It’s no secret that purchasing a new gaming PC requires a significant portion of your budget to be allocated towards the graphics card. While the graphics card has always been a crucial component that demands substantial investment, today it is even more pronounced. It’s not uncommon to allocate half or more of your budget specifically towards the graphics card when building a gaming PC. The question then arises: How much should one reasonably spend on a graphics card today?
In the past, owning a €1,200 gaming PC meant having a powerful machine capable of handling any task with ease. However, in the current landscape, that same amount of money, or even more, could be solely dedicated to acquiring a high-end graphics card. If you aspire to build a top-tier gaming PC, it’s conceivable to find yourself spending €3,000 or €4,000 in total. Consequently, it is prudent to carefully consider not only your overall budget for the PC but also how much of it should be allocated specifically towards the graphics card. Planning ahead and establishing a clear spending threshold can help guide your purchasing decisions effectively.
Do you need a TOP graphics on your new PC?
One of the most important considerations to ponder is whether you truly require a top-of-the-line graphics card. In today’s market, high-end graphics cards come with a hefty price tag. We’re not just talking about the eye-watering cost of an RTX 4090, which can reach nearly €2,000. Even a graphics card from the Radeon RX 6800 series can set you back over €800. It’s worth pausing to reflect on this reality.
At this juncture, it’s crucial to approach the decision with a level head and ask yourself: Do you truly need a top-tier graphics card? Will you be gaming at 4K resolution with all settings maxed out, while also utilizing a high-refresh-rate monitor? If you don’t meet all three of these criteria, it may be perfectly justifiable to opt for a mid-range graphics card. It’s important to note that the mid-range offerings of current generations are significantly more powerful than the high-end options of previous generations. For instance, a GeForce RTX 3060 is a highly capable graphics card for gaming at Full HD resolution with high refresh rates, and you can find them for just over €300.
While it’s true that a higher-budget graphics card will deliver better performance in games (remember, we’re discussing building a gaming PC), it’s essential to strike a balance between performance and cost-effectiveness. Being “reasonable” entails seeking optimal performance while keeping the necessary expenditure at a minimum.
So, what part of the budget to invest in the graphics?
As always, the amount you can allocate to your graphics card will heavily rely on your budget. For instance, if you have a budget range of €600-800 for your PC, it would be suitable to opt for an entry-level graphics card priced at no more than €200. On the other hand, if your budget falls within the range of around €1200-1500, you could consider a graphics card in the €500-600 range. However, if your intention is to play at 4K resolution with maximum settings and high refresh rates, you will need to set aside a larger budget. It’s worth noting that you won’t necessarily require an RTX 4090 for this purpose; an RTX 4070 Ti would suffice and is more cost-effective.
As always, the key factor is your desired expenditure. However, if you aim to strike a reasonable balance, the general rule of thumb is that the lower your budget, the lower percentage of it you should allocate to the graphics card. This ensures that the other components are of sufficient quality and that your PC is not bottlenecked.
Continuing with the previous example and emphasizing the notion of reasonability, we suggest that budgets below €1,000 should not invest more than 30% on the graphics card. However, if you have up to €2,000 to spend, you can allocate up to 50% towards the graphics card. Nonetheless, it’s essential to remember that these percentages serve as general guidance and recommendations for investing a specific amount of money in a new gaming PC.