You have it clear, you want to update your PC to be able to play in 1080p without problems, but you have doubts about which graphics card you should choose. Do not worry, it is perfectly normal, both NVIDIA and AMD have a large number of mid-low, mid-range and mid-high range models that offer very different experiences when playing in 1080p.
Having a lot to choose from has a good side, and that is that we can find much more varied solutions and better adapted to our particular needs, but at the same time it has a negative side, and that is that it will be harder to make a decision fully successful, especially if we have a high budget and can choose between different levels.
We are aware of how difficult the graphics card market has become to play in 1080p, and that is why we have encouraged to make this article where we are going to review which models are the best differentiating on three levels:
- Minimum: We can play in 1080p with high quality and maintain a good SPF rate in almost all cases.
- Recommended: In this level we can play in 1080p very high qualities enjoying 60 fully stable FPS.
- Optimum: We will have the possibility to play in 1080p with maximum qualities and a total fluidity.
When choosing each graphics card we have given priority to value for money, that is, we have not limited ourselves to choosing the most powerful solutions, but those that offer a better cost-performance ratio.
If you have any questions you can leave it in the comments And we will be happy to help you solve it. I also remind you that we recently published a list dedicated to discovering five current graphics cards that are a bad purchase, and that I invite you to review if you did not have the opportunity to read it at the time.
Play in 1080p with guarantees: prior considerations
Before entering to see the choices we have made in each of those levels I want to remind you of something very important, and that is to be able to enjoy a good experience playing in 1080p we must meet other important requirements at the processor and RAM level.
When we talk about 1080p we are referring to a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, a resolution that offers a good value thanks to its balance between image quality and hardware requirements. To give you an idea Xbox 360 and PS3 used, in most cases, resolution 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels). For its part, PS4 renders most of its games in 1080p and Xbox One does the same in 900p (1,600 x 900 pixels).
Today we have three dominant resolutions when playing on PC: 1080p, 1440p and 2160p (also known as 4K). The first, which is what this article focuses on, has a greater dependence on the processor than the others, which means that two systems with the same graphics card and a different processor can have very marked differences. Those differences will be reduced by 1440p and will be virtually nil at 2160p.
Well, clarified this we can go see what two requirements must we meet, at the processor and RAM level, to be able to play in 1080p with all the guarantees:
- Have a processor four cores and eight threads type Ryzen 5 1500X or a Core i7 4770.
- Have at least 8 GB of RAM, although some games occupy 10 GB or 12 GB if we have more memory available.
If we do not reach that minimum the gaming experience will not be really good even if we comply with the requirements at the graphics card level, keep it in mind before updating your graphics card to the crazy, since You may be disappointed.
What graphics card do I need to play in 1080p: minimum level
If you have a very limited budget but you want to play with guarantees in 1080p and enjoy textures in maximum quality without quiet problems, you are not dreaming of something impossible, the Radeon RX 570 8GB It is what you need.
This XFX model is now discounted to 124.94 euros and also comes with three months of Xbox Game Pass. It is capable of moving almost any current game in 1080p with high qualities while maintaining 60 stable FPS, saving the classic exceptions of poorly optimized games like Control or Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, where the usual are 30-40 FPS.
We must also take into account that its 8 GB of graphic memory make a difference important in some games that require more than 4 GB to activate certain settings, or to raise the quality of textures to "ultra".
Specifications of the RX 570 8 GB
- Polaris architecture 20.
- 2,048 shaders
- 128 units of texture.
- 32 raster units.
- 256 bit bus
- 1,328 MHz GPU.
- 8 GB of effective GDDR5 at 7 GHz.
- Requires 6 pin connector. You will need a power supply of 25A and 450 watts.
What graphics card do I need to play in 1080p: recommended level
During the last months the requirements of triple A games have risen considerably. In some cases the fault lies directly with the developers, who have not done a good job of optimizing their titles, while in other cases we find the implementation of very demanding adjustments that are not used in the console versions, and that improve the graphic quality at the cost of taking a good bite to the SPF rate.
If we want to be able to play in 1080p with very high qualities without having to give up good fluency even in the most demanding (or worse optimized) games of the moment we must choose a GTX 1660 Super, a graphics card that offers a good price-performance value, since it performs at almost the same level as a GTX 1070 and can be found by less than 250 euros.
This graphics card is capable of moving even as poorly optimized titles as Control and Red Dead Redemption 2 with a mixture of high-very high qualities while maintaining a good level of fluidity. It is, on average, 35% more powerful in 1080p than the RX 570.
Specifications of the GTX 1660 Super
- TU116 graphic core at 12 nm.
- 1,408 shaders at 1,530 MHz-1,785 MHz.
- 88 units of texturing.
- 48 raster units.
- 192 bit bus.
- 6 GB of effective 14 GHz GDDR6 memory.
- TDP of 125 watts, requires an additional 8-pin power connector and a source of 450 watts and 24A.
What graphics card do I need to play in 1080p: optimal level
If you want to make sure that you can configure any game in ultra quality and play in 1080p with absolute fluency we have bad news, not even a GTX 1660 Super can achieve that goal in each and every one of the current games, and the reality is that this will only get worse in the coming months due to the proximity of new generation consoles.
To ensure a completely optimal experience in 1080p resolution with maximum quality and long-term total fluidity we must climb a step and search in the mid-high range, a level where we find two great alternatives, the Radeon RX 5700 and the RTX 2060. The first offers greater gross performance and has more graphic memory, but the second supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing and DLSS.
The price of both is very similar, since they are around 330-340 euros, so we have a complicated decision, since the ray tracing is still in an early and poorly optimized state, and DLSS technology has just begun to show its true potential. Both are, in their own way, a good option, although I would personally favor the Radeon RX 5700 for a very simple reason: it offers superior performance today (yields 28% more than the GTX 1660 Super), that is, it is not a purchase supported by technologies to be exploited.
Specifications of the Radeon RX 5700
- Navi 10 graphic core (RDNA architecture).
- 2,304 shaders.
- GPU at 1,465 MHz base frequency, 1,625 MHz game mode and 1,725 MHz in turbo mode.
- 144 units of texturing.
- 64 raster units.
- 256 bit bus
- 8 GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz.
- 180 watt TDP. It requires two power connectors, one with 6 pins and another with 8 pins. You will need a 550 watt and 32A source.
Final notes: every game is a world
Before finishing I think it is necessary to make an important reflection, and that is that, as we have indicated, each game is a world, and the performance that the graphic cards that we have indicated can offer may vary markedly depending on the particularities of each specific title.
For example, the 8 GB Radeon RX 570 is a graphics card that gives its best in 1080p and high qualities, but in many games that work with DirectX 12 or Vulkan and that have a good optimization you can offer a perfect experience with qualities maximum, while others such as Control or Red Dead Redemption 2 may have trouble exceed 40 FPS With high qualities.
The GTX 1660 Super and the Radeon RX 5700 don't get rid of that reality either, and it is that in the end the optimization of each specific game ends up making a huge difference, so much so that it can make a graphic card theoretically inferior to another end up overcoming it.
Finally I want to remind you that right now it makes no sense to buy a graphics card higher than the Radeon RX 5700-RTX 2060 if we are going to play in 1080p, unless we have a 120 Hz monitor or more and we want to make the most of it.