Why stop at 1080p when you can go as far as 4K gaming, right? So you’re planning to buy a graphics card to upgrade your gaming experience to its full crisp.
But the problem is, you just don’t know when to start. No worries, I’ll help you out. If you’re new to the PC market, don’t worry; I’ll keep things under layman’s term as much as possible.
Also, I’ll add in some other info to get you to play games properly and smoothly while under 4K.
Oh, and be sure to check out the review of the best graphics cards if you already know what to buy.
Nvidia or AMD?
Basically, both brands support 4K gaming. It just depends on what specific model you want for your GPU.
Of course, if you want something high-end, you go for Nvidia. If you prefer budget gaming without compromising quality, you head over to AMD. But either way, like what Todd Howard said, it just works.
The cheapest Nvidia graphics cards you can buy that can support 4K is a GTX 600 or a GTX 700 series.
Everything else after those two are safe to play with 4K. However, why settle with 600 or even 980 when you can get at least 1050Ti?
So far, the 1050Ti can still handle modern games with at least medium low to medium high. Sure, the graphics aren’t at their best but remember: you’re here for the resolution, not textures and renders at high settings.
As for the AMD Radeon RX series, you will need to have a keen eye on that. For example, some models such as the AMD Radeon RX 590 and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.
The former can only go up to 1080p while the latter has a max of 1440p. Going 4K with these graphics cards is a death wish.
Fortunately, the brand features a wide range of 4K-ready graphics processors including the AMD 8GB Radeon RX 480 and AMD Radeon RX 5700.
Sure, they’re not as powerful as the Nvidia but they sure pack enough to deliver high-quality 4K gaming. It’s a budget model without showing any signs of poor design.
You have the likes of Palit and MSI. Arguably, the reason why we did not include them is that non-Nvidia brands tend to be made with lower quality, especially with MSI.
All of my gamer friends and lots of people in forums don’t recommend the brand since it tends to overheat after a long time.
Palit doesn’t have much of an issue but why settle for that when you can just go for the best which is Nvidia?
It’s Not Just the GPU
Honestly, the graphics card is just the tip of the iceberg here. In fact, you will need more than just graphics cards in order to play in 4K while retaining optimal levels from frame rates to loading times. After all, graphics aren’t everything.
A CPU to Suit Your Needs
To support the graphics card properly, you will need a big-brain CPU to keep everything steady. You might want to take at least a 7th Generation Intel processor to do it, whether it’s i5 or i7.
But if you want to be future proof, go with a 9th Generation Intel instead or an i9. However, there are two problems with Intel: overclocking and overall price.
Sure, you can overclock Intel but it tends to put things at a critical level. After all, the vanilla design of an Intel processor performs well, especially at 4K.
But if you want something good for overclocking or one that isn’t too expensive yet can carry great 4K gaming experience, you go with an AMD Ryzen.
Plus, it even syncs perfectly with an AMD Radeon graphics card. AMD even includes a bundle that blends the right models of Ryzen and Radeon together so you don’t have to think too much with their tried and tested combinations.
RAM RAM RAM
I cannot stress you enough how you need a decent RAM to get things up and running. Not enough RAM means overall slow performance.
You see, RAM, CPU, and GPU work in tandem so your PC can run properly especially at 4K, given that they’re all under a sturdy motherboard. If your PC has less than at least 4GB of RAM, forget playing at a smooth pace.
Sure, you can run things at 4K but when you count the loading times and overall frames per second, it’s going to be generally slow.
For the most comfortable level of playing in 4K while running up to 120 fps or more, get 8GB of RAM. Okay, so maybe 16 GB of RAM is future-proof but currently, the price is too much of an overkill.
A Strong Motherboard
Once you have the CPU and RAM you want, it’s time to get a motherboard. I highly recommend getting an ASUS ROG type as this kind of motherboard tends to be more heat-proof compared to generic motherboards. But if you’re eyeing for other brands, consider motherboards made for gaming.
Purchase a Strong Fan or Water Cooler
The water cooler is best cooler – no contest, no discussion. The only problem here is the price but I’m telling you, it’s so worth it.
You can forget about having anxiety if your PC can constantly run Cyberpunk 2077 at ultra settings without burning itself up. With a water cooler, you don’t need to worry at all.
Although if the water cooler is too much, you can always go for a fan; but not just any fan – you need one that can withstand demanding hardware specs, preferably large ones that are built to cool gaming-type specs.
A Good Casing to Hold Them All
Don’t just go for the edgy GAMER themes; go for the sustainable and durable casings that include air holes and large spaces so your parts don’t feel cramped.
If you don’t know which is ideal, you can always consult the seller you’re talking too. Trust me, these guys know the right casing for the right specs.
A Monitor to Showcase Everything You Built
Last but not least, you are required to have an equally-powerful monitor. What’s the point of making a rocket-type PC when your monitor can only handle a PS4 or Xbox One performance (no offense to the console players out there).
If you’re going all out, then you need to buy a monitor with AT LEAST 144 Hz refresh rate. For the love of Lord Gaben, don’t go lower than that.
Once you feel the presence of 4K UHD 120 fps, you will never want to go back. As in, at all. It is the pinnacle of the gaming experience.
Basically, to display your game at 4K, you need a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160. This is also known as UHD in common terms.
Rock Out Your PC in 4K
I hope this article helped you with your graphics card preference. Sure, graphics cards from the GTX 600 and 700 series and up can support 4K but that is just not enough to get your PC to perform optimally. Follow my guidelines and you’ll achieve the radiance of the PC master race.