It can be difficult to decide which graphics card is the best option when looking to upgrade your computer. Luckily, VeryComputer has put together a comprehensive list of six graphics cards you should avoid and some excellent alternatives that you should purchase instead.
The graphics card market has experienced an important evolution during the last few months. Prices of many models have come back down, availability has improved in some cases and also worsened in others, especially within the high-end of the previous generation. This is normal because, in the end, both NVIDIA and AMD have ceased production of those top-of-the-line models to make room for the GeForce RTX 40 and Radeon RX 7000.
The situation we find ourselves in today, with a wide variety of graphics cards of different generations competing in the market with very disparate prices, makes it far from easy to make purchasing decisions. To help you, I have decided to update our guide dedicated to choosing which graphics cards not to buy.and we will also give you a series of alternatives with models that are currently a good buy.
To give you more value, and to complement the guide we published late last year, I have focused on. on choosing different models from both NVIDIA and AMD in this new guide. Keep in mind that the five graphics cards we looked at in the 2022 guide are still a bad buyand should therefore be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, the alternatives I showed you in that article are still a good buy, as long as we can find them at the price level I indicated.
That said, and without further ado, let’s get into which graphics cards are a bad buy today, I’ll explain why we should avoid them and we’ll see which alternatives are worth the money.. Note that in this article we always talk about new graphics cards, an important distinction because some models whose purchase we do not recommend would be interesting second hand. As always, if you have any questions after reading the article you can leave them in the comments and I will help you to solve them.
Six graphics cards that we should not buy
1.-GeForce GT 1030
The GeForce GT 1030 falls into the category of entry-level graphics cards, and it is not worth it because the value it offers in price-performance ratio is very poor. To give you a clear picture of this, if we were to buy a standard model with GDDR5 at a price of 105 euros this would offer three times less performance than a Radeon RX 6400.whose price starts at around 165 euros.
The numbers I just gave you are very clear and put on the table what I already explained to you at the time, that entry-level graphics cards are not worth it. With the GeForce GT 1030 we could not play any current title in minimally acceptable conditions.even in resolutions lower than 1080p, except in very specific cases of undemanding games, and it only has 2 GB of graphics memory whose bandwidth is very low, which means that its useful life “expired” long ago.
There is only one scenario in which this graphics card could be an option to consider, and that is. buying it second hand for between 20 and 25 euros. to give a second life to a PC with very limited specifications. In other cases, we have much more interesting second-hand options at very affordable prices that offer a much higher performance, which will allow us to play with guarantees.
Alternatives that are worth it
The GeForce GTX 970 and the Radeon RX 570 and Radeon RX 580 are the best options we can find if we have a budget between 60 and 105 euros, as they are still able to offer good performance in 1080p, and in most cases can with demanding games in medium qualities while maintaining a good level of fluidity, and even with high qualities in certain titles.
2.-Radeon RX 6400
This graphics card has a very low power consumption, and its performance is more or less at the level of the GeForce GTX 1650, but generally speaking. the performance for the price it offers is not good.and on top of that, it has a very important shortcoming, and that is that it is limited to the PCIe Gen4 x4 bus, which means that if we use it to upgrade a PC that only uses the PCIe Gen3 interface it will only work with four PCIe lanes, which will end up reducing its performance.
It is also not a graphics card truly capable of running current games in acceptable conditions at 1080p resolution, and it performs less well than a Radeon RX 570 and a GeForce GTX 970, two graphics cards that we can find on the second-hand market for much less money. The cheapest Radeon RX 6400 I have seen is about 165 eurosand the more expensive models can exceed 200 eurosbut as I have said it performs less than the GeForce GTX 970, a graphics card that hit the market in 2014.
If to everything I just said we add the PCIe Gen4 x4 bus problem I think it’s clear why it’s a graphics card to avoid. There are much better options on the used market, and if you are worried about the warranty issue you can find more interesting refurbished models in store with warranty, although obviously the price will be higher than if you buy from a private individual.
Alternatives that do pay off
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti second-hand is an excellent option, since it performs 75% better on average and we can buy it second-hand from 140 euros, or for 180 euros in store reconditioned and with warranty. We could also invest less and buy a Radeon RX 580 8 GB for about 100 euros, approx.
3.-GeForce GTX 1660 Super
The GeForce GTX 1660 Super was, at the time, a very interesting graphics card because it offered a good price-performance ratio, but in the end it has ended up being left in a position where. makes no sense at all. Its price is too high, and this makes it directly offer a very poor price-performance value.
I’ll put you in situation, at performance level the GeForce GTX 1660 Super is almost like a GeForce GTX 1070 in terms of raw power, although it has 2 GB less graphics memory. It is Turing based, but it has no tensor cores or RT cores, so it doesn’t support DLSS or accelerate ray tracing. It is currently available for purchase from 230 euros in the case of the cheapest models.and the most expensive models can reach 348 eurosa real madness in the latter case.
Its performance is good enough to play in 1080p with guarantees, and even in 1440p reducing graphic settings in demanding games, but its price is too high and this makes it tread with much more powerful and much more interesting solutions.. This is the main reason why it is a bad buy, because we can find superior new graphics cards with a practically identical price that will also have a longer lifetime.
Alternatives that do pay off
The best alternative is the Radeon RX 6600 from XFX, which. performs 35% better than the GeForce GTX 1660 SuperIt is priced at 239.89 euros and comes with The Last of Us Part I for free, a game valued at 60 euros. If we do the math, we not only win in performance, but also in price, because we get a game totally free, and on top of that we will enjoy better support and longer life because it uses a newer architecture and because it has 2 GB more graphics memory.
4.-GeForce RTX 3060 8GB.
The 8GB GeForce RTX 3060 is a cut-down version of the 12GB model that, frankly, reminds me of what happened back in the day with the 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 and the 6GB GeForce GTX 1060, although in this case it’s worse because. the memory bus cutback cripples the performance of the 8GB model a lot.and makes it end up at a level where it does not make sense when compared to other options that are just as powerful, and much cheaper.
We can buy a GeForce RTX 3060 8 GB from. €319.90. This model comes with the memory bus trimmed to 128 bits and has 4 GB less graphics memory than the standard model. This brings the bandwidth down from 360 GB/s to 240 GB/s, and has a major impact on performance, so much so that the former is, on average, 15% slower, and this puts it even below AMD’s Radeon RX 6600, which is priced at €239.89.
It’s true that the 8GB GeForce RTX 3060 has in its favor the greater power of its RT cores, and support for DLSS 2, an intelligent rescaling technology that greatly improves performance and makes a significant difference, but in the end the price difference is so big that even with those two values it makes no sense against the Radeon RX 6600.and neither against the 12 GB GeForce RTX 3060, which can be purchased from 349.99 euros.
Alternatives that do pay off
In this case we have many options. The Radeon RX 6600 would be the best choice if we want to invest less money, since it is between 5% and 10% more powerful and costs 239.89 euros.. If we do not mind paying a little more, the best purchase we can make is the Radeon RX 6700, which right now we can buy for 349,90 euros and also comes with The Last of Us Part I for free.
5.-Intel Arc A770
The Intel Arc A770 was not a bad graphics card. At its debut it was presented as an interesting option to models that at the time had a much higher price. However, over time those models have come down in price, and the Intel has kept it at too high a levelThis has caused its value to drop significantly, making it a poor choice.
In terms of raw power, the Intel Arc A770 performs a little less than the Radeon RX 6700and is therefore also slower than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, but it is priced at €419.89. For that money, it is clearly not worth it, and even more if we consider that, in older games and DirectX 11-based titles, its performance is still not up to the level of its range equivalents even despite the improvements it has received at the driver level.
Its smaller sibling, the Intel Arc A750, did drop in price to €299.90, but it has been placed at a figure where it has some serious competition from the Radeon RX 6650 XT. To be truly competitive, and that we can consider it as a good option, the Intel Arc A770 would have to come down to €349, something that will surely end up happening sooner or later.
Alternatives that do pay off
Right now the best option we can find on the market if we want to stay in a similar price range is the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which is discounted to €399.91, performs 16% better and comes with The Last of Us Part I for free. If you are concerned about ray tracing and DLSS 2, the best alternative would be a GeForce RTX 3060 Tiwhich is reduced to 409.90 euros.
6.-GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB
It was an impressive graphics card, there’s no doubt about that, but with the release of the GeForce RTX 4070 it no longer makes sense to buy it, especially considering the GeForce RTX 3080 is at very low stock levels and that selling prices have skyrocketed, so much so that it is still impossible to find it at the recommended retail price it had at its launch (€719) back in late 2020.
It is true that the GeForce RTX 3080 is still a real monster, that can move games without problems in 4K, and that its power in ray tracing is very good. Its technology support represents another important added value, and it certainly has a lot of life ahead of it, but today we can find more interesting options at lower prices, and in this sense the GeForce RTX 4070 stands out especially, which has been, without any doubt, the one that has put the nails in the coffin of the GeForce RTX 3080.
In those stores where there is stock of the GeForce RTX 3080 the prices are around. between 900 and 1,100 euros, figures that make no sense at allespecially considering that for that money we can buy new generation models that are much more powerful, and also more efficient. It is clear that these are inflated prices due to the low stock level, but this is precisely what makes them graphics cards to avoid. Even in the second hand market their price is still inflated, so be careful and avoid them unless you see them very cheap.
Alternatives that are worth the money
Undoubtedly the best option is the GeForce RTX 4070a graphics card that performs practically at the same level as the GeForce RTX 3080 in rasterization, but has more powerful and advanced RT cores and tensor cores, and has in its favor the support of frame generation (DLSS 3) and greater energy efficiency (consumes 130 watts less). We can buy it from €629.90, a very good price considering that, thanks to frame generation, it can even outperform a GeForce RTX 3090 in games like Cyberpunk 2077.