GPU Hierarchy
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An average gamer is the one who just sits, plays, and forgets. A serious or hardcore gamer is the one who wants to play and enjoy every moment of the way. Hence, he is the one who wants to get the right CPU, GPU, and every other thing needed. The problem is that getting the right components such as the GPU isn’t the easiest thing to do because while you have a busy GPU hierarchy with many coming in, understanding what is needed is yet another problem. But that is why We are here.

A GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is an important component of the computer that enhances the display and rendering of images on your computer. Hence, getting a good monitor that will be able to give you a 4k gaming experience is just the beginning of the journey; getting the right GPU is the conclusion- it may as well be the other way round.

To get the straight things straight, there is a price tag on whatever gaming experience you have set out to get. Essentially, if you are out for a 4k, 2k, or any other gaming experience, you will have to put your money where your urge is. But more than that, reaching the top tier may also require that apart from upgrading your GPU, you also upgrade other components such as the CPU in order to have a balanced setup.

GPU Hierarchy 2018

Tier 1

NVIDIA
The CardVRAMMEMORY CHIPSET

Nvidia GeForce Titan V

12 GB

HBM2

Nvidia GeForce Titan XP

12 GB

GDDR5X

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

11 GB

GDDR5X

 

Tier 1 is where the beast of GPUs lie, collecting together the most powerful cards the market has to offer at the moment. It is the one that has the broad shoulder to take on any graphics from 4k to the least available gaming graphics and deliver them with 100 percent conviction.

What makes this tier very interesting is that it is only NVIDIA that enjoys full control with the Nvidia GeForce Titan V, Titan XP, and GTX 1080 Ti as AMD is still yet to stretch to be in this class. The memory you get here is 12 GB at the max and 11 GB at the minimum.

With all that it has to offer, you will not cough out anything less than a thousand bucks or something close to that to have this piece. It is because of this that it will not be the GPU that will be recommended for you except you are a hardcore gamer who dumps the old game once a new one comes on the way or one who plays everything that the gaming world has to offer.

To really get the tango with this GPU, it will really take more than just the GPU as you will also need a monitor that can run 4K. So at the end of the day, it is a heavy investment to make but one that will be worth it for someone who really needs it.

Tier 2

NVIDIA
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

GTX 1080

8 GB

GDDR5X

GTX 1070 Ti

8 GB

GDDR5

GTX 1070

8 GB

GDDR5

GTX 980 Ti

6 GB

GDDR5

AMD
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

RX Vega 64

8 GB

HBM2

RX Vega 56

8 GB

HBM2

R9 Fury X

4 GB

HBM2

 

If you have chewed the gaming cud and have decided that Tier 1 is not the next grass for you, the Tier 2 is also green for a passionate gamer who wants to sell his soul and still keep it. The cards on the GPU hierarchy are able to breeze through 2K games and deliver 30-60 FPS in 4K resolution.

Many serious gamers find themselves in this category because the cards come less expensive than Tier 1 pieces, but they still deliver a consistent gaming experience with many recent games.

Both AMD and NVIDIA’s GPUs are strong here, even though as you would expect, NVIDIA has a foot over the finish line before AMD.

Tier 3

NVIDIA
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

GTX 1060

6 GB / 3 GB

GDDR5

GTX 980

4 GB

GDDR5

GTX 970

4 GB

GDDR5

GTX 780 Ti

3 GB

GDDR5

AMD
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

RX 580

8 GB / 4 GB

GDDR5

RX 480

4 GB

GDDR5

RX 570

4 GB

GDDR5

R9 390

8 GB

GDDR5

R9 290X

4 GB

GDDR5

This is where the world changes for gamers in a couple of ways: the GPUs are in the affordable range and they can play many recent games. Hence, it is here that many serious gamers get to make a pick. More so they deliver detailed and strong 1080p as well as bold 30-60fps for 2K graphics.

See Also: Best GTX 1070: High-Performance Graphics Card Review

With both AMD and Nvidia making a great show in this zone, the adventure that has become extremely hard for it is when it comes to 4K gaming experience.

From all indications, the GPUs here are going to hold the ground for people who want good gaming experience without having to break a bank for the next 3 to 4 years before it will find itself slipping down the hierarchy.

Tier 4

NVIDIA
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

GTX 1050 Ti

4 GB

GDDR5

GTX 1050

2 GB

GDDR5

GTX 960

2 GB

GDDR5

AMD
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

RX 560

4 GB / 2 GB

GDDR5

R9 380

4 GB

GDDR5

R9 280X

3 GB

GDDR5

R9 280

3 GB

GDDR5

 

Lower than those found on Tier 3, the GPUs here are higher than what is offered on Tier 5. It is for those whose appetite does not go beyond classic games as well as 60FPS 1080p games. The gaming experience it delivers on 60FPS 1080p is much bolder than what Tier 5 GPUs offer. Nonetheless, when demanding titles make the list, the GPU may fail you with very little apology.

The 1080p performance of the cards here is solid and they can even play some recent games but as stated, there are points where it would be unable to give answers to some questions on performance.

Tier 5

NVIDIA
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

GTX 750

2 GB

GDDR5

GTX 650 Ti

2 GB

GDDR5

GT 1030

2 GB

GDDR5

GTX 560

1 GB

GDDR5

AMD
The CardVRAMMemory Chipset

HD 7790

1 GB

GDDR5

HD 6870

1 GB

GDDR5

HD 5850

1 GB

GDDR5

R7 360

1 GB

GDDR5

R7 260

1 GB

GDDR5

HD 7770

1 GB

GDDR5

HD 6850

1 GB

GDDR5

 

The GPU models in Tier 5 are the most affordable in the GPU hierarchy but they are likewise the least performing.  With anything from 60FPS 1080p going down, the gaming experience will be stable, but once you hit it any harder with a more demanding game, you will experience a lot of stuttering.

See Also: RAM – 25 Ways RAM is Influencing Computer Speed and Performance

Cheapest in the line of GPUs, these are the ones for those who are occasional gamers and those who only do basic stuff on computers. If you only stick with classic games or MOBA games, going for this may be worth it but when you get thirsty for more recent games, you may find yourself without help.

Conclusion

What does it profit a man to spend heavily on an expensive GPU and still come to end up only as an average gamer? Before you settle down to get for yourself a GPU irrespective of the tier, the most important thing to do is to define the kind of gamer you are because getting a Tier 1 or even a Tier 2 piece may be utterly useless for someone who only plays games occasionally.

Obviously, everyone who plays games wants to have the best experience, which is the 4K experience, but for now, the cost may not be what a lot of people can afford. The good news, however, is that in a few years, 4K will be in the mainstream and the more expensive GPUs will have no option but to come down in price.