Best Performance 3D Video Cards

Graphics Cards for High Resolution PC Gaming from $350 to $1000


Jun 29, 2016 — Graphics cards are the most competitive component in the PC market now. All of these cards now support Direct X 12 and can provide some spectacular levels of performance at high resolutions. Frankly, these cards are best for those looking to use them with very high-resolution displays or multiple monitor setups. Here are some of my selections for the best performance graphics cards currently available for those with budgets from $350 to $1000.

Best $750 — EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTX Gaming ACX 2.0+ 8GB

eVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB FTX Gaming ACX 3.0
GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Gaming ACX 3.0.


NVIDIA's new Pascal processor offers a great deal of performance and efficiency. The redesign now allows some very capable gaming at 4K resolutions which was a struggle before without running multiple graphics cards. It is certainly an improvement over the previous TITAN X and 980 series cards. eVGA is one of the big names in graphics cards and they FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 card adds an improved cooler over the Founder's Edition that allows it to get even higher performance. It still retains the originals 10.5-inch length so the cooler does not take any additional space. Video connectors include three DisplayPort, one HDMI, and one DVI. The card does require a 500-watt power supply with two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. It should be noted that due to limited availability, pricing is often much higher than the $679.99 list price so you may be in for a wait or have to shop around to find one that does not have a huge markup.

Honorable Mention: XFX Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB — There are two issues with many high-end NVIDIA cards right now, availability and size. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X is a relatively easily to find a card that is priced comparatively to the GTX 1080. Performance is not as high but it is capable of 4K gaming with some reduced resolution. The big difference is the card is smaller because of the closed loop liquid cooling system. So it is shorter but you need space to fit the radiator fan.

Best $500 — ASUS GeForce GTX 1070 8GB ROG STRIX

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card
ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070.


The GeForce GTX 1070 is essentially a scaled-back version of the Pascal graphics processor found in the GeForce GTX 1080. It may not have the performance for gaming at 4K as the GTX 1080 but it can still do it if you don't mind turning down detail levels in order to have decent frame rates. It is really best suited for those looking to play games at 1440p with high detail levels and frame rates or using it for virtual reality. The ASUS STRIX model offers improved cooling with its three fan cooling solution that helps keep the temperatures down for its high overclocking but means it is almost 12 inches long. It also features colored lighting for those that want to add some color to their system. Video connectors include two DisplayPort, two HDMI, and one DVI. It features the same 500 Watt power supply requirement with dual 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors.

Honorable Mention: eVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super Clocked Gaming ACX 2.0 6GB — While the price is slightly higher than the newer GTX 1070 and performance slightly lower, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti is readily available which is something that cannot be said about the latest NVIDIA cards. It is a bit of a compromise but it still offers great performance with 4K gaming for some titles but reliable 1440p frame rates.

Best $350 — MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 100 Million Edition

MSI GeForce GTX 970 100 Million Edition Graphics Card
MSI GeForce GTX 100 Million Edition.

MSI Computer Corp.

If you budget does not quite reach the new Pascal based cards, NVIDIA's previous generation is still quite capable. What is essentially a scaled back version of the Maxwell 2 used in the GTX 980 is what powers the GeForce GTX 970 but the performance and efficiency is just as strong here. In fact, for those gaming at 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 you will have great frame rates with high detail levels and filters enabled. Some games may be acceptable at 4K resolutions but it is best not to push it. This is really the recommended minimum level recommended for use with VR systems like the Oculus Rift and the HTX Vive. It is recommended to have a 400 watt power supply with one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors. Connectors include one DisplayPort, one HDMI and two DVI.

Honorable Mention: Sapphire Radeon R9 390 8GB NITRO — The Radeon R9 390 graphics card does a good job and offers frame rates as well as the or slightly better than the GTX 970 but it does so with a larger, hotter and more power hungry card. This overclocked version plays games at 2560x1440 with high detail levels and frame rates no problem. It can barely make 4K resolutions but it does so at reduced frame rates and detail levels. Its big advantage is the extra video memory for non-gaming tasks. Video connectors include three DisplayPort, one HDMI and one DVI. It still recommends a 750 watt power supply with two 8-pin power connectors.