Graphics are always the center of attention when it comes to video games. That’s why the graphics card is obviously one of the most integral parts of a Gaming PC. A good chunk of your overall budget is probably taken up by the GPU. But with so many options on the table and so many confusing terms, it’s not easy to pick one.
And the hardest part if probably compatibility, or at least it used to be. We all know how much graphics cards can heat up, throttle and even just drop dead because of insufficient power. Plus, you always end up paying more money for more performance overall. But is all of that stuff is still a problem in 2019?
What Should You Be Worried About?
Well, thankfully, we the days of horrible thermals and performance drops due to thermal throttling are going behind us. Fortunately, most of the newer cards use better coolers on them, which significantly restricts the temperature by quite a bit. This is incredibly important when the GPU is at full load. If it’s running at a high temperature all the time, it decreases the lifespan by quite a bit.
The other thing people used to worry about was power efficiency. Obviously, you need a sufficient power supply so that you can power your system with ease. But older graphics cards were more power-hungry. These days for most budget-midrange GPUs, we aren’t looking at an insane amount of TDP.
What About Pricing?
Right now in 2019, with so much heated competition between AMD and Nvidia, pricing isn’t really the issue it used to be. For almost every price segment, we have a lot of GPUs to pick from, and the gap is quite small between all of them.
Ultimately, this might make it harder to choose from the lot. But it’s still definitely good for the consumer, as we get more value at a lower price. Just be thankful that the whole mining controversy is over with, and prices have finally reached the ground a bit.
Obviously, if you want the most balls to the walls rig that can handle hardcore 4K gaming, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money. But for most people, you can get away with most mid-range GPUs and you’ll be good to go for a long time.
Are Used Graphic Cards Worth The Risk?
Unfortunately, this is where the waters start to get a little murky. At first glance, yes it is incredibly appealing when you see a GTX 10-series card or an AMD RX 500 series card for an incredible price. But not only is there a little bit of a risk factor involved, but there’s also the question if the value still holds up.
First off, you don’t really know how the card was used and if it was used for mining or not. But if you can find one still within warranty, it might be worth a shot. Just a quick tip, instead of buying a really old GPU, you should probably save up for a while and buy a relatively newer one for futureproofing.
Then there’s also the question of value, sure you can’t find last generation cards for a great price these days, especially in the used market. But newer entry-level and mid-range GPUs aren’t all that ridiculously priced. Plus, you save yourself from the hassle of upgrading over and over again.
All in all, buying a new GPU is much easier and you can pick up any of these best graphics cards in this era. We don’t really need to worry about power efficiency and thermal throttling all that much. Plus pricing isn’t all that bad these days either. You can actually get a tonne of value out of most budget and mid-range cards. Just do your homework before buying and you should be fine.