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The best graphics card you can buy

Upgrade your gaming rig with our favorite graphics cards for every budget

best graphics cards zotac geforce gtx  amp edition
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Whether you’re upgrading your old rig, or putting together a new one, every gaming PC needs a graphics card.

The trick is, graphics cards are inherently hard to recommend because user needs vary so wildly. Everything from monitor resolution, power and thermal requirements, and even game preference will dictate how much you spend, and what you spend it on.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for GPUs, but we hope this guide will push you in the right direction

Our pick

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP! Edition

Why should you buy this: The GTX 1060 3GB strikes the perfect balance between price and performance.

Who’s it for: Gamers looking to improve their gaming quality without breaking the bank.

How much will it cost: $200-$300

Why we picked the Nvidia GTX 1060:

The GTX 1060 might not be the cheapest card, and it might not be the most powerful, but it offers a solid balance of the two that will appeal to most PC gamers.

It also hits the sweet spot for graphical memory. The GTX 1060’s 3GB of GDDR5 should be just the right amount for 1080p gaming, although higher-resolution textures may push up against that limit. It’s also tied for the least expensive card certified for virtual reality, at least until Oculus’ minimum specification program starts.

The result is a card that has no trouble playing well optimized games like Battlefield 1 or Fallout 4 with the settings cranked. Even at 2,560 x 1,440, we saw average performance of 60 frames per second, or higher. It’s a tough battle between the GTX 1060 and AMD’s similarly priced RX 480, but ultimately we gave the Nvidia option the nod for beating the Radeon in terms of performance at the $200 price point.

That said, it isn’t going to deliver top performance in every game. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is by far the most demanding game we’ve tested, and the GTX 1060 delivered just 37 frames per second on average while running at ultra settings in 1080p. This video card is great in most situations, but at $200, it’s far from the absolute most powerful available. If you want that – read on.

Our full review

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