PC Gamer Reader Awards - tell us about the graphics cards you love!

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Feb 17, 2020
I wouldn't really call it a standout, but - controversially - my GTX 970 was probably one of my better buys.

It could just as easily have been an R9 290, and very nearly was, but the 970's pricing vs performance in the games I was most into at the time happened to be better than AMD's offerings at the time, so a 970 it was.

Also, AMD's GPUs haven't performed quite as well in Fallout 4, another of my main titles (not to mention things like Total War DX11 on Nvidia vs DX12 on AMD)

Also my partner ended up getting a GTX 970 too - and when I upgraded mine last year (4 years of service being decent enough for a GPU), they inherited it and now have SLI. Pointless in many games we play together (e.g. Division 2) but still has a role in Civilization 6, Witcher 3 (which they're currently playing) and Total War Warhammer 2, which we cooped extensively. Lizard lords forever!

The 970 wasn't without its pitfalls. The 3.5GB RAM thing. And the lack of Freesync support. However, in my case, the VRAM was generally not an issue as far as I could tell, and by the time I was looking to upgrade my 2012 monitor, I was also looking to up resolution and so a new GPU was also in order, this time that did support adaptive sync.

That said, I'd probably be sporting an RX 5700 if it had existed when I finally caved and bought am RTX 2060 for 1440p.

A purchase definitely vindicated by luck more than my smarts in picking it though. Probably often the case in PC hardware...
Jan 13, 2020
I'll answer the question in another post, but as an aside if it's permitted:

I think part of your problem here might be the 'maxing out' part.

A lot of modern games have a few graphics settings that are brutally demanding (or badly optimised, take your pick). Maxing out settings is a good way of tanking performance.

Think Deus Ex Mankind Divided, which needed a GTX 1080 to hit 60fps average (nevermind fps drops) at 1080p max settings. But adjusting a few settings down meant it ran constant 60fps on my GTX 970 at 1080p.

I think AC:OD has Volumetric Clouds as a similar culprit.


I recently played Odyssey on my RTX 2060 at 1440p with settings mixed high-ultra and performance was generally 50-70fps, though with some sharp drops in some areas. FPS also limited by my rather old CPU on occasion (as was the case in Origins)

Also RDR2 is a brute:

Look at the performance differences between High and Ultra.

Basically if you play a game on "max" settings, performance is going to suck, and it's not really the poor old GPU's fault!

You need to adjust the settings - the freedom to do so being a part of what PC Gaming is all about I suppose.
Agreed. Max settings is it I think. I never go for those especially on those 2 with RT. My 2060 gets ate alive. Hopefully next Gen. will fix this.
Jul 14, 2020
I feel like I change video cards too often to really focus on one I love. I'm digging the 2060 Super I have now BUT I can't wait for the next upgrade either.
Dec 15, 2019
Way, waaay back near the dawn of (discreet graphics card) time, I had a legendary 3dfx Voodoo 2 in my PC, coupled with an old Celeron chip and something like 32mb of RAM. It was perfect for playing local UT games and it was the graphics card that the Ultra 64 emulator was optimised around. I had Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time running at 60fps on a crisp 1024x768 monitor, way better than anything that my flatmate's Nintendo 64 could do.

It's probably my fave card, although I had a Sapphire Radeon 5970 for a while, from around 2010 to 2012. What a beast that was.
Jul 3, 2020
I loved my GeForce 256. It was the first major graphics card I purchased. It gave many hours fun filled time with my online friends and irl friends. It also gave me many many sleepless nights with Unreal Tournament.
May 5, 2020
I've had a GPU from almost every gen since the Nvidia 8000 series and I have to say the most impressive one so far is the HD7950 I scored for $125 in 2015 after having to sell my gtx970 off until I got more money.
For a 2011 part it's absolutely insane that it can still completely game in 1080p (I used it for 1440p!) and is still near or at min spec for many newer games!
Jul 18, 2020
What's the PC gaming gear that you've fallen in love with? It doesn't matter whether it's the latest Nvidia graphics card, a 2000-series AMD CPU, or that grinty gaming mouse you picked up a few years back but now can't bear to be without. Whatever it is, we want to know about it.

And we're not necessarily talking about what you think your most powerful superstar component is, or your most expensive purchase, we'd like you to tell us about the different parts of your gaming setup that mean the most to you. If you're regularly gaming with it today, and it sparks joy, then we want you to tell us just why that particular slice of PC gaming has found a place in your heart.

Over the next two weeks we're going to find out just what our PC Gamer readers are gaming with and why you love the kit you do. So each day there will be a new category of gear and we'd love you to get involved and tell us which products speak to you and why. Then we will gather all the entries together, come up with a shortlist for each of the following categories, and you will then have the chance to vote on which products should get the coveted PC Gamer Readers' Award.
  • Graphics card
  • Processor
  • Laptop
  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Headset
  • Microphone
  • Wildcard entry!
Today we're asking about what graphics card you love. Still rocking a GTX 1050 in a pint-sized PC that nails League of Legends, is that 8GB RX 5500 XT really doing it for you, or have you no regrets about spending big on a top-end Turing? Tell us in the thread below, without quoting the original post, first with the name of the GPU in question, and then just a line or two about why it means so much to you.

And who knows... you might even find yourself featured on the site in our Readers' Awards coverage too.
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ 5700XT Best balance of performance, and aesthetics .
Apr 24, 2020
im still using a 980HOF its white an black i love the design of the card, i upgraded at a very wrong time when i did the 10series came out a few months later, i have a 4k screen (cheap one) as well as another screen and it can still push games in 4k so im kind of just hanging on for the new generation as the rest of my pc is already upgraded, but they didnt sell the 980HOF here i had to get it imported, and i remember the people at the pc store being pretty excited about ordering it lmao

View: https://i.imgur.com/bRxuRfM.jpg
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I have only had 2 different brands of GPUs since getting heavy into pc gaming, MSI and ZOTAC, all cards still work to this day, Had an MSI 750ti that was sold, have an MSI 980(2) and a 1080, all are still in use, with no problems outside of normal maintenance including changing thermal paste, so i have no complaints and will continue to use these brands going forward, eyeing an MSI 3080.
Apr 1, 2020
I upgraded from a 970 to a 2070 a couple of months ago (coupled with a Ryzen 5 2600X). Have to say, I'm underwhelmed. Nearly every game I've tried to max out (at 1080p no less) has run poorly. RDR2, Origins and Odyssey, Control with ray tracing enabled have all been in the low 50s, often dipping into the low 40s.

I was expecting this card to smash everything, certainly at 1080p. Poo.

Edit: Don't think I'm going to win any prizes here!
Ultra + Raytracing on is hard for even a 2080 ti at respectable levels. You can probably do "high" at 1440p pretty easy though, without the raytracing.