Buy a graphics card or wait: what should I do?

As a gamer or computer user, buying a graphics card can be a difficult decision. Should you buy now or wait for a better model to hit the market? Weighing your options is important in making the best choice for your needs.

Is it a good time to buy a graphics card or should I wait? You may have been asking yourself this question for a long time, and you haven’t quite figured it out. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal because we find ourselves in a rather strange situation which, in fact, has surpassed what we experienced in the transition between Pascal and Turing, and between GCN and RDNA, architectures that gave life to the GTX 10 and GTX 16-RTX 20, and the RX 500-Radeon VII and RX 5000, respectively.

Right now they are coexisting in the market. graphics cards of very different generations which, however, have quite high prices. This means that in some cases these graphics cards may even be in competition with others that are far superior, resulting in a hodgepodge of products among which even the average consumer can get lost. It should also be borne in mind that the renewal process for certain ranges has not yet been completed, and that this will not happen for a few months.

In normal situations the best time to buy a graphics card is precisely this one we are in, the transition from one generation to another, but unfortunately. we can’t describe the current moment as normalOn the contrary, and this means that what we have just said is not true in all cases. Nevertheless, there are exceptionsand we can find some offers that make it interesting to buy a graphics card right now.

Radeon graphics card

Pre-considerations: a simple script to help you decide.

Do you really need a new graphics card? This is a very important question that we don’t always pay enough attention to. You may be really looking forward to buying a new graphics card, but you don’t really need to do it. This led me, at the time, to write a guide dedicated to review five tips that you should have clear before jumping to change your graphics card. Check this article, and if after reading it it is clear to you that you should change your graphics card, then come back to this guide.

If you need to change your graphics card but it is not something urgent, I would directly recommend you to wait for the arrival of the rest of the GeForce RTX 40 and Radeon RX 7000 models, especially if you are targeting the “budget” high-end or mid-range, since such important and long-awaited models as the GeForce RTX 4070 and RTX 4060, and the Radeon RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT are still pending release. In case you are aiming for the high-end and more powerful models, you have no reason to wait.

Although that is the general rule, the truth is that there are also exceptions. We still don’t know what price they are going to be “budget” high-end and mid-range next-generation graphics cards, but looking at the prices of the most powerful models it is clear that there is going to be a price increase compared to the previous generation. This means that these new generation models are going to be more powerful, but also more expensive, so waiting may not be worth it in some cases.

With this in mind, it is easy to understand that there will be cases where it will be worth buying a current mid-range graphics card and not waiting for the arrival of the new generation. Here is an example, it would be a good idea to buy a Radeon RX 6600 right now. because they can be found at very affordable prices (starting at 249.95 euros), but it would not be a good idea to buy a Radeon RX 6800 XT because the prices are inflated and because they will probably end up stepping on the Radeon RX 7700 XT, or maybe even the Radeon RX 7800 XT, and these will be more powerful.

The same is true for NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards, although in this case with the particularity that the prices in the mid-range and in the “budget” high-end are still very high, and this makes it generally best to wait, unless you want to buy a new generation model that is already on the market, such as the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti and GeForce RTX 4080.

Five graphics cards worth buying today.

If after making a thorough assessment of everything we’ve told you about you come to the conclusion that you can’t wait it’s your turn to decide which graphics card you’re going to buy. Currently there are five models that offer such a good value for the price-performance ratio that they are a good buy, provided you find them available for the prices we are going to tell you about below.

To make things easier for you I am going to indicate, in each case, from which graphics card would produce an optimal upgrade due to the performance difference. that would exist between the two, and the optimal resolutions at which you could play with each of them. As always, if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments and we will help you solve them.

1.-Radeon RX 6600

It is a good buy because it offers very good performance close to what we would get with a GeForce RTX 2070 in rasterization.because it has a very tight power consumption and because it has a very affordable price. We can buy it for €269.89 with a good assembly, and it comes with The Last of Us Part I for free, a game that is priced at €59.99, which represents an even bigger saving, especially if we were planning to buy such a title.

From which graphics card is it worth upgrading to this model and what performance we can expect.

  • It is worth upgrading from a Radeon RX 590, GeForce GTX 1660 and earlier.
  • With the Radeon RX 6600 we will be able to play in 1080p and 1440p without problems.
  • It loses a lot of performance with ray tracing, even activating FSR, so it is better to limit it to rasterization.

Specifications

  • RDNA 2 architecture.
  • 1,792 shaders.
  • GPU at 2,044 MHz-2,491 MHz.
  • 28 units for accelerating ray tracing.
  • 112 texturing units.
  • 64 raster units.
  • 28 units for accelerating ray tracing.
  • 128-bit bus.
  • 32 MB infinite cache.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz.
  • Requires additional 8-pin power connector and 500 watt power supply.

2.-Radeon RX 6650 XT

With this model there is a significant jump in performance compared to the previous one, but the price difference is small, so it is an option that we should take into account. Its raw raster performance is similar to what we would have with a GeForce RTX 2080.and also comes with The Last of Us Part I for free. It is priced at €309.89. An excellent choice if we do not care about ray tracing and want raw power in games.

From which graphics card is worth upgrading to this model and what performance we can expect.

  • It is worth upgrading from a Radeon RX 590, GeForce GTX 1660 and earlier.
  • With the Radeon RX 6650 XT we will be able to play in 1080p and 1440p optimally, in even 4K if we reduce graphics quality.
  • It loses a lot of performance with ray tracing, even activating FSR, so it is better to limit it to rasterization.

Specifications

  • RDNA 2 architecture.
  • 2,048 shaders.
  • 2,410 MHz-2,635 MHz GPU.
  • 32 units for accelerating ray tracing.
  • 128 texturing units.
  • 64 raster units.
  • 128-bit bus.
  • 32 MB infinite cache.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 17.5 GHz.
  • Requires additional 8-pin power connector and 500 watt power supply.

3.-Radeon RX 6700

This model is still undoubtedly the best graphics card in its price range. It is more powerful than the Radeon RX 6650 XT and has the advantage of having an extra 2 GB of graphics memory. Its bandwidth is also higher and it has more infinite cache, which makes it hold up better in high resolutions. Very powerful in rasterization, so much so that it plays in the league of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. We can buy it for €329.89 with The Last of Us Part I for free.

From which graphics card is worth upgrading to this model and what performance we can expect.

  • The optimal level to upgrade would be a Radeon RX Vega 64, GeForce GTX 1080 or earlier.
  • With the Radeon RX 6700 we will be able to play optimally in 1080p and 1440p, and we will also be able to play well in 4K without having to reduce the graphics quality too much.
  • It loses a lot of performance with ray tracing, even activating FSR, so it is better to limit it to rasterization.

Specifications

  • RDNA2 architecture.
  • 2,304 shaders
  • GPU at 1,914 MHz-2,450 MHz.
  • 144 texturing units.
  • 64 raster units.
  • 36 cores for accelerating ray tracing.
  • 160-bit bus.
  • 10 GB of GDDR6 memory at 16 GHz.
  • 80 MB of infinite cache.
  • Requires an 8-pin power connector and a 500 watt power supply.

4.-GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

If it had been available at its recommended retail price throughout its lifetime it would have been, without a doubt, the best graphics card in its category. Right now we can find it for 449.90 euros, a good price considering what it offers and what we can find in its range. In rasterization it performs almost at the same level as a Radeon RX 6700 XT and outperforms the GeForce RTX 2080 Super, and with ray tracing enabled it outperforms the Radeon RX 6800.

From which graphics card is it worth upgrading to this model and what performance can we expect.

  • In this case it is worth upgrading from a Radeon RX 5600 XT, GeForce RTX 2060 and earlier.
  • With the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti we will be able to play with all the guarantees in 1080p and 1440p, and also in 4K, although we will have to tune the graphics quality in the most demanding games.
  • It is feasible to play with this graphics card by activating ray tracing, although in order not to sacrifice much fluidity we will have to activate DLSS 2.

Specifications

  • Ampere Architecture.
  • 4,864 shaders.
  • 1,410 MHz-1,665 MHz GPU.
  • 152 texturing units.
  • 80 raster units.
  • 152 tensor cores.
  • 38 RT cores.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz.
  • 256-bit bus.
  • Requires a 12-pin connector and a 600 watt supply.

5.-Radeon RX 6950 XT

It was AMD’s most powerful graphics card at the time, and still to this day remains a solution capable of delivering fantastic performance in rasterization. It has come down a lot in price, so much so that it has gone from costing between €1,100 and €1,300 to drop to €749.90, and it comes with The Last of Us Par I for free, so if you were planning to buy that game the graphics card stays at less than €700. Yields only a little less than a GeForce RTX 4070 Ti in rasterization.

From which graphics card is it worth upgrading to this model and what performance can we expect.

  • It is worth upgrading even from a Radeon RX 6700 XT, GeForce RTX 2080 Super or earlier.
  • We will be able to play even in 4K with full guarantees, as long as we do not activate ray tracing.
  • With ray tracing enabled this graphics card defends itself well in 1440p, and if we enable FSR 2 in quality mode the experience will be good.

Specifications

  • RDNA2 architecture.
  • 5,120 shaders.
  • GPU at 1,860 MHz-2,310 MHz.
  • 320 texturing units.
  • 80 units for ray tracing.
  • 128 raster units.
  • 256-bit bus.
  • 16 GB of GDDR6 memory at 18 GHz.
  • 128 MB infinite cache.
  • Requires two 8-pin connectors and an 800 watt supply.

Endnotes: I tell you what I would do right now.

If I found myself in the situation of having to buy, yes or yes, a graphics card, I would go for any of these five options that I have just shown you. If I had a 1080p monitor, my choice would be the Radeon RX 6600. because, in the end, I would have enough with it to play in that resolution and I would not have to spend a lot of money. This graphics card also has important advantages:

  • It does not need an extremely powerful processor to develop its full potential.
  • It has a contained size and fits even in small towers.
  • It also does not require a very powerful power supply, and is very cool.

For 1440p gaming I would go straight for the Radeon RX 6700. because, although it is a bit more expensive than the Radeon RX 6650 XT, it makes up for it with more power and 2GB of extra graphics memory, something that in the end can make a difference in certain games and will make it age better. The price difference between the two is only €20, so it’s not a hard decision to make.

If my goal was to gaming at 1440p with active ray tracing the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti would be my choice.not only because it performs better than the RX 6000 with ray tracing, but also because DLSS 2 significantly improves performance, has wide adoption in triple A games and offers higher image quality than AMD’s FSR.

Finally, if I had a 4K monitor and wanted to play games with all the guarantees I would choose the Radeon RX 6950 XT, as it offers excellent performance at that resolution as long as we keep ray tracing disabled. If I wanted to enable this technology and maintain a good level of performance I would have to go for a GeForce RTX 3090 or a GeForce RTX 4070 Ti at the very least.

Note: This selection contains some links from our affiliates, but none of the products included have been proposed or recommended by them or their manufacturers, but chosen at our own discretion.

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