Almost as painfully as for our DDR4 RAM sales article, we trudged through video card sales and “sales” alike in attempt to find gold in a strapped market. Video card sales weren’t as exciting as previous years, with some settling down to simply MSRP – in other words, half off – and others seeing $10-$20 drops. We found a couple of good ones, nonetheless, including GTX 1080, RX 570, RX 560, and GTX 1060 sales. Find those below.
High-End Graphics Card Sales
MSI GTX 1080 Armor: Although we knocked the MSI 1080 Ti Armor for its weak cooler, we also gave it praise for a high-end PCB. The GTX 1080 Armor, fortunately, doesn’t have the same cooling challenges as the Ti – the GPU pushes a bit less power, so we have less to dissipate. Even with its decidedly, borderline average cooler, the GTX 1080 Armor lands at $495 after its anemic $10 rebate, and sits at $505 stock. Not bad, really. At this point, this is about the only price worth paying for a GTX 1080 – the GTX 1070 Tis at ~$450-470 are fiercely competitive, as we found, but the 1080 does still pull ahead in shader-bound applications, like those using asynchronous compute. As an aside, the 1080 Armor provides a decent baseline PCB for modding, if you’re planning to go the liquid route.
GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Gaming: Right after we published our GTX 1080 Ti round-up, the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Gaming went on sale; well, “sale,” as it’s about $10 off. Still, the 1080 Ti SC2 Gaming for $740 is a good deal, comparatively, and will get you most the way to the gaming performance of the $800 GTX 1080 Tis. The difference is, as usual, the cooling-to-noise performance. If you value lower temperatures at lower noise levels, as opposed to louder fans, then the more expensive cards would be the go-to. If that’s not that important, but another $60 is important, we can recommend the SC2 Gaming. Otherwise, take a look at the Strix.
Mid-Range Graphics Card Sales
ASUS GTX 1060 3GB Phoenix: Knocked down to $173 after $20 rebate, or $193 before, the ASUS GTX 1060 3GB is among the cheapest GTX 1060s available. Keep in mind that the 1060 3GB reduces its SM and shader count by 10% from the 6GB GTX 1060 (alongside a halving of the framebuffer), but remains competitive in performance at the for-sale price. We can recommend this pick-up. If you count rebates toward the price, it’s encroaching on 1050 Tis, and performs significantly better. The card is also available on Amazon for $193 (or $183 with the $10 rebate, however limited).
Alternatively, the ASUS GTX 1060 3GB DUAL is also available at ~$183. That’s another good buy.
PowerColor RX 570 4GB: Marked down to, uh, just above MSRP, the RX 570 is available for $220 normally, or $200 after rebate. Sadly, this is considered a “good price,” right now. The market and its volatility imposed by miner + gamer demand has thrashed prices over the past months, and to find an RX 500-series card – 570 or 580, generally – for around MSRP may as well be a sale, at this point. The RX 570 fiercely competes with and largely invalidates the GTX 1050 Ti. The card also encroaches on RX 580 performance (shaders matter less than clocks, for AMD), getting you 90% of the way to 580 performance, but for cheaper.
XFX RX 580 4GB: This one isn’t a particularly good deal, but if we’re counting rebates, it does come out roughly around where the above 570 lands. The XFX RX 580 on “sale” right now is a 4GB unit, unfortunately, and retails at $230, with a $30 MIR for a $200 final price. This falls under the “meh” category, but we figured we’d point it out.
Low-End Graphics Card Sales
MSI RX 560 4GB: For the low-end, the RX 560 proved worthy in our review earlier this year, displacing the GTX 1050 in significant ways. The card is presently priced at $110 after rebate, or $130 before, and ranks at the top of our list for budget gaming cards. We found that the RX 560 generally outpaces the GTX 1050, encroaches on the GTX 1050 Ti, and establishes a market where you’re either buying an RX 560 or a GTX 1060 3GB/RX 570 (good luck finding the latter at reasonable prices). The 1050 Ti has its uses, but none are presently on any meaningful discount, from what we saw.
Check our SSD, RAM, and CPU sales round-ups for more components. All of our buyer’s guides are located here. We also just published a Must-Have list of accessories & tools for PC enthusiasts.
- Steve Burke