Graphics card massacre: 6 GPUs you absolutely should not buy right now

The new Radeon RX 5700 series and GeForce RTX Super GPUs have left a trail of dead in their wake.

Credit: Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

What a week it’s been for gaming nerds. Over the past seven days, AMD kicked off its next GPU generation with the $350 Radeon RX 5700 and $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT, while Nvidia countered its rival by launching a barrage of souped-up GeForce RTX “Super” graphics cards. The $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super and $500 GeForce RTX 2070 launched on July 9, with a faster GeForce RTX 2080 Super scheduled to land on July 23.

The RTX Super cards effectively shift performance down a pricing tier. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super performs on a par with the original $500 RTX 2070, and the new RTX 2070 Super is almost as powerful as the original $800 RTX 2080. AMD’s Radeon duo, meanwhile, outpunches their direct GeForce competition in raw frame rates despite Nvidia’s attempted Super spoiler.

These cards kick all kinds of ass—so much so, in fact, that they’ve rendered several once-compelling graphics card options obsolete practically overnight. The graphics cards listed below are still being sold, but you don’t want to buy them anymore. Instead, check out our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming to see the ideal picks for every budget and display resolution.

Got it? Good. Onto the cards you shouldn’t buy unless you find them at spectacular discounts:

  • $350 GeForce RTX 2060 (non-Super)
  • $400 Radeon Vega 56
  • $500 Radeon Vega 64
  • $500 GeForce RTX 2070 (non-Super)
  • $700 GeForce RTX 2080 (non-Super)
  • $700 Radeon RX VII

Yep, these new graphics offerings upset the entire high-end market aside from the monstrous $1,200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which remains at the top.

Consider the non-Super GeForce RTX 2060, which is sticking around. Nvidia’s card delivering ho-hum real-time ray tracing performance in games that support it. Meanwhile, the Radeon RX 5700 delivers a much better memory configuration and performance. We simply can’t recommend the plain RTX 2060 anymore—especially when the GeForce RTX 2060 Super cranks everything up for just $50 more.

dsc00570 Brad Chacos/IDG

RTX Super: So pretty, but so devastating to rival GeForce and Radeon Vega cards alike.

Likewise, most Vega GPUs are still selling near their launch pricing, which is just ludicrous. All of the fresh GPUs (and even the RTX 2060 non-Super we just said to avoid) are much better purchases than a $400 Vega 56 or $500 Vega 64. You can find a couple of Vega 56 models selling for $280. At that price, they’re worth considering as AMD’s last-gen star is a little bit faster than the similarly priced GeForce GTX 1660 Ti—but not by much. I wouldn’t buy a Vega 56 for more than that even with the three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC that it currently comes bundled with.

Everything else just gets walloped by new GPU options that cost scads less. Competition’s ramping up, and PC gamers are getting more for their dollars. Expect to see more casualties of war as AMD continues rolling out new graphics cards based on its next-gen “RDNA” architecture and Nvidia adjusts pricing—or shows off a few tricks of its own—to counter the 7nm Radeon push.

Again, be sure to check out our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming to see up-to-the-minute buying recommendations. We keep it updated to keep you informed.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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