As of August 2022, graphics card prices have plummeted significantly compared to their absurd pricing just a year ago from the chip shortage (fuelled in part by the crypto crash).
Most reputable graphics cards can be found even under MSRP now, and as a consumer, it is a quite a relief if you are looking to build a new computer right now.
But what are the parts that you should be paying attention to given their current prices in the market?
Which graphics card should you get if you want the maximum performance-per-dollar in the top-tier, mid-tier and budget category?
Here is our list on which GPU is the most worth it for the price right now (we won’t get into the graphics card manufacturers themselves, just the chip).
The High-End: AMD Radeon RX 6900XT
Initially trading blows in gaming performance with Nvidia’s flagship RTX 3090, AMD’s 6900XT has had numerous driver updates over the course of its life and now has the best price-to-performance ratio in the market.
Retailing at only S$1,000 to S$1,200, the 6900XT is even cheaper than the likes of some RTX 3070 Ti or the RTX 3080, while having the gaming performance of a RTX 3090.
Being an absolute high frame rate monster at 1080p and 1440p, the 6900XT also uses less power than the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 to achieve the same kind of performance that the Nvidia cards are capable of.
At 4K resolution however, it loses out slightly to the RTX 3090, but the fact that you would be paying about S$700 to S$800 more for the cheapest RTX 3090 means the 6900XT is still the most value for money.
If you need a GPU for raytracing or for work, however, the 6900XT may not cut it. Instead, you may want to look for an RTX 3080 instead.
Most GPU-related work scenarios use Nvidia’s CUDA cores for accelerated processing, like DaVinci Resolve. It saves quite a bit of time of you are looking to process things as fast as possible.
That is not to say that the 6900XT can’t process GPU-related work, but if your sole focus is work, an Nvidia GPU will save you a lot of time.
If you absolutely need either one for work or its raytracing capabilities, there is no question that the RTX 3080 will tick all the boxes.
Although being inferior in pure gaming performance compared to the 6900XT, the S$1,100 RTX 3080 performs extremely well when it comes to GPU-based workloads and still maintains high framerates in raytracing scenarios.
The Mid-Range: Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti
Touted to have the same performance as the RTX 2080 Super, the RTX 3060 Ti sees a S$700 price as of this writing.
While not entirely as cheap as we would like it to be, bear in mind that its bigger brother, the RTX 3070 is also a little more expensive at S$800.
The reason we bring that up is because the RTX 3070 is only around 5 to 7 per cent more powerful than the RTX 3060 Ti, and if you are looking to save some money, the performance boost from the RTX 3070 is negligible for the extra cost you are paying for it.
Yes, the GPU market is a little whack in the mid-range section. A lot of the cards are priced too closely to each other because of all the mid-range versions that are crowding the space.
While you are also able to get the 6700XT for S$700, the performance boost is negligible because it performs similarly to the RTX 3070.
It also lacks the features that the RTX 3060 Ti has; raytracing and being able to process GPU-based workloads faster.
However, if you are solely looking for a better gaming experience, the 6700XT is a great alternative.
The Budget: AMD Radeon RX 6500XT & Nvidia RTX 3050
The budget space is a little weird at this point of time.
It is pretty hard to recommend a single GPU simply because of the fact that there are so many factors at play here.
While there exists the 6500XT, which would be the absolute budget king because you can find one for S$250, the current version is stuck with a mere 4GB of video memory (VRAM).
We say ‘current version’ because there is a 6500XT with 8GB of VRAM on the horizon, but we don’t know the price in Singapore at this point of time, or if it will ever arrive on our shores.
However, if it does and doesn’t cost more than S$350, it will absolutely be our top pick.
VRAM is used to store data for graphics processing and loading in images to your games. If there is a lack of VRAM, you may experience in-game stuttering and also have textures not loading in games.
Esports titles like Dota 2, Counter-Strike or VALORANT played at 1080p barely use 4GB of VRAM most of the time, but outside of these titles, even at the lowest settings, any other game will use quite a sizeable amount of memory.
Case-in-point, a game like Warzone already takes up 4GB of VRAM on low settings to perform smoothly.
This is where the RTX 3050 excels.
Bundled with 8GB of VRAM, you will not need to worry about playing games with higher VRAM usage.
It is also about 20 per cent faster than the 4GB version of the 6500XT. However, the price is also almost double, with it being S$450 at its cheapest at this point of time.
But, by paying the S$200 more, you get the peace of mind that you won’t be bottlenecked by your VRAM usage anytime soon.
It also has raytracing capabilities, although I highly do not recommend turning it on at this price range because it will reduce performance by a margin.
However, if you are certain that the games that you play will not need more than 4GB of VRAM, the 4GB 6500XT is a great performer for its price.
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting bodied in games or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.