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If you're a PC gaming or HTPC enthusiast looking for the best video cards on the market at every price point, you've come to the right place! What you'll find here is a comprehensive guide to every card worth buying, starting at under $50 for a simple drop-in upgrade for older systems, and going up to a liquid-cooled dual-card gaming setup for $1,400! We update this guide every season to keep up with the latest new products and price changes. And for Winter 2017, we have great new options for every PC Enthusiast. That includes the just-released GeForce GTX 1050 low-profile card from MSI, the first new low-profile model targeting high-end HTPC users in three years! We're also recommending two new high-end solutions, GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 in SLI, based on our hands-on SLI vs. Titan X Pascal 4K Showdown!

Looking back, the year 2016 was absolutely fantastic for GPU enthusiasts, with the release of AMD's new 14nm-based RX series, headlined by the RX 480, and Nvidia's full range of 16nm-based Pascal GPUs, including the GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080. What do these cards bring to the consumer? Better performance, higher efficiency, and lower prices, of course that previous-gen cards, of course! When it rains it pours, as they say, and we literally saw more GPUs introduced during 2016 than we've seen released over the past two years combined!

Now comes the hard part: deciding which cards to buy. Well, unlike other guides on the Internet, we're not going to miraculously recommend every product on the market, because not every card is worthy of your hard-earned money. Below you'll find only our top picks, many of which were chosen after much deliberation. And that's a sign that competition is still alive and well in the GPU market, which we're sure to see more of in the coming months. Both AMD and Nvidia are soon to launch new high-end cards, which you can read about in our coverage of AMD and Nvidia from CES 2017. Based on our analysis, however, they won't fundamentally change the performance equation for 2017. By the way, if you'd like to learn how our recommended cards compare to previous-gen products, check out our updated Video Card Rankings, which ranks just about every card released since 2007 in terms of performance, as well as bang-for-the-buck. 

Prices shown in this guide use real-time pricing engines, so they are always up-to-date. And since video cards sold in the US frequently have rebates, final prices may be even lower than posted - just click through our links to see if a rebate is available. Note that we've recently added country-specific links for our readers in Canada, the UK, and Germany as well. If you decide to purchase one of the cards we profile, please use the links we provide, which helps support continued development of this guide. And keep in mind that once you start throwing the kind of GPU power that the higher-end video cards in this guide provide, you'll quickly reach the limits of older CPUs, which are taxed more heavily at higher settings. Feel free to check out our Builder's Guides to get a sense of what we consider to be balanced systems in terms of CPU and GPU power. 

Video Cards - Winter 2017

    Basic Use:

    MSI Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3

    This is the perfect upgrade for any older PC. Whether your existing built-in video or add-in video card has stopped working, or you just need to take advantage of the latest digital displays using DVI or HDMI, this card is a great pick. And with its low-profile, single-slot design, it will fit in any PC. Just keep in mind that the built-in video on Intel and AMD's latest CPUs is actually faster, so this won't be an upgrade for systems using newer CPUs. One reason you might get one anyway: if your onboard video can't support resolutions higher than 1920 x 1080. This card supports up to 2560 x 1600 via a dual-link DVI cable.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this card isn't completely silent due to its use of a small cooling fan. If you want an entirely silent solution, go for the fanless Asus Radeon HD 6450. Just keep in mind that it can run a bit hot in a case with limited airflow, so we don't recommend it for use in ultra-small cases with no cooling fans.

    Home Theater:

    PNY GeForce GT 730 1GB GDDR5

    A big step up from the HD 6450, the GeForce GT 730 1GB GDDR5 is a true home theater PC workhorse. This is the most powerful single-slot, low-profile video card on the market, making it a great fit for compact systems and home theater PCs. Its on-board video processing will take the load off the CPU during movie playback. In general, we prefer GeForce-based cards over Radeon-based cards for HTPC use due to their slightly-superior video processing and decompression capabilities, as well as their excellent efficiency.

    The Guru's Tip:

    XFX RX 460 SS

    By the way, if you're looking for the most powerful single-slot video card, period, then go straight for the new XFX Radeon RX 460 4GB. Because PCs that require single-slot cards typically also require low-profile cards, this standard-profile model won't be for everyone, but it is by far the best single-slot GPU ever released, offering over twice the performance of the GT 730.

    The 4K HTPC Solution:

    EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 SC

    The brand-new GTX 1050 is not only a very good entry-level gaming card (surpassing the previous-gen GTX 950 that sold for $150), it's also among the least expensive cards offering 4K video output over HDMI 2.0, along with H.265 (HEVC) encoding and decoding and HDCP 2.2 protection. That makes it the perfect choice for a high-end home theater PC connected to a new 4K HDTV. And this particular model is the most compact on the market - both in length and in height, which can be very important in compact cases.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Nvidia has offered solutions with HDMI 2.0 since Fall of 2014, while AMD only recently added it to its product line. While we considered going with Radeon RX 460 2GB in this category, the fact that the newer GTX 1050 is significantly faster for around the same price makes the GeForce card the winner here.

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2GB LP

    Looking for the most capable low-profile HTPC card ever made? This is it, by a long shot! The first new low-profile gaming card to hit the market since 2014's GTX 750 Ti (our previous recommendation), the 1050 2GB represents a quantum leap in low-profile performance. It's about twice as fast as its predecessor, while also offering full HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 support for 4K HDTVs, never before available in a low-profile card! It requires no external power connector, and will draw only around 65W, compared to twice that for previous-gen full-size cards at similar performance levels. For gamers looking to build low-profile systems, this is the only card to consider!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that MSI released the more powerful GTX  1050 Ti 4GB Low-Profile card a few months before the 1050 2GB. It's still our recommendation for gamers, but for HTPC use, the 1050 2GB is all you need, and therefore a much better deal.

    Video Card:

    Asus Radeon RX 480 4GB Dual

    This is where real gaming begins today - the awesome RX 480 4GB. It's powerful, efficient, and loaded with forward-looking features, like full compatibility with DX12 game engines, as well as the ability to run FreeSync monitors, which you can read more about in our Monitor Buyer's Guide.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another fast card at this price is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB. So why isn't it our top pick here? Well, in our opinion, budget-minded gamers will benefit from the much lower cost of AMD FreeSync monitors versus the higher cost of Nvidia G-Sync monitors. We also like the extra 1GB of VRAM on the RX 480, as it's already proving important for 1080p gaming in many current-gen games.

    Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Windforce

    The GTX 1060 is the card gamers should be looking at around the $250 pricepoint. It offers performance about 15% higher than the previous-gen GTX 970, lower power use, and 6GB of VRAM. In fact, it's the equal of the much more expensive GTX 980, which when released in Sept. 2014 at $550 was the fastest card in the land!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Nvidia has dealt a lethal blow to the Radeon RX 480 8GB here, as the GTX 1060 is almost always faster, uses less power, and comes in at a similar price.

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Gaming X

    Our previous pick, the Radeon 390X, has now been thoroughly outgunned by Nvidia's new entry at the $400-$450 pricepoint, the incredible GTX 1070. With more power than a Titan X, it's the card just about every gamer is going to want. And just as impressive as its speed is its efficiency - it uses less power than a GTX 970, despite being 50-60% faster! The model shown here is among the very best, with an amazing cooler that allows near-silent operation while allowing the big factory overclock to work to its fullest effect.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The only real drawback of the 1070 is that it's going to continue selling out regularly for a long time to come!

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Gaming X

    Are you ready to enter the world of extreme gaming? Well, the GTX 1080 will take you there! It's about 25% faster than the 1070, making it by far the fastest card ever released. And like the 1070, it's very efficient, using less than 180W at load, compared to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Titan X, which used 250W despite offering much lower performance! We particularly like this model, which offers excellent cooling and the lowest noise of any GTX 1080 model.

    The Guru's Tip:

    If you'll be running two 1080 cards in SLI, go for the liquid-cooled EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid instead, as it will provide ultra-low temperatures for massive boost potential!

    SLI Video Cards:

    2x Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC 8GB

    While we used to recommend the $1,200 Titan X Pascal as the ultimate gaming setup, we are now recommending two GTX 1070 cards in SLI. Why? Because our 4K SLI vs. Titan Benchmarks prove that this is the all-around superior solution, given the similar performance, lower price, lower noise, and lower power consumption. If you're serious about pushing ultra-high details at ultra-high resolutions, up to and including 4K, then you need lots of GPU power, and 1070 SLI delivers it at a bargain price! Note that based on our benchmarking tests, a single SLI bridge (included with all SLI motherboards) will hold back this duo, so don't forget to pick up a second bridge.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While running dual cards in SLI can cause temperature management issues, the huge triple-fan cooler on this Asus model will have no trouble keeping temps in check!

    SLI Video Cards:

    2x EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid 8GB

    OK, if you need way more performance than a Titan X Pascal, you need to step up to dual GTX 1080 cards in SLI. Our 4K Benchmarks prove that this solution will beat the Titan by over 25% on average. That's a whole lot more gaming performance for just a little more cash. We specifically recommend a liquid-cooled arrangement here due to the higher boost levels you'll achieve when running two high-powered GPUs in a single system. Note that your case will need room for two 120mm radiators, so check your specs before taking the plunge! Another important note: please buy an EVGA High-Bandwidth SLI Bridge or you'll be throwing away nearly 10% of this duo's performance! See our SLI Benchmarks for more info!

    The Guru's Tip:

    While 4K monitors are a good use of this power, we actually recommend 2K-class G-SYnc monitors for most gamers, as they can hit between 100Hz and 165Hz, providing a much smoother experience. Check our Monitor Buyer's Guide for the best options.