I can't believe it. GPUs are back. This means the return of cheap graphics card deals. It's been a while, but the supply chain situation has finally gotten, the stock is flowing, and cryptocurrency miners are buying up every GPU in sight, thanks to events like the Merge (opens in new tab).
Not only are most of the most popular graphics cards back in stock, but some are even affordable again. The inflated pandemic pricing has slowly been easing up as some cards are actually selling at or below MSRP thanks to some generous discounts. Notice I said, "some." You'll still find a handful of RTX 30-series cards selling over their usual retail price. Thankfully, this is a trend we see fading pretty soon.
If you have your eyes on upgrading to a premium GPU, expect to see some hefty discounts as we get closer to the holiday season. However, keep in mind that new GPUs should launch before the end of the year, so if you're looking for the most powerful graphics to stick into your PC, you may want to hold off buying one for a couple of months.
I picked out some of the best GPU deals the internet has to offer, from the very top cards to the very cheapest, to help you find the right graphics card for you and your wallet.
Palit GeForce GTX 1660 6GB StormX Boost | £188.99 (save £11) (opens in new tab)
Not a vast saving, but then again this is a cheaper GPU to begin with. The 1660 is a nice card, and while we'd probably get a Super version instead, the lure of a deal is strong.
PNY GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB XLR8 GAMING OC |£973.47 (save £46) (opens in new tab)
This is the triple-fan version of the big-boy card, so it's a big one. Ideal for high-end PCs, and here with a tidy £46 saving.
XFX RX 5700 Xt Thicc II 8GB GDDR6 | £362 via Amazon (opens in new tab)
No saving here, but this a good price for the RX 5700, which is a nice powerful card, if you've got an AMD build. Go Team Red!
ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 | £132.58 (opens in new tab)
A great price on what is a solid last-gen GPU. It won't handle big modern games, but is perfect for a budget rig and will still give you decent frame rates on indies.
Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the latest and most potent GPU around, and it's also one of the largest consumer GPUs ever produced. The Turing TU102 is 60 percent larger than the Pascal GP102 in the 1080 Ti, with 55 percent more transistors. Those extra transistors went into more CUDA cores, but Nvidia didn't stop there, adding in Tensor cores to help accelerate deep learning algorithms like DLSS, plus RT cores to accelerate ray tracing. There are plenty of other enhancements in the Turing architecture as well, but if you want the best, be prepared to shell out: the cheapest 2080 Ti cards start at $999, with many selling for $1,199 and up.
If you're looking for the best value, forget about the new RTX cards. On the other hand, if you're eying a 4k 144Hz HDR G-Sync display and you want the absolute fastest graphics card around, this is the card for you. You could even try adding a second card and using an NVLink connector, assuming you just won the lottery. We're unlikely to see anything substantially faster for at least a year, so you'll be able to sit comfortably at the top of the pecking order for a while.
Essentially, this is the affordable entry into Nvidia's ray tracing capable RTX card set, clocking in at around $350-400 depending on the size of the model you choose. In terms of output, this isn't a significant step up from the 1070, or the basic 2060, but that means it's more than capable of running games at a solid 1080p and even up to 1440p for all but the most demanding titles. The downside, which is admittedly a non-issue right now, is that it struggles to implement ray tracing effectively in the games that actually use it.
If you're building a new mid-range (or even budget) gaming PC, this is probably the card to go for as it performs admirably under normal conditions, and will serve all but the gaming elite who push for 4K and full ray tracing on all the top games. Whereas that's probably the dream for everyone, the fact this card is less than half the price of most RTX 2080s makes a huge difference when you're putting together your latest rig.
Many gamers are on a budget, and while faster cards might make you envious, if you're running a 1080p display they're often overkill. Mainstream GPUs like the RX 570/580 and GTX 1060 3GB/6GB are close to the original MSRPs, with sales even dropping below MSRP. The RX 580 8GB trades blows with the GTX 1060 6GB, typically winning by a few percent in performance but using more power. The overall victor of the midrange category is largely determined by local pricing, with the UK market currently favouring the RX 580.
$200 to $275 is the sweet spot for mainstream gamers, and while the GTX 1060 3GB might seem tempting, the 3GB VRAM is a concern. Most games don't really need more memory, as the difference between high quality and ultra quality textures is often negligible, particularly on a 1080p display. Still, the RX 580 8GB is only about $30 more and is almost always quite a bit faster. Check for sales and discount codes.