How Much GPU Do You Really Need to Play Games on a PC?

August 20, 2015 | By @IVANZXT | PCDIY

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NVIDIA’s new GeForce GTX 950 was released today and it’s being touted as a GPU designed to give PC gamers a competitive advantage without breaking the bank. However, this “low-end” GPU could actually be more than enough power for many PC gamers. And with a price tag of $159, this is very good news for PC builders on a budget.

Let’s take a closer look at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 and figure out who should buy it.

Overview

As the world’s most advanced PC gaming platform, GeForce is responsible for designing the most powerful GPUs you can imagine. But unlike their impressive GeForce GTX TITAN X or GeForce GTX 980 Ti which are targeted at high-end machines, the GeForce GTX 950 is designed with every PC in mind – not just the ones that cost a lot of money.

“The GeForce GTX 950 is a true gaming GPU designed for every PC gamer. Transform your PC into a gaming rig that rivals any game console to enjoy fast and responsive MOBA gaming and the latest games in 1080p. Powered by NVIDIA Maxwell architecture and delivers 3x the performance of previous-generation cards.”

– NVIDIA

If you’re in the market for a modern GPU that play all the latest games, the GeForce GTX 950 seems to be the one to get. NVIDIA promises it’s up to three times faster than the GeForce GTX 650 and will also support all the latest technologies. And as the video below demonstrates, it certainly looks impressive.

Performance

The GeForce GTX 950 is based on NVIDIA’s impressive Maxwell architecture that powers all their latest GPUs – including the GeForce GTX TITAN X and GeForce GTX 980 Ti mentioned previously. With features like VXGI (Voxel Global Illumination), MFAA (Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing), DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution), and full support for the future of virtual reality gaming; GeForce GTX GPUs are designed to perform.

Let’s see how the GeForce GTX 950 performs with various popular PC games.

How Much GPU Do You Really Need to Play Games on a PC?

It’s clear that PC gamers who play MOBAs will benefit the most from the GeForce GTX 950. However, achieving 60 FPS on games like Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4 are completely possible with a few minor adjustments to the settings. But before you rush out and buy the GeForce GTX 950, you should probably take a look at the specs.

Specs

NVIDIA is comparing the GeForce GTX 950 with the GeForce GTX 650 and it has twice as much RAM with three times as much performance. And while it can’t compete with more powerful GPUs like the GeForce GTX TITAN X or the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, it only costs a small fraction of the price. One look at the specs should convince PC gamers that it’s definitely worth the money.

How Much GPU Do You Really Need to Play Games on a PC?

The GeForce GTX 950 easily meets the minimum requirements of the latest games and seems to be “future-proof” for at least a few years. But does this mean you should buy it? The answer is both yes and no.

Should you buy the GeForce GTX 950?

According to CAM user data, three of the ten most popular games last month were MOBAs. These games are not very resource-intensive and can achieve high frame rates relatively easy. If you’re a League of Legends gamer and want to achieve nearly 300 FPS for a low price, the GeForce GTX 950 is a wise choice.

If you’re more interested in games like Grand Theft Auto V, you’ll probably want to splurge on something more powerful like a GeForce GTX 980 Ti to get the best possible experience from the game. However, if you’re comfortable with lower settings and content with 60 FPS, the GeForce GTX 950 is a great GPU for builders on a budget.

How much GPU you really need depends on you: the gamer. But at the end of the day, better graphics don’t necessarily make a better game…or do they?

How Much GPU Do You Really Need to Play Games on a PC?

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@IVANZXT

@IVANZXT

I like to build computers and play video games. Chat with me on the official NZXT Discord server!