In many ways, a graphics card is the beating heart of any gaming PC. Sure, the best gaming CPU helps when it comes to brainwork, but a GPU upgrade can keep your rig running the latest games at respectable resolutions and frame rates. Thankfully, you won’t need surgeon expertise to transplant the component into your current build, as it’s one of the simplest changes you can make to your setup.
Before you swap out your GPU, it’s important to consider whether or not it requires an upgrade. After all, new graphics cards aren’t cheap, and ongoing supply issues mean even entry-level cards like Nvidia’s RTX 2060 12GB are fetching a high price. If you’re failing to boost fps with your current configuration, there’s also a chance another component is to blame, as ageing CPUs can cause a performance bottleneck.
The best way to figure this out is to boot up MSI Afterburner and take a look at the graphics card and processor loads. If your chip hits highs of 90 to 100% while your GPU is sitting below 80%, then it’s better to go for a CPU upgrade rather than forking out for the wrong part. You might even benefit from a BIOS update or investing in the best gaming RAM – the minimum we’d recommend is 16GB nowadays.