September 27, 2021

How much of my budget should I spend on a graphics card? | Ask an expert

Q: What percentage of my build budget should go toward the graphics card? While a lot of advice says to aim for an even balance between the CPU and the GPU, some people suggest choosing a mid-tier processor and then plowing as much of my remaining b...

Q: What percentage of my build budget should go toward the graphics card? While a lot of advice says to aim for an even balance between the CPU and the GPU, some people suggest choosing a mid-tier processor and then plowing as much of my remaining budget toward the video card as possible. This PC will be for gaming.

A: When giving general advice, we usually recommend letting your monitor dictate the limits of a graphics card purchase for a gaming PC. Its resolution and refresh rate will make it clear what you need in performance, and where the line sits between a bit of future proofing and extreme overkill.

For example, if you have a 1080p 75Hz monitor, you don’t need to spend a ton on a GPU. In normal times (when prices and availability of graphics cards are reasonable), shopping in the $200 to $300 range will max out your hardware’s capabilities and, at the higher end, leave room for the card to keep up with future AAA titles.

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