if you value getting a good return on performance for your dollar and want the single best GPU out on the market in that regard: the 1080 Ti is your best bet and will serve your high-end system well for years to come.

 


Best Gaming Graphics Card Over $1000 (monstrous)

Nvidia Titan Xp 12GB (check current price)

 
best gaming graphics card available in 2017Now we’re getting into ridiculous out-of-this-world performance territory. Simply put, the Nvidia Titan Xp is the now the most powerful GPU on the market today.

If money is of no concern, and you don’t care for value for money and just want to run anything and everything flawlessly at any resolution, any settings, and any display setup, this card is your new best friend. As for your real-life friends; they’ll be seriously green with envy as you experience the pinnacle of PC graphical performance.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on this amount of graphical power, be sure to pair it up with an epic gaming monitor to make for the ultimate PC gaming experience.

What About Dual Graphics Card Setups?

If you’re wondering where SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU setups fit into all of this, here’s our take. We generally don’t recommend it for the far majority of users for various reasons, and highly suggest sticking to the single graphics card for your gaming PC.

Firstly, scaling graphical performance by doubling up on GPUs doesn’t work the way you might assume. Instead of increasing performance by a factor of 2, adding a second graphics card is realistically more likely to only gain you a 25-50% boost. Then there’s the issue of your build requiring quite a bit more power, meaning forking out the extra cash for a bigger power supply. Plus, not all power supply units have two PCIe cables to allow for a dual graphics setup.

On top of that, dual GPUs can be quite inconsistent in terms of performance, and can generate more noise and require even better cooling within your machine (meaning more $$$ to spend). It’s not all doom and gloom for SLI and CrossFire though, and for some enthusiast and power-hungry users it may be worth it, but in general we think you’re better off steering clear. Especially if you’re a new PC builder – don’t even consider it.

Have Your Say

That wraps up the best gaming graphics cards of 2017. If you want to dive deeper then be sure not to miss our in-depth guide to choosing a graphics card which goes more into how GPUs work and what all the features are about.

Were these recommendations helpful? Disagree on something? Need further help? Let us know in the comments below.

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